Vancouver Gastown Back Alleys

Quick and Dirty Photo Tour

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Note: If you’re concerned about homeless drug addicts talking to you, DON’T do this tour.
But, if you’re looking for great street art and some unusual photo spots, this tour is for you. It will only take about one hour and will give you a small glimpse of Vancouver’s hidden places.

Gassy Jack

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Statue of Gassy Jack in Gastown


This photo tour will take you through a few of the mysterious back alleys of Vancouver. A good point to start is the statue of Gassy Jack (at the corner of Carral and Water Street) who happened to be the first settler of Vancouver when he opened up a pub back in 1867. He earned his name (proper Jack Deighton) thanks to his talkative and entertaining nature.

Blood Alley

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Street Art in Blood Alley

Head south on Carrall Street and enter the first alley on your right, Blood Alley, probably Vancouver’s most popular back alley.

According to¬†legend the alley was named after the “buckets of blood” that were spilled in the alley by local butchers who ran their business there.
Will Woods though, who founded the walking tours ‘Forbidden Vancouver’, mentions that the alley got its name in 1971 by an urban planner, and the alley itself was only home to one local meat store that sold already butchered meat. No blood, sorry.

But you will pass by a few great street art murals and smaller photo subjects. Take your time to wander through the alley and discover the hidden treasures.

Street Art Alley

At the end of Blood Alley you’ll see a red house across the street, and if you look slightly to the right you’ll see the entrance to the next back alley. Following this you’ll be led to Homer Street at the corner of West Cordova Street. If you look south up Homer Street you will see a huge mural on the right and also the entrance to the next back alley, a Mecca for people who like to photograph street art.

Enjoying Gastown

After that, take the time to wander around the oldest part of Vancouver. It’s a nice place to watch people and have something to eat/drink. Given it’s also the most touristy place in Vancouver you can also browse around to find the perfect tourist knick-knack. If you’re up for good cheesecake and tea or coffee, Trees Organic at 321 Water Street might be for you.

Photos of the Tour

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