School Field Trips

Interactive historical fields trips in Vancouver

Chinatown - 1930s - James Crookall - courtesy VPL

<here to download a set of interactive lesson plans>>

Field trips into Vancouver history

We offer a custom version of The Forbidden walking tour – specially adapted for school groups – that provides an interactive forum for students to learn about B.C. and Canadian social history through Vancouver’s past.

The tour recounts the results of the temperance movement’s push to make B.C. liquor-free in the early 20th century. Their successful campaign in 1917 made Vancouver a dry city – but only in theory. In reality, the city was overwhelmed by illicit activity – bootlegging, gambling and vice. The tour charts the influence of women’s rights, religious fervour, war, corruption and crime on the city’s morals during a time of huge economic growth.

Lasting between 90 minutes and 2 hours, the walking tour makes a unique field trip for any secondary-level student group:

  • Discusses the effects of WWI on Canadian society.
  • Puts a human face on the pre and inter-war periods in Vancouver.
  • Explores Canadian prohibition and involvement of Canada in later U.S. Prohibition.
  • Discovers the role of women in social, political and economic change through the temperance and women’s suffrage movements.
  • Discusses the race riots of 1907, including the events leading to it and the aftermath for Chinese and Japanese people in Vancouver.
  • Draws parallels in contemporary attitudes toward drug prohibition and poverty with social issues and remedies of the early 20th century.

Lesson plans

Click here to download a set of interactive lesson plans you can use in the classroom to help your students get the most out of their Forbidden walking tour.

If you’re a teacher and you’ve used these lesson plans, we’d love to hear your feedback! Please do send us your comments below.

Arrange your student field trip

Our Forbidden walking tour is available for school groups large and small. With our team of storytellers, we can cater to school groups of up to 80 students — split between multiple storytellers. Forbidden can typically be run at any time of day, or in the evening.

We’re happy to work with your schedule, just let us know when you want your field trip to happen and we’ll do our best to accommodate your needs. The meeting point is Cathedral Square, across from the Holy Rosary Cathedral at Dunsmuir & Richards Streets.

The price per student is $15 including all fees and taxes. Teachers and adult chaperones may attend free of charge. For more information, contact us through the form below. We’ll get back to you within 24 hours. If you’d like to a book a tour – or even if you just have questions about how it works – we can guide you through the process.

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