Parks, recreation, and culture

Gassy Jack Statue and the Alhambra Hotel

Gastown Architectural Walk

Route statistics

Distance 1.75 km
Steps 2296
Elevation change 14 m

 

Take an architectural walking tour around Gastown, Vancouver’s oldest commercial district. It was largely destroyed by the great fire in 1886 which created an opportunity to rebuild the City anew. Many of the current Gastown structures were built in the 1890s and are preserved as heritage buildings.

Route description

Gastown is the oldest commercial district in Vancouver. With the completion of the Canadian Pacific railway in 1886, the City became a booming hub of activity. The great fire on June 13, 1886 obliterated most of the buildings but created an opportunity to rebuild the city anew. Many of the current Gastown structures were built in the 1890s and 1900s.

Accessibility

This route follows city streets and sidewalks. Sections of the route travel along cobblestone or brick paver sidewalks which are not always smooth. This walk i wheelchair accessible.

  • Start the Gastown walk at the Architectural Institute of BC (AIBC) 440 Cambie Street.
  • Walk north on Cambie Street past Victory Square. As you approach W Hastings and Cambie St pause and take in the surrounding structures.
  • Continue north on Cambie street until you reach Cordova. Here you'll find a number of buildings including a Masonic Temple. 
  • Turn left on Cordova St and walk west until you come to the old CPR train station at Seymour and Cordova. Visit the train station then return east along Cordova Street to Water Street.
  • Proceed east along Water Street for a three blocks. This stretch of Water Street is lined with buildings dating back to the 1890's and Vancouver's famous Steam Clock. 
  • As you approach Carrall St you'll notice an intersection where 3 roads all meet. Here you'll find a monument and the location of the temporary tent city hall after the fire of 1886.
  • Turn right onto Carrall Street and walk south to Cordova Street.
  • Proceed west on Cordova Street and turn left onto Cambie Street to return to Victory Square and your starting point.

Points of interest

W Hastings and Cambie Street

W Cordova and Cambie Street

Waterfront Station

300 Block Water Street

100 Block Water Street

Water Powell Carrall and Alexander Street

Cordova and Carrell Street

Woodwards Building