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.


Heritage Week
In 2015, the theme is “Main Street: At the Heart of the Community”.
Vancouver has several ‘Main Streets’ that have grown into our most vibrant neighbourhoods including Commercial Drive, Granville and Hastings Streets, and of course Main Street itself. Vancouver also has other streets that once were vibrant centres but have faded as the city has developed around them.

During Heritage Week, several events will explore some of the current and former main streets of Vancouver, their legacy of historic buildings and places, and the opportunities for connecting heritage and community vitality.
I'll be offering three walking tours through the Vancouver Heritage Foundation exploring the history, changing fortunes and present-day opportunities of three of Vancouver’s main streets, each at the heart of once separate communities.
Vancouver’s historic downtown: from Gastown to Hastings Street
February 20th, 10am – 12pm
Hudson Street, Marpole
February 21st, 2pm– 4pm

Commercial Street, Cedar Cottage
February 22nd, 10am – 12pm

Book these tours through the Vancouver Heritage Foundation


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.

Saturday Feb 14th. 10:00am
Thursday Feb 26th. 10:00am

Book these tours through the Vancouver Heritage Foundation

How to Research Your House March 11, 2015

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: New course for the Spring

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.

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