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UER Forum > Canada: Alberta / BC > Under the Garden City: Victoria B.C. secret tunnels. (Viewed 1462868 times)
Soggy 


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Re: Under the Garden City: Victoria B.C. secret tunnels.
< Reply # 80 on 7/23/2005 7:42 AM >
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So will you be able to get in that way? Or did the guy tell you how he gets in?




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Re: Under the Garden City: Victoria B.C. secret tunnels.
< Reply # 81 on 7/23/2005 7:54 AM >
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The buildings that have been referred to in this thread are the Janion Hotel (1891), Morley's Soda Factory on Waddington Alley, and the Northern Junk Company buildings on Wharf Street. All are owned by a very wealthy lady (last name Kramer) who inherited the properties from her husband in the late 1970s. The Janion was in use as a warehouse/storage facility in the 1970s - in the 1960s, it was home to a pub, among other things. Morley's has not been in use for much longer. The Northern Junk Company buildings (not the real building names - but most people refer to them as such) were also used for retail as recently as the 1970s and possibly 80s. Mrs. Kramer does not live "up-island" - she has a home in Oak Bay, nor is she crazy or loony. She just won't sell them for less than what she thinks they're worth - at this point, she wants to lease them - but the catch is, the person leasing has to pay for renovations - which will be HUGE, considering how long they've been neglected. The Janion used to house offices for the E&N Railway.


As for tunnels under the city - I would suggest getting a copy of Dr. David Lai's "Forbidden City" in which he discusses this issue in detail - and his conclusion is that the rumoured tunnels don't exist - that there may have been storm drains under Store Street, but there was never a network of tunnels, as has so often been suggested. The book is about Victoria's Chinatown, and Lai investigates the possibility as part of a discussion about the mystery and suspicion surrounding Chinatown.




KublaKhan 


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Re: Under the Garden City: Victoria B.C. secret tunnels.
< Reply # 82 on 7/24/2005 5:31 PM >
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Posted by anvil
The buildings that have been referred to in this thread are the Janion Hotel (1891), Morley's Soda Factory on Waddington Alley, and the Northern Junk Company buildings on Wharf Street. All are owned by a very wealthy lady (last name Kramer) who inherited the properties from her husband in the late 1970s. The Janion was in use as a warehouse/storage facility in the 1970s - in the 1960s, it was home to a pub, among other things. Morley's has not been in use for much longer. The Northern Junk Company buildings (not the real building names - but most people refer to them as such) were also used for retail as recently as the 1970s and possibly 80s. Mrs. Kramer does not live "up-island" - she has a home in Oak Bay, nor is she crazy or loony. She just won't sell them for less than what she thinks they're worth - at this point, she wants to lease them - but the catch is, the person leasing has to pay for renovations - which will be HUGE, considering how long they've been neglected. The Janion used to house offices for the E&N Railway.


As for tunnels under the city - I would suggest getting a copy of Dr. David Lai's "Forbidden City" in which he discusses this issue in detail - and his conclusion is that the rumoured tunnels don't exist - that there may have been storm drains under Store Street, but there was never a network of tunnels, as has so often been suggested. The book is about Victoria's Chinatown, and Lai investigates the possibility as part of a discussion about the mystery and suspicion surrounding Chinatown.


Yeah...about that. When I said in an earlier post that she was (is) still crazy after all these years, I was only quoting someone who claimed to have special knowledge of the building, it's owner, it's history.

Mrs. Kramer, if you're reading this, please accept this statement as a truthful (and honest) statement from me to you: You are perfectly sane (or as best as can be hoped for in These Times of Change), and the people who say these nasty things about you are likely NOT.

Also, as I've said on these pages elsewhere, rumour begets rumour. It's like a group of kids sitting around a campfire. Someone whispers "Black bread in a blue basket," and the sentence goes around the circle, and after twenty kids have passed it on, the original sentence has become "Back then I ate two basset hounds."

Ya see what I mean?





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Re: Under the Garden City: Victoria B.C. secret tunnels.
< Reply # 83 on 7/24/2005 5:41 PM >
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Posted by KublaKahn
Mrs. Kramer, if you're reading this, please accept this statement as a truthful (and honest) statement from me to you: You are perfectly sane (or as best as can be hoped for in These Times of Change), and the people who say these nasty things about you are likely NOT.

