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.
|Elevation change||14 m|
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.
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.
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
W Hastings and Cambie Street
Flack Building - 163 W Hastings St
1898 - This building was designed in the Romanesque revival style using local sandstone. The entrance was recarved by Tony Rogac using Indiana limestone to replicate the original.
W Cordova and Cambie Street
Horne Block - 311 W Cordova St
1889 - This building was one of the earliest brick buildings in Gastown. It was commissioned and associated with James W. Horne, a successful real-estate speculator.
Architect: N.S. Hoffar
CPR - Waterfront Station - 601 Cordova St
1912-1914 - The western terminus of the CPR was designed in a neoclassic style.
Architect: Barrott, Blackader and Webster
300 Block Water Street
Edward Hotel - 300 Water St
1906 - Now the Water St. Café, this hotel is a blend of Classic and Romanesque Revival styles with ornamentation and a rough cut stone façade. The original Regina Hotel which occupied this site was the only Gastown building to survive the 1886 fire that swept through the City. The workers who inadvertently started the great fire rushed back to their hotel and doused it with water to save it.
100 Block Water Street
John Fluevog - 65 Water St
This modern glass building is an attempt to create a contemporary structure that highlightsthe style of the two adjacent historic brick buildings. The side walls of both adjacent buildings are exposed to show the rustic beauty of the original brick work.
Water Powell Carrall and Alexander Street
Goaler’s Mews - 12 Water St
Vancouver’s first jail, this building had gone through successive renovations and has also housed a telegraph office, customs office, parking garage,shops and offices.
Cordova and Carrell Street
Lonsdale Block - 8 W Cordova St
1889-92 - Owned and operated by Thomas Dunn and Jonathan Miller then purchased in 1930 by the Army and Navy Store, it was the first synagogue. Each pediment represents one of the owners.
Architect: N.S. Hoffar
Woodwards Building - 36 W Cordova St
2009 - The original Woodward’s building was built in 1903 and was the premier department store in Vancouver for decades. In 2006, the old building was levelled and redeveloped. The new complex includes market and social housing in addition to commercial space.
Architects: Gregory Hernandez and Partners.