Downtown Victoria Tour
Fisgard Street – 600 Block
636 Fisgard Street – Chinese Public School
The Chinese Public School at 636 Fisgard Street was built in 1909 by architect David C. Frame for the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association.
It is listed on the Canadian Register of Historic Places as the Chinese Consolidated benevolent Association and Chinese Public School.
Here is a map showing the location of the Chinese Public School, 636 Fisgard Street:
A Brief History of the Chinese Public School, 636 Fisgard Street
The Chinese Public School at 636 Fisgard Street was built in 1909 by architect David C. Frame for the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association at an estimated construction cost of $12,000. The building permit was issued to Lim Dat, a prominent figure in Victoria business and in Victoria’s Chinese community.
The photo below shows an artist’s drawing, possibly by architect David C. Frame, of the Chinese Public School, circa 1908 prior to construction,
The Chinese Public School was built in response to a Victoria School Board policy, passed in January 1908, stating that only Canadian born Chinese children would be allowed to attend Victoria public schools.
This ruling excluded the many foreign born children in Victoria’s Chinese community from attending the public schools. These children were enrolled in a Chinese community school, the Lequn Free School in the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Society building at 554-562 Fisgard Street, but that facility quickly became overcrowded, so the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association purchased this lot from Lim Dat and built their own school for Chinese children on the site at an estimated construction cost of $12,000.
Apart from selling this lot to the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association, Lim Dat also played a leading role in building the school. The building permit for “one new brick building, two storey, ten rooms. Purpose: Chinese school” was issued to Lim Dat by the City of Victoria on 16 December 1908.
The new school, then known as the Imperial Chinese School, was formally opened on 7 August 1909. It still operates as a school.
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