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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

1-10/19
  • 302 141 WATER Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale in "MALKIN BUILDING" (Vancouver West) : MLS® # R2239323

    Main Photo: 302 141 WATER Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale in "MALKIN BUILDING" (Vancouver West)  : MLS® # R2239323
    $2,280,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2239323
    Bedrooms:
    2
    Bathrooms:
    2
    Floor Area:
    2,040 sq. ft.
    THE FABULOUS MALKIN! An iconic piece of Vancouver history, seismically upgraded & converted to legal lofts in 1996. From the moment you enter through the large iron gates & cobblestone courtyard, you'll know you're somewhere very special. This 2 bedroom home is true urban waterfront, offering staggering VIEWS of the mountains & ever-changing harbour from every room! Over 2000 sqft of interior space with soaring 17 ft ceilings PLUS a terrace of over 400 sqft located directly off the living room. The second level is dedicated to the sprawling master bedroom, beautiful ensuite & den. Gorgeous original brick walls, steel beams, gourmet kitchen with high end appliances, gas fireplace, locker & secure parking in the building, simply too much to list! A great sense of space and light. More details
    RE/MAX Clara Hartree
  • 3210 128 W CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale in "Woodwards W43" (Vancouver West) : MLS® # R2235301

    Main Photo: 3210 128 W CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale in "Woodwards W43" (Vancouver West)  : MLS® # R2235301
    $1,449,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2235301
    Bedrooms:
    2
    Bathrooms:
    2
    Floor Area:
    1,160 sq. ft.
    Positively world class unobstructed views from this dramatic show suite at the coveted Woodwards by Westbank. Commanding the NW corner overlooking the city, water, and mountains, this freshly renovated suite is ergonomically designed with a wide open living dining area, new floors + paint, chef's kitchen complete w new quartz counters incl a waterfall island + breakfast bar, charming flex / den adjacent to dining room, lovely balcony perfect for BBQ entertaining, and 2 great bedrooms, also w commanding city views. The building is superb with rooftop amenities incl lrg lounge, fitness / gym, rooftop terrace + jacuzzi, all steps to gastown shopping incl Nesters grocery store, London Drugs, and JJ Bean coffeeshop in the building! 2 parking. Pets + rental welcome. OPEN HOUSE CANCELLED. More details
    Engel & Volkers Vancouver
  • 3001 438 SEYMOUR Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale in "CONFERENCE PLAZA" (Vancouver West) : MLS® # R2239412

    Main Photo: 3001 438 SEYMOUR Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale in "CONFERENCE PLAZA" (Vancouver West)  : MLS® # R2239412
    $1,175,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2239412
    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 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! OPEN HOUSE SAT/SUN FEB 17 & 18 from 2-4PM. More details
    Sutton Group-West Coast Realty
  • 3808 128 W CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale (Vancouver West) : MLS® # R2238247

    Main Photo: 3808 128 W CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale (Vancouver West)  : MLS® # R2238247
    $838,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2238247
    Bedrooms:
    1
    Bathrooms:
    1
    Floor Area:
    750 sq. ft.
    WELCOME TO WOODWARDS! VIEWS VIEWS VIEWS! Beautiful views from the 38th floor in this bright 745 sq ft 1 bedroom plus den. Fantastic floor plan with over-height ceilings. Laminate floors and floor to ceiling windows. The modern kitchen is designed by Eggersmann with 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 and 360 degree views. One parking stall in the underground parkade is included. OPEN HOUSE: Saturday and Sunday, February 10th/11th 2018 from 2:00 – 4:00pm. More details
    AWM - Alliance R.E. Group Ltd.
  • 801 168 POWELL Street in Vancouver: Downtown VE Condo for sale in "SMART" (Vancouver East) : MLS® # R2234284

    Main Photo: 801 168 POWELL Street in Vancouver: Downtown VE Condo for sale in "SMART" (Vancouver East)  : MLS® # R2234284
    $784,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2234284
    Bedrooms:
    2
    Bathrooms:
    1
    Floor Area:
    981 sq. ft.
    "SMART" GASTOWN LIVING, BY Concord Pacific. Open concept SW corner-BRIGHT AND SUNNY. Juliet balcony to allow for free airflow. Amenities include: meeting room, fully equiped gym with Yoga/Pilates studio, art room/workshop. Enjoy the 2nd floor lush landscaped central courtyard. This building is a Busby, Perkins and Will Architects design, engineered to keep maintenance fees down for residence and investors. Great location with proximity to to shopping, transit business district and entertainment and dining. Current rental $2,430/mth. Excellent residential or investment opportunity. Available Mar 1, 2018. OPEN HOUSE SAT FEB 17 2PM TO 4PM. More details
    Macdonald Realty
  • 204 66 W CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale in "66 CORDOVA" (Vancouver West) : MLS® # R2224977

