Georgia Street & Chinatown

Free Walking Tour Vancouver

In-depth Chinatown visit

2-hour tour

Pay what you feel

For nearly a century Vancouver’s original Chinatown was the largest in Canada and 2nd largest in North America. Today it sits at a crossroads between recognition, preservation, and development. As one of the founding neighbourhoods of the city, its residents faced undue hardships and challenges, yet persevered in helping to create the distinct city we have today. It’s the perfect place to learn about the fascinating, resilient, and at times very dark history of Chinese immigration to Canada.

Highlights

Vancouver Public Library Central Branch

BC Place stadium

Beatty Street Drill Hall/Armoury

The Sun Tower

Skwachàys Lodge

Millennium Gate

Shanghai Alley

Chinatown Memorial Monument

Sam Kee Building

Dr. Sun Yat Sen Park and Garden

Tour Details
Availability:

May through September:
Tuesdays & Sundays at 10am
Wednesdays & Saturdays at 2pm*
*2pm tours end after September 29

October Schedule:
Sundays at 10am
If you’re on time, you’re on tour!

Bookings are highly recommended, as we assign the number of guides according to the number of people booked. To avoid large groups with just one guide please complete your booking below.


Duration:

Approx. 2 hours


Price:

Free! We only ask that you tip your guide at the end if you enjoyed the tour.

Tell me more about free tours

Comparable tours will cost you $20-$30 per person plus gratuity. Our tours are free but our guides work for tips only. A tip is the best way to say “thank you” for a great tour.


Meeting point:

The steps on the northern side of the Vancouver Art Gallery. Please note this is the Georgia Street side of the gallery, between Howe Street and Hornby Street, and facing the Hotel Georgia and HSBC.

Please note this is the Georgia Street side of the gallery, between Howe Street and Hornby Street, and facing the Hotel Georgia and HSBC.


End point:

In Chinatown near Dr. Sun Yat Sen Classical Chinese Gardens. Your guide will be happy to give you recommendations for places to enjoy after the tour or provide directions to your next destination.


Distance covered:

Approx. 2.2km (1.3 miles)


Weather contingency:

Our tours run rain or shine!


Participation requirements:

Please note that we cannot accommodate school groups on public tours. Plan your school group tour here.

Discover Vancouver’s Multicultural Heritage

Beginning at the Vancouver Art Gallery, this tour moves east along Georgia Street to introduce you to the Vancouver Public Library, the old Post Office, BC Place, the CBC, and discusses some of Vancouver’s military history at the Beatty Street Drill Hall and Armoury.

Moving into Chinatown, your Tour Guy will walk you through the tumultuous early history of Chinese immigration to Canada. Beginning with the origin story of Asian immigration to Vancouver, you’ll learn about the racism, exploitation, and hardships experienced by the earliest immigrants who came over to ‘Gold Mountain’ (the west coast of North America) and ‘Saltwater City’ (Vancouver).

Your local guide will introduce you to the Association Buildings, Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Park, the Sam Kee Building, and the amazing stories of resilience of Chinese immigrants who played a major role not only in Vancouver’s history, but also in shaping the nation of Canada as a whole. Ending on a high note, we’ll discuss the present-day legacy in this cosmopolitan city, where a third of the population boasts Chinese heritage and a truly unique hybrid culture has emerged in North America.

Good to Know

Each tour is unique! You’ll see the main tour stops plus your guide’s favorite spots along the way.

Our tours run rain or shine. Please dress for the weather!

We do not charge anything for this tour and our guides are not paid for it, so please tip your guide if you enjoyed the experience!

While we can’t accommodate school trips on our free public tours, we would be happy to lead your school group on this tour route! Check out our school groups offers here.

The modern city of Vancouver was founded on the traditional territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations. These territories were never ceded through treaty, war or surrender. Click to learn more about Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples.