Gastown is one of Vancouver’s most vibrant and unique areas. As the first downtown core of the city, the neighbourhood has transitioned into a centre of innovation and truly memorable experiences, for locals and tourists alike, while maintaining a strong connection to its history.
Containing something for everyone, Gastown offers a diverse mix of retail and dining options housed within authentic heritage architecture, alongside a vibrant creative and tech scene. This stylish neighbourhood covers twelve city blocks and the market area is home to approximately 108,128 residents, making it one of the most densely populated areas in the Lower Mainland.
Population by Age
The Gastown market area is home to 108,128 residents. The population has grown 12% from 2011-2016 - almost double the growth of Vancouver (6.5%) and much higher than Metro Vancouver (4.6%). Area residents are young, working professionals with 37% aged 20-34.
Language & Ethnic Origins
English is the dominant household language spoken in the Gastown market area (76%), higher than Vancouver (66%) and Metro Vancouver (67%). It also has a lower percentage of residents reporting Chinese origins (13%) compared with Vancouver (28%) and Metro Vancouver (21%).
Of the 65,400 households in the BIA catchment area, just 37% are families. This is significantly lower than Vancouver (57%) and Metro Vancouver (71%). In keeping with this fact, the average number of persons per household is 1.6.
Education & Occupation
Gastown area residents are highly educated, with 32% attaining a Bachelor’s Degree. This is higher than Vancouver (26%) and Metro Vancouver (20%). Additionally, 18% have achieved education above the bachelor level. The most common occupations for residents are in sales and service (22%).
Income & Spending
The median household income for residents in the BIA catchment area is $58,802, which is lower than both Vancouver ($65,327) and Metro Vancouver ($72,662). As a result, the average annual expenditure per household in Gastown ($76,538) is notably lower than Vancouver ($84,710) and Metro Vancouver ($87,106).
The Gastown BIA is entirely zoned HA-2 to recognize the special status of the area and ensure the maintenance of the neighbourhood’s turn of the century historical architecture. Gastown is one of the top four BIAs for office space, with 39 locations and 885,800 sq. ft.
98% of all dwellings in the Gastown catchment area are apartments. This is significantly higher than Vancouver (80%) and Metro Vancouver (58%). Just 32% of residents own their home, much lower than the figure for Vancouver (47%). One-third of the housing mix in this area is new (2001 and newer).
Gastown is a well-connected neighbourhood. Vancouver's iconic Waterfront Station sits on the western boundary, offering easy access to all SkyTrain lines, West Coast Express and Seabus.
Doing Business Here
A total of 501 businesses operate within the Gastown BIA. The dominant industries are retail (27%), professional, scientific & technical services (19%), accommodation & food services (15%) and information & cultural (11%).
Commercial Business Size
Most businesses in Gastown (44%) have fewer than five employees, although 38% have 5-20 employees.
Vacancy rates in the Gastown BIA are low, with lease rates at approximately $62 per sq. ft. for ground level retail and $35 per sq. ft. for office.