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 payments for my walking tours. Card payments can be made at the start of each tour.


Interested in London: The third week of September is when we go to London for a week of walks.
The previous year's itinerary is here.

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


Shaughnessy Heights: "The Swellest and Most Beautiful Neighbourhood”

This walking tour offers an opportunity to be more familiar with the First Shaughnessy neighbourhood ahead of public consultation on how best to manage the rich heritage of the area. With its winding avenues, lush landscape and grand homes, Shaughnessy, originally created and managed by the Canadian Pacific Railway, is one of Vancouver’s most desirable neighbourhoods and coincidentally, the city’s first planned community.

On this walk, we’ll explore the neighbourhood’s heritage value, and examine its complex and intriguing development history while discovering some fabulous architecture.

On this walk, we’ll explore the neighbourhood’s heritage value, examine its complex and intriguing development history while discovering some fabulous architecture.

Check with the Heritage Foundation for additional dates

Book these tours through the Vancouver Heritage Foundation


The Other Chinatown: Franklin and Commercial Drive
10:00am April 18th. $15/20
On this walk we're are exploring the now-lost Chinatown that once occupied the blocks around Franklin and Commercial Drive. Temples, association buildings and a hotel were once part of the bustling neighbourhood.

In partnership with the Chinese Canadian Historical Society of BC
$15.00 for members, $20 for non-members.


The Summer Series with the Heritage Foundation

Explore the length of East 25th and King Edward Ave. from the edge of the city at Boundary Road to the forest of Pacific Spirit Park. Along its length the avenue transforms from ordinary street to formal boulevard while crossing an intriguing geography of former bogs, ravines and hills, revealing incredibly diverse neighbourhoods and fascinating residential architecture.

All tours are Saturdays from 10am - 12pm
for the June 14th walk, Sunday morning at 10am.

Register Here

Saturday May 2nd -
At the Edge of the City (Renfrew-Collingwood)

Saturday May 16th -
A Stream and a Ravine (Kensington-Cedar Cottage)

Saturday May 23rd -
Former Farms & Interurbans (Kensington-Cedar Cottage)

Sunday June 14th -
The Wonky Grid (Kensington-Cedar Cottage)

Saturday June 20th -
Markets and Market Gardens (Little Mountain)

Saturday July 4th -
Hobbit and Other Houses (South Cambie)

Saturday July 18th -
The Edge of Shaughnessy (Shaughnessy)

Saturday August 8th -
Asthma Flats (Arbutus Ridge)

Saturday October 3rd -
On the Ridge (Dunbar-Southlands)

Saturday October 10th -
The City Ends (Dunbar-Southlands, Pacific Spirit Park)

How to Research Your House

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.

Check with the Vancouver Heritage Foundation for upcoming dates


UBC Continuing Studies: the Spring course

Invisible Boundaries
February 28 - March 28, 2015

In this course, we're exploring a variety of boundaries in Vancouver, from the old city boundary at 16th Avenue to neighbourhood and zoning boundaries that continue to have an impact on Vancouver today.
One classroom lecture and 4 walking tours.


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


Chinese Canadian Historical Society of BC 10th Anniversary Banquet.

April 11th 6:00pm. Fraser Court Restaurant
Ticket information and Poster

Jean Barman Honoured at CCHSBC Banquet

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