Virtual Strolls: Online Walking Tours

Up next - A Virtual Stroll: Poking around the back lanes of Point Grey

Join us to explore local history and heritage from home on a virtual walking tour. While some of our regular events are on hold, we can still experience the streets of Vancouver’s neighbourhoods and discover some of the history and heritage places of diverse communities.

Explore local history and heritage from home with local historian, author and seasoned walking tour guide, John Atkin. Throughout and after a pre-recorded virtual stroll, there will be opportunities to ask John questions live.

Please note that details of how to join webinars will be provided to registered participants. If you have not received the connection email two days before the webinar, please let us know at

Photo credit: City of Richmond Archives Photograph #1999 4 2 945


Saturday, November 28th – A Virtual Stroll: Poking around the back lanes of Point Grey 
10am – 11am
Register here, $12

Known for its sweeping sea views and beaches, West Point Grey has a rich history that extends beyond its historic homes to its back lanes. Interesting and sometimes forgotten spaces inhabited by garages, garbage cans and overgrown vines, lanes are places where an original geography of hills and valleys hides in plain sight. Join us for a virtual walk with local historian, author and seasoned walking tour guide, John Atkin, to explore the hidden world of Point Grey’s lanes and discover a few surprises along the way.


June 4th - A Virtual Stroll through Historic Strathcona

On this virtual stroll with local historian, author and seasoned walking tour guide, John Atkin, came across converted school houses, a garlic warehouse, lost bakeries, Vancouver’s oldest brick school and some very innovative seismic upgrades. The neighbourhood grew on traditional ancestral lands and became home to many new immigrants seeking work at Hastings Mill and nearby industries from the late 19th century on. Today’s unique neighbourhood owes much to the legacy of community activism and determination.

July 9th - Top of the City: A Virtual Stroll in Mackenzie Heights

Perched at the edge of the escarpment overlooking the flats to the east, only a few houses were built in the Mackenzie Heights neighbourhood on Vancouver’s west side in the years before the First World War. A subsequent burst of development through the late 1930s and 40s saw the emergence of modest revival-style bungalows followed by more modern homes to infill the remaining lots during the 1950s and 60s. The demolition of homes during the 1980s and 90s introduced a range of interesting designs to these streets. On this virtual stroll, we explored this hidden neighbourhood and all of its eclectic architectural styles that have popped up over the last century.

July 23rd - A Virtual Stroll around Cedar Cove

The area of Cedar Cove was characterized by very large cedar trees and was long known and used by the Tsleil-Waututh. Non-native settlement began with the extraction of the trees that gave the area its name. Soon, a post office, a brewery and two huge sawmills occupied the cove. Japanese, Chinese, Sikh and other settlers called the area home. On this tour, we explored this diverse neighbourhood and found remnants of the earlier community.

September 16th - A Virtual Stroll in Marpole

Many of us know Marpole as the strip of commercial activity at the southern end of Granville Street or for the blocks of three-storey apartment buildings from the 1950s. But the community is also the site of significant cultural and archaeological resources, and was the location of some of the earliest non-native settlement in what would become Vancouver. Situated on the north shore of the Fraser River which has sustained the Musqueam people for thousands of years, the original small settlement grew into a substantial centre of industry and commerce with canneries and sawmills that employed a multi-cultural workforce including Musqueam, Japanese and Chinese among others. On this virtual walk, we explored the area's fascinating architecture along with its diverse cultural and transportation history.

October 17th - A Virtual Stroll in Cedar Cottage and Lakeview

A mix of industry, transportation and interesting geography, Cedar Cottage is full of surprises. Once a thriving business and residential district surrounding the intersection of the interurban and streetcar lines that connected Vancouver to Burnaby and New Westminster, the abundant creeks provided water for a brewery and early dairy farms. Lakeview was one of the interurban stations where passengers waiting for the tram had a great view of Trout Lake. This natural peat bog lake served as a water supply for the Hastings Mill boilers until the 1880s and remains a popular skating spot during cold Vancouver winters.

November 5th - A Virtual Stroll through Beaconsfield and into the Renfrew Ravine

Beaconsfield was originally dotted with small-scale orchards and other agricultural endeavors that took advantage of the area’s fertile soil. A small group of homes, including a post office, developed around Beaconsfield Station, a stop on BC Electric’s New Westminster interurban line located just west of the current 29th Avenue Skytrain station. The interurban brought the real estate promoters who pitched “ideal country residences with city privileges”; however, one thing development did not erase was the Renfrew Ravine - a deep forested respite from the city with one of the few open creeks left in Vancouver.