VICTORIA Historic Chinese Clan Association and Society Buildings

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VICTORIA
Historic Chinese Clan Association and Society Buildings
Victoria’s Chinatown, the oldest in Canada, began in 1858 when Chinese miners and merchants arrived
from California to search for gold in the Fraser River valley. Chinese merchants set up businesses in
Victoria to supply goods and provide services to miners travelling through and to the rapidly developing
local community.
At the same time, clan societies and county associations were formed for people who came from the
same regions of China to support each other. These societies acted as agencies to help members in B.C.,
but also provided means of sending letters between China and Canada and to organize projects such as
building schools and hospitals both in Canada and for families still in China. Many of the clan buildings
still exist today.
Victoria was the first major port of entry for Chinese into British Columbia and what would later become
Canada. Many of Victoria Chinatown's historic buildings and narrow alleys have been refurbished and, in
1995, the district was designated a National Historic Site of Canada. The Province of British Columbia
recognized Victoria's Chinatown as a Historical Site of Significance as one of the Legacy Initiatives in 2016.
For more information: http://chinatown.library.uvic.ca/home
Clan associations in Victoria: http://chinatown.library.uvic.ca/node/886
The Gate of Harmonious Interest, Victoria
1
VICTORIA
Historic Chinese Clan Association and Society Buildings
Click on the building name or address to learn more about each site:
NAME
MAIL ADDRESS
Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association (CCBA) Bldg.
554-562 Fisgard Street
YEAR
BUILT
1885
Chinese Public School
636 Fisgard Street
1909
Fan Tan Alley
10-14 Fan Tan Alley
1912
Finlayson Building
528 Pandora Avenue
1881
First Chinese Empire Reform Association Building
1715 Government Street
1912
Gee Tuck Tong Benevolent Association Building
622-626 Fisgard Street
1903
George Joe Building
564-572 Fisgard Street
1946
Hart's Herald Building
531 Herald Street
1890
Hook Sin Tong Charity Building
658-666 Herald St.
1911
Kong Sin Wing Rooming House
624 ½ Fisgard Street
1913
Lee Block
1620 ½ Government Street
1910
Lee Block
565 Fisgard Street
1910
Lee Cheong Building
533-537 ½ Fisgard Street
1901
Lee Woy & Company Building
557-561 Fisgard Street
1908
Lee’s Benevolent Association building
614 Fisgard Street
1911
Lim Dat Building
1617-1623 Store Street
1898
Loo Chew Fan Building
536-544 Pandora Avenue
1884
Loo Tai Cho Building
549-555 Fisgard Street
1893
Lum Sam & Look Den Building
534 Pandora Avenue
1884
Lung Kong Tin Yee Kung Shaw Building
1717 Government Street
1905
Macdonald Building
546 Pandora Avenue
1920
Ning Young Building
4 Fan Tan Alley
1920
On Hing & Brothers Store
546-552 Fisgard Street
1882
On Hing Brothers Building
1706 -1714 Government Street
1897
On Hing Building
538-544 Fisgard Street
1891
Scott & Peden Building
1415-1425 Store Street
1883
Sheam & Lee Building
539 Fisgard Street
1888
Shon Yee Benevolent Association Building
612-614 1/2 Fisgard Street
1935
Tye Chong Building
529 Pandora Avenue
1884
Yee King Yum Building
17-23 Fan Tan Alley
1913
Yen Wo Society Building
1713 Government Street
1911
2
Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association (CCBA) Building
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554-562 Fisgard Street, Victoria, BC
Built in 1885
The Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association Building is a prominent, three-storey brick-clad building
on the north side of Fisgard Street in the heart of Victoria's Chinatown. The ground floor has retail
storefronts while the second and third storeys contain meeting rooms. Doorways lead to the upper floors
and a narrow passageway enters onto a rear service space. It is distinctive for its Italianate-style features,
including inverted-U window hoods, segmental-arched structural openings, elaborated façade detailing,
bracketted cornice, wrought-iron balconies and tall central flagpole.
Find out more: http://www.historicplaces.ca/en/rep-reg/place-lieu.aspx?id=14891&pid=0
Chinese Public School
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636 Fisgard Street, Victoria, BC
Built in 1909
The Chinese Public School is a unique freestanding two and one-half storey building located on one and
one-half commercial city lots in Victoria's Chinatown District. It is distinguishable by its spacious set-back
situation within the streetscape, a unique pagoda-style roofline and tower, and an eclectic blend of
architectural detailing.
