Established in 1867, Gastown is the oldest neighbourhood in Vancouver, but quickly becoming the freshest place to live. The streets are lined with heritage buildings that house funky boutiques, restaurants, and incredible lofts.
Who lives in Gastown
In recent decades Gastown was primarily a tourist destination. Now, it is an eclectic community of artists, young professionals and those who work in the area – a well-educated population of the 79,000 residents hold university degrees) most of whom are in their mid 20s to late 30s. Gastown has developed into a true neighbourhood, where one can walk down the street and stop and chat with those who live and work in the area. New additions such as Nester’s Market in the Woodward’s building ensure one will not have to venture far for essentials, keeping Gastown’s residents local.
Things to Do in Gastown
Gastown is home to a plethora of boutiques, galleries, restaurants and lounges. Shops range from the casual Alife on Water St. to the high end Richard Kidd, a building made of two panels of glass situated between two existing buildings. Restaurants such as Boneta, Cobre and Diamond have brought a European-style dining experience to area, and The Revel Room offers live jazz and incredible cocktails. La Casita at first glance may seem like a hole in the wall, but the food is about as authentic Mexican as you can find this far north – and delicious. Salt dedicates its menu to wine, scotch and cheese, meat and antipasto plates, while at Guilt & Co. one can order board games with a cocktail. Upstairs the Chill Winston provides one of the best people watching patios in the city, and during the Vancouver International Jazz Festival some of the best seats. Shine perseveres as the leading nightclub in an area which was once home to many, but Gastown now seems focused on great food, fun lounges (try the Lamplighter or the Irish Heather) and interesting people.
Gastown real estate
Once targeted for demolition during the 1960s, Gastown was saved due to the large number of heritage buildings. As the rest of Vancouver developed, however, Gastown was left behind. Now, many of the original properties remain, but have been refurbished to create stunning lofts and suites to complement the savvy residents. Newer buildings, although not saved, have stayed true to the character of the area. The Woodwards building houses some of the most sought-after real estate in Vancouver: a property that signifies the direction the neighbourhood is headed and that caters to the emerging professional population in the area. Most Gastown properties are apartments and condos, and most inhabitants rent. While real estate prices are above average in relation to Metro Vancouver as a whole, they increase steadily on a yearly basis, ensuring Gastown real estate will remain a good investment in the years to come.