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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

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  • 604 12 WATER Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale in "THE GARAGE" (Vancouver West) : MLS®# R2308288

    Main Photo: 604 12 WATER Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale in "THE GARAGE" (Vancouver West)  : MLS®# R2308288
    • Second Bedroom
    $2,798,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2308288
    Bedrooms:
    2
    Bathrooms:
    2
    Floor Area:
    1,708 sq. ft.
    Immaculate contemporary penthouse loft perched upon a historic Gastown address. With 1700 sq ft of spacious 1-level living, room proportions are reminiscent of a luxury house. Combined with an astonishing 800 sq ft of outdoor living, you will find yourself in a secluded bubble far removed from the hustle & bustle below. Hand-crafted wood built-ins, sumptuous white oak h/w flooring, 9.5' ceilings, A/C, Miele/Sub-Zero appliances & electronic blinds create an irresistible aesthetic. The spacious master opens to a bedroom-sized walk-in closet that is sure to impress. The amazing 650 sq ft rooftop features a hot tub, fireplace, BBQ & 360° views. There is not a more complete penthouse experience on the market. 2 Parking. Pets/Rentals OK! More details
    Listed by Four Sails Realty Inc.
  • 139 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Downtown VE Townhouse for sale in "Alexander Row" (Vancouver East) : MLS®# R2245307

    Main Photo: 139 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Downtown VE Townhouse for sale in "Alexander Row" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2245307
    $2,468,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2245307
    Bedrooms:
    2
    Bathrooms:
    3
    Floor Area:
    2,469 sq. ft.
    ARE YOU LOOKING FOR A ONE-OF-A-KIND HOME IN THE HEART OF THE CITY? This urban walk-up is reminiscent of London, New York and San Francisco. ‘Alexander Row’ is a collection of six Paul Merrick designed city homes, unique in location, design & layout – no two homes are the same. Features include breathtaking city, mountain, water & park views; open concept living; two master bedroom suites each with ensuite bathrooms; hardwood & marble throughout; in-floor radiant heat; expansive windows on the North & South walls for bright, airy living; a soundproof basement for an incredible media room or live-work studio; private garage with direct suite access; &, a wonderful PRIVATE ROOFTOP DECK in addition to 3 balconies. This is not an ordinary townhome and must be seen in person to be appreciated. More details
    Listed by Royal LePage Sussex
  • 3103 438 SEYMOUR Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale (Vancouver West) : MLS®# R2273505

    Main Photo: 3103 438 SEYMOUR Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale (Vancouver West)  : MLS®# R2273505
    $1,789,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2273505
    Bedrooms:
    2
    Bathrooms:
    2
    Floor Area:
    778 sq. ft.
    Corner unit 2bedrooms + Sunroom on the 31st floor at CONFERENCE PLAZA! Absolutely stunning water, city, & mountain view! Huge continuous Terrace with fantastic view to North and East. Central location in the heart of Vancouver Downtown business district. Amenities include 24-hour concierge, indoor pool, hot tub, sauna room, gym, bike room. Steps to waterfront Canada Place, public transit/Skytrain/Seabus, Pacific Shopping Centre, gas town, SFU, BCIT & UBC downtown campus. A great location to experience fantastic Downtown lifestyle! More details
    Listed by New Coast Realty
  • 804 33 W PENDER Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale in "33 LIVING" (Vancouver West) : MLS®# R2303229

    Main Photo: 804 33 W PENDER Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale in "33 LIVING" (Vancouver West)  : MLS®# R2303229
    $1,299,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2303229
    Bedrooms:
    2
    Bathrooms:
    2
    Floor Area:
    1,272 sq. ft.
    A MUST SEE rarely available contemporary 2 Bed 2 Bath + Den, PENTHOUSE LOFT + Private 600 sqft ROOFTOP PATIO, steps to the best Gastown has to offer. This bright open concept LOFT boasts 25 ft ceilings, floor to ceiling windows w/electric blinds, thoughtfully designed floor plan w/large entertainers kitchen, custom built in walnut cabinetry, granite countertops. Relax & unwind on your private 600 sqft ROOFTOP patio featuring an integrated outdoor sound system. Excellent well run worry free strata **Short Term Rentals Allowed** Incredible investment opportunity. 2 Parking, in-suite storage. PETS & RENTALS OK. Rental revenue #’s & floorpan available. View by appointment only. More details
    Listed by Royal LePage Sussex
  • 2003 128 W CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale in "WOODWARDS" (Vancouver West) : MLS®# R2294345

