Downtown Victoria Tour
Fisgard Street – 600 Block
624 1/2 Fisgard Street –
624 1/2 Fisgard Street was built in 1913 as a tenement, or rooming house, building behind the Gee Tuck Tong building and is difficult to see from Fisgard Street. It is accessed through a narrow passageway running perpendicular to Fisgard Street through the Gee Tuck Tong Building between 624 Fisgard Street and 626 Fisgard Street. The western side of the tenements can be seen from the parking lot between the Lee’s Benevolent Association Building at 614 Fisgard Street and the Gee Tuck Tong Building at 622-626 Fisgard Street.
Here is a map showing the location of 624 1/2 Fisgard Street:
A Brief History of 624 1/2 Fisgard Street
In 1913 architects Percy Fox and Ralph Berrill were retained by Kong Sin Wing to build this small tenement building behind the Gee Tuck Tong Building at 622-626 Fisgard Street. In April 1913 the City of Victoria issued a building permit to Kong Sin Wing for a “one new brick building, 3 story, 12 rooms. Purpose: rooming house.” The estimated construction cost was listed as $7,450.
This building has been used as rental apartments for its entire history. By the 1980’s it had been allowed to fall into disrepair. In 1991 it was completely renovated and updated into its current condition as small rental apartments.
It was also placed on the Canadian Register of Historic Places in 1991, its historic significance explained as:
“The Kong Sin Wing Rooming House, built in 1913, is valued as part of a grouping of early buildings that contribute to the historic character and urban pattern of Victoria’s Chinatown, the seminal and most intact Chinatown in Canada. Victoria was the primary point of entry for Chinese into Canada until the early twentieth century.
This building is valued as a representative example of Victoria’s Chinatown tenement housing and typifies the Chinese custom of living in close proximity in a tight-knit community…..”
For more information on the Kong Sin Wing tenement building:
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