Gastown - Abbey Travel, Ireland

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Welcome to Gastown


The fascinating little historic enclave of Gastown, in the central core area of Vancouver alongside Chinatown, transports visitors back in time to envision the city in days of old, with its cobbled streets, antique gaslights, Victorian architecture and maze of narrow alleys, courtyards and passages wherein hide boutiques and restaurants. Gastown was named after Vancouver's first settler and saloon owner, Jack "Gassy" Deighton, whose historic hotel was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1886 along with much of the city. The fire swept through the town in less than an hour, leaving only two of the 400 or so houses standing. "Gassy" Jack has been immortalised with a statue in Maple Tree Square in Gastown. Another point of interest is the Lamplighter Pub in the Dominion Hotel, which was the first Vancouver inn to serve alcohol to women. The Europe Hotel was the first fireproof building in western Canada, having been built just after the fire in 1892. Gastown keeps time with the world's first steam clock, which plays the Westminster chimes every 15 minutes on five brass steam whistles inside its cast bronze case. These and many other interesting corners of Gastown can be explored on a daily walking tour, offered at 2pm each day between June and August, which starts at the Gassy Jack statue and takes 90 minutes.

Information & Facts

The official languages are English and French (predominantly in Quebec).

The currency used is the Canadian Dollar (CAD), which is divided into 100 cents. One-dollar coins are also known as loonies (due to the picture of a loon, a type of bird, on the coin), and two-dollar coins as toonies. Banks and bureaux de change will change money and travellers cheques, as will some hotels, but the rate will not be as good. Major credit cards are widely accepted and ATMs are plentiful. US Dollars are largely accepted, though due to fraud, larger notes might not be and change is usually given in Canadian dollars.

Canada covers six time zones, from GMT 8 in the west to GMT -3.5 in the east.
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