Find out more: http://www.historicplaces.ca/en/rep-reg/place-lieu.aspx?id=3929&pid=0
3
Fan Tan Alley
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10-14 Fan Tan Alley, Victoria, BC
Built in 1912
10-14 Fan Tan Alley is on the west side of Fan Tan Alley in the heart of Victoria’s Chinatown. It is a twostorey vernacular brick building with segmental-arched upper window openings and is slightly higher but
almost identical in style to the adjacent Ning Young Building at 4 Fan Tan Alley. 10-14 Fan Tan Alley
features two structural bays separated by brick pilasters and wooden storefronts. It is one of nine
interconnected buildings and additions with front facades on Fan Tan Alley, a narrow mid-block
passageway that links Pandora Avenue to Fisgard Street. There is another mid-block passageway on the
north side of the building that leads to the west.
Find out more: http://www.historicplaces.ca/en/rep-reg/place-lieu.aspx?id=14929&pid=0
Finlayson Building
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528 Pandora Avenue, Victoria, BC
Built in 1881
The Finlayson Building consists of a front façade and remnants of the side walls of a two-storey Late
Victorian-era brick warehouse. It stands on the north side of Pandora Street on the southern edge of
Victoria’s Chinatown National Historic Site. It is also located across the street from Market Square, a
rehabilitated complex of late nineteenth century buildings with continuous historic street fronts in
Victoria's Old Town National Historic Site.
Find out more: http://www.historicplaces.ca/en/rep-reg/place-lieu.aspx?id=14794&pid=0
4
First Chinese Empire Reform Association Building
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1715 Government Street, Victoria, BC
Built in 1912
This building is valued for its association with the establishment of Victoria’s first Chinese political party,
the Chinese Empire Reform Association (CERA). The CERA was started during the late Qing Dynasty by
former statesman and eminent scholar, Kang Yu Wei (1858-1927). A monarchist organization, his
movement was spurred through attempts to save the declining Manchu Empire. Due to groups who
opposed his quest, Kang fled to Canada, setting up headquarters in Victoria. After the fall of the Qing
Dynasty in 1912, the CERA sold the northern half of the building to the clan-based Lung Kong Kung Shaw
Association, made of members with the surnames Lau, Kwan, Cheung and Chiu. Such associations, or
Tongs, had members with common ancestors and were established to protect the earliest Chinese settlers
against Western intolerance and prejudice and opposing Chinese clans. Funding for the association was
obtained entirely by membership dues, gambling, opium dens and exiting fees.
Find out more: http://www.victoria.ca/blog/2015/02/20/chinese-heritage/
Back to chart
Gee Tuck Tong Benevolent Association Building
622-626 Fisgard Street, Victoria, BC
Built in 1903
The Gee Tuck Tong Benevolent Association Building is two stories in height on the north side of Fisgard
Street and the periphery of Victoria's Chinatown. It has retail space on the ground floor and multi-paned
wooden transoms. The building is distinctive for its slightly asymmetrical façade, which is vertically
divided by pilasters into three bays with a tall arched entry to a narrow passageway leading to a separate
tenement building at the rear. The second floor features a prominent arcade with recessed balconies. A
raised semi-circular plaque is above the parapet and inscribed with the '1903' date of construction,
surmounted by a tall flagpole.
Find out more: http://www.historicplaces.ca/en/rep-reg/place-lieu.aspx?id=14924&pid=0
5
George Joe Building
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564-572 Fisgard Street, Victoria, BC
Built in 1946
Located at the corner of Fisgard and Government Streets in the heart of Victoria's Chinatown, the George
Joe Building is a one-storey structure clad in tan iron-spot brick. It features distinctive Chinese decorative
elements, including projecting pantiled canopies, and an ornate use of corbelled and herringbone brick.
The restaurant use of the building retains its early neon signs and decorative neon ceiling.
Find out more: http://www.historicplaces.ca/en/rep-reg/place-lieu.aspx?id=14892&pid=0
Hart's Herald Building
Back to chart
531 Herald Street, Victoria, BC
Built in 1890
Description: No information available.
