Explore Forbidden Vancouver

Vancouver, Canada

Experience hosted by Will

  1. 2 hours
  2. Hosted in English
Cultural immersion
Guests felt absorbed in a community or culture.
Super storytelling
Guests say this Host tells great stories.

What you'll do

Hit the mean streets of Vancouver with a professional guide as you learn about rum-runners, mobsters, and dirty cops on a walk through Gastown.

Meet up with your guide and set out on foot, listening to tales of illicit activity in this coastal city at the turn of century. Learn about real historical figures like feared mob boss Joe Celona, Prohibition Commissioner Walter Findlay, and “King of the Gamblers” Shue Moy. Hear how the mob set up illegal drinking dens around the city and bribed dirty cops to look the other way. Listen to tales of longtime mayor L.D. Taylor and his infamously raucous parties, and discover how enterprising Vancouver rum-runners made their fortunes smuggling booze down the coast once the US adopted Prohibition as well.

Make your way through Gastown and scope out fabled buildings like the Dominion Building. Stroll down the best-preserved alleyways in the city to really feel like you've traveled back in time. And finish up the tour in Gastown's historic Maple Tree Square, the heart of the city’s finest restaurant and bar scene. The perfect place to grab a post-tour cocktail and reminisce over your evening of adventure!
Other things to note
There are no bathroom breaks on this tour.
Hit the mean streets of Vancouver with a professional guide as you learn about rum-runners, mobsters, and dirty cops on a walk through Gastown.

Meet up with your guide and set out on foot, listening to tales of illicit activity in this coastal city at the turn of century. Learn about real historical figures like feared mob boss Joe Celona, Prohibition Commissioner Walter Findlay, and “King of the Gamblers” Shue Moy. Hear how the mob se…

Meet your Host, Will

Host on Airbnb since 2018
  • 102 Reviews
  • Identity verified
On the Explore Forbidden Vancouver Experience your guide will be Aman, Glenn, Lenard, Rowan, Theo, or Will. Each of us is in love with Vancouver and our work is to share the city's remarkable history! Our interests lie in the dark corners of Vancouver's history: the scandals, the secrets, the crimes, the great escapes and the near misses. We dress to look the part and we promise we'll give you an experience to remember.

We have four more amazing experiences to check out on your visit to Vancouver!

Explore the Lost Souls of Gastown - http://www.airbnb.com/lostsoulsgastown

Explore Vancouver's LGBTQ2+ History - http://www.airbnb.com/vancouverLGBTQhistory

Explore the Dark Secrets of Stanley Park - http://www.airbnb.com/darksecretsstanleypark

Explore Art Deco + Taste Chocolate - http://www.airbnb.com/artdecoandchocolate
On the Explore Forbidden Vancouver Experience your guide will be Aman, Glenn, Lenard, Rowan, Theo, or Will. Each of us is in love with Vancouver and our work is to share the city's remarkable history! Our interests lie in the dark corners of Vancouver's history: the scandals, the secrets, the crimes, the great escapes and the near misses. We dress to look the part and we promise we'll give you an experience to remember.

We have four more amazing experiences to check out on your visit…
Co-hosts:
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From $29/ person

Where you'll be

We'll meet at Gastown's iconic Steam Clock, right in the middle of the action in historic Gastown. From there we head further into historic Vancouver with stops at the Cambie Hotel, Victory Square, Woodward's and end our walk in the heart of Gastown at Maple Tree Square.

Rated 4.95 out of 5 from 102 reviews.

Tarun
November 2021
it was a enchanting experience. The host seemed to have great knowledge of the history of Vancouver. He took us to different spots around Gastown area and explained the history of it in detail.
Louisa
October 2021
Our guide Glenn “with 2 N” was excellent! Lovely, easy going and knowledgeable. He is a passionate and engaging storyteller who really managed to bring the stories of Gastown to life! I learned a lot of interesting history in a very entertaining way that night. The two hours flew by. Would definitely book another tour if I’m in Vancouver again ⭐️
Brandon
July 2021
Great and informative tour with Lenard. Stories were entertaining, engaging and very informative. Highly recommended if you want a tour of the stories of Vancouver you won’t get told anywhere else!
Donna Rose
July 2021
Been to Gastown many times but never saw it it through this historical lens (iconic characters, bootleggers, criminals and politicians…sometimes all the same person). Will was an excellent storyteller. Passionate and knowledgeable about the history of the area. There were 11 in our group and Will made sure we could all hear him. He also was thoughtful making sure to pause and answer any questions we had.
James
June 2021
Well structured with a great guide Aman, who kept the conversation going and always ensured there was room for questions. I learned A LOT about "Forbidden Vancouver". I recommend it to locals and tourists.
Christian
November 2019
A really fun and immersive experience! Recommend if you’re looking to explore and learn more about this area. Lots of surprising and fun information. Partner and I were highly engaged and impressed. Would love to see the other tours you guys offer!

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    Things to know

    Cancellation policy

    Cancel up to 7 days before the Experience start time for a full refund, or within 24 hours of booking as long as the booking is made more than 48 hours before the start time.

    Guest requirements

    Up to 10 guests ages 14 and up can attend.

    What to bring

    Dress for the weather and wear comfortable closed toe shoes.

    A little bit of cash - gratuities are are graciously accepted :)