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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.
Locations visited
Cathedral of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary
Vancouver ChinaTown
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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.
  • Visit two fascinating historic neighborhoods
  • Get a glimpse of the city’s Prohibition-era mayhem
  • Hear stories of corrupt politicians and cops
  • Fun alternative to traditional history tours
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All reviewsgreat guideprohibition eraanswered any questionstour guideglennlinanevadainterruptiondrugamanstoriesstorytellingrowancityleaderinfopace
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1 - 5 of 68 reviews
Reviewed 6 days ago
Great tour!

Lenard was a wonderful guide and I loved learning all about the early days of Vancouver and getting to explore more areas of the city!

Thank Stephanie B
ForbiddenVan, Manager at Forbidden Vancouver Walking Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 4 days ago

Hi Stephanie, Thank you for your review of Lenard's great tour! He will be thrilled to see your review. I hope you'll join us again soon for another tour of Vancouver! Best, Roxanne K.

Reviewed 1 week ago
Great Tour

So much history (the good, the bad and the ugly). Aman was a wonderful storyteller and we learned so much about how the city came to be.

Thank 67cbs
ForbiddenVan, Manager at Forbidden Vancouver Walking Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 4 days ago

Hi 67cbs, I'm so glad you enjoyed your tour with Aman, we think he is a wonderful storyteller too! I hope you'll join us again soon to learn about all aspects of Vancouver's history. Best, Roxanne K.

Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile
Great tour with knowledgeable tour leader.

Lina didn't miss a beat. A very informative and highly researched tour. Even the rain couldn't dampen the spirits of those who walked the walk. Nice pace with stops along the way and photo opportunities. Lina was very entertaining and professional and happy to answer...More

Thank Meander499224
Reviewed 1 week ago
Excellent tour guide, fun tour

This tour was so interesting! Glenn, our tour guide, was friendly, engaging, and an excellent story-teller. We learned a lot about some of the shady characters in the history of Vancouver and what the Chinese immigrants went through in the early 20th century. The length...More

Thank Sophia C
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile
A step back in time

We very much enjoyed our tour with Lenard. He was entertaining in his storytelling and kept us engaged. I appreciated Lenard keeping it real and not sugar coating the events. I enjoyed the photos shared as well. Side note: if you are not into history,...More

Thank BS0612
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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.
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