5 Summer Walking Tours in Vancouver to Try During COVID-19

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It’s a great time to be a tourist in your own town, supporting local operators and businesses while getting better acquainted with your home. While many activities have been scaled back due to COVID-19, these summer walking tours in Vancouver are up and running, with physical distancing and other safety protocols in place. Grab your small group/bubble and enjoy learning about nature, culture, and history outdoors:

5 Summer Walking Tours in Vancouver

Talaysay Tours: Talking Trees Tour in Stanley Park
When: Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 12:00pm
Book: Online here
Details: Each plant, each tree has its own special story. Explore Vancouver’s iconic Stanley Park, Beaver Lake, with a local Indigenous guide/cultural ambassador who will highlight how the local trees and plants of the Pacific Northwest are harvested by Indigenous people for food, medicine and technology. Talaysay guides, who are members of the local Indigenous communities and the surrounding region, will share with you our ecological practices, ancient and contemporary history, stories, legends and Indigenous ways of living.

Talking Trees Tour
Talking Trees Tour. Talaysay Tours Photo.

Talaysay Tours: Spoken Treasures Tour in Stanley Park
When: Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 2:00pm
Online here
Explore the rich history of Stanley Park and Vancouver through Indigenous eyes.  On this tour you will join an Indigenous Ambassador-Guide along the Stanley Park seawall, for an enriched, leisurely, 1.1 km, historical and cultural walk. Many of these stories and historical accounts remain in Indigenous oral traditional, yet to be in history books, of the Indigenous and settler history of the development of Vancouver. 

Powell Street Walking Tours

VJLS-JH: Historic Powell Street Walking Tours
When: Thursdays at 1:30pm and Saturdays at 11:00am
Book: Online here
Details: The Vancouver Japanese Language School and Japanese Hall (VJLS-JH), which was recently designated a National Historic Site by Parks Canada, just launched this tour. Learn about the hidden history of the thriving Japanese-Canadian historic neighbourhood community prior to World War II, the strength displayed by Japanese Canadians during internment, and the resilient Downtown Eastside community of today.

Forbidden Vancouver: The Really Gay History Tour of Vancouver
When: Sundays at 10:00am
Book: Online here
Details: From drag kings and two spirit warriors, to queer church ministers and transgender crime fighters, this walking tour is a celebration of the unsung heroes who forever changed the social fabric of our city. Hear about the bravest pioneers of the LGBTQ2+ community, the famous “kiss-in” of Granville Street, drag queens who made a difference, and more.

Really Gay History Tour

Forbidden Vancouver: The Lost Souls of Gastown
When: Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays at 7:00pm
Book: Online here
Details: Follow the lamplight of your guide into Vancouver’s earliest and most gruesome history. You’ll step inside a world of murder, revenge, and true grit in a dramatic retelling of Victorian Gastown’s earliest stories. Tales of deadly fire and smallpox emerge from the shadows as you venture through cobblestone streets to the shocking finale in this unique performance-theatre experience.

Bonus: Try the free Legends of Vancouver self-guided walking tour that takes you to places around Stanley Park that are talked about in Pauline Johnson‘s Legends of Vancouver, first published in 1911.

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