Also, as I've said on these pages elsewhere, rumour begets rumour. It's like a group of kids sitting around a campfire. Someone whispers "Black bread in a blue basket," and the sentence goes around the circle, and after twenty kids have passed it on, the original sentence has become "Back then I ate two basset hounds."

Ya see what I mean?




So you're saying, rumours aren't necessarily right ?
That just because some people have said it, doesn't make it true ?
I see...




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Re: Under the Garden City: Victoria B.C. secret tunnels.
< Reply # 84 on 7/25/2005 3:41 PM >
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Posted by Jester


So you're saying, rumours aren't necessarily right ?
That just because some people have said it, doesn't make it true ?
I see...


Well...that's a very good point, Jester. Very good point.

Let's just say (for convenience) that I may choose NOT to believe, while others may choose TO believe.

Some people believe in ghosts. Others do not. Those who do are NOT necessarily wrong, nor are those who do not.

As I have never met Mrs. Kramer, I have no idea whether she is blue-haired, peirce-lipped, buoyant, rail-thin. I can only amas the stories I have heard and then try to make an informed opinion. I have heard that she's a bit dotty.

Who isn't?

My informed opinion as of now is that she is neither of the above (because no one has claimed that she is anything of the above, other than her alleged dottiness), but that she owns a shitload of very expensive bricks that occupy some choice real-estate in Victoria.





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KublaKhan 


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Re: Under the Garden City: Victoria B.C. secret tunnels.
< Reply # 85 on 7/25/2005 7:45 PM >
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I should note also that until a couple of posts ago, I had not named any specific person as owner of the aforementioned buildings.




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Re: Under the Garden City: Victoria B.C. secret tunnels.
< Reply # 86 on 7/26/2005 7:53 PM >
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So you didn’t name the owner of the buildings – but you pinpointed the buildings, and claimed that the owner was crazy. Whether you mentioned her by name is irrelevant.

I don’t think anyone has to backtrack here, Kublakahn – I happen to agree that something’s not right with this person. I, for one, think she’s rather eccentric, and it is extremely frustrating to see those buildings deteriorate because no one has been able to deal with her. As a person who is extremely concerned about historic buildings, I wish that someone would get power of attorney over her properties, and start to take care of them.

I don't think that the veracity of rumours, stories, claims or "facts" can be either proved or disproved, without properly investigating them, checking sources, etc. This thread is a perfect example - the absolute, undeniable facts here are that these buildings exist, and that they have not been restored - they appear neglected and derelict. There are also several tunnels that exist. These things cannot be disputed. But now, add in the homeless meth addict, who claims that he has gone into the Janion, into the tunnels, etc. (real reliable source) – throw in mysterious, satanic cults, pentagrams, ghost stories about hanged criminals, etc.- and the story gets more and more interesting. The facts, embellished, become the stuff of urban folklore, mythology and legend. A lot like the way Storyeum is done – embellish, dramatize and distort the past until it’s palatable to the tourists, who want their history Disney-fied. Facadism at its best.

Regarding the existence of a tunnel underneath the Budget Car Rental operation on Douglas – this is true – the site used to be associated with the Empress Hotel, and the tunnels were service tunnels, I believe to access the laundry that was located there. I talked with several workers at the Empress, as well as my great aunt, who explored the place many decades ago. There are several sub basements under the hotel, and the tunnel connects at one of these levels. It has been sealed off for many years now – possibly when they built the conference center behind the hotel. The laundry building can be seen in several pictures on the provincial archives website.

There is also a tunnel that runs from the Legislature across the street to the Archives. Another service tunnel, used to transport people, files, etc. to and from the Leg. No cults, sacrifices or sinister uses (except of course, sinister political ones.....) - just a way to get stuff around efficiently.

Where is “The Patch” located?






KublaKhan 


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Re: Under the Garden City: Victoria B.C. secret tunnels.
< Reply # 87 on 7/26/2005 9:12 PM >
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Posted by anvil
So you didn’t name the owner of the buildings – but you pinpointed the buildings, and claimed that the owner was crazy. Whether you mentioned her by name is irrelevant.


Well...I have never personally claimed that she's crazy...I've merely reported back to this page the information I've received.

Eccentric is kinda nice. Espeically in a place like Victoria.



