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From Main to Howe Street and from Pender north to the water is the Gastown district. This Historic area could be considered as the Mother of Vancouver. Gastown was the first downtown in the city. The area was comprised of two block collection of buildings then called Granville. In the decade after the Klondike Gold rush of 1898 Gastown was no longer considered the downtown core.
Today it is a bustling tourist destination with attractions such as the Steam Clock and many historical buildings and tours. This area is one of the only places in Vancouver that has more of an old world feel with its narrow brick roads and beautiful historic buildings.
For location, Gastown is hard to beat. It is close to the Sea Bus to whip over to North Vancouver, only a couple blocks from a Skytrain station and minutes to the center of downtown Vancouver. Hop on your bike and leave your car at home and appreciate the downtown style of living.
In terms of housing you will find mainly large lofts in old converted warehouses and heritage buildings. There are a few towers in the area, but the main draw is open loft style living close to the heart of the city. There are many gems to be found in this area, with sweeping city and water views.