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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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1-10/58
  • PH1 108 W CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale in "Woodwards" (Vancouver West) : MLS®# R2843000

    PH1 108 W CORDOVA Street Downtown VW Vancouver V6B 0G5
    Main Photo: PH1 108 W CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale in "Woodwards" (Vancouver West)  : MLS®# R2843000
    $1,999,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2843000
    Bedrooms:
    2
    Bathrooms:
    2
    Floor Area:
    1,668 sq. ft.
    Are you ready for it? PH 1, a symphony of architecture & drama crowned by one of the city’s most remarkable terraces. With sweeping vistas from every room & over 1500 sq ft of outdoor space the stage is set for breathtaking views of mountains, city & water, accentuated by cruise ships, float planes & mesmerizing sunsets. Inside, chic modernity pairs clean lines, with 9’ concrete ceilings . 2 spacious bedrooms both with ensuites, lounge/ office area, large living & dining and open chef’s kitchen create an entertainer’s paradise. Adding to the allure of this iconic Woodwards building is 1st class amenities including roof top hot tub/ spa & gym, 2 parking & concierge. Live on top of the world in this one of a kind epic sky home. More details
    Listed by Engel & Volkers Vancouver
  • 2306 128 W CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale in "WOODWARDS - W43" (Vancouver West) : MLS®# R2851365

    2306 128 W CORDOVA Street Downtown VW Vancouver V6B 0E6
    Main Photo: 2306 128 W CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale in "WOODWARDS - W43" (Vancouver West)  : MLS®# R2851365
    $1,980,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2851365
    Bedrooms:
    2
    Bathrooms:
    3
    Floor Area:
    1,926 sq. ft.
    Live in the sky! Beautiful large contemporary loft in the heart of downtown Vancouver. Soaring 23 floors above ground, this 2-level corner home is located in the reclaimed Woodward's Building. With expansive views of the ocean and the city, it is conveniently nestled between Chinatown, Gastown and Crosstown, steps from the office, great restaurants, the arenas & the Canada Line. Watch the sun come up from the East and set in the West from your private south-facing patio. Double height ceilings on the main floor with larger-than-life windows welcome light in year-round. A spiral staircase leads up to the 2nd flr with 2 spacious bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a bonus secondary entrance on the 25th floor. This architectural space is 1 of 5 SKYHOMES in the building and 1 of the only units that has air-conditioning. A 24 hour concierge and access to Club W - an exclusive rooftop clubhouse with the iconic W hot tub, fitness center, lounge, a communal BBQ area and media room. AirBnB friendly. Open Sun Mar 2nd 1:30-3pm More details
    Listed by Stilhavn Real Estate Services
  • 4110 128 W CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale in "WOODWARDS" (Vancouver West) : MLS®# R2769230

    4110 128 W CORDOVA Street Downtown VW Vancouver V6B 0E6
    Main Photo: 4110 128 W CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale in "WOODWARDS" (Vancouver West)  : MLS®# R2769230
    $1,628,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2769230
    Bedrooms:
    2
    Bathrooms:
    2
    Floor Area:
    1,158 sq. ft.
    This Penthouse at award winning Iconic Woodward's building is an architectural landmark offering the best in metropolitan lifestyle. Best in the city View of Vancouver Harbor, North Shore mountains, Lions Gate Bridge, , wrap around 270 degrees corner units that bring the light throughout. More details
    Listed by TRG The Residential Group Realty
  • 211 55 E CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VE Condo for sale in "KORET LOFTS" (Vancouver East) : MLS®# R2839936

