Victoria's Chinatown - The Withering Period, 1920s-1970s

Having a deeper harbour and being the western terminal of the Canadian Pacific Railway, Vancouver gradually took over trade that had formerly passed through Victoria.  After the turn of the twentieth century,  Vancouver’s Chinatown outstripped Victoria’s in both population and importance and, by the late 1940s, Toronto’s Chinatown superseded Victoria’s.  After the universal immigration policy of 1967, many of the new Chinese immigrants were upwardly mobile professional people.   They chose to settle down in better residential areas.  As prejudice and discrimination subsided, more and more Chinese left Chinatown to seek better accommodation in other parts of the city.  A 1971 field survey of Victoria’s Chinatown revealed that its total area  had dwindled to about two city blocks with only 143 Chinese residents.  It was in a terribly rundown state and considered by many local people to be an eyesore.  In the late 1970s and early 1980s, most new Chinese immigrants went to large cities such as Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and Calgary; few would go to Victoria and other smaller cities.