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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

1-10/50
  • 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
  • 708 27 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Downtown VE Condo for sale in "The Alexis" (Vancouver East) : MLS®# R2258388

    Main Photo: 708 27 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Downtown VE Condo for sale in "The Alexis" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2258388
    $1,895,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2258388
    Bedrooms:
    1
    Bathrooms:
    2
    Floor Area:
    1,378 sq. ft.
    Stunning Gastown loft at The Alexis with huge mountain and water views. Designed by renowned architect Patricia Grey, this award winning loft was featured in Western Living, Architectural Digest, and others. Luxurious modern 1 bedroom w/ approx 1400 sq ft , features top of the line kitchen, custom finishes and equipment throughout. Built to create a seamless space with sliding glass walls and built-ins, custom lighting and sound. Live in luxury with 2 beautiful spa like bathrooms. Take in the views while sitting in this one of a kind open living space, or check them out from the large rooftop decks. Downtown living at its best. 2 secure side by side parking spots, pets & rentals allowed. OPEN HOUSE SUN JUNE 17th from 1-3PM More details
    Listed by Zolo Realty
  • 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
  • 4003 128 W CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale (Vancouver West) : MLS®# R2270195

    Main Photo: 4003 128 W CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale (Vancouver West)  : MLS®# R2270195
    $1,368,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2270195
    Bedrooms:
    2
    Bathrooms:
    2
    Floor Area:
    1,019 sq. ft.
    Magnificent Views. This corner Sub-Penthouse unit with fantastic 270-degree views of the North Shore Mountains, Burrard Inlet and Downtown Waterfront. Designed by award winning McFarlane Green Architecture + Design Inc, this bright and spacious 2 bdrm, 2 bath, 1 balcony unit offers the perfect space for luxurious living. Engineered wood floors, polished concrete ceilings, air conditioning, S/S appliances, stone countertop and 2 secured parking spots. Amenities include a spectacular 4,600 sq ft “Club-W” (42nd and 43rd floors) with gym and unobstructed views, bike locker & 24 hour concierge service. Historic Gastown, Chinatown, Cineplex & Roger Arena are just nearby. open house on Sun, May 27, 1pm-3pm More details
    Listed by Nu Stream Realty Inc.
  • 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
  • 810 168 POWELL Street in Vancouver: Downtown VE Condo for sale in "SMART" (Vancouver East) : MLS®# R2280223

    Main Photo: 810 168 POWELL Street in Vancouver: Downtown VE Condo for sale in "SMART" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2280223
    $1,150,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2280223
    Bedrooms:
    2
    Bathrooms:
    2
    Floor Area:
    1,030 sq. ft.
    Magnificent 2 LEVEL 2 BEDROOM PENTHOUSE with Awe-inspiring Views of the Ocean, North Shore Mountains and Canada Place from the comfort of your PRIVATE 500 SF ROOF TOP DECK! Spacious light filled Bedrooms boasting view from every window and conveniently situated on 2 levels maximizing privacy. Designer inspired bathrooms on each level. Contemporary kitchen with premium appliances make your everyday cooking a breeze. Enjoy view of the Iconic Harbour Centre & the best unobstructed Vancouver Skyline views from a smartly designed living room. Smart is a Concord Pacific quality built concrete tower to give you peace of mind. Be a part of the historic sough-after ever growing GASTOWN community, surrounded by some of the top award winning restaurants & lounges you don’t want to miss. Open House June 24, Sunday 2-4. More details
    Listed by TRG Residential Downtown Rlty
  • 3001 438 SEYMOUR Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale in "CONFERENCE PLAZA" (Vancouver West) : MLS®# R2258336

    Main Photo: 3001 438 SEYMOUR Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale in "CONFERENCE PLAZA" (Vancouver West)  : MLS®# R2258336
    $1,150,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2258336
    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 ft balcony! Kitchen includes stainless steel appliances, beautiful cabinetry & quartz countertops. Featuring laminate hardwood floors, floor to ceiling windows, in-suite 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! More details
    Listed by Sutton Group-West Coast Realty
  • 413 55 E CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VE Condo for sale in "KORET LOFTS" (Vancouver East) : MLS®# R2282321

    Main Photo: 413 55 E CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VE Condo for sale in "KORET LOFTS" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2282321
    $1,040,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2282321
    Bedrooms:
    2
    Bathrooms:
    2
    Floor Area:
    1,048 sq. ft.
    Unique historic KORET LOFTS warehouse Gastown conversion for sale. This unique 1,048 SF apartment comes with 2 bdrms & 2 baths & one large parking stall (#35). Enjoy loft living featuring open kitchen & entertainment area, concrete floors throughout & lots of historic wood ceilings & beams w/large windows. Ceiling height is 10'6. The apt faces the private fire escape giving the Cordova Street outlook a cool look & feel. Koret Lofts is unique to Vancouver in that it is zoned residential, live/work & a commercial. There is a caretaker & open landscaped large front courtyard with double Napolean BBQ system. Rentals are permitted & so are pets. It is close to Gastown shops, Downtown Chinatown, etc. This is a must see. OPEN HOUSE Sun June 24 from 2:00-4;00pm More details
    Listed by Sutton Group-West Coast Realty
  • 307 345 WATER Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale in "Greenshields" (Vancouver West) : MLS®# R2279636

    Main Photo: 307 345 WATER Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale in "Greenshields" (Vancouver West)  : MLS®# R2279636
    $998,900
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2279636
    Bedrooms:
    1
    Bathrooms:
    1
    Floor Area:
    1,017 sq. ft.
    Welcome to Greenshields! Super Rare WATER VIEW unit, last time a water view unit was available in the building was 5 years ago. This 1901 warehouse conversion four-story Boutique heritage 22 unit loft is located on the North side of Water St & in prime Gastown location right before the steam clock. This coveted one bedroom loft has spectacular North Shore Mountain and Burrard Inlet views. Refinished maple hardwood flooring throughout, original pressed tin ceilings and translucent mobile glass partitions. Open plan kitchen with stone counter tops and Kitchen Aid stainless steel appliances, high 11' foot ceilings, separate soaker tub and shower. Steps to downtown, amenities & seawall. 1 underground secured parking stall. Call today for a private showing! More details
    Listed by Oakwyn Realty Downtown Ltd.
  • 1702 128 W CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale (Vancouver West) : MLS®# R2277076

    Main Photo: 1702 128 W CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale (Vancouver West)  : MLS®# R2277076
    $998,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2277076
    Bedrooms:
    2
    Bathrooms:
    2
    Floor Area:
    916 sq. ft.
    AMAZING SPACE at the ICONIC WOODWARDS. Beautiful North views from this large bright 2 BEDROOM suite. Fantastic floor plan with overheight ceilings. Laminate floors throughout and floor to ceiling windows. MODERN KITCHEN is designed by Eggersman wit soft close cabinets, stainless steel appliances. The luxurious building rooftop amenities in Club W have an outdoor hot tub and a huge patio, gym, lounge space and 360 degree views. One parking stall (limited common property and not leased) in the underground parkade is included. DON’T WAIT! More details
    Listed by AWM - Alliance R.E. Group Ltd.
1-10/50
Listing information last updated on June 24, 2018 at 07:13 PM (UTC)
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