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Nov 28, 2022
A Local’s Guide to Gastown in Vancouver

Vancouver neighbourhood guides

If you’re looking for a charming and unique neighbourhood to explore in Vancouver, Gastown is the place for you. This vibrant district features many of Vancouver’s best restaurants, entertainment, nightlife, and trendy shops.

Emphasizing its history and architecture. Gastown is one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Vancouver. Gastown was also the site of the city’s first steam-powered sawmill and its first saloon. Here’s our local’s guide to Gastown so you can make the most of your visit.

Gastown’s history

Gastown’s history is closely tied to Vancouver’s history as a whole. It was founded in 1867, just a few years after Vancouver was incorporated as a city. Gastown got its name from Gassy Jack Deighton, a local saloon owner who is credited with naming the district.

Due to its location near the waterfront, Gastown has always been an important part of Vancouver’s economy. The first steam-powered sawmill in the city was located in Gastown, and the area quickly became known for its many bars and nightclubs.

Today, Gastown is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Vancouver. Its cobblestone streets and Victorian-era buildings are a major attraction, and the neighbourhood is popular among the locals for it’s excellent restaurants, bars, and boutique shopping.

Architecture in Gastown

Gastown is located in the heart of downtown Vancouver and is known for having completely different architecture from other parts of the city. The area was first settled in 1867 and quickly grew into a bustling district. Many of the buildings in Gastown were built during its early years, and the style of architecture is heavily influenced by Victorian-era design. Prominent architects such as John Waddell and George Grant helped shape the look and feel of Gastown with their unique designs.

Today, Gastown is home to a mix of both historic and new buildings. The old brick warehouses and Victorian-era homes are juxtaposed with modern condominiums and offices. While some people lament the loss of character that comes with new development, others appreciate the diversity that Gastown now offers. There is no one “type” of building that dominates the area – instead, it is a mix of old and new, traditional and contemporary. There are beautiful loft style apartments as well as townhomes, and large condominium towers.

The architecture in Gastown is truly unique, and it’s a must-see destination for anyone visiting Vancouver. Whether you’re interested in history or modern design, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant neighbourhood.

What to do in Gastown

In addition to its history and architecture, Gastown is also home to some great restaurants, bars, and nightlife. Here are some of our favourites:


The attractions in Gastown are varied and unique. The Steam Clock is perhaps one of the most highly visited tourist attractions, located at the westside entrance to Gastown. You can also check out the Gassy Jack statue. Gastown is also know for it’s great shopping and restaurants which we cover in more detail below.


Gastown has no shortage of great restaurants. You could honestly take a walk through the district and choose any of the fantastic restaurants or pubs. That said, don’t expect to find a table quickly during Friday or Saturday night when the area is bustling with locals. Some of our favourite restaurants include Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie, Ask For Luigi, Campagnolo ROMA, and The Flying Pig Pub.

Bars and nightlife

For nightlife, Gastown is excellent for laid back bars and pubs. It’s also near Granville Street where you can find some larger clubs and concert halls. Check out Revolver Coffee for coffee and cocktails, The Diamond for live music and DJs, or The Burrard for rooftop drinks with a view.


Gastown features a number of trendy shops from hair salons and barbershops to furniture and crafts. There is something for everyone when it comes to shopping in Gastown. Some of our favourites include J Crew Mercantile, Herschel Supply Co., Local Supply Co., and Pendelton Woolen Mills Store.

How to get there and where to park

Gastown is easily accessible by transit or car. The neighbourhood is located just east of downtown Vancouver, and there are plenty of parking options available. You can also take public transport either by Vancouver’s well connected bus system or via Skytrain (metro).

Real Estate in Gastown

The real estate market in Gastown is very high demand and low supply. There is only so much space and permits available to construct new buildings, and due to this, there are many properties being sold for well over the asking price. There are very few properties available for sale if you consider the demand.

There is a lot of competition for the available properties and the high demand is due to the fact that Gastown is a highly desirable neighbourhood to live in. It’s perfectly situated in Vancouver’s downtown core, making it very well connected to the rest of Vancouver or even North Vancouver via the Seabus. If you are working downtown, it’s likely walking distance to get to work and you can also enjoy all of the restaurants, shops, nightlife, and attractions that Vancouver has to offer without driving or taking public transportation. It’s extremely popular for young professionals and young families.

If you are interested in purchasing a property in Gastown, you will need to act quickly, as there are many buyers who are competing for the available properties. The best way to find out about the current real estate market in Gastown is to speak with a real estate agent who specializes in this area.

If you’re looking for a vibrant neighbourhood in Vancouver with plenty to see and do, Gastown is a great choice. From the Steam Clock to unique shopping and restaurants, there’s something for everyone in this historic district. You’ll find a mix of old and new architecture, as well as a lively nightlife scene. The real estate market is highly competitive due to the high demand from locals and newcomers, so if you’re interested in purchasing a property here be prepared to act quickly.

If you are looking to rent an already furnished home instead, you can check all the services we provide on our homepage.

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