Neighbourhoods

Gastown

Photo: Ariana Gillrie

Skip the steam clock and venture deeper into this historic ’hood to sip cocktails on a cobblestone patio and watch the tourists take photos of anything and everything. People watching is practically a mandatory pastime for those who live and work here—there’s no shortage of subject matter—but if you’d prefer to look at actual artwork, Gastown is home to a dozen or so galleries open to the public too. There are also several creatively focused post-secondary institutions nearby, including the Vancouver Film School (alma mater of famous dropout Kevin Smith) and the renovated Woodward’s department store, which now houses the fine arts department of Simon Fraser University.


Real Estate: Heritage Character Comes at a Cost

Few neighbourhoods have changed as much as Gastown, which has transformed from an area of offices and tourist shops to a well-heeled, design-minded hub that’s drawing young, creative buyers. Amenities from grocery stores and pharmacies to trendy restaurants, shops and clubs have followed—and with the SkyTrain next door, it’s a favourite for car-free millennials. It’s also where architecture-lovers nab century-old character spaces with exposed brick, wood beams, loft bedrooms and high ceilings that are almost impossible to find in other areas of the city—and they’re paying a stiff premium even as other areas have cooled. Gastown has seen an influx of globetrotting buyers unfazed by the area’s edginess, says realtor Paul Albrighton. “People want to be somewhere more unique and hipster-like. They want more flavour.”


Did you know?

In 1971 hippies and police clashed in what would later be known as the Gastown Riot. Vancouver artist Stan Douglas painstakingly reenacted the event and produced a breathtaking 8-by-13-metre photograph permanently on display in the new Woodward’s building.


Neighbourhood Stats

Median Age of Residents: 44.6
Population: 3,155
Average Monthly Rent: $826
Avg. Total Household Income: $54,727
Schools: 0
Parks: 2

Flagship Sneaker Gallery Six Hundred Four Debuts in Gastown

Flagship Sneaker Gallery Six Hundred Four Debuts in Gastown

Six Hundred Four aims to tell a story through their footwear, while supporting local artists and charities at the same time.

It Ain’t Easy Being a Tow Truck Driver in Vancouver

It Ain’t Easy Being a Tow Truck Driver in Vancouver

The city's most hated take us for a ride.

Inside a Vancouver Designer’s Eclectic Gastown Apartment

Inside a Vancouver Designer’s Eclectic Gastown Apartment

For Fox Design Studio's Ben Leavitt, a life well travelled calls for an apartment to match.

Alternative Bridal Boutiques Say ‘I Do’ to Gastown

Alternative Bridal Boutiques Say ‘I Do’ to Gastown

A new wave of wedding dresses have sprung up in this historic section of the city.

How Restaurateur Craig Stanghetta Spends 24 Hours in Vancouver

How Restaurateur Craig Stanghetta Spends 24 Hours in Vancouver

Wining, dining and splashing around with the interior-designer-turned-restaurateur.

Get the Newsletter

Own your city with Vancouver’s thrice-weekly scoop on the latest restaurant news, must-shop hotspots and can’t miss events. Rest assured your email is safe with us.

Inside Every Umbrella is a Weapon of Self Defence

Inside Every Umbrella is a Weapon of Self Defence

“You’ve never fended off an attacker using your umbrella? Well, let me tell you how it’s done”

Your Neighbourhood-by-Neighbourhood Vancouver Gift Guide

Your Neighbourhood-by-Neighbourhood Vancouver Gift Guide

Pick a 'hood and get all your shopping done in one afternoon.

Gastown Gift Guide: 13 Great Presents to Cover Everyone on Your List

Gastown Gift Guide: 13 Great Presents to Cover Everyone on Your List

Your go-to 'hood for vintage-inspired pieces designed to please the modern Vancouverite.

4 Great Coffee Shops to Get Some Work Done

4 Great Coffee Shops to Get Some Work Done

Some casual caffeination stops for freelancers who need a reason to actually leave the house.

The Best Places in Vancouver to Shop for Jeans, Cool Shoes, Cozy Outwear and More

The Best Places in Vancouver to Shop for Jeans, Cool Shoes, Cozy Outwear and More

Whether you’re in the market for that perfect-fitting pair of jeans or a winter jacket that will hold in the heat, knowing where to go is half the battle.