    211 55 E CORDOVA Street Downtown VE Vancouver V6A 0A5
    Main Photo: 211 55 E CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VE Condo for sale in "KORET LOFTS" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2839936
    $1,398,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2839936
    Bedrooms:
    2
    Bathrooms:
    2
    Floor Area:
    1,434 sq. ft.
    THIS IS IT. A RENOVATED NYC inspired loft that has it ALL. STYLE, SPACE & FUNCTION. Soaring 10'4 ceilings with huge timber beams/brick feature walls, a corner unit surrounded by 7' windows flooding in natural light/air and a nearly perfect 2 BR layout with huge office (could use as 3rd bedroom). Lovingly renovated, design cues and sophistication are evident at every angle. New kitchen/cabinets/appliances & beautiful dining area look over the expansive living room. The master suite is stunning, including a walk in closet, free standing claw-foot tub/shower and fireplace, Right in the heart of Gastown, live/work zoning steps from shopping/restaurants. Best private parking spot in the building too... More details
    Listed by Dexter Realty
  • 87 E CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VE Condo for sale in "Koret Lofts" (Vancouver East) : MLS®# R2841789

    87 E CORDOVA Street Downtown VE Vancouver V6A 1K3
    Main Photo: 87 E CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VE Condo for sale in "Koret Lofts" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2841789
    $1,299,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2841789
    Bedrooms:
    1
    Bathrooms:
    2
    Floor Area:
    1,743 sq. ft.
    Rarely available and highly sought-after commercial live/work loft in historic Koret Lofts, a century-old, remade warehouse located in the heart of bustling Gastown. This 1,743 SF loft has those New York vibes coupled with heritage charm, offering 18' ceilings, all original fir beams, brick wall, and wood floors, as well as finished concrete throughout. Comes with in-suite laundry and one secure parking. Gastown's 'it' building, known for its tight-knit community and well-managed strata. Potential cash cow opportunity - this is one of Vancouver's few fully-approved buildings, allowing Airbnb rentals. Guests will love walking down the cobblestones to the area's highly-rated shops, restaurants, and cafes. This ground-level home has endless opportunities. More details
    Listed by The Agency Vancouver
  • 1610 128 W CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale in "WOODWARDS" (Vancouver West) : MLS®# R2851713

    1610 128 W CORDOVA Street Downtown VW Vancouver V6B 0E6
    Main Photo: 1610 128 W CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale in "WOODWARDS" (Vancouver West)  : MLS®# R2851713
    $1,295,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2851713
    Bedrooms:
    2
    Bathrooms:
    2
    Floor Area:
    1,158 sq. ft.
    Coveted Northwest corner 2BR/2Bath 1158sf condo @ iconic Woodwards development, boasting breathtaking 270° panoramic views of City, Ocean & North Shore Mtns, which literally envelop you from the main living space & covered deck. This unique layout is the most revered in the building & it's been almost 2 yrs since one has come avail in this price range. This well-cared-for unit offers stylish modern finishings, spacious room sizes, upscale kitchen, spa-like bathrooms, and a custom built-in Murphy bed in the 2nd bdrm. Nestled in Historic Gastown & steps to the best restaurants, seawall & downtown. Escape to the expansive Club W rooftop - soak in the hot tub, play some pool or hit the gym! Strata fee incl Wi-Fi, gas, heat & HW! PLUS 2 PARKING within the building. More details
    Listed by Oakwyn Realty Ltd.
  • 3506 128 W CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale in "Woodwards" (Vancouver West) : MLS®# R2850783

    3506 128 W CORDOVA Street Downtown VW Vancouver V6B 0E6
    Main Photo: 3506 128 W CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale in "Woodwards" (Vancouver West)  : MLS®# R2850783
    $1,188,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2850783
    Bedrooms:
    2
    Bathrooms:
    2
    Floor Area:
    1,148 sq. ft.
    Welcome to the iconic Woodwards built by Westbank! This upper level corner 2 bed and flex home with 2 full baths features sweeping views of the city, mountains, and water. Gourmet kitchen includes full stainless steel appliance package and large kitchen island. Spacious living/dining areas and bedrooms throughout with flex space that can be used as an office. 2-level clubhouse at the top of building includes lounge, workspaces, fully equipped gym, outdoor hottub, BBQ area. Just steps to the seawall, cafes, restaurants, entertainment, skytrain access, with Nesters Market just downstairs. Airbnb allowed with strata approval. 1 secure parking included. Come view this beautiful home today! More details
    Listed by Rennie & Associates Realty Ltd.
  • 2602 128 W CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale in "Woodwards" (Vancouver West) : MLS®# R2845298

