Delve into the city’s dirtiest secrets on the scandal fuelled Prohibition City Vancouver Walking Tour. This two hour walking tour explores Victory Square, Chinatown, and Gastown – Vancouver’s most historic neighbourhoods. You’ll trace the story of prohibition in Vancouver while winding along the city’s most storied streets.
Mobsters! Booze! Opium!
In 1917, Prohibition hit Vancouver harder than a slug of bathtub gin, knocking the city to its knees. Saloon doors swung closed for good, forcing law-abiding citizens into an underground world of illicit activity and bootlegged spirits.
Mob bosses set up scores of illegal drinking dens, while dirty cops took bribes to look the other way. Vancouver’s longest-running mayor L.D. Taylor emerged from the chaos, soon notorious for his shadowy past, raucous parties and underworld ties. When the U.S. followed suit with their own prohibition three years later, enterprising Vancouver rum-runners made millions smuggling booze on midnight voyages down the coast.
These ain’t the kinda stories you’ll hear on tour buses, nor the kind you’ll read in guide books. Throw yourself at the mercy of Vancouver’sl meanest and oldest streets. But be warned, you’ll need sharp wits to survive in Prohibition City.
Venture through historic Victory Square. See remnants of Ward 2, formerly a political hotbed where socialists battled corporate forces. Visit the city’s most iconic and fabled buildings like the Dominion Building and Sun Tower. See the best-preserved alleyway in the entire city. Stroll past the back streets of historic Chinatown, once home to opium dens, bawdy houses and beer parlors. Wrap up your tour on the cobblestone streets of Maple Tree Square, surrounded by Gastown's trendy restaurants and bars.
Duration: approximately 1 hour 45 minutes
When: Public tours: April 01 - September 30 Mon-Sat 7pm; Sun 4pm
Private tours: available year round.
Meeting location: Cathedral Square, Dunsmuir & Richards streets.
End point: Maple Tree Square, Gastown – a short walk from the start point.
Need to know:
- In the summer please bring a jacket or sweater, since it can get chilly in the evenings. In the spring or fall please bring gloves and a hat. We do recommend bringing an umbrella.
- Forbidden Vancouver`s tours are designed for adult audiences and do contain references to adult themes. The tours are not recommended for children. However, teenagers have come on tours and thoroughly enjoy the experience. As a benchmark, if you are comfortable with your teenager watching CSI, then you won’t have a problem with them coming on one of the tours.
- The tour is wheelchair accessible.
- The tours happen rain or shine. Vancouver can be a little wet at times, so we recommend you bring an umbrella. The tour has been crafted with routes that have scenes under cover wherever possible – using archways, roofs, awnings or even indoors. So there will always be opportunities to stay dry on the tour.
So whether you are looking for fun things to do in Vancouver or you’re looking for the perfect gift for Canadian history buffs, this Vancouver sightseeing tour will show you the city from a new perspective.
The Prohibition City Vancouver Walking Tour takes place at Vancouver, British Columbia. VIEW MAP
How To Book Your Experience