What used to be just a single tavern founded back in 1867, Gastown is now recognized as Vancouver’s oldest neighbourhood. Today, the district retains its historic charm and independent spirit. Buildings side by side are stamped with historical markers, which now house curated home décor boutiques, one-of-a-kind galleries and local gathering holes offering delicious eats and libations.
About a 10-minute walk away from Vancouver’s Canada Place and cruise terminal, Gastown is the ideal neighbourhood to explore on foot. Seamlessly combining old with new, you’ll find a picture-perfect collection of cobblestone streets, old buildings, vintage lampposts, and of course, the famous Steam Clock.
Standing tall at Gastown’s entrance is the Vancouver Lookout. At 553 feet, the 360 bird’s eye view of Gastown and the rest of downtown Vancouver’s neighbourhoods gives visitors an idea of what there is to see on foot.
And back down to street level - no visit to Gastown is complete without a visit to one of the many coffee shops brewing local beans. You can also find just about any type of cuisine you’re craving – from French (L’Abattoir), Lebanese (Nuba), Italian (Di Beppe), Japanese (Guu Otokamae) and vegan fare (Meet), there’s plenty of choices to keep everyone well fed.
If you’re feeling thirsty, Gastown’s moody cocktail bars are shaking up both classic favourites and inventive creations. From intimate spots (The Diamond), bars with vintage flairs (Clough Club and Pourhouse) and joints with live music (Guilt & Co. and 2nd floor Gastown), Gastown sets the bar high when it comes to cocktail perfection.
Lining the cobblestone streets are charming boutiques where you can find high-end fashion and locally made wares side-by-side. Some not-to-miss stores to check out:
Coastal Peoples Fine Arts Gallery – this gallery puts together a superb collection of fine First Nations and Inuit artworks.
John Fleuvog – an iconic designer from Vancouver offering shoes unlike anything else.
Old Faithful Shop – an updated version of a general store that would have existed over 100 years ago.
One of a Few – from well known designers to emerging ones, the clothing stock here is curated and limited.
The Latest Scoop – what started as a pop-up, this store now brings in goods from around the world spread out over multiple location in the city.