Gastown’s Cobblestone Street Repairs

Comments 3 by Rebecca Bollwitt

Before you gasp in disbelief as City crews patch potholes on Water Street with asphalt, covering and replacing what look like historic cobblestone bricks, you should know that they are actually a product of an early disco era.

The concrete pavers were put in place 40 years ago in an effort to preserve Gastown’s history, avoiding a deeper slide into disrepair.

From “With talk of demolishing the area becoming more widespread, a group of dedicated citizens took it upon themselves to save Gastown’s distinctive architecture and character. The city rallied around them. Gastown was not just saved, it was reborn.”

Maple Tree Square, where Gassy Jack first arrived from New Westminster by canoe, was built up in 1972 and the brick-like blocks were installed on formed plazas and roadways.

1968 Before reconstruction at Maple Tree Square (Powell, Water, Carroll, Alexander):

Archives item# CVA 780-689.

1968 Mockups for Maple Tree Square

Archives item# CVA 780-698 & CVA 780-705.

1972 Maple Tree Square Construction:

Archives item# CVA 780-578

Archives item# CVA 780-581 & CVA 780-587

Archives item# CVA 780-602. Photos Courtesy of the Vancouver Archives.

There was a push to have Gastown declared a historic site in 1971 but it wasn’t actually officially designated as a National Historic Site until 2009.

City Engineer Peter Judd told Metro News that the roadways won’t be all asphalt. The City of Vancouver plans to repair the road while maintaining the old-timey feel that locals and tourist have come to enjoy.

3 Comments  —  Comments Are Closed

  1. FarzadWednesday, August 1st, 2012 — 1:38pm PDT

    The cobblestone is not historic, that doesn’t give the city the right to do what they’re doing…….and making it ugly!

  2. TEA & TWO SLICES: On Criminalizing Kids And Money Saving Pointers From The VPD : Scout MagazineThursday, August 2nd, 2012 — 12:03pm PDT

    […] at it, any plans to prevent Gastown from sliding into the ocean?Also, Gastown is a myth, as Miss 604 notes: “Before you gasp in disbelief as City crews patch potholes on Water Street with […]

  3. The Lost Souls of Gastown Tour | Gregarious GirdlerThursday, November 7th, 2013 — 6:08am PST

    […] One thing I wasn’t expecting was that the tour guide for Lost Souls would be “in character” and therefore was using old timey language and also her historical character was marginally related to all the big events in Vancouver history. We covered things like the Great Vancouver Fire and smallpox outbreaks. However, as mentioned above the best part of the tour was learning about how nothing in Gastown is real. The cobblestone streets, the statue of Gassy Jack and the “Steam” clock were all installed in the 1970′s! […]

Also on