It’s time for Vancouver’s secrets to come out of the closet. From drag kings and two spirit warriors, to queer church ministers and transgender crime fighters, this walking tour is a celebration of the unsung heroes who forever changed the social fabric of our city.
A historic gay village
The gayest beer parlour in town
Drag queens who made a difference
How a gay church clergy made history
The site of an infamous bookstore bombing
The bravest pioneers of the LGBTQ2+ community
How a community defied police brutality….and won
Seriously funny gay humour – and its political bent
Duration: 2 – 2.5 hours
When: Sundays at 10 a.m.
Price: $32 adult, $29 for senior or youth
Meet point: outside the Robert Lee YMCA at 955 Burrard St.
Available for private tours
Our walking tours regularly sell out. To get your preferred date and avoid missing out, we highly recommend you book as soon as possible.
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 exclude fees and taxes.
MOVING, THOUGHTFUL, AND INSPIRING
“I feel so privileged to have taken this tour, especially during pride week. Glenn is so engaging and speaks so incredibly thoughtfully. It was a truly special and moving tour.”
– MIC F, VIA TRIPADVISOR
EXCELLENT QUEER HISTORY
“Glenn is not only knowledgeable about LGBTQIA and two-spirited history in Vancouver, he is fervently passionate about it. His storytelling is engaging and entertaining and you will find yourself laughing with him as well as shedding tears with him.”
– JOHN M, VIA TRIPADVISOR
WINNER TRIP ADVISOR CERTIFICATE OF EXCELLENCE 2012 – 2023
WINNER LONELY PLANET “TOP CHOICE” 2023
WINNER CITY OF VANCOUVER HERITAGE MEDAL OF HONOUR
WINNER MUST DO CANADA FEATURED EXPERIENCES 2023
We recommend you bring sunscreen, sun hat, and a bottle of water on warmer days. A rain jacket and sturdy footwear are valuable during the cooler months.
We carefully crafted this experience to suit to the interests and preferences of adults, making it an ideal choice for teenagers seeking engaging and thought-provoking content. However, due to its mature themes and potential for intense or sensitive content, we don’t recommended it for children under the age of 12.
Absolutely! Our guides accept cash or cards (via a portable Square device). If you enjoyed your guide’s performance then a tip is greatly appreciated.
The tour is a leisurely stroll through the Davie Village on even, paved ground. Total distance covered is about 2 km, or 1.5 miles.
The tour starts outside the Robert Lee YMCA at 955 Burrard St. It ends at the intersection of Davie Street and Bute Street, nearby plenty of food and beverage options.
The closest parking lot to the start point is at 909 Burrard Street in Vancouver Tower. The next closest is at 900 Burrard Street at Paramount Place.
You can! The closest skytrain station is Burrard Station, and the start point is about a 5-10 minute / 6 block walk. From Burrard Station, turn right at the exit and head south down Burrard Street.
Hot tip: Use Translink’s online trip planner for options.
You can, and it’s a wonderful, vibrant neighbourhood. But you’ll miss out on hearing about the people and events that made the Davie Village even possible!
We guarantee our website has the lowest prices for our walking tours. Beware reseller sites that display their prices in $USD to appear cheaper than they really are.
Anyone aged 65 or older qualifies for a seniors ticket.
If you’re 18 or younger, or a full-time student of any age with valid photo ID, you qualify for a youth ticket.
Yes, this tour is wheelchair accessible!
There isn’t an official bathroom break on the tour, so we recommend you go before you arrive at the start point. However, if you need to go during the tour, just let your guide Glenn know and he will direct you to a suitable cafe or restaurant nearby.
When you buy a ticket for this walking tour, two percent of the ticket cost goes to support Covenant House Vancouver’s Queer Youth Program. The organization’s purpose is to serve all youth, with absolute respect and unconditional love, to help youth experiencing homelessness, and to protect and safeguard all youth in need. Their program staff participate in specialized training to ensure staff have the necessary knowledge and awareness to create a welcoming space for LGBTQ2S+ youth.
Vancouver is home to Davie Street, one of North America’s most vibrant gay villages. Our city’s annual PRIDE parade draws crowds in the tens of thousands. Our city has openly gay politicians and monuments to gay activists. But it wasn’t always this way…
Meet the unsung heroes of Vancouver’s LGBTQ2+ community who forever changed the social fabric of our country. From the drag queen who fought for federal decriminalization to North America’s first openly gay church minister, Vancouver has played a larger-than-life role in the queer liberation movement.
Researched, designed, and guided by Forbidden Vancouver storyteller Glenn Tkach, the Really Gay History Tour weaves a colourful history of people and events that sets the stage for the inclusive society we all now enjoy. For members of the LGBTQ2+ community and allies alike this is a must-do experience. So join Glenn as you laugh, cry, celebrate and feel true PRIDE on the Really Gay History Tour.
Meet your guide Glenn Tkach outside the Robert Lee YMCA on Burrard Street. You’ll quickly bust the myth of Patient Zero, hear tales of gay struggle at the United Church, and learn about drag kings at the Quadra. You’ll discover the history of the city’s very first PRIDE parade at Nelson Park before arriving in the gaybourhood on Davie Street.
The walking tour then strolls the historic West End as you discover protests, bookstore bombings, Jim Deva Plaza, Vancouver’s secret gay village, and the transgender campaigner who blew the whistle on the biggest crime in Vancouver history. You’ll finish in the heart of the historic Davie Street village with its wonderful array of bars and restaurants. The perfect place to enjoy a post-tour cocktail!