6
Hook Sin Tong Charity Building
Back to chart
658-666 Herald Street, Victoria, BC
Built in 1911
The Hook Sin Tong Charity Building is a three-storey building located on the northeastern periphery of
Victoria’s Chinatown. This building is distinctive for its recessed upper-floor balcony with white marble
columns and surrounds, bracketted cornice, decorative pediment and pressed tin finials. The interior is
notable for the stained glass dome in the ceiling of the upper-floor meeting hall.
Find out more: http://www.historicplaces.ca/en/rep-reg/place-lieu.aspx?id=14792&pid=0
Kong Sin Wing Rooming House
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624 ½ Fisgard Street, Victoria, BC
Built in 1913
The Kong Sin Wing Rooming House is a three-storey brick tenement that occupies the rear of a mid-block
lot on Fisgard Street on the periphery of Victoria's Chinatown. The tenement is accessed through a narrow
passageway that penetrates the façade of the Gee Tuck Tong Benevolent Association Building at 622-626
Fisgard Street.
Find out more: http://www.historicplaces.ca/en/rep-reg/place-lieu.aspx?id=14968&pid=0
7
Lee Block
Back to chart
1620 ½ Government Street, Victoria, BC
Built in 1910
Description: No information available.
Lee Block
Back to chart
565 Fisgard Street, Victoria, BC
Built in 1910
The Lee Block is a prominent building located at the corner of Fisgard and Government Streets in the
heart of Victoria's Chinatown. The building displays the influence of the Classical Revival style, prevalent
during the Edwardian era for commercial buildings. Divided into symmetrical structural bays, with regular
fenestration, the Lee Block contains storefronts on the main floor and tenements and space for volunteer
associations on the second and third storeys.
Find out more: http://www.historicplaces.ca/en/rep-reg/place-lieu.aspx?id=14893
8
Lee Cheong Building
Back to chart
533-537 ½ Fisgard Street, Victoria, BC
Built in 1901
The Lee Cheong Building is a two-storey, brick-clad commercial and residential building located in the
heart of Victoria's Chinatown. The front façade retains original storefront elements, including 'cheater'
mezzanines. The upper storey is residential, and features segmental-arched window openings, brick
corbelling, second floor doors and a central coloured glass door surround. A narrow passageway located
between two of the storefronts connects to an internal courtyard and a brick tenement building behind.
Find out more: http://www.historicplaces.ca/en/rep-reg/place-lieu.aspx?id=14887
Lee Woy & Company Building
Back to chart
557-561 Fisgard Street, Victoria, BC
Built in 1908
The Lee Woy & Company Building is a brick-clad two-storey (plus 'cheater' mezzanine) commercial and
institutional building located on the south side of Fisgard Street in the heart of Victoria's Chinatown. The
façade has minimal ornamentation with a later metal balcony at the second floor level and retail
storefronts at the ground level. The Dart Coon Club and Chih Kung T’ang occupy the second floor of the
building.
Find out more: http://www.historicplaces.ca/en/rep-reg/place-lieu.aspx?id=14926&pid=0
9
Lee’s Benevolent Association building
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614 Fisgard Street, Victoria, BC
Built in 1911
The Lee’s Benevolent Association building at 614 Fisgard Street was designed by architect C. Elwood
Watkins in 1911. There are shops on the first floor, offices on the second floor and the Lee Association’s
meeting hall is on the third floor behind the balcony, which is fronted by columns and arches. At one
point, the Nationalist League occupied the second floor of this building.
Find out more: http://chinatown.library.uvic.ca/lee_association
Lim Dat Building
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1617-1623 Store Street, Victoria, BC
Built in 1898
The Lim Dat Building is a two-storey red-brick building with retail space on the ground floor and offices on
the upper floor. It is prominently situated at the corner of Store and Fisgard Streets in an industrial area at
the western periphery of Victoria’s Chinatown and across the street from the Inner Harbour. The building
is distinctive for its round-arched façade openings with a repetitive series of bays that display an unusually
high ratio of glazing versus wall surface.
Find out more: http://www.historicplaces.ca/en/rep-reg/place-lieu.aspx?id=14870&pid=0
10
Loo Chew Fan Building
Back to chart
536-544 Pandora Avenue, Victoria, BC
Built in 1884
Description: No information available.
