Welcome to Gastown, the original Vancouver. This neighbourhood is just east of the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel, the symposium's venue. You'll know you've found it when the streets are paved with cobblestones and the buildings make you feel like you stepped back two centuries!
Unique Fact: Gastown, with its cobblestone streets is Vancouver's oldest neighbourhood, incorporated as the City of Vancouver in 1886. Although this is by no means "old" compared to many cities on the East Coast or the rest of the world, Gastown has many well preserved historic buildings. Almost every building has a heritage designation and Gastown itself was designated as a National Historic Site in 2009.
In 2012, Gastown was named the 4th Most Stylish Neighbourhood in the World! Gastown, home to trendy boutiques, hi-tech companies and a lively nightlife, still manages to maintains its historic charm.
Things to Do:
- Stroll down the cobbled streets and visit the many art galleries and First Nations art boutique shops that are scattered throughout the neighbourhood.
- Find a patio and enjoy a cold beverage. Any patio will be a perfect spot for "people-watching".
- Take your picture with 'Gassy Jack', who was given his name when he stepped on to the Vancouver shores with a barrel of whiskey and built a saloon for the mill workers.
- Pick up mementos of Vancouver - this neighbourhood is home to several souvenir shops.
- Take the family to the Old Spaghetti Factory and dine in the vintage trolley car that's right in the middle of the restaurant!
- Must do: Take home pure Canadian Maple Syrup from Maple Delights
- Must see: Visit the Gastown Steam Clock, the first steam-powered clock in the world, still operating today. Every 15 minutes it whistles the Westminster Chime shooting steam from its five whistles.
Dining: With over 40 restaurants, 13 pubs or lounges, and 17 cafes and coffee shops, it's hard to narrow the list! Here's a few, but feel free to browse Gastown's Dining Directory to find something to satisfy your taste buds!
Steamworks, 375 Water Street - A one-of-a-kind steam generated brewery, Steamworks is one of many micro-breweries dotted throughout the city. Enjoy a cold one along with traditional and not-so traditional pub food.
L'Abattoir, 217 Carrall Street - The restaurant was built in the 19th century and is the site of Vancouver's first jail. Originally buttressed to the city's main butchery and meat packing district, the name L'Abattoir pays homage to the neighbourhood's colourful past. L'Abattoir just made the top 20 list of best restaurants in Canada, coming in at number 13.
Nuba, 207 West Hastings - Often regarded as one of the world’s healthiest cuisines, Lebanese food combines the sophistication and subtleties of European cuisines with the exotic ingredients of the Middle and Far East. You can find Nuba's in the basement of the Dominion building. Be sure to try the fried cauliflower!
Location: The northeast corner of downtown, bordering the waterfront.