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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

1-10/17
  • 135 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Downtown VE Townhouse for sale in "ALEXANDER ROW TOWNHOMES" (Vancouver East) : MLS® # R2210386

    Main Photo: 135 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Downtown VE Townhouse for sale in "ALEXANDER ROW TOWNHOMES" (Vancouver East)  : MLS® # R2210386
    $1,349,900
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2210386
    Bedrooms:
    2
    Bathrooms:
    3
    Floor Area:
    1,702 sq. ft.
    Located steps from trendy Gastown. SPECTACULAR INLET & MTN VIEW ALEXANDER ROW TOWNHOUSE! 5 lvl, 2 bdrm & den unit has reno'd TOP to BOTTOM. The upgrades include new kitchen w/high end S/S appliances, 3 new baths, new carpet & wood flooring, new light & electrical, new high performance instant tankless hot water, new ASKO washer & dryer, new glass & stainless steel railings, new gas F/P, new closet organizers, new heat pump & air conditioning system, etc! Includes new private rooftop deck to enjoy fabulous panoramic sunsets & Vancouver views. NOTHING else to do, but move in & enjoy the lifestyle that awaits. Lots of storage & private secured garage. This rare home provides an urban lifestyle, steps from Chinatown & City Centre. More details
    RE/MAX Sabre Realty Group
  • 3002 128 W CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale in "WOODWARDS W43" (Vancouver West) : MLS® # R2190744

    Main Photo: 3002 128 W CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale in "WOODWARDS W43" (Vancouver West)  : MLS® # R2190744
    $1,248,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2190744
    Bedrooms:
    2
    Bathrooms:
    2
    Floor Area:
    916 sq. ft.
    Enjoy stunning unobstructed million dollar views from West Vancouver to Deep Cove from this spectacular 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom condo. Located in the historic Woodward's building in Gastown. This open-concept condo is city living at its best. It features exposed concrete ceilings, graphic suite entry doors & balcony. The designer Eggersmann kitchen boasts European polished stone slab countertops, glass-tile backsplash and stainless steel kitchen appliances including upgraded Miele D/W and Laundry. High end finishings and custom California Closets cabinetry throughout. Maintenance fee includes internet/heat. Enjoy access to 24/7 Concierge & Club W, one of the finest rooftop exercise & recreation facilities in the City. More details
    Royal LePage Sussex
  • 3001 438 SEYMOUR Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale (Vancouver West) : MLS® # R2204162

    Main Photo: 3001 438 SEYMOUR Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale (Vancouver West)  : MLS® # R2204162
    $1,225,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2204162
    Bedrooms:
    2
    Bathrooms:
    2
    Floor Area:
    851 sq. ft.
    Water View! **Fully Renovated** Welcome to this SUB *PENTHOUSE*! Vancouver! Enjoy high ceilings in this bright open concept **2 bedroom, 2 bath plus den**, with a **large 314 SF balcony!** Kitchen includes stainless steel appliances, beautiful cabinetry & quartz counter tops. Featuring laminate hardwood floors, floor to ceiling windows, in suite laundry, new fixtures, and floating vanities for the spa inspired bathrooms. Amenities include 24 hour concierge, an indoor pool, hot tub and sauna room and a full exercise room. Centrally located, steps to public transit, Waterfront, Granville Strip and Pacific Centre. Walking distance to SFU Business school and BCIT downtown campus! Huge Deck!! Contact realtor for pictures. This is Definitely a 2.5 Million Dollar View!! Huge Deck**Coal Harbour View More details
    RE/MAX Performance Realty
  • 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.
    Spacious, Bright corner unit on the 18th floor, located in the iconic Woodward's building. Fabulous 2 bedroom, 2 full bathroom plus den/office area boasts 1143 SF of functional floor space. Features: Open concept gourmet kitchen with S/S appliances, glass tile backsplash, gas stove, hardwood floors, expansive floor-to-ceiling windows, exposed concrete ceilings, spacious LR & entertaining space, full size front load W/D (2017) & DW (2017). Relax on your lge covered corner balcony with great views of the North Shore and Harbour. Rooftop amenities: gym, huge lounge/terrace, gas BBQ, hot tub. 24 hour concierge service, 1 secure parking below building. Pets & Rentals OK. Best list price per sq ft in building! Open: Sun Oct 22, 2-4 pm. More details
    One Percent Realty Ltd.
  • 2301 128 W CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale in "WOODWARDS" (Vancouver West) : MLS® # R2212984

    Main Photo: 2301 128 W CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale in "WOODWARDS" (Vancouver West)  : MLS® # R2212984
    $998,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2212984
    Bedrooms:
    2
    Bathrooms:
    2
    Floor Area:
    885 sq. ft.
    This functionally laid out unit features 2 bedrooms and 2 full bathrooms, with a massive living room and and North facing balcony featuring MILLION DOLLAR VIEWS of the North Shore mountains, Coal Harbour, Lions Gate and beyond. A new island countertop and a brand new washer/dryer combo compliment the massive living room and entertaining space. In the heart of Gastown, this iconic tower features rooftop amenities including a HUGE gym, lounge, pool table, spa and much more. Walking distance to everything Vancouver has to offer, the best restaurants and shops will be at your fingertips. BONUS: PETS & RENTALS ALLOWED, as well 1 secured underground parking space included. Sneak peak Thurs Oct 12/6-7pm, and Open House Sat & Sun Oct14/15 2-4pm. CALL TODAY! More details
    Macdonald Realty (Van)
  • 1005 150 E CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VE Condo for sale in "Gastown" (Vancouver East) : MLS® # R2193426

