Step Into History in Vancouver’s Gastown area!
Gastown is lovely commercial district in Vancouver, British Columbia - Canada. It is bounded by Cordova Street and the waterfront between Richards Street and Main Street.
Gastown is named for John ‘Gassy Jack’ Deighton who arrived in the area in 1867 to open a saloon. He was named so because of his tendency to tell tales and talk a lot. From this one saloon, the area grew and flourished as it became a central area for trade and commerce.
In 1886, the area was renamed the City of Vancouver after the British explorer George Vancouver. However, many of the buildings in this area are not from this time period as they were all destroyed in a fire later that year. Now, a statue of Gassy Jack stands at Maple Tree Square, where Alexander, Carrall, Water and Powell Streets meet.
Gastown found new life as the centre of the city’s wholesale produce distribution until the Great Depression in the 1930s. It was also the centre of the city’s drinking life: there were 300 licensed establishments the twelve-block area of the former Granville.
In the 1960s, citizens became concerned with preserving Gastown’s distinctive and historic architecture, which like the nearby Chinatown and Strathcona was scheduled to be demolished to build a major freeway into the city’s downtown. A campaign led by business-people and property owners, as well as the counterculture and associated political protesters gained traction to save Gastown. Henk F. Vanderhorst, a Dutch immigrant to Canadian citizen, opened the ‘Exposition Gallery’, an art gallery on Water Street which started, flourished and encouraged a flow of other fledgling business startups to boom in the Gastown core.
Designated a National Historic Site in 2009, the storied neighborhood offers a saw tooth skyline that dates back to the 1800's, showcasing some of the city’s best Victorian Italianate, Edwardian Commercial and Romanesque architecture.
The original Gastown settlement formed the nucleus for the City of Vancouver. Now a days, Gastown is a popular tourist destination and home to restaurants, gift shops, boutiques, galleries, nightclubs and bars. It is also part of the Downtown Eastside, Vancouver’s lowest-income neighbourhood, and the location of single resident occupancy hotels, social housing and social services.
Gastown is central to Vancouver’s position as one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world, providing a rich, textured backdrop for the neighbourhoods vanguard group of entrepreneurs.
Our St Clair Hotel is located just 2 blocks away from that historical great area calling Gastown!. You will love it!.