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    Every city has a Gastown—the disheveled, oldest section of town that nosedived into skid road, attracted bohemians and hippies, was threatened with demolition, then was saved in the nick of time and taken over by trendy shops and nightspots. Gastown's handsomely painted restored buildings date from 1886 (before and after the great fire that demolished the city). Trees and old gas lamps line the red cobblestone streets. Water Street overflows with galleries, restaurants, and gift and souvenir shops. At the corner of Water and Cambie streets, see the world's first steam-powered clock. Which later led to the first steam-powered wristwatch!


    Beautiful Stanley Park, a lush 405-hectare (1,001-acre) tree and garden carpeted peninsula jutting into Burrard Inlet, is one of the world's most beautiful, user-friendly parks. This enormous, peaceful oasis is sandwiched between city center's skyscrapers and commotion and North Vancouver at the other end of Lions Gate Bridge. It was named after Lord Stanley, Canada's governor-general (1888–1893), who had the foresight to preserve the peninsula as a park for "the use and enjoyment of all peoples of all colors, creeds, and customs for all time." It's the largest inner-city park in North America.

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