Walking Gastown Vancouver| Travels in British Columbia

| January 13, 2023
Gastown is one of those unique enclaves within a city that has its unique character and vibe and demands at least a one time visit to the locale to experience it.

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According to Wikipedia, “Gastown is a national historic site in VancouverBritish Columbia, at the northeast end of Downtown adjacent to the Downtown Eastside. Its historical boundaries were the waterfront (now Water Street and the CPR tracks), Columbia Street, Hastings Street, and Cambie Street“.

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Gastown truly has its unique vibe and genuine character, unlike some other locales in major cities, that seem to force upon themselves a gentrified “hipster” vibe (to drive up real estate prices). A lot of thought went in to transforming the neighborhood (I would not call it redevelopment as most of the heritage buildings are original).

This is start and end stop of the GrayLine West Coast Sightseeing Hop-On Hop-Off bus tour, which is one of the most budget friendly and flexible tour experiences in Vancouver for a visiting family.

The area is famous for its gastronomic delights and trendy stores. Of course my favorite reason (and to my surprise that too!) is the working office/showroom of John Fluevog Shoes.

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The namesake founder and designer actually works out of this location and a chance encounter is a possibility. Of course, as my luck would have it, the same day I was visiting his store, he was visiting my hometown of Calgary!

While I cannot recommend any specific restaurants or eateries in this area as I did not experience most of them, I will recommend making Gastown a stop to check out the unique character that this blog post cannot do justice in just describing it or curating it through this slide show below.

And make sure to set your watch against the famous Gastown Steam Clock, one of the few remaining in this world.

 While Gastown is a burgeoning with trendy eateries and shopping experience, it shares the community with Downtown East End, an area that is often by mistakenly referred to as the “Poorest Postal Code in Canada”.

FYI: IT IS NOT! For clarification see this article.

There is another story on the other side of Cambie street that is often ignored. I did walk through that area to get a glimpse of what the fuss is all about. No doubt the East End takes a dramatic shift in character within a few short blocks from Gastown. I have been through many poor neighborhoods across Canada, but never have I experience such a quantum shift between two polar opposites.

The East End gets disproportionate share of negative publicity but I would like you to open your mind to understand that every story has multiple elements. While I wish I could have spent more time in the East End and capture those other untold elements of the story, time constraints prevented doing so. However, I leave you with these images of the “faces” of East End. I wonder what story they would have to tell.


Portions of this trip were supported by Grayline Westcoast Sightseeing and The West End Guest House to whom I owe a generous warm and heartfelt thank you.

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Category: Budget Adventure Travel, Travels in British Columbia

Comments (1)

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  1. Gastown is a stunning up and comer in vancouver with some of the best eateries and coffee spots around! I always love my getaway to the city days and gastown is one of my favorite haunts!