Fan Tan Alley, Victoria

3.5
Landmark · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
Fan Tan Alley (番攤里) is an alley in Victoria, British Columbia's Chinatown. 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 meters (35 in) wide. It was designated as a heritage property by the local government in 2001.
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.
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.
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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.0
394 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Fan Tan Alley is similar to many we stumbled across in Venice and Lisbon. It really is narrow...at some points I can stretch my arms from one side to the other. There are a number of shops located.....  more »
  • They are not kidding when they call it narrowest street in the world(?). Definitely wear a mask during covid as you cannot avoid brushing past other pedestrians. Barely wide enough for two people to.....  more »
  • Picture perfect destination. However, not a lot to see. Some shops were closed. Although the shops that we get into the people are very welcoming and super nice. They don’t rush you onto buying to...  more »

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