Walking Tours

Next Up: China Creek Basin with John Atkin

Various dates and times
Regular walking tours $15 (incl. tax)

Special event walking tour prices will vary


Registration for 2018 walking tours are now open! John Atkin returns April 2018 to explore the neighbourhoods that sprung up around the city’s lost and forgotten creek beds, while two new guides offer their unique perspective on Vancouver history. We are pleased to announce that Author John Belshaw and Landscape Architect Adrienne Brown have joined our walking tour guide roster and are excited to share their experience with you.

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Gastown Revisited with John Atkin
Sunday, March 18th
10am – 12pm

*This walk is currently at capacity. 

Since its designation as a heritage district in 1971, Gastown has continued to evolve and adapt to a changing city. On this walking tour, John Atkin will explore some of the more recent interventions and discover there’s more to the district than initially meets the eye.


Walks run select Saturdays, 10am – 12pm
* Please note the June 24th walk is on a Sunday morning

‘Following the Creeks’
Join us this year as John explores the Vancouver neighbourhoods that have sprung up around the lost and forgotten creek beds.

Saturday, April 7th – China Creek Basin (NE Mount Pleasant)
At the mouth of the former creek: Indigenous food fishery, dairy farms, pig ranches and bicycle racing

Saturday, April 21st – China Creek Ravine (SE Mount Pleasant)
The curious remnants of the once extensive China Creek

Saturday, June 16th – Davey Creek (SE Mount Pleasant)
Once an area of cattle and a few orchards before subdivision and settlement

*Sunday, June 24th – A Brewery and A Stump (Kensington-Cedar Cottage)
The development of early industry such as brewing

Saturday, July 21st – The Lake Bottom (Renfrew Heights)
A former lake and how it created modern-day Kingsway

Saturday, August 11th – Bogs, Farms and a Dairy (Killarney)
The Avalon dairy, orchards and a plant nursery

Saturday, September 8th – Memorial Park (S Kensington)
Vancouver’s first cenotaph and open water

Saturday, October 13th – Aquifers and Golf (Oakridge)
How to keep a golf course green and limiting some development

Saturday, October 27th – Skunk Cabbage and Tudors (W Point Grey)
Revival architecture and the city’s only surviving bog

Saturday, November 3rd – A Country Lane and the Mid-Century (Southlands)
Near the edge of the Fraser River, a neighbourhood of mid-century gems and a civic experiment


All walks are Saturdays from 10am – 12pm

Gore: The Avenue That Slashes the East End – May 5th & July 7th
If you look closely at a map of Vancouver, you’ll see that Gore Avenue does not align with anything. It was carved out of the forest before surveyors were laying out streets, giving it a unique path at an angle from all the others. Yet so much of the city’s development at one time or another has been found along Gore Ave. Railtown and the Japanese District, elements of church and state, the old boundary of Chinatown, and the glorious and humble architecture of the 20th century can be found on this strip of road. From Hogan’s Alley to the edge of old False Creek, no other street in Vancouver delivers so much in nine blocks.

From Cedar Cove To Port Town – June 9th
Less than a century ago, the area around the foot of Victoria Street was a humming hive of industrial activity, working class homes and breweries. Now a bustling borough of hipster restaurants, old structures and vacant lots ripe for gentrification, and more breweries than ever. Explore these streets for signs of what once was the Port of East Vancouver and see how some patterns have evolved and survived.

The Narrows – June 23rd
Once upon a time, False Creek was much bigger. The first bridge to cross it did so at what is now Main Street, stretching from one thin peninsula to another. This was the Narrows. Even though the saltmarshes and mudflats of False Creek are long gone, their imprint remains on the built environment. This walk will explore how the Narrows shaped the businesses and industries of a neighbourhood marked by dive bars, flea trap hotels, scrap merchants, and the city’s morgue.

About John
John Douglas Belshaw is a second generation Vancouverite who lives in the East End. He is a graduate of Douglas College, UBC, SFU and the London School of Economics. John is a history professor with Thompson Rivers University and currently teaches courses online. He is the author and co-author of several histories of BC and Vancouver, including Vancouver Confidential (2014), Vancouver Noir: 1930-1960 (2011) and Becoming British Columbia: A Population History (2009). He is also the author of two truly mammoth histories of Canada, both of which are used in university classrooms across the country.


All walks are Saturdays from 10am – 12pm

Vancouver’s Waterfront: History Found Near the Seawall – May 12th & Aug 25th
The waterfront landscape in and around Coal Harbour has seen many changes over the past century. On this walk we will visit sites on or near the seawall including the site of the original Stanley Park Brewery, the Denman Arena which stood on the site of today’s Devonian Park, and the Bayshore Inn. Enjoy a scenic walk along the seawall from Cardero Street, which was the railhead for the Canadian Pacific, to Thurlow Street.

Open Spaces of Vancouver’s Downtown – July 28th & September 29th
In the busy pace of Vancouver’s downtown core, places of respite and relaxation are a welcome addition. On this walk we will explore the history of open spaces in the downtown core, including the various plazas and parks, such as Art Phillips Park at Burrard Skytrain Station. Learn how the use of these public open spaces over the years has influenced Vancouver’s urban history.

About Adrienne
Landscape Architect and Author, Adrienne Brown is a garden designer based in North Vancouver. She is also the creator of the Sitelines Web Atlas of Landscape Architecture in BC, which features several hundred examples of landscape and park developments constructed over the past 150 years, some of which have since been demolished.

Completed 2017 Walking Tours with John Atkin (Click to View)


April 15: The Southern Sunny Slope (Kerrisdale)

May 13: Royal Nurseries (South Kerrisdale)

June 10: Pleasant View (Fraserview)

June 17: Bon Accord Park (Renfrew-Collingwood)

July 15: Welton Heights (Riley Park)

August 12: Strathcona Place (West Side)

August 19: Selkirk Heights (South Shaughnessy)

September 9: Strathcona Hill (South Cambie)

October 14: On the Edge of Shaughnessy (North Shaughnessy)

October 28: Tatlow Park (Kitsilano)

November 19: Chinatown Walk & Dim Sum Lunch

Completed 2017 Walking Tours with Maurice Guibord (Click to View)

April 28 & July 29 - The Viaducts Quandary

May 6 &  June 23 - East Fraser Lands

May 20 & August 18 - Vancouver’s Art Deco

June 9 & Sept 30 - Vancouver's "Francophone Village"

June 24 & Oct 20 - False Creek South