Now the art teacher, 40, is hoping to reacquaint people with the beauty of their home city through his painted images of some of our best-loved streets.
He will show off his work, which includes portraits of Buchanan Street, Trongate and St Enoch Square, with his first solo exhibition, entitled Glasgow Town: Portrait Of A City.
He said: "I feel it's important for Glaswegians to really look at their city, to not downplay it.
"We really need to see how it is beautiful, majestic and unique and respect it as that.
"I am trying to portray that to the world and let the world know there is something here that is not anywhere else."
Gavin's parents came from Glasgow, but he was born in a small town in British Columbia, Canada.
His father, Alex, was a high-pressure welder, which meant Gavin spent most of his childhood moving around North America.
Coming back to Scotland with his family when he was 11, Gavin had severe dyslexia, which he said left him "illiterate" until he was 12.
It was through art that he was able to reach out and communicate, a path that eventually led him to complete a degree in Fine Art at Brighton University.
It was his strong connection to Glasgow that made him want to return and settle in 1997, and he now lives in Govanhill with wife Audrey, 35, who is also a artist.
He said: "I remember finishing my degree and thinking that if I wanted a career as an artist I would have to go to a major city because that is what you need to do.
"I thought, 'I really can't think of a city I would want to be in more than Glasgow'.
"I love the Glasgow people and every time I came up here I felt much more at home than anywhere else.
"So there is a feeling of a journey home in my work that comes across.
"That journey home is a very important part of my work and I am sure most Glaswegians, when they're going home at that time of day, maybe after a party, think the world is slightly sparkly and strange."
Taking pictures in the early hours, Gavin uses the placing of light at specific times to act like a sundial, where he tries to capture a small fragment of time.
He then scales up the photos to create large, painstakingly detailed oil paintings that can be linked to traditions of urban realism, led by influential artists such as Edward Hopper, Richard Estes and George Shaw (pictured left).
Gavin added: "Of course I could just do that with photo, but a lens does not get the juxtaposition with the paint, because these paintings are ones that have taken weeks and months to execute.
"The juxtaposition of this is that it isn't a fleeting moment, it is executed in a very specific manner. It is something in the act of painting that is a tribute to the scene, the architecture, to the craftsmanship and the detail that went into constructing these in the first place.
"So that is why it has to be a painting."
As well as creating his own work, Gavin divides his time by guiding the next generation of artists as a teacher at St Andrew's Academy, Paisley.
He credits the school and his art and design students as a force who keep him engaged with his work, with the time spent in school stopping him going stir crazy in his city centre studio.
He said: "The kids are full of life and amusement and that keeps me fresh and wanting to be in my studio and be excited about painting.
"It also informs my teaching as I go into the class and am passionate about my subject.
"I love art and can talk about how much I love my subject. Kids respond to that and it inspires them to do great things."
The exhibition also could not have come at a better time.
After breaking his wrist three years ago, it has taken to this period to be able to put together a collection of his work, which includes seven large-scale painting and several smaller drawings and photographs.
Soon there will be even less time for him to paint, as he and Audrey are expecting their first child in January.
For now, Gavin is eager for people to get to know his work and create a new appreciation for the landscape of the city.
He said: "I would like to reach out and let the public get to know my work.
"It would be the greatest reward for me if it was a busy exhibition, with people coming to look at the artwork and then going out and looking at Glasgow with slightly changed views.
"It would be nice if we started to imagine our city as one of the coolest places in the world to be."
l Gavin's exhibition, Glasgow Town: Portrait Of A City, is at the RGI Kelly Gallery, 118 Douglas Street, from October 2-13. For more information see: www.gavinscottweir.com