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Gastown in Peace and War

Where Vancouver Began

GastownGastown, a National Historic Site of Canada, is the area northeast of Downtown Vancouver, British Columbia, within Hastings, Main, and Richards Streets and the Burrard Inlet waterfront. Vancouver’s first downtown core, where it all began and where the roots remain visible in cobblestone streets and antique streetlights, all of which look like a slice of history between the high-rises of Downtown and the waterfront train yard. Gastown’s name comes from legendary “Gassy” Jack Deighton, a steamboat captain who in 1867 opened the first saloon.

Early Gastown prospered as the site of a sawmill, a seaport, and, not least, an after-hours resort for loggers, fishermen, and the crews of sailing ships. In 1886, the town incorporated as the City of Vancouver but lost all but two of its buildings in the Great Vancouver Fire of that same year. The rebuilt area thrived again as an important ferry and steamship docking and staging area with Hastings and Main as the town centre.

Preserving the Visible 19th Century

After the Great Depression of the 1930s, Gastown fell into decay, decline, and disrepair as a skid row area of cheap beer parlours and flophouses. In the 1960s, citizen concern over preservation of Gastown’s distinctive architecture, which, as in nearby Chinatown and Strathcona, was to be torn down to clear space for a freeway into Downtown, drove a campaign that in 1971 persuaded the provincial government to declare the area an historical site to protect its heritage buildings.

Perhaps Gastown’s most famous landmark is the steam-powered clock at Cambie and Water streets. Built to cover a steam grate of Vancouver’s distributed steam-heating system, the clock prevents street people from sleeping on the grate in cold weather. The low-pressure downtown-wide steam heating network from a plant adjacent to the Georgia Viaduct powers a miniature steam engine in the clock’s base.

Gastown 1Entertainment and Hospitality

Gastown endured decades of neglect as the derelict part of town. Recent revitalization has turned skid row into a stylish destination of unusual enterprises in entertainment, gastronomy, and hospitality. On Alexander Street near Main in the northeastern corner of Gastown, the Alibi Room has “50 taps of local & imported craft beer,” some exclusive to the pub, for beer lovers. On Water Street, there are great meal deals at Pourhouse. On Blood Alley Square, a banner of an upside-down salt shaker beckons passersby to the Salt Tasting Room, a small, friendly tavern where patrons can “assemble a Tasting Plate from our chalkboard’s selection of 10 cheeses, 10 meats, and 10 condiments. The selections change constantly, making it almost impossible to have the same Salt experience twice.”

Visitor Parking

For visitors to Vancouver, parking is no easier and probably more difficult in the busy nightlife of Gastown than in any other part of Downtown Vancouver. Fortunately, the presence one block west of Richards and Water streets of the SkyTrain Waterfront Station and the terminal of the Seabus to North Vancouver makes Gastown access much easier than by car.

Gastown Riot

Gastown entertainment and hospitality were in unusually short supply on 7 August 1971, when hundreds converged on Maple Tree Square at Alexander, Powell, and Water streets to protest drug law raids. By 10:00 AM, the crowd numbered almost 2,000. After reports of broken windows, the police decided to clear the crowd. After the crowd ignored a warning to disperse, police officers on horseback and in riot gear took action in a battle with people throwing rocks and bottles.

An investigation found that the crowd had not degenerated into a mob and that individual officers had used “unnecessary, unwarranted, and excessive force.” Investigator recommendations were to ban demonstrators from taking over public streets, to train police officers specifically for crowd control, to use horses for crowd control on sidewalks only, and to eliminate the use of plainclothes officers for crowd control.

Information Links:

gastown.org

http://vancouver.ca/green-vancouver/hastings.aspx

http://vancouver.ca/home-property-development/dtes-local-area-plan.aspx

New Gastown Live MLS Listings

Gastown, Vancouver, BC

1-10/23
  • 3210 128 W CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale in "WOODWARDS W43" (Vancouver West) : MLS® # R2227108

    Main Photo: 3210 128 W CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale in "WOODWARDS W43" (Vancouver West)  : MLS® # R2227108
    $1,499,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2227108
    Bedrooms:
    2
    Bathrooms:
    2
    Floor Area:
    1,166 sq. ft.
    Stunning corner unit with panoramic unobstructed views of the North Shore Mountains and Downtown Vancouver. Featuring 1,166 sq ft this 2 bed 2 bath skyloft comes with newly renovated floors, kitchen and bathroom countertops. In the heart of Gastown, the Woodwards building is an iconic landmark with built-in commercial services at the base including Nesters, London Drugs and JJ Bean. A number of World Class dining options are only within a two block radius. Don't miss out on this amazing. Unit. First Open Houses: Sat & Sun, Dec 9th & 10th, 2:00-4:00 PM. More details
    TRG-The Residential Group Rlty
  • 3001 438 SEYMOUR Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale in "CONFERENCE PLAZA" (Vancouver West) : MLS® # R2226042

