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SCHOOL FIELD TRIPS & OUTINGS

Engage Your Students With Our Team of Talented Storytellers

HAVE AN IMMSERSIVE ADVENTURE OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM

 Give your students an unforgettable experience with our award-winning tours! Our expert storytellers will immerse your students in local history, bringing the tales of Vancouver’s past to life with dramatic flair and passion. These aren’t just “walking tours”, they’re adventures into Vancouver’s rich cultural heritage.

Your students will be captivated and inspired by the fascinating stories, intriguing myths and little-known facts they’ll hear along the way. Break from the classroom and join us for an unforgettable journey into Vancouver’s past. Reach out to get started today.

CHOOSE YOUR START TIME
TOURS RUN ~2HRS
AVAILABLE YEAR-ROUND
MEET IN DOWNTOWN VANCOUVER
$19 EACH (20+ STUDENTS)
$31.50 EACH (<20 STUDENTS)
TEACHER & CHAPERONE FREE

BOOK YOUR SCHOOL FIELD TRIP

Email us: [email protected]

Include your group size, preferred tour, date, and time. We’ll respond within one business day. And you can cancel your experience for a full refund up to 24 hours before your tour start time. No questions asked!

Email us: [email protected]

Include your group size, preferred tour, date, and time. We’ll respond within one business day. And you can cancel your experience for a full refund up to 24 hours before your tour start time. No questions asked!

WHO WE’VE WORKED WITH

CHOOSE YOUR SCHOOL FIELD TRIP

THE FORBIDDEN VANCOUVER WALKING TOUR

PROHIBITION | RUM-RUNNING | RIOTS | GASTOWN
Recommended: Grade 7 – University

On the Forbidden Vancouver Tour you’ll explore Gastown, our city’s oldest neighbourhood. In the late 1910s our Province experimented with prohibition, meaning the sale of alcohol was banned. Enterprising criminals began to make money “bootlegging,” making and selling liquor illegally to a thirsty population. Even some government officials couldn’t resist the temptation to make a quick buck trafficking liquor.

As illegal drinking dens started to pop up throughout the city, the VPD formed a “Dry Squad” to hunt down bootleggers. Eventually mob boss Joe Celona had risen to the top of the city’s underworld, with even the Chief of Police on his payroll. Fighting for prohibition were the temperance union, a patchwork social movement formed by religious leaders, suffragists who wanted the vote for women, business owners, and many in the general population worried about the huge extent of alcohol abuse in Canada in the years leading up to prohibition, and particularly in Vancouver.

Many people of colour and particularly indigenous communities were brutally targeted under prohibition law, which was used by authorities to exert control over marginalized people. While prohibition was eventually repealed, it sadly remained in place for decades in the case of indigenous people. 

Once prohibition came into force south of the border, enterprising sailors made a fortune smuggling liquor down the West Coast in a practice known as “rum-running.” Vancouver’s Reifel family ran the largest rum running operation and would end up one of the country’s richest families. The Canadian government was even in on the act, charging an “export duty” on every case of liquor that left the country.

THE HIDDEN HISTORY & SWEET TREATS TOUR

ICONIC BUILDINGS | CORRUPTION | GOURMET DELICACIES
Recommended: Grade 5 – University

On the Hidden History & Sweet Treats Tour, you’ll discover the sensational stories behind our city’s most iconic places, including Granville Street’s Theatre Row, the Hotel Vancouver, Vancouver Art Gallery, Art Deco masterpiece the Marine Building, and much more.

Uncover the story of the crooked police chief and his fondness for paper bags stuffed full of dirty gambling cash. At his trial the “mysterious woman in the veil” gave evidence and caused uproar across the city, but what did she say? You’ll hear the story of vaudeville dancehall star Marie Lloyd, who sent audiences into meltdown with her outrageous act at the old Orpheum Theatre.

At the Vancouver Art Gallery, once the city’s courthouse, you’ll hear a tale of revenge and murder. On Granville Street you’ll discover what the street looked like back when it was Theatre Row, and tens of thousands of people would flock there every weekend to catch the latest flick on the silver screen. You’ll discover actor and star Yvonne De Carlo, who was born right on Burrard Street at St. Paul’s Hospital and went on to take Hollywood by storm.

Indulge in decadent treats along the way, including French delicacy kouign amann from Beaucoup Bakery, a delicious gourmet macaron, and the award-winning Mermaid’s Choice Chocolate Bar by Mink.

This walking tour even takes you inside some of the city’s most famous heritage buildings, like the Hotel Vancouver and the Marine Building. It’s your chance to see downtown Vancouver in an entirely different light.

THE DARK SECRETS OF STANLEY PARK WALKING TOUR

HISTORIC TOTEM POLES | NOTORIOUS CRIMES | DEADMAN’S ISLAND
Recommended: Grade 5 – University

On the Dark Secrets of Stanley Park Tour you’ll discover the park you thought you knew has a remarkable – and oftentimes shocking – history. 

Stanley Park is not an untouched rainforest. It was home to local Coast Salish people for thousands of years before it became a park, and even for decades afterwards. Numerous villages dotted the shoreline, including Whoi Whoi, which hosted large potlaches and from where a delegation sailed to meet Captain George Vancouver as he explored the area in 1792.

The story of the forced eviction of indigenous people from the land that would become Stanley Park is a shocking background to the park’s creation. Some mixed race indigenous and European families were able to fight back against the City’s onslaught of lawsuits, and keep their homes in the park near Brockton Point until the 1950s. Today their memory and resilience is honoured by the statue Shore to Shore, by Salish artist Luke Marston, which we visit on the tour.

The creation of the park was also about more than creating a space for Vancouverites to enjoy afternoon strolls and picnics. The land was originally intended as a military reserve, established to protect the city should the Americans decide to invade. After it became clear that wouldn’t happen, real estate developers, the Canadian Pacific Railway, the City of Vancouver, and the Federal Government all battled for control of the land. The fact it became a park illustrates the colossal power the CPR once had in Vancouver. 

Throw into the mix the tale of Deadman’s Island, stories of true crime, smallpox pest houses, buried treasure, public art, crow shoots and poetry and you’ll find that despite its beauty, there’s a lot more to Stanley Park than meets the eye!

THE REALLY GAY HISTORY WALKING TOUR

LGBTQ2+ PIONEERS | DRAG QUEENS & KINGS | BOOKSTORE BOMBS
Recommended: Social Justice, Gender Studies, Student & GSA Groups

On the Really Gay History Tour you’ll walk the city’s bustling West End with storyteller and tour creator Glenn Tkach as your guide.

Vancouver’s Davie Street is home to one of North America’s most vibrant gay villages. The 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…

Before decriminalization queer people lived in fear of being “outed” and risked losing their jobs, families, and even freedom. Canada routinely imprisoned people for homosexuality. Many of the leaders in the struggle for queer liberation in Canada were from here in Vancouver. People like ted northe, who had the bravery to campaign for queer rights back in the 1950s.

Vancouver has played a larger-than-life role internationally in the struggle for equality. We had the world’s first openly gay church minister, St Paul’s hospital opened one of the first dedicated care units during the AIDS crisis, and we had Canada’s first chapter of the Imperial Court System. We also had bookstore bombings, some of the country’s first PRIDE marches, and a transgender campaigner who blew the whistle on the biggest crime in the city’s history.

Glenn Tkach is available for private tours at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. most days of the week. Please inquire to confirm his availability. 

FORBIDDEN VANCOUVER SCHOOL FIELD TRIPS

EXCELLENT FOR ALL AGES
“This was an excellent Walking Tour. Informative, engaging, amusing and applicable for all ages. Great for high school students to actively engage in learning about the history of the city. Fits in well with Socials 10. Would 100% recommend!”

-SG265, Tripadvisor

WALKING TOUR WITH STUDENTS

“Will did an excellent job engaging a class of grade ten students. Through interesting content, games, and humour, students were captivated throughout our tour. This is the way to teach Vancouver history! Thanks, Will.”

-Rob M., Tripadvisor

IMPORTANT, RELEVANT, POWERFUL, INFORMATIVE, WORTH IT

“Thank you Glenn for helping me find one more way to connect with LGBTQ youth and gain more background knowledge for students who dig into the LGBTQ options for our Canadian Discriminatory Policies unit in Grade 9 Social Studies!”

-msapplesass, Tripadvisor

PLANNING ANOTHER TOUR WITH YOU

“Enjoyed the walking tour Monumental scandals with Rob yesterday, such a great opportunity to learn something about history, architecture, people and of course scandals of this beautiful city Vancouver.

-Diana, Google Reviews

WHAT TO EXPECT ON A FORBIDDEN VANCOUVER SCHOOL FIELD TRIP

This shared experience will ignite conversation to improve relationships.

This isn’t a history lesson, it’s storytelling. Expect to laugh, learn, and be entertained.

Engage your students’ empathy and cooperation with real stories of Vancouver’s past heroes and villains.

Our tours are a low-barrier activity for those who may be shy to participate, and those more engaged can ask questions.

*Tours are wheelchair accessible (with the exception of the Dark Secrets of Stanley Park) and are held at your group’s pace.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What if it rains?

