Jack Deighton, a Yorkshire seaman, steamboat captain, and barkeep, arrived in Vancouver in 1867, and opened the area’s first saloon. Known as 'Gassy Jack', Gastown, was named after him. Today, its one of Vancouver's most popular tourist attractions. Even now, the district still retains its historic charm and independent spirit. And it has become a gathering place for stylish locals, and an attractive promenade for tourists to explore on foot.
Located on the Burrard Inlet, Gastown was originally the site of the Hastings Sawmill. Because of the many sailing ships which came there to load logs and timber, it quickly became a general centre of trade and commerce. It also served as the rough-and-rowdy resort for off-work loggers, fishermen, and sailors.
A visit to Gastown should include a stroll along Water Street, a quaint cobblestone road lined with vintage lampposts, meandering through century old heritage buildings. The Steam Clock, on the corner of Water and Abbott streets, is Vancouver's most photographed symbol. Continue east along Water Street to the statue of the man who started it all, 'Gassy' Jack Deighton. And you can get a bird’s eye view of the city from the Vancouver Lookout, which rises 167-metres high.
Gastown is home to many of the city’s hottest restaurants, making it a great pick for a special night out. From European cuisine, with farm-to-table flair, to Asian-inspired gastronomy, Gastown's restaurants will not disappoint. And let's not forget the ever-popular 'Spaghetti Factory'. After your meal, visit a wine bar, or relax with a 'craft beer' at one of the many local pubs.
You can shop for souvenirs and all things Canadian in the gift shops you find up and down Water Street. From T-shirts to cashmere sweaters, and even ultra-modern furniture stores, Gastown has it all. And be sure to visit the artist's market at the nearby Woodward’s Atrium.
From Gastown, it's just a short taxi-ride to Vancouver's 'Granville Island' district. My gallery, Sams Original Art, is minutes away. Stop in, and view my art.