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 held under a large maple tree. It drips with old-town charm. Snap a photo of the jaunty statue of Jack, plus the nearby, recently restored Byrnes Block, the oldest Vancouver building still in its original location.

Stocked with historic buildings completed just after the 1886 Great Fire, Carrall St has a picturesque array of handsome heritage architecture. And a famous image from Vancouver's early days shows the first city council meeting being held here in a sagging tent, complete with a hand-painted 'city hall' sign.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Gastown & Chinatown attractions

1. 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…

2. 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…

3. Jack Chow Building

0.21 MILES

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…

4. 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…

5. 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…

6. 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…

7. 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…

8. Dominion Building

0.26 MILES

A handsome architectural vestige of yesteryear Vancouver, this copper-hued, French-style vintage skyscraper across from Victory Square is well worth a…