Sam Kee Building

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Sam Kee Building

Pender Street is Chinatown’s most renowned street. In 1912, the City of Vancouver widened it, leaving only 2 metres of the above-ground portion for Sam Kee’s business.


Sam Kee Building

Still, a year later, in 1913, architects Brown and Gillam built the Sam Kee Building.


Sam Kee Building

This building holds the Guinness World Record for shallowest commercial building.


Sam Kee Building

People from the neighborhood thought that commercial use of this spot had become impossible.

The base of the building is only 4’1” deep, from the sidewalk to the back of the building. The second floor is 6’ deep.


Sam Kee Building

Its basement still spreads as far as underneath the sidewalks. At the time, that same basement was used as the only public baths of Vancouver’s Chinatown.