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The Forbidden Vancouver Walking Tour

THE FORBIDDEN VANCOUVER WALKING TOUR

This ain’t where they take you on the buses! Explore Vancouver’s dirtiest Prohibition-era secrets. From mobsters and rum-runners to corrupt politicians and rioters, this historical walking tour winds through Gastown’s most historic streets and alleyways – and most illicit stories.

small groups | social distancing | 100% outdoors

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On this walking tour you’ll discover…

Illicit speakeasies

Back alley “blind pigs”

Prohibition-era saloons

Famous rum running routes

Architecture of early Vancouver

The tale of mob boss Joe Celona

The infamous Gastown “Grass” riot

The shocking true story of “Gassy” Jack Deighton

Urban legends with hidden truths

And more!

Thurs | Sat – 7 p.m. & Sun – 4 p.m.

$29

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Flexible cancellation policy

You can cancel your experience for a full refund up to 24 hours before your tour start time. Less than 24 hours before the start of your tour, you can receive a full credit for future use. No questions asked! Prices do not include fees and taxes. Student and senior pricing available on all walking tours. Contact us to arrange a private tour. 

TESTIMONIALS FROM TRIP ADVISOR

  • art & deco 2aditi, New delhi

    My Wife and i were mesmerized

  • art & deco 1Sarah, seatle

    compelling from beginning to end

OUR AWARDS

WINNER TRIP ADVISOR CERTIFICATE OF EXCELLENCE 2012 – 2021

WINNER LONELY PLANET “TOP CHOICE” 2021

WINNER CITY OF VANCOUVER HERITAGE MEDAL OF HONOUR 2019

WINNER MUST DO CANADA FEATURED EXPERIENCES 2021

MEET OUR FORBIDDEN VANCOUVER WALKING TOUR GUIDES

AS FEATURED ON

TOUR DESCRIPTION

The real story of Vancouver

In 1917, Prohibition hit Vancouver harder than a slug of bathtub gin. 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.

By the 1920s Vancouver had became a hotbed of prostitution, gambling, and opium. Thirsty loggers, sailors, and miners poured in from the nearby port, ready to blow their wages while crime kingpins Shui Moy and Joe Celona lined their pockets with the ill-gotten gains.

On the Forbidden Vancouver Tour you’ll walk the alleyways and back streets where it all went down. So discover the real story of Vancouver – this ain’t where they take you on the tour buses!

MEETING PLACE

The Gastown Steam Clock at Water and Cambie Streets