At the north end of Strathcona and the DTES, you’ll find the sub-district of Railtown, a creative industrial area home to a multitude of businesses, artist studios, and unique spaces. Railtown runs from Gore Ave to Heatley Ave, bound by the railway tracks and waterfront to the north, and Alexander Street to the south. You may have passed through Railtown before, or seen some of the stark white buildings cross your Instagram feed, but there’s a lot more to learn and discover about this corner of the city than initially meets the eye.
The currents of cultural history run criss-cross, deep, and dynamic through this area. Railtown is located on the unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and Sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations, whose cultures and economies shaped the land since time immemorial – hundreds of years before the first settler establishments and industrial businesses were built here. This area was also part and parcel of the historic heart of the Japanese Canadian community before they faced dispossession and internment during the Second World War. The area continues to be a culturally important centre for the Japanese Canadian community today. The area’s incredible history and distinct historical buildings bring a character to Railtown that doesn’t quite feel like anywhere else in Vancouver.
Today in Railtown you’ll find a hub of apparel companies, globally recognized design firms, furniture manufacturers and a whole host of other multifaceted businesses, including electronic music producers. There’s a lot going on here to open your eyes to, and we’ve pulled together a list of things you likely didn’t know about Railtown to get you inspired.
Read on for a list of 10 Things You Likely Didn’t Know About Railtown below.