Nanaimo's second Chinatown
The first Chinese arrived in Nanaimo soon after the start of the gold rush. in 1872, Mah Hong Jang opened the first Chinese store near Pioneer Square. A small Chinese settlement grew up along Bing Kee Street south of the main town. The street was named after Mah Bing Kee whose family has operated a Nanaimo business for nearly a century. This picture shows the second "Chinatown" which was built in 1908 on land rented from the coal company. At the time, there were about 2000 Chinese in the area.