536-544 Pandora Avenue
538 Pandora Avenue, Victoria, British Columbia, V8W, Canada
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
536-544 Pandora Avenue is a large, three storey parged brick commercial and residential building located on the southern perimeter of Victoria's historic Chinatown District, forming part of the western wall of Fan Tan Alley. Its street front façade is articulated by four distinct bays, each with a separate entrance, and an ornamental corbelled brick cornice.
536-544 Pandora Street adds heritage value to Victoria's downtown because it is part of a collection of nineteenth-century commercial buildings on the southern perimeter of Chinatown which illustrate the development of this historic district within the context of the historic Old Town in the 1880s. Originally constructed in 1884 for Loo Chew Fan, the owner of the largest Chinese import and export business in Canada during the gold rush, this building illustrates the diversity of real estate speculation which occurred as Victoria became the commercial supply hub of British Columbia. It is interesting to note that while this building's original commercial function and subsequent use as the headquarters of the Hoy Sun Ning Young Benevolent Association are of Chinese character, the original design of the building corresponds with the Italianate Style architectural idiom which was typical in the City at the time of its construction.
Source: City of Victoria Planning and Development Dept.
The character-defining elements of 536-544 Pandora Avenue include:
- The contribution it makes to the historic fabric of the southern perimeter of Chinatown, together with adjacent 1880s commercial buildings on this side of the street.
- The integrity of the 1880s building envelope, which characterizes the historic commercial streetscape and adds definition to Fan Tan Alley to the east.
- The considerable size of its four-storey flat roofed form.
- Its surviving nineteenth-century Italianate characteristics such as the corbelled cornice and segmental arched window hoods.
- Surviving interior elements which relate to its 1880s design.
Local Governments (BC)
Local Government Act, s.967
Theme - Category and Type
- Developing Economies
- Trade and Commerce
Function - Category and Type
- Commerce / Commercial Services
- Office or Office Building
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
City of Victoria Planning and Development Dept.
Cross-Reference to Collection