So here’s an interesting nugget of info. This report from the Toronto World from 1913 describe plans for the Sam Kee building as a four storey structure. Now that would have been something. Unfortunately plans were scaled back.
Architectural Oddity Being Erected – Over 100 Feet Long
Construction is at present proceeding in Vancouver of a downtown structure which is a curiosity of architectural and building genius will be fully entitled to class with New York’s famous flatlron, for the plans show, a four-storey steel structure only six feet wide and 120 feet in length. So narrow is the proposed building that above the ground floor it is necessary to show a continuous row of bay windows in order to provide room for a staircase. The site of the curious block is the southwest corner of Carrall and Pender streets, being the remainder of lot 1, block 17.
Formerly the lot had a width of 33 feet on Carrall Street, flanking on Pender. The city, however, took the greater portion of the lot for the Pender street; widening, paying a sum in the neighbourhood of $65,000 as recompense to the owners, who alleged at that time the six-foot strip left would be of no use, as the individuals owning the next lot on Carrall street would not consent to any satisfactory arrangements for using the property.
It is said now, however, that there is a possibility that the new narrow building may be thrown in with the block standing on the adjacent lot, therefore losing identity as a distinct structure and merely becoming the Pender street face of a building fronting Carrall street. The estimated cost of the six foot building is $8000. It is to be built with Chinese labour. The upper storeys will be laid out for sleeping room purposes and every tenant will enjoy the privilege of having a “hall bedroom.”
Toronto World June 16, 1913