Our tours operate rain or shine. We suggest dressing warmly in case of any inclement weather, as these tours run outside for up to 2 hours. If needed, you can cancel or reschedule up to 24 hours before the tour starts and we’ll issue you a refund or credit to use on a future date that never expires. Please keep in mind, we’ll reach out in the event of severe weather advisories.

What do we need to bring?

For the summer months we recommend a sun-hat, sunscreen, sun-glasses, and a bottle of water. For the cooler months, we recommend a rain jacket and sturdy footwear.
Don’t forget to charge up your smart phones to capture memories along the way!

How long is the walking tour?

That depends on which walking tour you choose, but generally speaking between 1.5 and 2.5 hours. We can stage a custom 1 hour version of our Monumental Scandals Tour if you’re under a time crunch!

How much walking is involved?

Each of our walking tours is between around 1.5 km and 2 km in length. They stay largely on flat, even ground and your guide will walk at an easy pace. However, each member of your group does need to be comfortable on their feet or wheelchair for up to around 2 hours.

Can you lead the tour in French?

We currently do not have any French-speaking guides on our team, but we’d still love to have you join us! All of our tours are conducted in English.

Does my group need to tip the guide?

Your group doesn’t need to tip your guide on the day. The advertised cost includes an automatic gratuity for your guide.

Can we add or remove students last minute?

You can add students up to the time of your tour by emailing us at [email protected]. As long as we can fit them in then it’s no problem!

If your guests numbers fall, we can offer a refund up to 24 hours before your scheduled start time. Bear in mind we require a minimum of 20 students to receive the discounted student rate of $19, or equivalent cost.

Are your walking tours wheelchair accessible?

Every one of our private walking tours is wheelchair accessible except for the Dark Secrets of Stanley Park Tour. That experience includes trails and steps, so can’t accommodate wheelchairs unfortunately.

Can we finish at a restaurant or specific location?

Our walking tours finish near to some of the city’s most loved entertainment districts, like Gastown, the Davie Street Village, or Granville Street. These neighbourhoods are packed with places to check out and refuel after your tour. If you’re looking for recommendations, please drop us an email at [email protected].

Can we take the Lost Souls of Gastown Tour as a school trip?

We typically recommend one of our other walking tours for school groups. We’ve found one of the features of school group tours is you can get into some really interesting conversations with your guide about Vancouver and its history. On the Lost Souls of Gastown Tour – which is a roving one-person play with your guide in character – it’s not possible to interact with the guide, or each other, in the same way.

Can I add more students on the day of the tour and pay in cash?

Our guides are unable to accept cash or process payments. All payments are handled by our Operations team.

However, don’t worry, we’re happy to help! If you’re uncertain about the number of students, we can charge a deposit amount to secure your place and connect with you after your tour to settle any outstanding payments.

Does the Dark Secrets of Stanley Park Tour have Indigenous content?

Yes, this walking tour covers the impacts of colonialism on the Squamish, Musqueam, and Tsleil-waututh communities who lived in the park. This includes the forced eviction of families from their homes, the abduction of children from the park who were sent to residential schools, and efforts to erase local indigenous culture from the area.

For an Indigenous-led experience in Stanley Park, we recommend checking out Talaysay Tours.

Is there a restroom nearby that students can use before the tour starts?

Please aim to arrive early if you are coming from out of town and you anticipate your class might need a break before starting their tour.

The Forbidden Vancouver Tour: public bathrooms are available at the Harbour Centre, one block from the tour start point. There isn’t an official bathroom break on the tour itself, but if a guest needs to visit the bathroom during the tour, let your guide know and there are plenty of restaurants and cafes to duck into.

The Dark Secrets of Stanley Park Tour: the tour begins outside the Vancouver Aquarium which has a bathroom at their outdoor cafe, although it’s only open in the Spring and Summer seasons. Otherwise, we stop halfway through the tour by the Totem Poles at Brockton point, where there is a bathroom.

The Really Gay History Tour: the tour departs from outside the Robert Lee YMCA building, that has a bathroom available.

The Monumental Scandals Tour: the tour stops around the halfway point at the Hotel Vancouver, where there is a bathroom available.

BOOK YOUR PRIVATE TOUR

Email us: [email protected]

Be sure to include:

Your group size

The tour you’re interested in

Your preferred date and time

The reason for your private tour

We’ll respond to your request within one business day. We look forward to hosting a private walking tour with your group!

BOOK YOUR PRIVATE TOUR

Email us: [email protected]

Be sure to include:

Your group size

The tour you’re interested in

Your preferred date and time

The reason for your private tour

We’ll respond to your request within one business day. We look forward to hosting a private walking tour with your group!