We’ve done two previous blog posts on Victoria’s iconic Chinatown district, and tonight we’ve got a follow-up story to share. Our previous blogs “Beijing Toad” and “A Town Within The City” discuss the heritage and history of the area in quite some depth, so you may wish to visit those posts.
This is Fan Tan Alley, Canada’s narrowest street. Right in the heart of the oldest Chinatown district in Canada, this street is a local icon and a tourist destination alike. Trouble is brewing between two factions in Victoria in regards to adding 2 stories to a section of building. One side argues that the restoration required is very expensive and 2 floors of condominiums are required to offset those costs. The other camp argues that ANY changes to the structure of these historic buildings will nullify the heritage aspect.
The local newspaper article “The future of Chinatown: Would a redevelopment proposal allow it to flourish, or tarnish its heritage?” printed in the Times-Colonist discusses the details behind this story.
Regular visitors to our blog know of our deep love for architecture, and specifically our local heritage architecture. It’s part of what we do here at The Hollow, we love to document these old and interesting piece of historic significance.
On this particular issue, the issue of adding floors to one of the oldest buildings in the city, we are certain in our opinion even if it is controversial. The structure of these buildings must not be modified, under any circumstances. It might be a case where the city and perhaps the province must band together and help provide the needed funds to ensure that this heritage is preserved for all to enjoy today and in the future.
I am a businessman myself, and fully understand the economics of this all. That changes nothing. This is the core area of the heart of the city that was built right at the cities birth. This is not something to be tampered with.
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