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
Back alley “blind pigs”
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
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.
My Wife and i were mesmerized
compelling from beginning to end
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
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!
The Gastown Steam Clock at Water and Cambie Streets