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The Forbidden Downtown and Chinatown Walking Tour

  • Visit two fascinating historic neighborhoods
  • Get a glimpse of the city’s Prohibition-era mayhem
  • Hear stories of corrupt politicians and cops
The Forbidden Downtown and Chinatown Walking Tour
From US$22.70
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  • Overview
  • What to Expect
  • Important Information
  • Reviews
  • Q&A
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The Forbidden Downtown and Chinatown Walking Tour
From US$22.67
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.
What to Expect
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.
Write a ReviewReviews (48)

1 - 5 of 31 reviews

Reviewed 6 days ago
Aman was a fantastic Storyteller and historian.

My friend and I book this tour late and happened to get in. Aman was our tour guide. He is an excellent historian and storyteller. Learned a lot about the history of Vancouver. The 2.5 hr tour just sped by. Would recommend it to anybody....More

Thank Quita L
Reviewed 6 days ago
When a local loves it...........

....you know it's good. I've been to several of these walking tours and always bring out of town guests when I have company. Will and his crew are always so knowledgeable and fun.

Thank CPHunter
Will W, Owner at Forbidden Vancouver Walking Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 4 days ago

Thanks for your review CP! We do everything we can to make our experiences fun AND a chance to learn some remarkable Vancouver history. We appreciate your coming back for more!

Reviewed 1 week ago
Excellent way to learn about the city and get your bearings

This walking tour was a great way to get to know about the super interesting history of Vancouver. It's one thing reading about it, and another thing being in these places. We felt like we knew the city better coming out of this tour and...More

Thank Neha G
Reviewed 1 week ago
Lenard did the tour justice!

I did this tour on Sunday June 10th, and Lenard (without the o) made the tour. His enthusiasm for the history of Vancouver and teaching that history was apparent. I knew Vancouver was founded by racists and bigots, but WOW!, I never knew the extent...More

Thank Benjamin D
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile
First day in Vancouver did not disappoint

The tour was very informative and the guide, Lenard, was very entertaining and answered any questions the group had. Great experience!

Thank A TripAdvisor Member
Will W, Owner at Forbidden Vancouver Walking Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

Delighted to hear you enjoyed your time with Lenard on the Forbidden Tour!

Questions & Answers
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30 April 2018|
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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.