Old “Gassy Jack” would be proud. In 1867, he opened a saloon for mill workers. More bars and businesses took root nearby, and very quickly the place grew to become the city of Vancouver.
Now Gastown, his namesake neighborhood, may be the trendiest in Vancouver.
The pop culture website Complex.com even rated Gastown, Vancouver, the fourth most stylish district in the world, just behind New York’s Soho.
For many years, Gastown, Vancouver, (the oldest part of the city) was – let’s be frank – seedy.
Its cobbled streets and big iconic Steam Clock, which blows off steam and plays musical tunes throughout the day, were its best features. And visitors liked the inexpensive souvenir shops selling T-shirts and maple leaf knick-knacks.
But in recent years, gentrification has ramped up Gastown’s cool meter.
Lofts have been converted into high-end condos. And a swack of designer stores and oh-so-hip restaurants have moved into the historic brick buildings.
The outer edges are still gritty, as Gastown borders the city’s infamous Downtown Eastside, with its shelters for the homeless and drug-addicted.
But you’re quite safe exploring the main parts of Gastown, day or night. And who knows? You might even bump into a movie star (Robert Pattinson and Jessica Biel have been spotted dining in Gastown).
You’ll love strolling about Gastown when you visit Vancouver!
Photo credits: 2 © Janice and George Mucalov, SandInMySuitcase