Gastown landmark steam clock getting an overhaul

WATCH: Gastown’s world famous steam clock is in the midst of a $50,000 restoration and its original builder hopes to have it back on the street before Christmas. Nadia Stewart has an update.

The Gastown steam clock has been removed from its usual corner and is undergoing a major refit in a Vancouver shop.

And helping out with those repairs is the man who built it 37 years ago.

Ray Saunders said it’s a major and long overdue job. Repairs will include a bevy of upgrades like changing the location of the door, switching the tinted glass for clear, and swapping out the florescent light bulbs for LED ones.

“All the changes are for the better and I’m glad the city is taking the initiative to upgrade the clock,” Saunders said.

The clock, which was made in 1976 and was Saunders’ first steam clock, cost $58,000 to build. The pursuit put him $23,000 in the red and he said it was an anonymous contributor who paid off the debt.

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Since then Saunders has been building steam clocks that can be seen from Australia to Japan. While he said he has learned a lot building all these tickers, the Gastown steam clock is still his “number one baby.”

If all the repairs go as planned Saunders said the steam clock should be back in place and running by mid-December.