Loo Tai Cho Building
Back to chart
549-555 Fisgard Street, Victoria, BC
Built in 1893
The Loo Tai Cho Building is a three-storey, brick-clad commercial and residential building located on the
south side of Fisgard Street in the heart of Victoria's Chinatown. The building also extends south and
marks the northern entry to Fan Tan Alley. The corner of the building is bevelled at the entrance to the
Alley, and has a distinctive Juliet balcony at the second floor. One of the more imposing buildings on
Fisgard Street, it is embellished with sheet metal ornamentation.
Find out more: http://www.historicplaces.ca/en/rep-reg/place-lieu.aspx?id=14925&pid=0
11
Lum Sam & Look Den Building
Back to chart
534 Pandora Avenue, Victoria, BC
Built in 1884
The Lum Sam & Look Den Building is a two-storey, Late Victorian-era brick commercial structure. It stands
on the north side of Pandora Street on the southern edge of Victoria’s Chinatown. It is also located across
the street from historic Old Town and Market Square, a rehabilitated complex of late-nineteenth century
buildings with continuous streetfronts. The ground floor has a large storefront window and two doors, the
one to the east at 534½ providing access to the upper level. The second storey has two windows flanking
a door to the full-width balcony. The exterior is richly articulated with stringcourses and corbelled
brickwork.
Find out more: http://www.historicplaces.ca/en/rep-reg/place-lieu.aspx?id=15618&pid=0
Lung Kong Tin Yee Kung Shaw Building
Back to chart
1717 Government Street, Victoria, BC
Built in 1905
The building is part of a three-storey structure built in 1905 for the Chinese Empire Association, which
sold the northern half (1717 Government Street) in 1912 to the Lung Kong Kung Shaw Association.
Find out more: http://www.sfu.ca/chinese-canadian-history/victoria_chinatown_en.html
12
Macdonald Building
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546 Pandora Avenue, Victoria, BC
Built in 1920
The Macdonald Building is two-storey brick commercial building facing Pandora Avenue at the corner of
Fan Tan Alley; the Lim Ging Building is a later extension to the north that fronts onto Fan Tan Alley. The
two buildings are located in the heart of Victoria’s Chinatown National Historic Site. The Pandora Avenue
façade of the Macdonald Building is completely rebuilt, but the form, scale and brick side walls remain
intact. The Lim Ging Building is one of nine interconnected buildings and additions with front façades on
Fan Tan Alley, a narrow mid-block passageway that links Pandora Avenue to Fisgard Street.
Find out more: http://www.historicplaces.ca/en/rep-reg/place-lieu.aspx?id=14795&pid=0
Ning Young Building
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4 Fan Tan Alley, Victoria, BC
Built in 1920
The Ning Young Building is on the west side of Fan Tan Alley in the heart of Victoria’s Chinatown National
Historic Site. It is a two-storey vernacular brick building with wooden storefronts with cast-iron columns,
arched upper-floor window openings and two doorways to second-storey tenements. This building is
slightly lower but almost identical in style to the adjacent building at 10-14 Fan Tan Alley. It is one of nine
interconnected buildings and additions that front onto Fan Tan Alley, a narrow mid-block passageway that
links Pandora Street to Fisgard Street.
Find out more: http://www.historicplaces.ca/en/rep-reg/place-lieu.aspx?id=14928&pid=0
13
On Hing & Brothers Store
Back to chart
546-552 Fisgard Street, Victoria, BC
Built in 1882
The On Hing & Brothers Store is a three-storey, brick-clad commercial and residential building located on
the north side of Fisgard Street in the heart of Victoria's Chinatown. The ground floor has retail
storefronts, while the second and third storeys are residential, with symmetrical massing and regular
fenestration.
Find out more: http://www.historicplaces.ca/en/rep-reg/place-lieu.aspx?id=14890&pid=0
On Hing Brothers Building
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1706 -1714 Government Street, Victoria, BC
Built in 1897
The On Hing Brothers Building is a brick-clad, two-storey plus 'cheater' mezzanine, commercial and
residential building located on the west side of Government Street in Victoria's Chinatown. The building
features two original wooden storefronts with multi-paned transoms; the upper floor is residential use.
