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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

1-10/16
  • 157 ABBOTT Street in No City Value: Out of Town House for sale : MLS® # R2068067

    Main Photo: 157 ABBOTT Street in No City Value: Out of Town House for sale : MLS® # R2068067
    $2,000,000
    Residential Detached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2068067
    Bedrooms:
    1
    Bathrooms:
    1
    Floor Area:
    1,800 sq. ft.
    DEVELOPER ALERT!! 1.193 acres in the Penticton Uplands waiting for your project. Close to wineries, marina, shopping, beaches, Lake Okanagan, and downtown. RM-4 zoning for multifamily. Invest in Penticton today! Call for more info. More details
    RE/MAX Crest Realty Westside
  • 135 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Downtown VE Townhouse for sale in "ALEXANDER ROW TOWNHOMES" (Vancouver East) : MLS® # R2190697

    Main Photo: 135 ALEXANDER Street in Vancouver: Downtown VE Townhouse for sale in "ALEXANDER ROW TOWNHOMES" (Vancouver East)  : MLS® # R2190697
    $1,449,900
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2190697
    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
  • 2510 128 W CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale in "WOODWARDS W43" (Vancouver West) : MLS® # R2177091

    Main Photo: 2510 128 W CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale in "WOODWARDS W43" (Vancouver West)  : MLS® # R2177091
    $1,300,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2177091
    Bedrooms:
    2
    Bathrooms:
    2
    Floor Area:
    1,165 sq. ft.
    The quintessential Vancouver view! The most sought after corner units (10 plan) at the Woodward’s W43. Million dollar VIEWS!!! 270° city, ocean, & mountain views. Watch the helijets take off & land, and the cruise ships dock at Canada Place, while sipping your mojo in your living room or BBQ'n on your massive deck! Newer kitchen counters, custom closets, & washer/dryer. One of Vancouver’s most iconic towers, located in the birthplace of downtown Vancouver. Gastown, a national heritage site. The building boasts some of the city’s best rooftop amenities, including; Penthouse Gym & Yoga. Lounge, kitchen, pool table & library. Outdoor rooftop BBQ patio & hot tub. You cannot take your eyes off the water and you will not want to leave. OPEN FRI AUG 18, 10AM-12PM. More details
    Coronet Realty Ltd.
  • 3210 128 W CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale in "Woodwards W43" (Vancouver West) : MLS® # R2197872

    Main Photo: 3210 128 W CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale in "Woodwards W43" (Vancouver West)  : MLS® # R2197872
    $1,299,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2197872
    Bedrooms:
    2
    Bathrooms:
    2
    Floor Area:
    1,166 sq. ft.
    Rarely available - Stunning 2 Bed 2 Full Bath + Den/Flex, large corner unit. Highly sought after plan with million dollar VIEWS! Panoramic, endless water, mountain and city wrapped around your living space. This open-concept condo features floor-to-ceiling windows, 2 parking stalls, bright & contemporary finishes - a must see! Clean, crisp lines, stainless steel appliances, with plenty of storage space & in-suite laundry. Amenities include 24/7 Concierge, Club W, beautiful rooftop deck, indoor lounge, large gym & jacuzzi. OPEN HOUSE SAT & SUN Aug 19/20 1-4PM. More details
    Engel & Volkers Vancouver
  • 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
  • 610 128 W CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale in "WOODWARDS W43" (Vancouver West) : MLS® # R2191922

    Main Photo: 610 128 W CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale in "WOODWARDS W43" (Vancouver West)  : MLS® # R2191922
    $899,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2191922
    Bedrooms:
    2
    Bathrooms:
    2
    Floor Area:
    1,158 sq. ft.
    Live where other people come to holiday. Rare corner unit at the iconic Woodwards building. Over 1150 sq.ft 2 bedroom & 2 baths. Spectacular floor-to-ceiling windows. One of the biggest balconies in the building with view of Harbour Centre. Brand new engineered hardwood floors, S/S appliances. Living here gains you membership to Club W with 360° views of the city and numerous amenities. Convenient Gastown location only steps to shopping, entertainment, restaurants, skytrain and the rest of downtown. Fantastic home or investment opportunity. More details
    Coldwell Banker Westburn Rlty.
  • 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.
    Built in 2016, this Penthouse Suite towers over the edge of Historic Gastown. Offering a modem floor plan, a rooftop patio to die for and IT'S OWN EXCLUSIVE SECURED GROUND LEVEL PARKING STALL you may now begin to settle in to what is awesome about downtown Vancouver living!! A well equipped integrated kitchen highlights a bright, spacious floor plan. A Master bedroom with an ensuite, a den and an open staircase up completes this unique character design. Pop the hatch/skylight at the top of the stairs and step out onto your own private courtyard deck with panoramic views and access to an additional adjacent space, seating and use of a gas grill for your entertaining pleasure. Take advantage of this rare value priced penthouse opportunity. More details
    Macdonald Realty
  • 402 55 E CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VE Condo for sale in "KORET LOFTS" (Vancouver East) : MLS® # R2192218