    Main Photo: 204 66 W CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale in "66 CORDOVA" (Vancouver West)  : MLS® # R2224977
    $749,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2224977
    Bedrooms:
    2
    Bathrooms:
    2
    Floor Area:
    808 sq. ft.
    The downtown lifestyle awaits you at 66 CORDOVA by Westbank, this 2 bed & 2 bath is located in the heart of historic Gastown!This unit maximizes your living space with two large bedrooms, tile throughout, modern sleek finishes and GIANT 270 sq ft PRIVATE PATIO! Invite your friends over for a BBQ then visit one of the many close by pubs, clubs, restaurants or coffee bars! Gastown is steps away from transit, Seabus, Crab Park, VFS, VCC & SFU. Building features include incredible roof-top patio with mountain & ocean views, outdoor BBQ area, vegetable garden, sandbox, exercise centre, lounge with wifi access & bike room. In-suite laundry & storage locker included. No parking. Pet & rental friendly (up to 45). More details
    Oakwyn Realty Ltd.
  • 803 438 SEYMOUR Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale (Vancouver West) : MLS® # R2234081

    Main Photo: 803 438 SEYMOUR Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale (Vancouver West)  : MLS® # R2234081
    $739,900
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2234081
    Bedrooms:
    2
    Bathrooms:
    2
    Floor Area:
    710 sq. ft.
    Great location and great investment opportunity. The Conference Plaza at downtown Vancouver core area. This 2 bed/2 bath plus Den is located in the heart of DT, includes 24 hr concierge, indoor pool, sauna, Jacuzzi & gym. Easy to rent and currently tenanted. Close to business district, shopping, Downtown SFU, BCIT and entertainment. Please allow 48 hrs notice for showing arrangement. More details
    RE/MAX Crest Realty
  • 2303 108 W CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale (Vancouver West) : MLS® # R2239863

    Main Photo: 2303 108 W CORDOVA Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale (Vancouver West)  : MLS® # R2239863
    • view
    • Floor Plan
    • gym
    • roof top hot tub
    • roof top deck
    $739,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2239863
    Bedrooms:
    1
    Floor Area:
    682 sq. ft.
    Spectacular views of Burrard Inlet and the North Shore mountains from this 23rd floor one bedroom in the Woodwards 21 tower. This home features 9' exposed concrete ceilings, with floor to ceiling windows, stylish kitchen with a large island, an open study nook giving you full advantage of Vancouver's scenery. Hardwood floors throughout, stand up shower and bath and freshly painted, this home shows well. Lots of amenities are offered including rooftop gym, outdoor hot tub and kitchen, media area and a 24-hour concierge. Just outside your door are the coffee shops, restaurants, shops of Gastown. Move in and enjoy the Vancouver lifestyle. Open House Sat. Feb 17 from 2-4pm. More details
    RE/MAX City Realty
  • 1208 438 SEYMOUR Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale in "CONFERENCE PLAZA" (Vancouver West) : MLS® # R2234354

    Main Photo: 1208 438 SEYMOUR Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale in "CONFERENCE PLAZA" (Vancouver West)  : MLS® # R2234354
    $735,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2234354
    Bedrooms:
    2
    Bathrooms:
    2
    Floor Area:
    710 sq. ft.
    Best location! Best investment property in Downtown Vancouver!! 2 bed 2 bath with a den total of 710 sq ft. Next to SFU, BCIT and Vancouver Film School. Closed to shopping, restaurant ,waterfront sea bus and skytrain station. Currently tenanted with $2,900 income month to month. Please contact Helen Chen for your private showing. Sunday 2-4 only More details
    Regent Park Realty Inc.
  • 602 33 W PENDER Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale in "33 LIVING" (Vancouver West) : MLS® # R2239577

    Main Photo: 602 33 W PENDER Street in Vancouver: Downtown VW Condo for sale in "33 LIVING" (Vancouver West)  : MLS® # R2239577
    $708,888
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2239577
    Bedrooms:
    1
    Bathrooms:
    1
    Floor Area:
    767 sq. ft.
    One of a kind loft in the heart of Gastown! This unit features an open layout with over 10ft height ceilings and large livable space, including an open bedroom with privacy from the living area. This unit features walnut and teak custom mill work with incredible ample storage, and Kitchen Aid appliances. Solarium features great space that can be used for a great study/planting area. Large in-suite storage room/flex room. Fantastic, central location and steps to some of Vancouver's best restaurants, shops, movie theater, TNT market and Seawall. 1 parking space included. Very well run, proactive strata. Pets are welcome & rentals allowed. Great investment! Don't miss this opportunity, easy to show. Open House: Sat Feb 17 & Sunday Feb 18 from 2-4 pm. More details
    Century 21 In Town Realty
1-10/19
Listing information last updated on February 17, 2018
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