    Main Photo: 1005 150 E CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VE Condo for sale in "Gastown" (Vancouver East)  : MLS® # R2193426
    $848,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2193426
    Bedrooms:
    1
    Bathrooms:
    2
    Floor Area:
    832 sq. ft.
    owner occupied 1 bedroom + den with a semi private street level garage. Kitchen has quartz countertop and backsplash, large sink and lots of cupboard and storage space. A private use rooftop patio, accessed from inside the unit, boasts a view, electrical outlets and gas BBQ/fireplace hook-up. Also the rooftop common area has a BBQ and picnic table. Hot water and gas are included in strata fee. Includes integrated appliances, access to two bike storage rooms. This strata lot includes use of only 8 available parking spots in a restricted access garage. Walking distance to 3 skytrain stations, Science World, proposed St. Pauls Hospital site, 2 grocery stores, International Village, Olympic Village, Gastown and Chinatown restaurants. Owners are ready to start their retirement plans. More details
    Macdonald Realty
  • 3005 438 SEYMOUR Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale in "THE CONFERENCE PLAZA" (Vancouver West) : MLS® # R2200707

    Main Photo: 3005 438 SEYMOUR Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale in "THE CONFERENCE PLAZA" (Vancouver West)  : MLS® # R2200707
    $799,900
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2200707
    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 Gas town. 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)
  • 2903 108 W CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale in "W32 WOODWARDS" (Vancouver West) : MLS® # R2213274

    Main Photo: 2903 108 W CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale in "W32 WOODWARDS" (Vancouver West)  : MLS® # R2213274
    $768,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2213274
    Bedrooms:
    1
    Bathrooms:
    1
    Floor Area:
    706 sq. ft.
    Wake up in the clouds with PANORAMIC VIEWS of ocean, mountain and city! This one of a kind sub-penthouse is designed by renowned architect Gregory Henrique and built by Canada's leading luxury real estate developer, Westbank. Features include A/C, 4 piece spa bathroom, European appliances/ Eggersman cabinets, custom engineered hardwood floors, extra high ceilings, 24hr concierge, world-class amenities and 1 parking stall. Recent upgrades: Marble back-splash, quartz counter-tops, custom closets/mirrors and more. Don't miss out on a gorgeous and functional home that is an early investment opportunity in a rapidly developing neighbourhood. LOCATION LOCATION !! Rental income $35,000/year. Open House: Sat/Sun October 21/22@ 2pm-4pm- please check back Friday 20th to confirm. More details
    Sutton Centre Realty
  • 2503 108 W CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale in "W32 Woodwards" (Vancouver West) : MLS® # R2215618

    Main Photo: 2503 108 W CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale in "W32 Woodwards" (Vancouver West)  : MLS® # R2215618
    $758,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2215618
    Bedrooms:
    1
    Bathrooms:
    1
    Floor Area:
    706 sq. ft.
    This trendy large one bedroom in iconic Gastown encompasses everything your heart could desire to live the downtown lifestyle. The efficient floor plan boasts huge NorthEast VIEWS expanding from False Creek & Science world all the way to the stunning Northshore Mountains. Built by world-renowned developer Westbank, the building includes extensive amenities such as 24 hour concierge, rooftop gym, hot tub, pool tables & lounge. There is no shortage of history, restaurants & nightlife right outside your door. Woodwards continues to reap fantastic rental returns making it the perfect purchase for personal use or investment. Pets & Rentals allowed + 1 Parking. OPEN HOUSE Oct 21/22 2-4PM. Very easy to show! More details
    Angell Hasman & Assoc.Rlty.Ltd
  • 715 22 E CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VE Condo for sale in "Van Horne" (Vancouver East) : MLS® # R2209012

    Main Photo: 715 22 E CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VE Condo for sale in "Van Horne" (Vancouver East)  : MLS® # R2209012
    $750,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2209012
    Bedrooms:
    1
    Bathrooms:
    1
    Floor Area:
    848 sq. ft.
    STUNNING DOUBLE HEIGHT LOFT walking life style at its best right on the GASTOWN boarder! quintessential "Vancouver" VIEW of SCIENCE WORLD and beyond. One of a kind layout, unique WOOD PLANK STAIR CASE. New kitchen with MARBLE counter tops, hidden door panel fridge, and new appliances. Painted concrete flooring thought main level, INSUITE LAUNDRY. Sunny SOUTH FACING BALCONY off the living area. Solid investment the building is CONCRETE CONSTRUCTION. 2 PETS WELCOME, INVESTORS WELCOME, no rental restrictions. One of the best parking stalls in the building right across from the elevator! plus gated visitors parking for your guests! Restaurants, night life, coffee places, shopping, sky train, T & T, litterly with in blocks. More details
    Keller Williams Black Diamond
1-10/17
Listing information last updated on October 19, 2017
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