These photos were taken on Dec 11, 2015 in Victoria BC by Michael Poe.
Here is a little history of the area courtesy of Wikipedia:
The Chinatown in Victoria, British Columbia is the oldest Chinatown in Canada and the second oldest in North America after San Francisco’s. Victoria’s Chinatown had its beginnings in the mid-nineteenth century in the mass influx of miners from California to what is now British Columbia in 1858. It remains an active place and continues to be popular with residents and visitors, many of whom are Chinese-Canadians. Victoria’s Chinatown is now surrounded by cultural, entertainment venues as well as being a venue itself. Chinatown is now conveniently just minutes away from other sites of interests such as the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre, Bay Centre, Empress Hotel, Market Square, and others.
The Royal BC Museum stated that it “was known for its maze of alleyways and courtyards, containing everything from theatres and restaurants to gambling dens.”
The discovery of gold in the Fraser Canyon in 1858 led to a sudden surge in immigration to British Columbia from California, about one third of which was Chinese. Within a year, immigration to the colony directly from China began as news spread of the gold find, but the gold rush was only one reason many Chinese citizens immigrated. Famine, drought or war in their homeland also encouraged the voyage across the Pacific Ocean to Victoria (on the Crown Colony of Vancouver Island en route to the Fraser Canyon, and later to Barkerville and the mainland’s many other goldfields). The majority of the population was from South China, in Guangdong province. Later, the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway would continue to bring Chinese workers. It was mostly men who immigrated, but if they could make enough money, they would send for their family.
Initially a collection of crude wooden huts, Victoria’s Chinatown rapidly evolved into a dense neighbourhood of businesses, theatres, schools, churches, temples and a hospital. It did gain a dark, seedy reputation however, because of opium factories, gambling dens and brothels. Chinatown grew steadily over the years until its peak in 1911, at which time it occupied an area of about six city blocks in the north end of downtown Victoria. This area included two blocks of Herald Street, two blocks of Fisgard Street, and two blocks of old Cormorant Street. The block between Store Street and Government Street has since been renamed Pandora Street, and the block between Government Street and Douglas Street is now part of Centennial Square.
Notice how narrow Fan Tan Alley is, we barely fit two across. JLP