    Main Photo: 3001 438 SEYMOUR Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale in "CONFERENCE PLAZA" (Vancouver West)  : MLS® # R2226042
    $1,200,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2226042
    Bedrooms:
    2
    Bathrooms:
    2
    Floor Area:
    851 sq. ft.
    Welcome to this SUB PENTHOUSE at CONFERENCE PLAZA in downtown Vancouver! Enjoy high ceilings in this bright open concept 2 bedroom, 2 bath plus den home with a large 314 sq ft balcony! Kitchen includes stainless steel appliances, beautiful cabinetry & quartz countertops. Featuring laminate hardwood floors, floor to ceiling windows, insuite laundry, new fixtures and floating vanities for the spa-inspired bathrooms. Enjoy beautiful Vancouver city & water views. Amenities include 24 hour concierge, an indoor pool, hot tub and sauna room, a full exercise room. Centrally located, steps to public transit/Skytrain, Waterfront, Granville Strip and Pacific Shopping Centre. Hurry this won't last! Call now. More details
    Sutton Grp-West Coast (Brdwy)
  • 302 27 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Downtown VE Condo for sale in "27 Alexander" (Vancouver East) : MLS® # R2224896

    Main Photo: 302 27 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Downtown VE Condo for sale in "27 Alexander" (Vancouver East)  : MLS® # R2224896
    $1,198,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2224896
    Bedrooms:
    2
    Bathrooms:
    2
    Floor Area:
    1,216 sq. ft.
    This corner unit Loft in The Alexander heritage building is the one you've been waiting for! This 2 bed, 2 bath offers over 1,215 sq ft of living space. With 9ft ceillings throughout, completely reno'd kitchen, stainless steel appliances, built in wine cellar, quarts counter tops and updated bathrooms, with tons of added closet space in the master & 2nd bed. Original exposed brick wall from master to living room.. This unique unit comes with a balcony off the living room and a common rooftop deck both overlooking the North Shore mountains & stunning water views. 1 secured parking stall & 1 storage locker. Steps to Nesters, the new Local Eatery and the best boutiques & restaurants that Gastown has to offer. Truly in a prime location! A must see. More details
    Oakwyn Realty Ltd.
  • 1806 128 W CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale (Vancouver West) : MLS® # R2215338

    Main Photo: 1806 128 W CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale (Vancouver West)  : MLS® # R2215338
    $1,148,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2215338
    Bedrooms:
    2
    Bathrooms:
    2
    Floor Area:
    1,143 sq. ft.
    Stunning 2 BR + den, with 2 full bath in the historic Woodward’s building, 1143 SF,in much sought after corner unit features a lge rounded balcony to enjoy the breathtaking and unobstructed mountain and ocean views. This spectacular suite boasts a very functional open concept floor plan, floor to ceiling windows throughout, hardwood floors & over- height polished concrete ceilings. Features: gourmet kitchen with S/S appls, glass backsplash & gas stove. Full size front load W/D(2017) & DW (2017). Rest assured with 24 hour security/concierge,1 permanent parking LCP underneath. Enjoy one of the city’s most gorgeous rooftop decks ,4600 sq feet that includes a gym, hot tub, terrace. Pets & Rentals ok. Maintenance incl. heat & internet! Best 2 BR list price in building! Open: Sat Nov 18, 2-4pm More details
    One Percent Realty Ltd.
  • 314 55 E CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VE Condo for sale in "KORET LOFTS" (Vancouver East) : MLS® # R2222651

    Main Photo: 314 55 E CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VE Condo for sale in "KORET LOFTS" (Vancouver East)  : MLS® # R2222651
    $929,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2222651
    Bedrooms:
    1
    Bathrooms:
    1
    Floor Area:
    1,151 sq. ft.
    KORET Lofts - The perfect blend when cool architectural design meets funky Gas Town living. This amazing oversized loft style condo is vast in size and flexible in layout use. A sleek modern, understated kitchen lines one wall lending to it’s openness & spacious appeal. Exposed brick walls, huge picture windows, sleek concrete flooring, & feature beamed ceilings - all rare & super stylistic for this open concept floor plan. The spa bathroom is huge and totally unique with it’s walk through shower. It is truly a room unto its own. Open style kitchen, dining, living and bedroom, unbelievable custom storage. 1 parking is the cherry on top of this rarely on the market suite in this incredible City of Vancouver heritage building. Visit Realtor's website for more. More details
    Macdonald Realty
  • 902 128 W CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale in "WOODWARDS" (Vancouver West) : MLS® # R2223037

    Main Photo: 902 128 W CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale in "WOODWARDS" (Vancouver West)  : MLS® # R2223037
    $898,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2223037
    Bedrooms:
    2
    Bathrooms:
    2
    Floor Area:
    916 sq. ft.
    This modern style condominium in the heart of Downtown Vancouver is now available on the market for the first time! Built in 2009, this lovely unit has been updated with new countertops, a frameless shower, built-in cabinets and much more. This North-facing unit boasts an open concept floor plan with two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a balcony. The Woodwards building is Gastown’s landmark, located near the skytrain, top-rated restaurants and unique boutique shops that only Vancouver can offer. The amenities include a rooftop deck, an outdoor “W” shaped hot tub, a recreation room, gym, and a lounge space with 360 degree views. OPEN HOUSE Saturday December 9, 2017 between 2-4pm. More details
    Century 21 Coastal Realty (Surrey) Ltd.
  • 206 55 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Downtown VE Condo for sale in "55 Alexander" (Vancouver East) : MLS® # R2222169