    Main Photo: 2003 128 W CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale in "WOODWARDS" (Vancouver West)  : MLS®# R2294345
    $1,298,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2294345
    Bedrooms:
    2
    Bathrooms:
    2
    Floor Area:
    1,031 sq. ft.
    Incredible Stunning Views from every room looking over Coal Harbour, Canada Place, Lions Gate Bridge and North Shore Mountains. Bright NE corner 20th floor 2 bdrm & 2 bath unit with open kitchen, brand new laminate floors, and an outdoor NE balcony, with sweeping views is 1,031 sq ft. Must see to appreciate, easy t show. For Investors, it is furnished and rents out at $3,300 - $3,600/mo. One of the best Clubhouses in the City on the 43rd floor with Amazing Roof Top Views, hot tub, Bbq and suntan lounge area, pool table, Media room, Gym and rock wall to climb. Pets and rentals ok, Rents out Furnished at $3300-$3600/mo. 1 Parking # 89 on P2, In Ste storage. More details
    Listed by TRG-The Residential Group Rlty
  • 1001 150 E CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VE Condo for sale in "INGASTOWN" (Vancouver East) : MLS®# R2295715

    Main Photo: 1001 150 E CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VE Condo for sale in "INGASTOWN" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2295715
    $1,250,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2295715
    Bedrooms:
    2
    Bathrooms:
    2
    Floor Area:
    841 sq. ft.
    A TRUE GASTOWN GEM. The rarest of opportunities to own a penthouse with panoramic views of the North Shore mountains, Burrard Inlet and amazing cityscape. Complete with your very own private 688SF ROOFTOP DECK with an 8 person hot tub.Words simply cannot do this home justice. You'll immediately be impressed by this air-conditioned residence with gorgeous polished concrete floors, top of the line kitchen appliances, lovely master suite with custom shower and heated flooring, garage space for 2 vehicles and 3 lockers. Another one of the many eye catching features this home offers is the floating illuminated, architectural concrete staircase leading to your rooftop Oasis. Live in the heart of Gastown, with the city's best restaurants, bars and shopping at your doorstep. This home is a absolute MUST SEE! *Open House Sunday Aug 26th 2- 4 pm More details
    Listed by Sutton Group-West Coast Realty
  • 3601 128 W CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale (Vancouver West) : MLS®# R2301052

    Main Photo: 3601 128 W CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale (Vancouver West)  : MLS®# R2301052
    $1,199,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2301052
    Bedrooms:
    2
    Bathrooms:
    2
    Floor Area:
    888 sq. ft.
    Panaramic ocean and mountain view of the North Shore mountains, Burrard Inlet and Downtown Waterfront. Iconic Woodwards, an architectural landmark offering the best in metropolitan lifestyle. This unit features bright and spacious 2 bdrms, 2 full bthrms, polished concrete ceilings, glass tile backsplash, polished stone slab countertops, S/S appliances, and 2 secure parking space. Amenities include a spectacular 4,600 sqft rooftop Club-W with 360 degree views, hot tub, media, state-of-the-art gym, outdoor lounge, BBQ & games room and 24 hour concierge service. Historic Gastown, Cineplex, Roger Arena & skytrain only minutes away. More details
    Listed by RE/MAX Crest Realty
  • 2601 128 W CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale in "WOODWARDS" (Vancouver West) : MLS®# R2261523

