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Gastown which includes a city, café lifestyle and street 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 hotels in Gastown

Cambie Hostel Gastown
Cambie Hostel Gastown
2 out of 5
310 Cambie Street, Vancouver, BC
Free cancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is Rs3,843 per night from 21 Jun to 21 Jun
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 (332 reviews)
"Good place to be in Downtown especially Eastside"

Reviewed on 9 Jun 2021

Cambie Hostel 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 Rs12,742 per night from 14 Jun to 14 Jun
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! (992 reviews)
"Impressive Staff and Hotel. We were welcomed by Alison at the reception with a big smile! She walked us through the check-in process and answered all the questions we had. The room was clean and modern and had everything I needed. The only I regretted was not having more time off to stay longer and ..."

Reviewed on 1 Jun 2021

Delta Hotels by Marriott Vancouver Downtown Suites
Skwachàys Lodge
Skwachàys Lodge
2.5 out of 5
31 West Pender, Vancouver, BC
The price is Rs9,688 per night from 14 Jun to 14 Jun
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 23 Mar 2021

Skwachàys Lodge
Sterling Suites - Gastown
Sterling Suites - Gastown
4 out of 5
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 ...
4.2/5Very 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 27 Nov 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
Pinnacle Hotel Harbourfront
Pinnacle Hotel Harbourfront
4 out of 5
1133 Hastings St W, Vancouver, BC
The price is Rs10,167 per night from 14 Jun to 14 Jun
Located in Coal Harbour, this eco-friendly hotel is steps away from United States Consulate and Vancouver Waterfront. Robson Street and Canada Place are also ...
4.2/5Very Good! (2,491 reviews)
"Everything was great although we were only there for a few hours. Thanks"

Reviewed on 10 Jun 2021

Pinnacle Hotel Harbourfront
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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