Gastown Designated a National Historic Site!
Gastown is one of Vancouver’s most popular tourist designations, well known for its carefully preserved cobbled streets and heritage buildings. To recognize its historic significance, the Honourable Jim Prentice, Canada’s Environment Minister who also oversees Parks Canada, has designated Gastown as a National Historic Site.
“The designation of Vancouver’s Gastown recognizes the role of this special place in shaping the economy and development of Western Canada,” said Minister Prentice. “The remarkable collection of architecturally significant buildings is an exceptional and early example of an urban historic district created by civic involvement in the heritage conservation movement.”
Gastown was named after Captain "Gassy Jack" Deighton who had a saloon built in 1867 near the south shore of Burrard Inlet. Soon, businesses followed and in time the community grew into the City of Vancouver.
Today, many buildings remain from the 1886 to 1914 period when Victorian and Edwardian commercial architecture was prominent. During the past decade, the City of Vancouver, the Gastown Business Improvement Association and commercial building owners have shared a commitment to preserve, revitalize and promote Gastown. The City has been offering financial and administrative incentives to building owners and retailers to conserve their heritage buildings as part of the City’s Gastown Heritage Management Plan.
All of these efforts have paid off. The area is undergoing a resurgence. Buildings are being brought back to life, and new businesses and new residential units are being developed.