One of Vancouver's most famous neighbourhoods is getting a complete makeover this summer. Patios in Gastown are transforming the neighbourhood into a sea of art and food. Plus, the whole place is decked out in cheerful and inspiring murals.

"We've created the largest patio space in all of the City of Vancouver," said Walley Wargolet, spokesperson for the Gastown Business Improvement Society (BIA), to Narcity.

Called "Patiotown," it's open to the public as of Monday, July 6. It's made up of over 20 different patios and almost 500 seats and will run all summer long.

"We're also working on a closure of Carrall Street between Powell and Cordova, where we'll have like an outdoor area for people to hang out," he continued.

The neighbourhood is also home to the "Murals of Gratitude" exhibit, which showcases 34 murals painted on boarded-up shop windows earlier in the pandemic. The outdoor gallery is located between Carrall Street and Water Street.

"We were really lucky to get some amazing artwork put up to bring vibrancy back to the Gastown neighbourhood," said Wargolet.

B.C.'s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, visited the gallery earlier in the week before opening and got to see some of the artwork — and some of them even featured portraits of her.

While in the neighbourhood, Wargolet says there are over 100 shops and galleries you can check out.

"We have a lot of World Class shopping and eating that people can enjoy while they're in the neighbourhood," he said.

That means Soft Peaks ice cream all summer long.

Compared to last year, Wargolet said the Gastown now is a lot quieter — possibly due to a lack of international tourists, he added.

But though it's less busy than it used to be, he hopes people will remember how great the area is and pay them a visit.

Plus, without the cruise ship crowds maybe it will be easier to snag a spot on LOCAL's patio?

"I'm probably biased, but I do think we have a unique offering in our city, just with the variety that people can experience," he said.

From coffee shops to art galleries to the massive patio taking over the streets, Gastown is looking like the perfect spot to hang out this summer.

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