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GastownVancouver

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 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 Rs7,645 per night from 25 Nov to 26 Nov

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! (990 reviews)

"Fantastic hotel. Front desk staff were such a pleasure to deal with. When they found out we were there to celebrate my wife’s birthday they upgraded our room to an amazing king suite. We must say, it is one of the nicest hotels we have ever stayed in, and trust me we have stayed in a lot of hotels ..."…"

Reviewed on 6 Oct 2020

Delta Hotels by Marriott Vancouver Downtown Suites
Ramada Limited Vancouver Downtown
Ramada Limited Vancouver Downtown
2.5 out of 5
435 West Pender Street, Vancouver, BC
Free cancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is Rs4,535 per night from 29 Nov to 30 Nov

Located in Gastown, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Simon Fraser University - Downtown and Pacific Centre Shopping Mall. Vancouver Convention ...

3.9/5Good! (999 reviews)
Great value, convenient location

"Good"…"

Reviewed on 19 Nov 2020

Ramada Limited Vancouver Downtown
Skwachàys Lodge
Skwachàys Lodge
2.5 out of 5
31 West Pender, Vancouver, BC
The price is Rs6,738 per night from 25 Nov to 26 Nov

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! (905 reviews)

"Excellent hotel. My friend and I stayed there for two nights and were so pleased with the service. Rick went out of his way to show us around the hotel, he called an excellent restaurant for us and the gave us vip service as a result. Best service I’ve ever had."…"

Reviewed on 22 Aug 2020

Skwachàys Lodge
Cambie Hostel Gastown
Cambie Hostel Gastown
2 out of 5
310 Cambie Street, Vancouver, BC
Get Rates

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 (323 reviews)
Disappointed

"It was completely different to what was on the hotels.com website. Old run down building with little central heating. No respect about noise from the bar down stairs as it mostly went on till 2am most nights. Breakfast not included have pay for it. Not safe to leave personal or valuables items around. ..."…"

Reviewed on 29 Dec 2019

Cambie Hostel Gastown
Sterling Suites - Gastown
Sterling Suites - Gastown
27 Alexander Street, Vancouver, BC
Get Rates

Located in Gastown, this condo is within a 10-minute walk of Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden and Granville Street. Queen Elizabeth Theatre and Rogers ...

4.3/5Excellent! (4 reviews)

"Really cute place in scenic Gastown. We've never been to Vancouver so we didn't know it was kind of close to E Hastings but it was okay. Very modern rustic style to the apartment. Host was AMAZING at communication. Every question I had got answered within 5 minutes. We had an issue with Wifi and ..."…"

Reviewed on 10 Jul 2020

Sterling Suites - Gastown
Noel Suites-Gastown
Noel Suites-Gastown
4 out of 5
53 W Hastings, Vancouver, BC
Get Rates

Located in Gastown, this condo is within a 10-minute walk of Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, Granville Street and Rogers Arena. Queen Elizabeth Theatre ...

3.9/5Good! (19 reviews)

"Loved staying in a fully equipped suite - with balcony and BBQ - for the same price as a mid-range hotel room. Suite was modern, clean, and comfortable. Other reviewers have mentioned the distance to the key pick up. It is about a 10-minute walk, so prepare for that. I’m sure a cab would wait, as ..."…"

Reviewed on 20 Jan 2020

Noel Suites-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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