    2602 128 W CORDOVA Street Downtown VW Vancouver V6B 0E6
    Main Photo: 2602 128 W CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale in "Woodwards" (Vancouver West)  : MLS®# R2845298
    $1,152,800
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2845298
    Bedrooms:
    2
    Bathrooms:
    2
    Floor Area:
    917 sq. ft.
    Woodwards by Westbank. This luxury home features one of the most sought after 2 Bed & 2 Bath floor plans w/ unobstructed views of the North Shore Mountains. Home comes w/ natural stone countertops & hardwood flooring throughout, with premium wool carpets in the primary. Each bedroom is custom fitted by California Closets w/ automated Lutron smart blackout roller blinds. The updated kitchen has Fisher & Paykel dishwashers, a new sink and faucet. Both bathrooms are fully renovated and no expense has been spared. Amenities include: 24/hr concierge, access to Club W - world-class 2 level clubhouse with a fully equipped gym, hot tub, lounge, communal BBQ area & patio and media room. BONUS: 2 LARGE PARKING SPOTS INCLUDED. This home has it all! More details
    Listed by RE/MAX Crest Realty
  • 309 27 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Downtown VE Condo for sale (Vancouver East) : MLS®# R2847017

    309 27 ALEXANDER Street Downtown VE Vancouver V6A 1B2
    Main Photo: 309 27 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Downtown VE Condo for sale (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2847017
    $1,148,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2847017
    Bedrooms:
    1
    Bathrooms:
    2
    Floor Area:
    1,109 sq. ft.
    Your move in ready dream loft awaits! Expansive city and mountain views from towering 2 storey windows and soaring 17’ ceilings are sure to impress with an impressively tranquil and quiet environment. Flexible living is offered through a large primary bedroom on top level, and den that doubles as a second bedroom with murphy bed on the main. This is one of only three North facing lofts in the impeccably maintained Alexis building. Windows and piping recently replaced and upgraded. This home was freshly painted with new hardwood flooring and tiles, upgraded lighting throughout, and new custom gas fireplace mantle installed in 2023. Bathrooms have been remodeled and feature a 76” soaker tub, rainfall shower heads, and led smart mirrors. OPEN HOUSE: Saturday, February 24th, 2-4PM. More details
    Listed by Rennie & Associates Realty Ltd.
  • 314 55 E CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VE Condo for sale in "KORET LOFTS" (Vancouver East) : MLS®# R2849895

    314 55 E CORDOVA Street Downtown VE Vancouver V6A 0A5
    Main Photo: 314 55 E CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VE Condo for sale in "KORET LOFTS" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2849895
    $1,075,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2849895
    Bedrooms:
    1
    Bathrooms:
    1
    Floor Area:
    1,148 sq. ft.
    This customized character loft is a rare find in the heart of Gastown! Enjoy a flexible layout with endless options set in stylish exposed brick walls, lustrous concrete flooring, large picture windows, original timber beams, unique restoration style bookshelf/library, large storage space, and several fine touches that provide a unique and modern feel. A sleek kitchen lines one wall, lending to the sense of openness. Nicely updated throughout in 2020. Two commercial BBQ areas located in the courtyard, perfect for entertaining. The highly coveted Koret Lofts is located near several popular restaurants and bars, shopping, transit, and a short walk to Canada Place, Waterfront Station, and all the eclectic spots in historic Gastown. More details
    Listed by Stilhavn Real Estate Services
1-10/58
Data was last updated March 1, 2024 at 11:10 PM (UTC)
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