Fan Tan Alley

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View looking south from near where the Fan Tan Alley narrows on its north (by Fisgard Street), looking toward Pandora Avenue.

Fan Tan Alley (番攤里) is an alley in the Chinatown neighbourhood of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. It runs south from Fisgard Avenue to Pandora Avenue at the block between Government Street and Store Street. Named after the Chinese gambling game Fan-Tan, the alley was originally a gambling district with restaurants, shops, and opium dens. Today it is a tourist destination with many small shops including a barbershop, art gallery, Chinese cafe, apartments and offices. It is the narrowest street in Canada. At its narrowest point it is only 0.9 metres (35 in) wide. It was designated as a heritage property by the local government in 2001.[1]

In 2006, Dr. David C. Lai, a scholar and historian of the area, contributed material salvaged from the alley's original gate to the Six String Nation project. Part of that material now serves as kerfing on the upper left of the interior of Voyageur, the guitar at the heart of the project.[2]

The alley can briefly be seen the 1990 movie "Bird on a Wire (film)" in a scene where actor Mel Gibson drives a motorcycle down the ally.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 10-14 Fan Tan Alley. Canadian Register of Historic Places. Retrieved October 22, 2014.
  2. ^ Jowi., Taylor (2009). Six string nation : 64 pieces, 6 strings, 1 Canada, 1 guitar. Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre. ISBN 978-1-55365-393-6. OCLC 302060380.

External links[edit]

Media related to Fan Tan Alley at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 48°25′44″N 123°22′04″W / 48.4290°N 123.3679°W / 48.4290; -123.3679