Experience a walking tour around Vancouver

As spring comes along and people start to go outside, more adventurous Vancouverites are walking into history through Vancouver’s downtown streets.

Inspired by popular walking tours of London and Edinburgh, Forbidden Vancouver, which began in 2012, is a walking tour company that uses period costumes to engage with the city’s seedy past.

“Our two main walking tours are Lost Souls of Gastown and Prohibition City. Prohibition City is all about the Prohibition era in Vancouver, all this sort of dark illicit history who gets mobsters, dirty cops [and] opium dens.” said Tiffany Anderson, the experience manager for Forbidden Vancouver.

Anderson said that people respond to these tours because it brings the history to life, even if the tour organizers take creative liberties.

“Our walking tours really immerse guests in the history opposed to just telling. We like to show the history,” Anderson said.

The Vancouver Heritage Foundation also offers walking tours and takes a more traditional approach, emphasizing the historical rather than theatrical.

Caili Bell, of the foundation, said the walking tours expanded from their popular house tours and give walkers a look at the history of a whole neighbourhood.

The tours are designed and led by local historians.

“They know a lot about it, all the different areas and they come up with own walks so, I think we give outlook with a different historic and architectural focus.” Bell said.

“It depends on the area but it has just to do with a lot of architecture and a lot with the heritage and history of a specific area.”


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