NARROWEST -- Street in Canada - Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member The A-Team
N 48° 25.716 W 123° 22.074
10U E 472784 N 5364004
Quick Description: At only 0.9 metres (3 feet) wide at its narrowest point, Fan Tan Alley is the narrowest street in Canada. It runs between the 500-blocks of Pandora Avenue and Fisgard Street in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Date Posted: 4/16/2015 8:17:14 PM
Waymark Code: WMNQ30
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member lumbricus
Views: 1

Long Description:
Fan Tan Alley was originally the main access to Victoria's Chinatown - itself the oldest in Canada and second oldest in North America. Back in the 19th and early 20th century, Fan Tan Alley was home to gambling dens, opium dens, restaurants, shops, and a tofu factory. Trap doors and guarded gates at each end of the alley helped slow down police when they came to raid the gambling dens.

The alley is named after the gambling game of fan-tan. Played for centuries in China, fan-tan was a very simple game that required only a table and a collection of small objects such as buttons, beads, or coins. The dealer would cover a handful of the objects with a metal bowl or cup. The players would bet on how many objects would be left after the dealer has removed all multiples of four.

The alley as it appears today was formed between 1885 and 1920 as buildings were constructed until the alley was completely closed in on both sides.

Its narrowest points are at the north and south ends, where the alley is only 0.9 metres (3 feet) wide. The alley opens up - very slightly - in the middle to a little over 2 metres (~7 feet) wide.

Fan-tan is no longer played here, but the name remains. Today, Fan Tan Alley is home to modern retail stores and a barber and is popular with locals and tourists alike for its quirkiness and shockingly-narrow width.
Type of documentation of superlative status: Walking tour pamphlet

Location of coordinates: South end of the alley

Web Site: [Web Link]

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