    Main Photo: 206 55 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Downtown VE Condo for sale in "55 Alexander" (Vancouver East)  : MLS® # R2222169
    • Living Room
    • Living Room
    • Living Room
    • Living Room
    • Living Room
    • Dining Room
    • Kitchen
    • Kitchen
    • Kitchen
    • Master Bedroom
    • Master Bathroom
    • Bedroom
    • Bathroom
    • Rooftop Patio
    • Rooftop View
    • Rooftop View
    • View
    • Pantry
    • Floorplan
    $849,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2222169
    Bedrooms:
    2
    Bathrooms:
    2
    Floor Area:
    920 sq. ft.
    Nestled away in Vancouver's famed and historic Gastown, sits the heritage inspired 55 Alexander. Within, a fantastic 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom home. Over 900 sf of well spaced out living, with the added comfort of your own in-suite laundry. Entertaining your family & friends has never been easier with this dream layout. The building's rooftop patio is always an easy choice on a nice day - or stay in and turn the fireplace on, cozy up to the peekaboo mountain views. Maybe you're feeling lively? Go out for night on the town as you are just steps away from some of Vancouver's finest restaurants, shops and entertainment. One parking spot & one locker included. Pets and Rentals are welcome! This building and location simply deliver! More details
    Angell Hasman & Assoc.Rlty.Ltd
  • 3005 438 SEYMOUR Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale in "THE CONFERENCE PLAZA" (Vancouver West) : MLS® # R2225848

    Main Photo: 3005 438 SEYMOUR Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale in "THE CONFERENCE PLAZA" (Vancouver West)  : MLS® # R2225848
    $799,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2225848
    Bedrooms:
    2
    Bathrooms:
    2
    Floor Area:
    710 sq. ft.
    Investor Alert, Spacious, bright, and gorgeous city views from sub-penthouse unit couldn't get any better than this. This unit offers 2 beds and 2 baths plus den, and one secured parking spot and a secured storage locker. Amenities include 24 hours concierge service, Indoor pool, sauna/ swirl pool, gym and a bike room. Prime location, walking distance to waterfront station, shopping, financial district, entertainment district and historic Gastown. Further, walking distance to Simon Fraser University, BCIT Campus and all private colleges. Currently tenanted to a long term tenant. Call today to book a private showing. More details
    Sutton Grp-West Coast (Brdwy)
  • 2704 108 W CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale in "WOODWARDS W32" (Vancouver West) : MLS® # R2226509

    Main Photo: 2704 108 W CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale in "WOODWARDS W32" (Vancouver West)  : MLS® # R2226509
    $798,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2226509
    Bedrooms:
    1
    Bathrooms:
    1
    Floor Area:
    713 sq. ft.
    The most amazing suite with PANORAMIC VIEWS of ocean, mountain and the city of Vancouver. Beautiful & modern 1BR 1BATH corner unit. Features include, open concept floorplan, hardwood floors, stainless steel appliances & quartz counter tops. Includes access to the first class rooftop amenities including state-of-the-art gym, spectacular indoor/outdoor entertainment space, and rooftop deck. Located in lively Gastown, just steps to transit, the City's best restaurants, coffee shops, Nesters Market and even furniture and clothing stores. Open House this weekend, Sat & Sun: 1-2:30PM! More details
    RE/MAX City Realty
  • 401 28 POWELL Street in Vancouver: Downtown VE Condo for sale in "POWELL LANE" (Vancouver East) : MLS® # R2226762

    Main Photo: 401 28 POWELL Street in Vancouver: Downtown VE Condo for sale in "POWELL LANE" (Vancouver East)  : MLS® # R2226762
    $788,800
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2226762
    Bedrooms:
    1
    Bathrooms:
    1
    Floor Area:
    802 sq. ft.
    This is a 10…Historic Gastown 1 Bedroom Loft at Powell Lane! Huge windows wrap this home bringing tons of light into the 804 sqft of this corner suite’s amazing open space. You will love the 10’ high ceilings, polished concrete floors, gas fireplace, gleaming modern kitchen with Corian counters & stainless appliance. The floorplan provides a perfect bedroom nook and endless decorating and furniture arrangement possibilities, and you’ll love the views of Gastown, the Sun Building and the Big “W”. Plus it has 1 parking, a storage locker and secure bike room not to mention the common roof top deck with beautiful views all in a quality, proactive strata. Pets welcome. Don’t miss this one! Sneak Peek: Thurs., Dec. 7, 5-7; Opens: Sat & Sun, Dec 9 & 10, 1-3. More details
    RE/MAX Real Estate Services
1-10/23
Listing information last updated on December 11, 2017
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