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Itinerary
Meet a guide in Cathedral Square, then set out on foot through some of Vancouver’s most shocking history. You’ll find out how Prohibition closed Vancouver saloons and created an underground world of bootleggers, mob bosses, and shady power brokers. Hear the story of Vancouver mayor L.D. Taylor, known for his wild parties, and how Vancouver rum-runners learned to keep American bars stocked with illegal booze.

In Chinatown, find out the real meaning of a back alley “blind pig” while walking through a neighborhood whose opium dens once thrived. As you walk, you’ll see key Vancouver landmarks as well, including Sun Tower, the ornate Dominion Building, and the cobblestone streets of Maple Tree Square, where you’ll finish the tour close to top attractions and restaurants.
Locations visited
Gastown
Cathedral of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary
Vancouver ChinaTown
See all 4 locations
Overview
Discover the scandalous side of Vancouver history on a walking tour that explores the former speakeasies, back alleys, and opium dens of Victory Square and Gastown. You’ll see some of the Vancouver’s key landmarks while learning how the Prohibition era brought an underworld of crime and gambling to the frontier city.
Highlights
  • Visit two fascinating historic neighborhoods
  • Get a glimpse of the city’s Prohibition-era mayhem
  • Hear stories of corrupt politicians and cops
  • Fun alternative to traditional history tours
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1 - 5 of 52 reviews
Reviewed 6 days ago via mobile
Fascinating, informative & entertaining!

Our tour guide Glenn (with two N’s!) was knowledgeable, enthusiastic and made sure that everyone on the tour had a good time. Each of the stops we made around the Gastown and Chinatown areas was accompanied by an illuminating story, informing the group of the...More

Thank ChantelW125
ForbiddenVan, Communications and Operations team at Forbidden Vancouver Walking Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 4 days ago

Hi ChantelW125, Thank you for the great review of the Forbidden Tour! We absolutely love sharing the stories of Vancouver's Forbidden past and I couldn't;t agree more with you, Glenn with 2 N's is a knowledgable and welcoming storyteller! We hope to see you again...More

Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile
Forbidden Downtown and Chinatown walking tour

My husband and I thought the tour sounded interesting. Our guide, Roxanne, was engaging and extremely knowledgeable. She explained the history of the neighborhoods we visited. We both found the tour rather depressing, but that wasn’t her fault. It was the areas history. Tour was...More

Thank Alexander N
Will W, Owner at Forbidden Vancouver Walking Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

Thanks for your review Alexander N. Pleased to hear you appreciated Roxanne's abilities and efforts as a guide, although it sounds like the Forbidden Tour wasn't exactly your thing. Perhaps some of the darker city history we discuss on the walking tour wasn't what you...More

Reviewed 2 weeks ago
Worth attending this tour

We enjoyed our time with Glenn. He was very informative and likeable. He gave us lots of information about different aspects of Vancouver, in specific Gastown, which you don't see when you just visit them. He took us safely to some creepy places in the...More

Thank Emad V
ForbiddenVan, Communications and Operations Team at Forbidden Vancouver Walking Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 2 weeks ago

Hello Emad V, Thanks for the review! It sounds like you had a great time with Glenn while visiting new places in the city. I hope that you enjoyed the rest of your stay in Vancouver! Best, Lina F.

Reviewed 3 weeks ago
Loved this walking tour! Forbidden Vancouver with Nevada.

Visiting from Nova Scotia. Took walking tour with Nevada Yates-Robart last night - and it far exceeded my expectations. The 2 hours flew by. Nevada told so many stories and shared the history of these nooks and crannies of Vancouver. She made the past come...More

Thank barb1960
ForbiddenVan, Communications and Operations team at Forbidden Vancouver Walking Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 2 weeks ago

Hello barb1960, Thank you so much for your lovely review! I can not agree more, Nevada is a fabulous storyteller, she has such a an inviting presence that encourages our curiosity and lets our imaginations run wild. She was so very pleased to read your...More

Reviewed 3 weeks ago
Fascinating and friendly

Our tour guide, Lina, was excellent. Unruffled, even with the occasional interruption from tour members or locals! The tour we did was a long one (nearly 2.5 hours) but it was a busy Friday night and some latecomers delayed the start. It’s a tour rich...More

Thank LondonTable_for_One
ForbiddenVan, Communications and Operations Team at Forbidden Vancouver Walking Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 3 weeks ago

Hello Chloe @ LondonTable_for_One, Thank you so much for the lovely words about our tour this past Friday! It was a pleasure to meet and show you around the city that I love so much. I am fascinated every day with our history, our present...More

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Questions & Answers
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shellyhessma
30 April 2018|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from air_miser | Reviewed this property |
When we did it, it was just over 90 minutes. We didn't tour by the the Steam Clock but the tour ends literally one block away from it, so it's easy to find.
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