It's amusing to think that Vancouver's favorite statue is a testament to the virtues of drink. At least that's one interpretation of the John 'Gassy Jack' Deighton bronze, perched atop a whiskey barrel here in Maple Tree Sq. Erected in 1970, it recalls the time when Deighton arrived here in 1867 and built a pub, triggering a ramshackle development that ultimately became Vancouver.

Rivaling the nearby Steam Clock for most-photographed Gastown landmark, the statue is roughly on the site of Deighton's first bar; he soon built a second, grander one nearby.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Gastown & Chinatown attractions

1. Maple Tree Square

The intersection where Vancouver began was the site of John 'Gassy Jack' Deighton's first pub, and the spot where the inaugural city-council meeting was…

2. Woodward's

0.18 MILES

The project that catalyzed latter-day Downtown Eastside redevelopment, this former iconic department store was a derelict shell after closing in the early…

3. Chinatown Millennium Gate


Inaugurated in 2002, Chinatown's towering entrance is the landmark most visitors look for. Stand well back, since the decoration is mostly on its lofty…

4. Jack Chow Building


This unusual spot was known for decades as the Sam Kee Building until Jack Chow Insurance changed the name and spruced it up. Listed in the Guinness Book…

5. Steam Clock

0.22 MILES

Halfway along Water St, this oddly popular tourist magnet lures the cameras with its tooting steam whistle. Built in 1977, the clock's mechanism is…

6. Flack Block

0.23 MILES

Restored to its former glory in 2014, this dramatic corner landmark across from Victory Sq is chiefly noted for its hulking, elaborately-carved stone…

7. Vancouver Police Museum & Archives

0.25 MILES

Illuminating Vancouver's crime-and-vice-addled history, this quirky museum has had a recent makeover, uncovering the former coroner's courtroom (spot the…

8. Carnegie Community Centre

0.25 MILES

The city's first public library was a landmark corner building funded by US philanthropist Andrew Carnegie in the early 1900s. Now a community center…