Gastown - The heart of Vancouver

Gastown - The heart of Vancouver

The beating heart of Granville (as Vancouver was called prior to 1886), Gastown was where life began for the west coast downtown.

Named after John ‘Gassy Jack’ Deighton, who arrived in the area in 1867 to open its first saloon, the 12-block neighborhood, at one time, housed over 300 licensed establishments as an ode to the city’s drinking life. Geographical and social factors such as the city’s location on the Burrard inlet south of Moodyville, which was a dry town; and the termination of the Canadian Pacific Railway near Water Street, allowed Gastown to flourish as a commercial hub for trade.


Having rebuilt itself after falling victim to the Great Vancouver Fire of 1886 when all but two of its buildings were lost, Gastown survived another attack on its existence in the 1960s by overturning the plans for demolition to make way for a major freeway into the city’s downtown.


Today, Gastown is a hub of creativity, hosting a collection of the city’s most imaginative enterprises, from graphic designers and architects to film students and photographers. Central to the cosmopolitan theme of Vancouver, in 2012 the neighborhood was declared as the fourth most stylish in the world, a testament to the trend-setting historic core of the city. It is no surprise that the district houses a thriving fashion culture represented through some of the finest décor boutiques, unique art galleries, and fabled culinary fares.


The core of the city’s cocktail scene, the restored brick and timber buildings allow the neighborhood to seamlessly combine new with old. 

This charming timelessness is an inspiration behind the VV Sveglio designs. 

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