    Main Photo: 402 55 E CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VE Condo for sale in "KORET LOFTS" (Vancouver East)  : MLS® # R2192218
    • Living Room
    • Living Room
    • Living and Dining
    • Living Room
    • Living and Kitchern
    • Kitchen
    • Sleeping
    • Sleeping
    • Foyer and Bath
    • Bath
    • Bath
    • View
    • View
    • View
    • Courtyard
    • Courtyard
    • Lobby/Reception
    • Koret Lofts 55 E. Cordova St. Vancouver BC
    • Koret Lofts 55 E. Cordova St. Vancouver BC
    • Floorplan
    $798,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2192218
    Bedrooms:
    1
    Bathrooms:
    1
    Floor Area:
    876 sq. ft.
    Koret Lofts, Fabulous 876 sq.ft. North facing heritage loft. Great views to the city and North Shore mountains. Commercial Live/Work zoning, huge garden courtyard area with BBQ and lounge area. Pets allowed 2 dogs or cats or 1 of each no exotics. Rentals allowed, minimum of 1 year unfurnished and 7 days furnished. Well run building with full time manager/caretaker. Furniture available to purchase, this would make a very cool furnished rental apartment. Bonus 1 parking stall included. Great central Gastown location close to the downtown business district, shopping, entertainment and restaurants. Open House Sunday Aug. 20th 2-4-PM. More details
    Royal LePage Sussex (WVan1) and Dexter Associates Realty
  • 206 168 POWELL Street in Vancouver: Downtown VE Condo for sale in "SMART" (Vancouver East) : MLS® # R2197330

    Main Photo: 206 168 POWELL Street in Vancouver: Downtown VE Condo for sale in "SMART" (Vancouver East)  : MLS® # R2197330
    $738,800
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2197330
    Bedrooms:
    2
    Bathrooms:
    2
    Floor Area:
    996 sq. ft.
    Imagine your spacious 2 bd, 2 bth, almost 1000sf open plan corner suite, with sliding Juliette balcony doors, floor to ceiling windows & funky frosted glass sliding wall allows tons of light and breeze. Wonderfully decorated with freshly painted walls and scraped smooth ceilings, warm wide plank flooring and upgraded sleek Euro-style linear kitchen. Insuite laundry, bonus flex/office, secure PARKING, large locker, bike storage, Pets and Rentals ok. Boutique concrete SMART bldg w/common patio, gym, wkshp, mtg rm and Caretaker John keeping immaculately clean, but Maint Fees low. Located in trendy Gastown where great shopping & restaurants are only steps away = Walk-Score 98/Shopping 100! FIRST PUBLIC OPENS Sat/Sun 19/20 from 2-4. More details
    RE/MAX Crest Realty Westside
  • 401 1 E CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VE Condo for sale in "CARALL STATION" (Vancouver East) : MLS® # R2196590

    Main Photo: 401 1 E CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VE Condo for sale in "CARALL STATION" (Vancouver East)  : MLS® # R2196590
    $578,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2196590
    Bedrooms:
    1
    Bathrooms:
    1
    Floor Area:
    606 sq. ft.
    LIVE, WORK, PLAY in the heart of uber-chic Gastown with everything at your doorstep. Not an inch of wasted space in this sub-penthouse corner loft. Double height 16 ft. ceilings with South facing Juliet balcony means even the darkest days are naturally bright. Fully equipped kitchen with stainless steel appliances, under mount sink & breakfast bar in this wide open floor plan allow the chef to be part of the action. Spa-like bathroom with heated floors & a generous soaker tub. Bring your king-sized bed and that shoe collection as this bedroom can take it all. Walk score 10+! Rentals/ pets allowed. Parking included. Open House Sat/Sun, Aug 19/20 2-4 pm. More details
    Dexter Associates Realty
1-10/16
Listing information last updated on August 20, 2017
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