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Gastown
Vancouver

Gastown featuring a city, street scenes and cafe scenes

The birthplace of Vancouver is full of old-world charm with cobbled streets, Victorian buildings, and a unique steam-powered clock. 

Gastown grew up around a tavern, which opened in 1867 to service thirsty sawmill workers and visiting sailors. The bar owner was John “Gassy Jack” Deighton, so called because of his talkative nature.

As the nearest pub was more than 20 miles (32 kilometers) away, Deighton’s establishment became the heart of the small town in what was mostly wilderness on Canada’s west coast. Both the fledgling town, which took it’s name from Gassy Jack, and the watering hole prospered thanks to the sawmill and the seaport, and would become the world-class city of Vancouver.

After the global Great Depression of the 1930s, the neighborhood hit hard times. The city had expanded westward and changed its name to Vancouver, and Gastown was largely forgotten. In fact, it became so rundown that there were calls for the neighborhood to be torn down. A large public campaign organized by property owners and local businesses managed to persuade the provincial government to spare Gastown from the wrecking ball in the 1970s.

The area has benefited from a major regeneration program and gentrification, and today is a happy confluence of old town history and modern day urban chic.

It may not be the heart of the city anymore, but Gastown has retained its character with cobblestone streets and old buildings, many of which are more than a hundred years old.

Many of those original buildings are now home to bars and restaurants. Enjoy fine dining — from Italian, to French, to Asian-influenced — as well as tap houses with exceptional locally-brewed beer.

Explore this eclectic neighborhood by day and night. Your meandering will take you past nightspots, high fashion boutiques, antique stores and galleries. Several chic home design shops offer elegant, decorative fabrics and tableware from all over the world. Observe the statue of “Gassy Jack” perched atop a whiskey barrel in Maple Tree Square on the site of the area’s first tavern, and there’s a French restaurant on the site of Vancouver’s first jail.

One of the town’s best-known landmarks is its steam-powered clock, which stands on the intersection of Cambie Street and Water Street, and ‘toots’ every 15 minutes. The clock’s timepiece is partially driven by water vapor and while it looks like a Victorian antique, it was actually built in 1977. It was the first of its type ever built. Plaques with information on buildings and landmarks are scattered throughout the town.

Gastown is an easy walk from the surrounding hotel districts, and also accessible by bus or the Skytrain, Vancouver’s rapid transportation system. Parking can be tricky to find during the busy summer tourist season.


Popular places to visit in Gastown

Top things to do in Gastown


Top Hotels in Gastown

Delta Hotels by Marriott Vancouver Downtown Suites
Delta Hotels by Marriott Vancouver Downtown Suites
4 out of 5
550 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC
The price is ¥11,300 per night from May 14 to May 14
Located in Gastown, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Canada Place, Queen Elizabeth Theatre, and Vancouver Convention Centre. Robson Street ...
4.5/5Wonderful! (991 reviews)
"Nice spacious suite in a great location"

Reviewed on Apr 18, 2021

Delta Hotels by Marriott Vancouver Downtown Suites
Cambie Hostel Gastown
Cambie Hostel Gastown
2 out of 5
310 Cambie Street, Vancouver, BC
The price is ¥5,961 per night from May 18 to May 18
Located in Gastown, this hostel is within a 5-minute walk of Granville Street and Harbour Centre. Queen Elizabeth Theatre and Canada Place are also within 10 ...
3/5 (331 reviews)
"Good quality price"

Reviewed on Apr 18, 2021

Cambie Hostel Gastown
Skwachàys Lodge
Skwachàys Lodge
2.5 out of 5
31 West Pender, Vancouver, BC
The price is ¥15,050 per night from May 8 to May 8
Located in Gastown, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, Rogers Arena, and Queen Elizabeth Theatre. BC Place Stadium ...
4.4/5Wonderful! (910 reviews)
"The location is such that it is in an area of the city that is suffering. That being said the upper peace garden area is beautiful as is the smudge room."

Reviewed on Mar 23, 2021

Skwachàys Lodge
Sterling Suites - Gastown
Sterling Suites - Gastown
4 out of 5
27 Alexander Street, Vancouver, BC
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Located in Gastown, this condo building is within a 10-minute walk of Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden and Granville Street. Queen Elizabeth Theatre ...
4.2/5Very Good! (6 reviews)
"Great space, has everything you need for an extended stay. Being located in Gastown there were many great shops and restaurants just walking distance away. Would recommend to anyone."

Reviewed on Nov 27, 2020

Sterling Suites - Gastown
Modern 1 Bedroom 1 Den Parking Tinseltown Gastown
Modern 1 Bedroom 1 Den Parking Tinseltown Gastown
Vancouver, BC
The price is ¥16,016 per night from May 9 to May 9
Located in the center of Vancouver, this family-friendly condo building is within a 10-minute walk of Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, Queen Elizabeth ...
3.7/5Good! (3 reviews)
Dirty - would not recommend
"This rental is in a good location and has a parking spot. That’s where the benefits end. This space was dirty - hair on the stove, on shelves, in the sheets; debris on the closet floor; looked like no one had ever cleaned behind the bedroom door; scuffs all over the walls and doors; broken blinds; ..."

Reviewed on Mar 9, 2020

Modern 1 Bedroom 1 Den Parking Tinseltown Gastown
Classy & Unique Loft in the Heart of Gastown
Classy & Unique Loft in the Heart of Gastown
Vancouver, BC
The price is ¥24,913 per night from May 11 to May 11
Located in Gastown, this apartment building is within a 10-minute walk of Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden and Granville Street. Queen Elizabeth Theatre ...
Classy & Unique Loft in the Heart of Gastown
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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Gastown