"Forget it Jake. It's Chinatown."
- Movie Chinatown
When I got home last night I was causally warming up a frozen casserole, to the cosy smell of a roasting elastic, as I contemplated my day. I had recently seen a special about Vancouver's Chinatown disappearing and very clearly my visit to Fisgard Street in Victoria revealed a similar trend. This Chinatown is the oldest in Canada. Only San Francisco's is older in North America. It sprang up during the gold rush here in the west and is a maze of alleys and interesting twists and turns. The old stores that I was looking for had vanished and are now replaced by boutiques. A little research revealed the developer to be someone I have worked for and unhappy memories surfaced. Fortunately Victoria, unlike Vancouver, has strict rules in place for preserving the heritage of vintage buildings. The old brick structures will remain but I am always sorry to see a cultural hotspot that is so rich in character and alive with history, diminish.