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Authentic Victorian buildings and old cobblestones: welcome to Gastown. History is interspersed with a hip mix of boutiques, trendy clubs and charming restaurants. This is one of the most popular and fashionable neighbourhoods of Vancouver.
Gastown was founded in 1867, the same year in which Canada became a Confederation. Prospector John Deighton, nicknamed Gassy Jack because of his incessant chatter and tall tales, built the first pub (in an incredible 24 hours) and soon the village of Gastown was born. More and more people settled in the neighbourhood and eventually this small town grew into the vibrant city of Vancouver.
The steam clock is Gastown’s most famous attraction. To cover a steam grate and make effective use of the steam, the city decided to build the steam clock. Steam is fed to the clock by pipes which run below the streets and provide heat to all of downtown Vancouver. Every 15 minutes the clock toots and lets out some steam. On the hour, the clock whistles a cheerful tune and emits steam from all of the pipes. Although it looks a lot older, the steam clock was actually placed here in 1977.
Steam clock, Cambie Street & Water Street, Vancouver
“‘One of a Few’ is a truly unique shop”
Gastown is home to many interesting and unique stores but 'One of a Few' deserves a special mention. This small boutique has a unique selection of women's clothing not found anywhere else in Vancouver. In addition to the latest fashion, the shop also sells stylish shoes and trendy accessories. If only there were more shops like ‘One of a Few'…. The owners finally gave in and opened 'Two of a Few' right next door; the shop has the same trendy concept but is geared towards men.
One of a Few, 354 Water St, Vancouver
Chill Winston boasts not only a great menu, but also an excellent location. The restaurant lies on a large square with a great view of the interesting architecture of the Hotel Europe. In summer there is a large sunny patio with red parasols, the perfect place to relax with an order of fresh crab cakes and a drink. At night the restaurant transforms into an attractive lounge where patrons can enjoy a glass wine and some delicious finger food.
Chill Winston, 3 Alexander Street, Vancouver
Gastown also regularly hosts large events. Once a year hundreds of cyclists race across the cobblestone streets during the Global Relay Gastown Grand Prix, which takes place in July. The race is part of a series of 9 races that are held in and around Vancouver. The Vancouver International Jazz Festival is also held in Gastown each year.