Always something interesting to see and do in Victoria. Of course we went to Chinatown for the Chinese New Year Celebration.
Chinatown in Victoria, is the oldest in Canada and, in North America, second in age only to San Francisco’s, with its beginnings in the 1858 influx of miners from California to what is now British Columbia.
Initially a collection of crude wooden huts,
Victoria’s Chinatown rapidly evolved into a dense neighborhood of businesses, theaters, 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.
Victoria’s revitalized Chinatown is a popular area for tourists as well as for the artistic community. The focus is the 500-600 block of Fisgard Street, including famously narrow Fan Tan Alley. The area includes many shops, one with historic displays, the old Chinese School and a small selection of historic buildings and Chinese businesses. The district was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1995.
The Gate of Harmonious Interest, which was built in Suzhou, one of Victoria’s sister cities.