Railtown is the ultimate mix of new and old (mostly still old), the name is unofficial but it's been called the new up-and-coming neighbourhood in Vancouver, located just east of Gastown. It was originally known as Japantown in the early 1900's for the immigrants that set up shops, markets, and their homes in the community which was part of a young Vancouver at the time. The Vancouver Japanese Language School, the Vancouver Buddhist Church, and Japanese Hall were all established in this thriving neighbourhood.
During the second World War, grave injustices occured against those of Japanese descent, who were put into internment camps following the attack on Pearl Harbour.
They lost their homes, their businesses, and their possessions and countless families were torn apart. Not many could return to Japantown as the government limited their post-war freedom.
This neighbourhood hasn't had it easy but it's now definitely on the right track, with some of the city's hot spot restaurants popping up in the 'hood. Over the past few years Railtown has been quietly populated by boutique art and craft studios, as well as fashion and design firms. It's gritty, historic, and full of character.