Walking down Gastown is a very relaxing stroll. They always point out the Steam Clock with great pride. Actually, it is one of only very few such clocks in the world. It was by Raymond Saunders in 1977, though at first glance it looks older.
Actually, the whole thing was a bit more of a practical invention. Steam pipes run underground to the generating plant on Beatty /Georgia Street. These pipes provide heat for downtown Vancouver and steam for the clock. Originally, merchants had asked Mr Saunders to create a monument at the site, which was a steam grate that the homeless would sleep on.
Every 15 minutes the clock blows off steam, every hour it whistles.
The whistles are powered by steam. Very cool
Gastown is the original settlement area of Vancouver established by Gassy Jack in the 1880's. The area is now lined with restaurants and shops. The main attractions here are the steam driven clock and the statue of Gassy Jack in Maple Square.
The Gastown Steam clock was actually built in 1977 by Raymond Saunders for a tourist attraction in the newly renovated Gastown. The clock has 4 faces and chimes every 15 minutes. I visited the clock 31 years ago and until earlier this morning i assumed that it was very old, so now we know. It is still worth a quick look!
Gastown is named after "Gassy" Jack Deighton who was a Yorkshire seaman, steamboat captain and barkeep that arrived in 1867 to open te first saloon in the area. The area started to prosper thanks to the Hastings Mill sawmill and the seaport which quickly became a general area for trade and commerse on the Burrard Inlet. Today Gastown is still a bit of historical place that has become a touristy spot filled with gift shops, art galleries, restaurants, coffee shops and of course the steam clock.
In June 2004, Storyeum opened in Gastown. It was a lively theatrical 65-minute show that re-enacted the history of BC using eight sets that were all located below street level. Unfortunately, due to mounting debt, the attraction closed its doors in October 2006.
Gastown is just a fun place to walk through and get all the souvenirs one would imagine you can buy in a big city. Enjoy a coffee, a delicious lunch or dinner and much more! Don't miss the steam clock which is a big attraction for people to see. It used to work fully on steam, but now it is electrically operated.
One of Vancouver's oldest neighbourhoods, Gastown is packed with historic architecture, galleries, restaurants, and fashion boutiques. It's also the place to shop for innovative, high-end interior design.
Home of the steam clock, which isn't really steam driven, and lots of souvenir shops. Sounds pretty negative but a good place for a wander round and the prices were surprisingly good. We enjoyed our wander round and then stopped for a bite to eat and a beer at The Steamworks Brewing Co, 375 Water Street, which was good.
A stop on our tour of Vancouver was at Gastown, the area where Vancouver was founded in 1867.
Gastown has been renovated, and is a little touristy. The streets are cobbled, and the Victorian buildings have been restored, and look resplendant. Malls, street vendors, souvenir shops and more!
Probably, the main attraction would be the Gastown Steam Clock, this one was the WORLD'S 1ST STEAM CLOCK, and was originally built to cover a steam vent to prevent street people from sleeping on the spot in cold weather.
The steam also powers the clock's sound production, as whistles are used instead of bells to produce the Westminster "chime" and to signal the time.
It weights 2 ton, and the clock whistles every 15 minutes.
Gastown is located not far from Canada Place, where those white pointed rooftops make it look like the circus is in town. It's actually where the cruise ships dock so it's a busy area for tourists but Gastown doesn't feel overcrowded or overly touristy.
There are many shops and nice restaurants, including some galleries displaying Native Canadian art. Also, its most famous attraction, the steam clock is located here. It toots at regular intervals instead of chiming.
If you're looking for some relaxing time, this is a good place to go to slow down your pace and yet still see some Vancouver sights.
This is the most talked about and photographed attraction in Gastown and you will always see tourists waiting to see the smoke rise as the time is chimed. The 5 metre high clock has been operating since 1977 and is located on the corner of Water and Cambie Streets.
We visited the Tourist Information Office and they told us about a free walking tour around Gastown. We made our way to the meeting point and a young man took us on a one hour tour, stopping in front of the various buildings and giving us the history.
It is interesting to know that the original buildings were timber and completly destroyed in the great fire of 1886. We were told Vancouver does not have buildings prior to this date and that is the reason the city is so well laid out.
Gastown is really a tourist precinct with restaurants, cafes and souvenir shops occupying most of the old buildings. You will see the Steam Clock puffing smoke as you walk along the pavement, the monument to Gassy Jack, Goalers Mews , the Hotel Europe built like the Flatiron Building in New York City.
Walking the streets you will love the hanging baskets of flowers you see on the lamp poles. Enjoy Gastown and have a nice meal when you visit.
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