From back alley blind pigs to Chinatown opium dens!
Valentine’s Night Special – 7 p.m. on Tuesday February 14.
Delve into Vancouver’s dirtiest secrets on this scandal fuelled walking tour. Starting in the world of the saloon, you trace the story of prohibition in Vancouver while winding along the city’s most storied streets. You’ll hear tales of blind pigs, corrupt mayors, and enterprising bootleggers. Plus you’ll see first hand evidence of opium dens and walk down an alleyway once teeming with over 40 “bawdy houses.”
Along the way you’ll see some of the city’s greatest heritage buildings like the Sun Tower and the Dominion Building, which once battled to become the tallest building in the British Empire. The tour finishes in Gastown, steps from the city’s most talked about bars and restaurants.
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 bootlegged spirits and illicit activity.
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.
Prohibition City … these ain’t the kinda stories you hear on the tour buses!