I don’t think anyone has to backtrack here, Kublakahn – I happen to agree that something’s not right with this person. I, for one, think she’s rather eccentric, and it is extremely frustrating to see those buildings deteriorate because no one has been able to deal with her. As a person who is extremely concerned about historic buildings, I wish that someone would get power of attorney over her properties, and start to take care of them.



Agreed. The buildings are of important historical significance. That aside, they belong to a private citizen, and she may do with them as she pleases. Personally, I find it sad that such beautiful structures are left to rot. Some financial wizard should develope a sane restoration project, and then direct that the buildings be used for some grand historical purpose...that or an arts center, playhouse, etc. Whatever.



I don't think that the veracity of rumours, stories, claims or "facts" can be either proved or disproved, without properly investigating them, checking sources, etc. This thread is a perfect example - the absolute, undeniable facts here are that these buildings exist, and that they have not been restored - they appear neglected and derelict. There are also several tunnels that exist. These things cannot be disputed. But now, add in the homeless meth addict, who claims that he has gone into the Janion, into the tunnels, etc. (real reliable source) – throw in mysterious, satanic cults, pentagrams, ghost stories about hanged criminals, etc.- and the story gets more and more interesting. The facts, embellished, become the stuff of urban folklore, mythology and legend. A lot like the way Storyeum is done – embellish, dramatize and distort the past until it’s palatable to the tourists, who want their history Disney-fied. Facadism at its best.



Precisely. Though could we at least agree to NOT employ the term 'Disney-fied.' It hurts my feelings...

In researching these urban legends, I've looked for broad redundancies...that is, similar examples/threads spread throughout various sources...I've connected related threads, and have made connections with other stories...some plausible, others not...and have synthesized these into a narrative. Pretty basic analytical method.

Personally, i don't give a shit whether tunnels in Victoria are REAL real or not. Not one iota. Sure...it would be nice if they were real and if all the stories I've heard turned out to be factual. But that ain't likely gonna happen. The creepy sinister elements, the various rumours, these are the hidden spaces that occupy a city's collective unconscience; these are the spaces that are real to the many people who wonder what lurks behind the doors of some forgotten building.




Regarding the existence of a tunnel underneath the Budget Car Rental operation on Douglas – this is true – the site used to be associated with the Empress Hotel, and the tunnels were service tunnels, I believe to access the laundry that was located there. I talked with several workers at the Empress, as well as my great aunt, who explored the place many decades ago. There are several sub basements under the hotel, and the tunnel connects at one of these levels. It has been sealed off for many years now – possibly when they built the conference center behind the hotel. The laundry building can be seen in several pictures on the provincial archives website.

There is also a tunnel that runs from the Legislature across the street to the Archives. Another service tunnel, used to transport people, files, etc. to and from the Leg. No cults, sacrifices or sinister uses (except of course, sinister political ones.....) - just a way to get stuff around efficiently.



And my research coincides with yours.



Where is “The Patch” located?


Yates St.




[last edit 7/26/2005 9:13 PM by KublaKhan - edited 1 times]

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Re: Under the Garden City: Victoria B.C. secret tunnels.
< Reply # 88 on 8/1/2005 5:57 PM >
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Posted by KublaKhan
Here's the latest twist.

About ten feet below Johnston St, just off the foot of the bridge, is a ante-chamber that connects Store St. Pandora and Johnston Streets (respectively) , and then connects to Yates St and then makes an angled turn and connects Broad Street. All those purple-tiled sidewalk thingies are part of the system.

The Yates Street tunnel is real REAL (so the guys says) and that he's actually BEEN IN IT recently. He told me he can walk throughout downtown Victoria and never touch street level.




Hey Kubla,

I'm researching this underground stuff and was wondering if you could provide me some more details on this Yates-Johnson-Store-Pandora loop. Have you been in there? Is it all one big room of sorts or a series of rooms? I've seen a lot of bricked off store rooms in the basements of places in that area but never anything that eleborate. To the best of my knowledge, the most fantastic place is the underground graveyard (at least that's what it looks like) up by Douglas and Johnson.

Also, this guy who says he can travel underground throughout the entire city, has he shown you any of this or told you how he does it?

Any help would be much appreciated!




