At the hop

on

The Steamworks is Gastown’s showpiece brew pub, and at 7.30pm the atmosphere is a happy mix of after work drinkers and visitors. Steamworks itself does an impressive list of in house beers and it’s a good starting point for a bar hop around Vancover’s oldest neighbourhood.

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There are dozens of places to choose from here, but perhaps none as unique as Guilt and Company, a basement bar with nightly live music.

“Are you one of the dancers?” asks the guy on the door. I’m not entirely sure if he’s winding me up or hitting on me. When I say no he refuses to tell me what he’s talking about.

It transpires that tonight is jazz night, and the band are joined by members of a local traditional dancing group. The theme is very much 1930s with a stunning floor show of lindy hop and  Charleston.

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The party continues late into the night, and the only thing that tempts me out of bed before noon is another warm and sunny day. After lunch at Granville Island Market, a brisk walk takes me into the Kitsalano district, offering yet another view of the city skyline.

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Vanier Park is home to three museums, and the Maritime Museum has a patriotic exhibition looking at the race to successfully chart the North West passage of the Arctic. Conditions were notoriously harsh, and often fatal for those who tried.

In the early twentieth century the Royal Canadian Mounted Police established bases in the region, combining law and order with a kind of social services department for the Inuits.

The journey to and from the area was taken by the ship RCMP Roch, which now sits within the museum.

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