Hear the Gastown Steam Clock whistles every quarter-hour


The famous Gastown Steam Clock was built by horologist Raymond Saunders, owner of The Gastown Steam Clock Company just opposite the clock. He built it in 1977 based on an 1875 design.

The world’s only steam clock is powered by steam from an underground systems of pipes that supply steam to heat many downtown buildings. You can sometimes see steam escaping from vents in the sidewalk – here it is put to good use.

The clock is a favourite photo location for tourists and provides a focal point for a trip to Gastown. The clock sounds its whistles every quarter-hour so you won’t have long to wait to see the steam shooting from the vents at the top. Whilst you are waiting, look through the glass panels in the sides of the clock at the internal mechanism – steel balls are raised to the top of the clock under steam power then slowly fall to power it.

Tip: You can’t really see the steam in photos. Take yours between the quarter-hours when the crowds have dispersed.