Vancouver Lost Souls of Gastown Walking Tour

» Vancouver » Vancouver » Vancouver

From $28.79

706 reviews   (4.82)

Price varies by group size

Lowest Price Guarantee

Pricing Info: Per Person

Duration: 1 hours

Departs: Vancouver, Vancouver

Ticket Type: Mobile or paper ticket accepted

Free cancellation

Up to 24 hours in advance.

Learn more


Step inside a world of murder, revenge, and true grit in a dramatic history of Victorian Gastown. Stories of deadly fire and smallpox emerge from the shadows as you venture through cobblestone streets to the shocking finale in this unique performance-theatre experience. Follow the lamplight of your guide as you discover the Great Fire, smallpox outbreaks, and the unsolved murder of John Bray.

What's Included

Local guide

What's Not Included


Hotel pickup and drop-off

Traveler Information

  • CHILD: Age: 0 - 0
  • YOUTH: Age: 14 - 17
  • ADULT: Age: 18 - 59
  • SENIOR: Age: 60 - 105

Additional Info

  • Children must be accompanied by an adult
  • COVID-19 vaccination required for guides
  • Operates in all weather conditions, please dress appropriately
  • Please arrive at least 10 minutes before the scheduled start time
  • Service animals allowed
  • Travelers should have at least a moderate level of physical fitness
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • All areas and surfaces are wheelchair accessible
  • Contactless payments for gratuities and add-ons
  • Infants and small children can ride in a pram or stroller
  • Our tours are designed for adult audiences and do contain some references to adult themes. Our age recommendation is 14+ but certainly children aged 10+ can attend and enjoy our walking tours if parents are comfortable with their children hearing mature s
  • Public transportation options are available nearby
  • Transportation options are wheelchair accessible
  • We adhere to health guidelines set by the Provincial Government of British Columbia.

Cancellation Policy

What To Expect

The walking tour begins at the entrance into Historic Gastown, outside of Buro Coffee at the intersection of Cordova and Water St. A suitable setting for an adventure deep into Gastown's Gothic history!

10 minutes • Admission Ticket Free

We enter the cobblestone streets of Vancouver's famous Gastown district...

60 minutes • Admission Ticket Free

Gassy Jack
Old Gassy Jack stands on top of a barrel of whiskey and surveys Maple Tree Square. Discover how much of a rogue he really was!

10 minutes • Admission Ticket Free

Gaoler's Mews
You'll follow the lamplight of your storyteller into Gaoler's Mews as the shocking finale is revealed...

10 minutes • Admission Ticket Free

Maple Tree Square
After hearing tales of smallpox, George Vancouver's journey to the end of the earth, and the infamous bawdy house run by Madam Birdie Stewart, you'll emerge in iconic Maple Tree Square - one of Vancouver's most photographed and loved locations.

10 minutes • Admission Ticket Free


Great Halloween night
VeraTaro, 06-11-2022
My boyfriend and I really enjoyed the tour! Janet aka Sara is an excellent actress and guide! She made the whole experience unforgettable. We learned new things about buildings and locations we used to walk by almost every day when attending the college in Gastown.
Dynamic Introduction to Gastown
PookyCake, 06-11-2022
I frequent Vancouver with some regularity – so much so that I’d venture to call myself a “local” in a very general sense. In that regard, I like to think I’m quite familiar with Vancouver’s history, including its origins at Gastown, but this tour by Forbidden Vancouver added an extra layer of complexity and enjoyment to that pre-existing knowledge. Weaving history, theatre and fiction together like a fine golden thread, the folks at Forbidden Vancouver take you on a journey you’re not likely to forget anytime soon.

My partner and I took our tour with Sandra near the tail end of September. We had a fairly small group – about 7 people – so the tour was quite intimate. Beginning at Buro Coffee Shop, Sandra took us up to the Victorian Hotel (Vancouver’s oldest operating hotel) and set the stage: The Klondike Gold Rush was in full swing, luring many a prospector and lady of the night with its promise of overnight riches, but was it all rainbows and sunshine? From here we walked down a dark alley, spoke briefly about Gassy Jack and his controversial history, and then spoke about the Great Fire of 1886. Its impacts were massive, basically burning Gastown to the ground and trapping some unfortunate souls . . . if you listen carefully, you might still hear them calling for help . . .

Continuing along Water Street, we stopped very briefly at the famed Steam Clock and chuckled at its history (or lack thereof). I guess you could call it contemporary history? It is, after all, an important part of modern day Gastown.

The tour concluded with Gaoler’s Mews and Maple Tree Square (once the heart of Vancouver). Fiction came face-to-face with history and we were left to ponder the mystery of John Bray. Gastown is indeed an area of lost souls!

At day’s end, we thoroughly enjoyed the tour. Sandra did an exceptional job of keeping everybody entertained while concomitantly weaving theatre and history together over the course of 1.5 hours. Next on our list? Forbidden Vancouver’s “Secrets of Stanley Park” tour!
entertaining and educational
holgerm889, 02-11-2022
A very fun tour through Gastown based on real life events from the Vancouver archives woven into an engaging narrative. Gastown at night has great atmosphere for such a walk and our guide Cole did an excellent job to bring those events to life and to connect with the audience. We felt entertained and touched by the stories and learned a thing or 2 about Vancouver's past.

Highly recommend it.
Great Tour!
745kearat, 01-11-2022
Loved it! A fun way to learn about local history with a story based on historical events. Tour guide was funny and he did a great job making sure everyone could hear him and stay dry when it was raining on our tour.
Good Storytelling
X4908QRemilym, 02-11-2022
Really enjoyed our host! Entertaining and interesting story. As a Vancouverite and history teacher, the content was right up my alley. The only thing that would have made it better I think were more stops for shorter amount of time. It was a chilly night, so multiple stops with more historical sites and descriptions would have made this a bit more engaging. It was highly "narrative" based - I was hoping for a bit more concrete history right in front of me, instead of "imagine this..".

« All Activities

Vancouver activities and shore excursions by group:

© Copyright 1995 - 2023 Vancouver Travel Guide