KublaKhan 


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Re: Under the Garden City: Victoria B.C. secret tunnels.
< Reply # 89 on 8/1/2005 7:38 PM >
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Posted by scoob


Hey Kubla,

I'm researching this underground stuff and was wondering if you could provide me some more details on this Yates-Johnson-Store-Pandora loop. Have you been in there? Is it all one big room of sorts or a series of rooms? I've seen a lot of bricked off store rooms in the basements of places in that area but never anything that eleborate. To the best of my knowledge, the most fantastic place is the underground graveyard (at least that's what it looks like) up by Douglas and Johnson.

Also, this guy who says he can travel underground throughout the entire city, has he shown you any of this or told you how he does it?

Any help would be much appreciated!


I haven't heard about an underground graveyard by Johnson and Douglas. Interesting. I'll have to check it out. I have heard of something around that area...mainly what was uncovered about 55 years ago by some city engineers. Apparently, they were digging up the street and discovered a whole series of apartment-like dwellings, complete with cots and small wood-burning stoves, and were all connected by a tunnel that ran straight to Fisgard St.

I'm looking into that.

I have been in a couple of places near the Johnson St. Bridge, and everything in the area is quite old. The storm-drains have some very old brickwork, and some of the metal fixtures (hinges, hooks, etc.) are obviously hand-crafted by blacksmiths. This suggests that these are part of some original structure, dating back perhaps to the mid-late 1800's. I found an old coin...a nickle featuring a Roman numeral V, a torch, and CANADA on one side. The other side (heads) features King George. I also found a very old silver fork. These were in one storm drain, reasonably dry, and desperately clogged with spiderwebs, etc. I also found a hypodermic needle.

As I have mentioned in the past, steel-toed boots are absolutely imperative.

I'll be posting some pictures of a location a friend and I checked out recently.

Otherwise, my tunnel stories are coming in from all directions. This site has provided an excellent opportunity for like-minded enthusiasts to offer their versions of these stories.









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KublaKhan 


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Re: Under the Garden City: Victoria B.C. secret tunnels.
< Reply # 90 on 8/2/2005 12:42 AM >
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Posted by KublaKhan


I haven't heard about an underground graveyard by Johnson and Douglas. Interesting. I'll have to check it out. I have heard of something around that area...mainly what was uncovered about 55 years ago by some city engineers. Apparently, they were digging up the street and discovered a whole series of apartment-like dwellings, complete with cots and small wood-burning stoves, and were all connected by a tunnel that ran straight to Fisgard St.

I'm looking into that.

I have been in a couple of places near the Johnson St. Bridge, and everything in the area is quite old. The storm-drains have some very old brickwork, and some of the metal fixtures (hinges, hooks, etc.) are obviously hand-crafted by blacksmiths. This suggests that these are part of some original structure, dating back perhaps to the mid-late 1800's. I found an old coin...a nickle featuring a Roman numeral V, a torch, and CANADA on one side. The other side (heads) features King George. I also found a very old silver fork. These were in one storm drain, reasonably dry, and desperately clogged with spiderwebs, etc. I also found a hypodermic needle.

As I have mentioned in the past, steel-toed boots are absolutely imperative.

I'll be posting some pictures of a location a friend and I checked out recently.

Otherwise, my tunnel stories are coming in from all directions. This site has provided an excellent opportunity for like-minded enthusiasts to offer their versions of these stories.



Here are a couple of pictures of the drains.

NOTE: the guy in the drain is about 6'4". The drain itself is quite wide.






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Re: Under the Garden City: Victoria B.C. secret tunnels.
< Reply # 91 on 8/4/2005 7:25 AM >
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Posted by BimmiN
Was it this building?





That's a great picture. I walk by that building everyday...I'm always intruiged by what/who lurks inside...

...probably just a bunch of junkies though...


Did any of you check out the damage on Pandora st from the fire. I guess on Monday there was a fire in those vacant apartment buildings a-top vacant bottom floors. I recall that they were doing construction and the side of the building was torn off...it was that building. yes...

A bit off topic but hey


-Melissa




KublaKhan 


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Re: Under the Garden City: Victoria B.C. secret tunnels.
< Reply # 92 on 8/4/2005 4:32 PM >
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Posted by melissah



That's a great picture. I walk by that building everyday...I'm always intruiged by what/who lurks inside...

...probably just a bunch of junkies though...


Did any of you check out the damage on Pandora st from the fire. I guess on Monday there was a fire in those vacant apartment buildings a-top vacant bottom floors. I recall that they were doing construction and the side of the building was torn off...it was that building. yes...

