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Photos: Here's what Gastown looked like 120 years ago

Vancouver's original neighbourhood.

Gastown is the historic centre of what became Vancouver.

After 'Gassy' Jack Deighton set up a bar just outside of the Hastings Mill property (because they ran a dry mill) a community grew moving from a makeshift neighourhood to an official city in under 20 years.

And then it promptly burned down in 1886.

What we know as Gastown was rebuilt, though, and quickly became the centre of a growing city during the turn of the century.

These photos are from that era, the 15 years between 1887 and 1902. And remember, in 1886 the city was essentially flattened by the fire, which only left a couple of buildings standing.

The archival images show how fast the city went from pioneer town to city with electricity, trolleys, and visits from British Royalty (the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall came around in 1901).

Even by 1896, it appears the local transit system was bustling; one photo shows people crammed onto a streetcar.

There's also something that has become popular again more recently: grocery deliveries. Of course, in 1898 it was boys with a pair of horses and a cart instead of cars and trucks.

If you want to see more photos of the area, try this search on the city's archival site.

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