Sam Kee Building, Vancouver

Sam Kee Building, Vancouver

The Sam Kee Building has the rather odd distinction of being the shallowest commercial building in the world.

The building was originally built by one of Chinatown's wealthiest firms, the Sam Kee Company, in 1903. The basement level of the building was designed to hold public baths, while the ground floor held commercial buildings, and the top level was residential.

This arrangement worked for the next nine years, until the city of Vancouver widened the street the Sam Kee Building was situated on. This had the effect of seriously limiting the size of the commercial area of the Sam Kee Building. In response, the building was designed to have a ground floor that's only around four feet, eleven inches wide, with a second floor that's six feet wide. Despite its narrow size, the Sam Kee Building is still used as a commercial space.

According to both the Guinness Book of World Records and Ripleys Believe It or Not, this building is the shallowest commercial space in the world, despite being challenged by the Skinny Building in Pittsburgh. Though the Skinny Building is wider than the Sam Kee Building's ground floor, the Skinny Building is shallower than its top floor, making it the shallowest building from the ground floor, up.
Sight description based on wikipedia

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of Vancouver, Canada within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

Download The GPSmyCity App

Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for IOS   Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for Android

Sam Kee Building on Map

Sight Name: Sam Kee Building
Sight Location: Vancouver, Canada
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) containing this sight: Downtown Landmarks in Vancouver   Walking Tour of Chinatown in Vancouver  

Walking Tours in Vancouver, Canada

Create Your Own Walk in Vancouver

Create Your Own Walk in Vancouver

Creating your own self-guided walk in Vancouver is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Walking Tour of Chinatown in Vancouver

Walking Tour of Chinatown in Vancouver

Vancouver's Chinatown is North America's second largest Chinese-centered area. It attracts many tourists with its expressive culture, food, and fabulous traditional architecture. This walking tour will guide you to the most significant attractions in Chinatown.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.5 km
Walking Tour: Religious Edifices in Downtown Vancouver

Walking Tour: Religious Edifices in Downtown Vancouver

Vancouver's churches, cathedrals and chapels are as numerous as they are diverse. They reflect the nation's religious history and the culture of the city. This downtown walking tour will take you to the most sacred religious edifices of the city.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.7 km
Granville Island Walk in Vancouver

Granville Island Walk in Vancouver

Granville Island is a peninsula connected to Vancouver’s downtown area via the Granville Street Bridge. It is famous for being a popular shopping district and features attractions such as galleries, markets and a brewery. Don’t miss the chance to take this walking tour and see the best Granville Island has to offer.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.8 km
Walking Tour of Artist-Run Galleries in Vancouver

Walking Tour of Artist-Run Galleries in Vancouver

Vancouver offers visitors a great selection of art galleries that feature permanent and temporary exhibitions. There are a number of galleries in the city that are run by Canadian artists, with the majority of these places focusing mainly on contemporary art. This walking tour will take you to the most visited artist-run galleries.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 km
Vancouver Walking Tour: Mount Pleasant

Vancouver Walking Tour: Mount Pleasant

Mount Pleasant was one of the very first neighborhood zones developed in the city of Vancouver. Here you can find lively coffee shops, bistros, trendy boutiques, galleries, and much more. