1890s era CVA photo of the East End taken from what is now Olympic Village. The bridge is Main Street

My East End Vancouver/Strathcona walking tour is by far the most popular of my History Walks. It is no wonder... The East End is Vancouver's oldest and most fascinating neighbourhood. 

The humble East End was the first Vancouver home to thousands of people fresh off the boat or train arriving from all over the world. Street by street, block by block, the East End developed ethnic enclaves. This neighbourhood boasted the first Synagogue and first Jewish neighbourhood, Vancouver's first Little Italy, Japantown, and Vancouver's only Black identified neighbourhood, Hogan's Alley. 

Girls in Hogan's Alley in the 1930s - Vancouver Province

Some blocks were dominated by Scandinavians, others by Yugoslavs, Russians and Ukrainians. Over the years the East End became Chinatown's residential district, home to renowned authors Wayson Choy (The Jade Peony/Paper Shadows) and Paul Yee (Salt Water City/Ghost Train). 

Home to three historic red light districts, an unsettling mix of non-British, mostly working class immigrants, three of Vancouver's four Depression era hobo camps, innumerable bootleg joints, even gangs, Vancouver's East End was often viewed by outsiders as an unsavoury, even dangerous place where "those people" lived.  

East End Bootleggers' houses being padlocked

But it was also home to Angelo Branca, who went on to become Supreme Court Justice for British Columbia, Canada's "Amelia Earhart" Tosca Trasolini, 

Tosca Trasolini and the Flying Seven in 1936 - CVA Photo 371-478

boxing legends Jimmy McLarnin and Phil Palmer, NDP Premier Dave Barrett, media personality, musician, filmmaker and actress Sook Yin Lee, CBC programmer, poet and author Bill Richardson, Canadian singing legend k. d. lang, and the Montreal Bakery where the "royal buns" were baked for the 1939 visit to Vancouver by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. And that is just scratching the surface!

Original cover art for OPENING DOORS IN VANCOUVER'S EAST END - STRATHCONA by Carole Itter

Every one of Strathcona's houses has a story to tell. Want to time travel? Come for a History Walk through Vancouver's oldest and most fascinating neighbourhood, the East End.

Departs: 696 East Hastings (at Heatley) at 10am. 
Duration: 2.5 to 3 hours depending on the size of the group.
Cost: $25 per person

Parking: There is plenty of free parking along Heatley Avenue, Hastings Street, and Keefer Street further South.
E-mail: to reserve a space on my regularly scheduled tours (See current tour schedule), or for more information on how to book a private History Walk.

See TripAdvisor Reviews. History Walks in Vancouver have received an Award of Excellence from TripAdvisor.