    Main Photo: 2601 128 W CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale in "WOODWARDS" (Vancouver West)  : MLS®# R2261523
    $1,198,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2261523
    Bedrooms:
    2
    Bathrooms:
    2
    Floor Area:
    885 sq. ft.
    "WOODWARDS" IN GASTOWN. Vancouver's historic landmark. One of a kind unique building with indoor/outdoor lounging oasis - library, media room, hot tub, garden, gym, lounge space, club house and more. Spacious and bright 2 bdrm facing North with large balcony and UNOBSTRUCTED panoramic mountain, water and park views. Features polished concrete ceilings, stainless steel appliances, stone countertops, designer doors and tiles and engineered hardwood floors . TWO EXTRA WIDE VIP PARKING STALLS ON P1 WITH SEPARATE SECURITY GATE FOR 10 CARS ONLY. Enjoy the TOP floor amenities - hot tub, whirlpool, gym, huge lounge, pool table, huge open patio with BBQ and more. Allow 24 hour notice for viewing. More details
    Listed by RE/MAX Westcoast
  • 1806 128 W CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale in "WOODWARDS (W43)" (Vancouver West) : MLS®# R2297677

    Main Photo: 1806 128 W CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale in "WOODWARDS (W43)" (Vancouver West)  : MLS®# R2297677
    • Kitchen
    • Kitchen
    • Kitchen
    • Dining Room
    • Living Room
    • Living Room
    • Master Bedroom
    • Master Bathroom
    • Master Bathroom
    • Bedroom
    • Bathroom
    • Balcony
    • Dining Room View
    • Balcony View
    • Master Bedroom View
    • Floorplan
    • Rooftop
    • Rooftop
    • Rooftop
    • Gym
    $1,100,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2297677
    Bedrooms:
    2
    Bathrooms:
    2
    Floor Area:
    1,143 sq. ft.
    LIVE IN A VANCOUVER LANDMARK! THE WOODWARDS BUILDING OFFERS FIRST-CLASS AMENITIES AND A VIBRANT CITY LIFESTYLE. AT 1,143 SF THIS SPACIOUS SUITE HAS 2 BDRMS AND 2 BATHS WITH THE MASTER BDRM ENJOYING A PRIVATE ENSUITE BATHROOM. HIGH CEILINGS COMPLIMENT THE OPEN LAYOUT AND SHOWCASE THE INCREDIBLE VIEWS OF THE NORTH SHORE HARBOUR, FALSE CREEK AND CITY SKYLINE, WHICH YOU CAN ALSO ENJOY ON THE LARGE PATIO. KITCHEN FEATURES WITH S/S APPLIANCES, LARGE ISLAND, GLASS BACK FLASH. LUXURIOUS 2-LEVEL INDOOR CLUBHOUSE AND ROOFTOP LOUNGE SPACE WITH FITNESS CENTRE, HOT TUB, MEDIA ROOM, OFFICE AREA & 360' VIEW. TRENDY RESTAURANTS, SHOPS AND THE SKYTRAIN ARE ALL JUST STEPS AWAY. OPEN HOUSE, SAT, SEPT 22TH, 2:00PM-4:00PM. More details
    Listed by Oakwyn Realty Downtown Ltd.
  • 901 128 W CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale in "Woodwards (W43)" (Vancouver West) : MLS®# R2307657

    Main Photo: 901 128 W CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale in "Woodwards (W43)" (Vancouver West)  : MLS®# R2307657
    $999,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2307657
    Bedrooms:
    2
    Bathrooms:
    2
    Floor Area:
    885 sq. ft.
    This recently FULLY RENOVATED, North facing, Mountain View 2 bed / 2 full bath in the iconic Woodward's building has a Bright, open-concept layout that leaves no wasted space. The suite was fully updated in a New York loft style earlier this year with features such as: Wood-panelled feature wall, brick walls throughout & an impressive Refreshed kitchen that includes: new granite backsplash, granite countertops, and S/S appliances. World class, hotel style amenities include the 2 level 360 degree view clubhouse and rooftop lounge with hot tub, fitness centre, media room with billiards and office area. Experience the heart of trendy Gastown, with the convenience of the Skytrain just steps away. Heat and internet included in the maintenance fee. Open House Sat (Sept 22) 2-4pm More details
    Listed by Oakwyn Realty Downtown Ltd.
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Listing information last updated on September 21, 2018 at 03:15 PM (UTC)
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