Canada has a new National Historic Site and it is right here in downtown Vancouver.
Federal environment minister Catherine McKenna says the birthplace of Vancouver, Gastown, now officially has a Parks Canada Historic site designation.
McKenna says there will be some historic signs being posted but other than that no other rules or restrictions will affect Gastown.
“No but I think it is a very important recognition of this area of Gastown about the history including about the history of the First Nations. As we go into our 150th birthday celebrations it is very important that we celebrate Canada’s heritage.”
Gregor Robertson says a lot of the story about how the city began is not widely known for example why Gastown is built of stone.
It has to do with a massive fire in June of 1886.
“The city burned to the ground and there were a whole bunch of the settlers here who were rescued by Squamish and Tsleil Waututh people in canoes from the shores here. They were trapped along the beach by the fire and they were saved by the Squamish and Tsleil Waututh paddlers who came over when they saw the little city that it was burning. That story doesn’t get told very often.”
Gastown is named after John ‘Gassy Jack’ Deighton, who arrived in the area in 1867, and ran the first pub in the settlement that would become Vancouver.
History aside Robertson says improvements to address traffic issues are coming to Water street.