Parks, recreation, and culture

Chinatown Millennium Gate

Chinatown Architectural Walk

Route Statistics

Distance 1.64 km
Steps 2152
Elevation change 14 m


Take an architectural walking tour around Vancouver’s Chinatown. Between 1881 and 1885, 10,000 Chinese workers were hired to come to Canada and help build the railway. Subsequently, many settled in Vancouver and built Chinatown.

Route description

At the beginning of the 20th century, this district became the primary business and residential area for the Chinese community. Chinatown retains much of the architecture and atmosphere from those early beginnings. 

A good starting point for this walk is the Architectural Institute of BC (AIBC), located at the northeast corner of W Pender St and Cambie St.


This walk follows paved sidewalks and streets with curb ramps at corners. This route is wheelchair accessible.

  • Start the Chinatown Walk at the Architectural Institute of B.C. at the corner of W Pender and Cambie St (440 Cambie St).
  • Walk east on Pender Street for two blocks to the Chinatown Gate. Along this 2 block stretch as you approach Chinatown you'll see a collection of both old historic and new builds.
  • As you pass the Chinatown gate turn right into Shanghai Alley and circumnavigate the alley. View the commemorative plaza and then return to Pender Street.
  • Turn right and proceed east along Pender Street for four blocks. This section of Pender St as some of the oldest buildings found in Chinatown, built between the 1880's and 1920's.
  • Turn right at Gore Avenue and after one block turn right onto Keefer Street. Head west along Keefer Street for two blocks.
  • Cross Columbia Street and enter the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Gardens.

Points of interest

W Pender Street

Shanghia Alley

E Pender Street

Sun Ah Hotel and Benevolent Associations

VanCity, CIBC and Pender Market

Kuomintang and HSBC Building

Keefer and Columbia Street

Dr Sun Yat-Sen Garden