John Atkin is a civic historian and author who organizes and conduct tours for groups and individuals. John has explored Vancouver like few others have and offers an interesting and offbeat insight to the city's architecture, history and neighbourhoods. He has created, and conducts, a number of unique and popular walking tours throughout the City of Vancouver.

John brings an insight of urban planning and development, a love of architecture, and the fascination of the curious to all his tours.

John's walking tours take approximately 2 hours - depending on the group size and route - and are organized year round. Tours cost 10 dollars per person

Custom tours can also be organized for groups or individuals, contact John for information. Please note for groups smaller than ten, there's a 100 dollar minimum charge.



I'm very pleased to announce that I can now accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express and JCB payments for my walking tours. Card payments can be made at the start of each tour.


London 2014: The third week of September.
For a sense of what we get up to here's the 2013 itinerary.

The Changing City keep up to date with the blog. While there check out our other blogs.


Vancouver Heritage Foundation Walks

There Will Be Chicken Feet!

Join me for an early morning exploration of Chinatown. Take a walk through one of the city’s oldest districts and explore a fascinating history framed by unique architecture. We’ll dispel a few myths, explore a few nooks and crannies and look at the future of this important neighbourhood. To warm up we’ll finish off the morning at a local restaurant for a special menu of Dim Sum.

Both walks have been sold out. Do watch for an additional tour later in the summer


Old School Courses:

Strathcona: a study in creative zoning
Saturday April 5th 9:00am - noon

Join us on a walk that looks at the history of this eastside neighbourhood and the RT-zoning which has been quite effective in preserving the area's heritage. Zoning when done right can be a useful tool.

Wood Windows and Storefronts: Lets Go Look
Wednesday, May 21 5:30pm – 7pm

This unique walk will explore heritage windows and storefronts in the Main Street, Chinatown and Strathcona neighbourhoods with Historian John Atkin, and Vintage Woodworks founder Jim Stiven. Examine different styles and eras of buildings and houses, hear a little bit of history while taking a closer look at windows and storefronts to learn how and why old wood windows stand the test of time when vinyl and aluminum fail. Walk start point TBA. End the walk over a beer and burger with John and Jim at the historic restored London Pub (not included in walk fee!).

Book through the Vancouver Heritage Foundation


Off Broadway: a series exploring the neighbourhoods along Vancouver's longest street. All walks are 10-12noon, $12 inclusive per person.

Book through the Vancouver Heritage Foundation

On the Edge of the City - Saturday May 3rd

A Garden Oasis - Saturday May 24th

A Little Bit of Mount Pleasant - Saturday June 7th

The Lost Neighbourhood - Saturday June 14th

An Eclectic Apartment District - Saturday July 12th

Interurbans and Garden Plots - Saturday August 2nd

A Brewery and Cricket - Saturday August 16th

A Little Bit of Everything - Saturday September 6th

A Craftsman Neighbourhood - Saturday October 4th

The End of the Road - Saturday October 18th


Look for Changing City Walks with Andy and John.


Just Announced

How to Research Your House April 8th 6:30pm

It's a chance to learn some secrets about how to find information on the previous life of your house. Presented by the Vancouver Heritage Foundation and the Vancouver Archives.

Register with the Vancouver Heritage Foundation


UBC Continuing Studies:

In February, 2014 I'm presenting the 45 year history of planning for False Creek. Starts February 22nd.

On April 26th we're presenting a one day course which looks at the year 1959 and what it has meant for the future of the city. 

On June 19th we are presenting our second one day course which will look at aspects of Vancouver's heritage and some of the issues involved in saving buildings.

Check the Continuing Education site for more information on upcoming courses in the fall and spring.


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