Welcome to G week at ABC Wednesday. This week, I'd like to show you a bit of Gastown, the historic and cultural heart of Vancouver and the city’s oldest neighbourhood. As the birthplace of Vancouver, Gastown was initially a settlement that sprung up in 1867 around a tavern founded by sailor and gold prospector John "Gassy Jack" Deighton. This historic district's cobblestone streets are lined with Victorian buildings that today house everything from souvenir shops and First Nations galleries to stylish clothing boutiques. With informational plaques placed strategically along the street to tell the history behind various buildings and landmarks, Gastown is an excellent area for a walking tour. Here is the statue commemorating "Gassy Jack."
The steam-powered clock is the most famous landmark of Gastown, although not the oldest. Built to cover a steam grate, part of Vancouver's distributed steam-heating system, the clock was built as a way to harness the steam and to prevent street people from sleeping on the spot in cold weather. The steam powers the clock's sound as it whistles to tell the time.
A modern phenomenon in Gastown is the annual Gastown Grand Prix when cyclists from all over the world attend and vie for the highest one day prize purse for both the winning prize and total prize purse for a Canadian Criterium. The first race was held in 1973 and the tight course was "electrifying ... and ended in dramatic fashion with Bill Wild, one of the finest sprinters of the time, trading punches with transported Kiwi and three time Canadian National Road Champion Max Grace while battling it out in the final sprint. Wild won the race and took home first prize, which was a colour TV." The 80's saw the emergence of professional cycling teams and the 90's brought youth teams to the forefront. In 1994, the GGP could not find a sponsor, so it took a 9-year hiatus until it started up again in 2002. There was a second hiatus between 2009 and 2012, but it's back on track now with men and women from all over the world competing in the GGP.
Photos this week are courtesy of Mr. Google. Don't forget to give a high five to the gorgeous Denise Nesbitt, the creator of ABC Wednesday, and to the gallant Roger, our administrator. Also, don't forget the gang of helpers that give generously of their time by visiting about 10 contributions each week to help ease the load of the leaders. Please be an angel and contact Roger and he will gladly put you on the roster for next week's visits.
- Delta, British Columbia, Canada
- I took very early retirement from teaching in '06 and did some traveling in Europe and the UK before settling down to do some private tutoring. As a voracious reader, I have many books waiting in line for me to read. Tell me I shouldn't read something, and I will. I'm a happy, optimistic person and I love to travel and through that believe that life can be a continuous learning experience. I'm looking forward to traveling more some day. I enjoy walking, cycling, water aerobics & and sports like tennis, volleyball, and fastpitch/baseball. I'm just getting into photography as a hobby and I'm enjoying learning all the bits and bobs of my digital camera. My family is everything to me and I'm delighted to be the mother of two girls and the Gramma of a boy and a girl. I may be a Gramma, but I'm at heart just a girl who wants to have fun.