Parks Canada

Parks Canada

July 14, 2009 10:26 ET

Government of Canada Celebrates the Historical Significance of Gastown Historic District

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - July 14, 2009) - The Honourable Jim Prentice, Canada's Environment Minister and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, today celebrated the national historic significance of Gastown Historic District, which he designated a National Historic Site of Canada, on the recommendation of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada.

"The designation of Vancouver's Gastown recognizes the role of this special place in shaping the economy and development of western Canada," said Minister Prentice. "The remarkable collection of architecturally significant buildings is an exceptional and early example of an urban historic district created by civic involvement in the heritage conservation movement."

Gastown Historic District is an intact urban area of business and commercial buildings dating largely from 1886 to 1914. The area presents, an early Western Canadian city core and the growth of the Western Canadian economy in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

"The buildings in Gastown Historic District are handsome, strikingly harmonious in their materials, scale and architectural detailing, collectively splendid examples of Victorian and Edwardian commercial architecture," said the Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister of International Trade, Minister for the Asia Pacific Gateway and Regional Minister for the Province of British Columbia. "I am delighted to know that, through this designation, future generations will have the opportunity to enjoy them as part of Vancouver's urban landscape and an integral part of the city's vibrant tourism industry."

"Gastown is the birthplace of Vancouver, and our citizens have been instrumental in ensuring that it could be preserved for future generations to enjoy," said Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson. "It's gratifying to see that all of the work put in to revitalization and preservation measures is now being recognized nationally with this designation."

In 1867, Captain John "Gassy Jack" Deighton persuaded some mill workers to build him a saloon on the south side of Burrard Inlet. From such modest beginnings, "Gastown", as it came to be known, grew into the City of Vancouver.

Parks Canada works to ensure that Canada's historic and natural heritage is presented and protected for the enjoyment, education, appreciation and inspired discovery of all Canadians, today and in the future.

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Contact Information

  • Parks Canada
    Corporate Communications Branch
    Michele Monette
    Media Relations Officer