A bit off topic but hey


-Melissa



Yeah. Check out the thread 'Johnson St. Squat: Abandon All Hope.' I took a few pictures inside that building over the long weekend, about 24 hours before the building burned.

As for the Janion (the building in your pic), read some of the previous posts in this thread.






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Re: Under the Garden City: Victoria B.C. secret tunnels.
< Reply # 93 on 8/5/2005 2:03 AM >
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Posted by KublaKhan
I haven't heard about an underground graveyard by Johnson and Douglas. Interesting. I'll have to check it out. I have heard of something around that area...mainly what was uncovered about 55 years ago by some city engineers. Apparently, they were digging up the street and discovered a whole series of apartment-like dwellings, complete with cots and small wood-burning stoves, and were all connected by a tunnel that ran straight to Fisgard St.


Sweet monkey love, I would love to hear more about that! Damn, I wish I lived back there, so much cool s**t to check out...


Posted by KublaKhan
Otherwise, my tunnel stories are coming in from all directions. This site has provided an excellent opportunity for like-minded enthusiasts to offer their versions of these stories.


And I love hearing about it. Having gotten into it a bit when I lived there, I long to know more. Like the rumoured mines on Mt. Doug, hear anything about that? Did a lot of looking around on that damn heap and never found anything...




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Re: Under the Garden City: Victoria B.C. secret tunnels.
< Reply # 94 on 8/7/2005 7:02 PM >
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^ All that is left of the copper mine on Mt. Doug is a very small side shaft, that many people think is a natural cave. It starts out pretty damn small, but eventually gets tall enough that I could walk for the last 10 feet or so (back when I was 5'0" though). There is nothing interesting there really. The side shaft ends where a vertical shaft supposedly went down, but was filled in. I had noticed as a kid that the side shaft seemed to get more and more filled in as the years passed.




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Re: Under the Garden City: Victoria B.C. secret tunnels.
< Reply # 95 on 8/7/2005 7:39 PM >
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Where is that brick storm drain tunnel?




KublaKhan 


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Re: Under the Garden City: Victoria B.C. secret tunnels.
< Reply # 96 on 8/8/2005 12:45 AM >
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Where is that brick storm drain tunnel?


Foot of Johnson St. Bridge. That little grassy area near the Old Junk thingy. Behind a tall hedge. Can't miss it.




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Re: Under the Garden City: Victoria B.C. secret tunnels.
< Reply # 97 on 8/8/2005 9:58 PM >
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Man, I love this shit.

I recently moved here but have heard stories of the tunnels under Vic city for ages. I mean, come on, who doesn't love a good conspiracy?

I'm planning on spending a day off hiking around the areas everyone's mentioned. Even if nothing comes of it, then sweet, I got me some exercise.

To throw a "What do you think" into this, a friend just recently went on a ghost tour thing that they do here. At the end, she asked her guide about the speculation of secret underground tunnels leading all over the city. His response was that most of the rumours were bunk because Victoria is build on bedrock and it'd be technically impossible to have a system of tunnels as such, or something of the sort.




KublaKhan 


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Re: Under the Garden City: Victoria B.C. secret tunnels.
< Reply # 98 on 8/9/2005 12:54 AM >
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Posted by Lyric
...that most of the rumours were bunk because Victoria is build on bedrock and it'd be technically impossible to have a system of tunnels as such, or something of the sort.


Not impossible, but very, very hard. Victoria was home to miners in the early days...you know, the people who dig mines...and they probably understood a thing or two about getting through solid rock.

There are tunnels.




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Re: Under the Garden City: Victoria B.C. secret tunnels.
< Reply # 99 on 8/9/2005 5:54 PM >
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Getting through solid rock in those days meant drilling the holes for the explosives by hand, (single or double jacking using sledgehammers and drill steels), loading then setting off the charges. How could a network of tunnels be built just under the city without everyone knowing about it? And with Victoria being the colonial, then provincial capital, where the Department of Mines (with all of its inspectors, technicians), Police headquarters and a myriad of Provincial officials lived and worked, do you really think that this vaunted web of subterranean homesteads could be created without being noticed, and/or stopped? Doesn't this seem just a tad farfetched? All these rumours just make me wonder: isn't "real" history interesting enough? Why do people seemingly always embellish and exaggerate? A few storm and sewer drains built from brick in the 1890s aren't interesting enough - so now we've got underground graveyards, catacombs, tunnels, even homes?




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