Find out more: http://www.historicplaces.ca/en/rep-reg/place-lieu.aspx?id=14894&pid=0
14
On Hing Building
Back to chart
538-544 Fisgard Street, Victoria, BC
Built in 1891
The On Hing Building is a two-storey brick-clad commercial and residential building, located on the north
side of Fisgard Street in the heart of Victoria's Chinatown. The ground floor contains commercial
storefronts; the upper floor is residential and features segmental-arched window openings. The eastern
storefront retains its 'cheater' mezzanine, and large signs advertise Chinese businesses.
Find out more: http://www.historicplaces.ca/en/rep-reg/place-lieu.aspx?id=14888&pid=0
Scott and Peden Building
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1415-1425 Store Street, Victoria, BC
Built in 1883
The Scott and Peden Building is a Victorian Italianate masonry commercial building, located on the east
side of Store Street, adjoining the rear of the Grand Pacific Hotel. Two storeys in height facing Store
Street, it has a full lower level exposed to the rear courtyard. It is part of Market Square, a rehabilitated
complex of late nineteenth century buildings that comprise the western half of a full block, with
continuous historic streetfronts along three major streets and a central courtyard behind, in Victoria's Old
Town.
Find out more: http://www.historicplaces.ca/fr/rep-reg/place-lieu.aspx?id=6065
15
Sheam and Lee Building
Back to chart
539 Fisgard Street, Victoria, BC
Built in 1888
The Sheam and Lee Building is a two-storey, brick-clad commercial and residential building located on the
south side of Fisgard Street in the heart of Victoria's Chinatown. The building also extends south and
marks the northern entry to Fan Tan Alley. The building is distinguished by its symmetrical segmentalarched windows on the upper floor and distinctive storefronts.
Find out more: http://www.historicplaces.ca/en/rep-reg/place-lieu.aspx?id=14889&pid=0
Shon Yee Benevolent Association Building
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612-614 1/2 Fisgard Street, Victoria, BC
Built in 1935
Description: No information available.
Find out more: http://chinatown.library.uvic.ca/shon_yee_benevolent_association
16
Tye Chong Building
Back to chart
529 Pandora Avenue, Victoria, BC
Built in 1884
The Tye Chong Building is a two-storey, Italianate commercial building located midblock on the south side
of Pandora Avenue in Victoria’s historic Old Town, and across the street from Chinatown. The building’s
narrow front façade is accented with round-arched ground floor window openings, elaborate window
crowns and a heavy bracketed cornice at the parapet. It is adjacent to Market Square, a rehabilitated
complex of late nineteenth century buildings that comprise the western half of a full block, with
continuous historic streetfronts along three major streets and a central courtyard.
Find out more: http://www.historicplaces.ca/en/rep-reg/place-lieu.aspx?id=15617&pid=0
Yee King Yum Building
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17-23 Fan Tan Alley, Victoria, BC
Built in 1913
The Yee King Yum Building is on the east side of Fan Tan Alley in the heart of Victoria’s Chinatown. It is a
three-storey vernacular brick building with continuous ground-floor storefronts and segmental-arched
upper-floor window openings and one of nine interconnected buildings and additions with front facades
on Fan Tan Alley, a narrow mid-block passageway that links Pandora Avenue to Fisgard Street. There is
another mid-block passageway on the north side of the building that leads to the west. It is internally
connected to the Loo Tai Cho Building at 549-555 Fisgard Street.
Find out more: http://www.historicplaces.ca/en/rep-reg/place-lieu.aspx?id=14927&pid=0
17
Yen Wo Society Building
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1713 Government Street, Victoria, BC
Built in 1911
The Yen Wo Society Building at 1713 Government Street is a tall, Edwardian-era building on a narrow lot,
three storeys in height plus a ‘cheater’ mezzanine that displays Classical influences as well as typical
Chinese features such as a prominent flagpole and recessed balconies on upper floors. At the periphery of
Victoria's Chinatown, it is the original location of the Yen Wo Society and the Tam Kung Temple, which still
exist on the top floor. The building is contiguous with the Lung Kong Kung Shaw and the First Chinese
Empire Reform Association Building at 1715-1717 Government Street.
Find out more: http://www.historicplaces.ca/en/rep-reg/place-lieu.aspx?id=14971&pid=0
Back to chart
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