Walk This Way: AIBC Architectural Walking Tours Return on Canada Day


Bennys Market, Strathcona. Owned and operated by the same family since 1917.

The Architecture Institute of British Columbia (AIBC) returns this summer with six in-depth walking tours, comprising a selection of Vancouver’s most significant architecture on the peninsula.

Vancouver has entered the world of urban construction fairly recently; having been founded in 1886, a short but directed summer stroll can offer citizens or tourists a surprisingly full picture of how our city was founded and the causes that have made it the way it is today. For those interested in how the city has grown into its adolescence, the walking tours are not to be missed.

Media Release:

Walk This Way – AIBC Architectural Walking Tours Begin on Canada Day
Get a unique glimpse into Vancouver’s past and present, featuring six local neighbourhoods

Vancouver, B.C. Did you know that Vancouver architects are responsible for making the famed CBC “bunker” building almost completely wireless? In a 2009 renovation, architects helped navigate technology challenges by hiding wires, cables and ducts below the CBC floor with removable floor tiles. Believe it or not, the architects were able to complete all the renovations without stopping the flow of on-air broadcasting! Learn more fun facts about Vancouver and how architects shaped the city on the Architectural Institute of British Columbia’s (AIBC) Architectural Walking Tours. Starting on July 1, tours will run Thursday to Monday throughout July and August. Participants can explore six key Vancouver neighbourhoods with expert guides and gain insight into some of Vancouver’s most iconic buildings.

Jameson House, Ceperley Rounsfell Building, and Royal Financial Building

“Educational, entertaining and suitable for all ages, the AIBC Architectural Walking Tours are an engaging way to experience the unique architecture of B.C.’s largest city by foot. Whether you’re a tourist or a local, you’ll see a side of the city never seen before,” says Mark Vernon, CEO, Architectural Institute of B.C.

Vancouver tours include Gastown, Chinatown, Downtown, Yaletown, the West End and Strathcona. Architectural Walking tour participants will experience:

  1. Gastown: Explore how building scale and street layout offer clues to the expansion and relocation of the downtown centre from Gastown to its current location. See how heritage restoration and preservation guidelines and initiatives set up in the 1970s have transformed and renewed this historical part of Vancouver.
  2. Chinatown: Stroll market streets, taking in retail, commercial and residential structures built by some of the founding merchants of this historic district.
  3. Downtown: Discover modern and contemporary architecture while travelling through Vancouver’s business district, home to British Columbia’s tallest buildings.
  4. Yaletown: Learn about how the City of Vancouver transformed this industrial area from a contaminated wasteland into one of the trendiest and most vibrant neighbourhoods in Canada.
  5. The West End: Walk through a mix of historic buildings and explore architectural influences that have shaped this area over the decades. From Queen Anne style homes to 70s style postmodern residential high rises, this tour has it all.
  6. Strathcona: Experience Vancouver’s oldest and most diverse residential area. Strathcona has remained the city’s “hidden gem” for years. Learn how this community has survived and flourished over the years.
Vancouver Chinatown Millennium Gate

Architectural Walking Tours are $10 and run throughout July and August. Tours are available Thursday through Monday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. in Vancouver. Space is limited, so the public is invited to visit aibc.ca/tours, email tours@aibc.ca or call 1.800.667.0753 (toll free in B.C.) to book a tour today!

Tours begin inside the AIBC lobby at 100 – 440 Cambie Street. Participants are asked to arrive 15 minutes before departure time. A distance of 3 kilometres (2 miles) is covered over a period of 1.5 to 2 hours.

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James is an architect and writer from Vancouver, British Columbia with a passion for affordable housing, public space, design, and the Pacific Northwest. James has worked on architecture projects across the lower mainland and has written for Canadian Architect, Objekt International, and Price Tags. He holds a Masters in Architecture from the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design and a Bachelors of Applied Science in Civil-Structural Engineering from the University of Waterloo. James has been an AIBC architectural awards jury member, has served on UBC SALA Thesis Committee, and was awarded a special mention in the Urbanarium's Missing Middle competition. He lives in Gastown with his wife Errin, a cool optometrist responsible for his maple glasses.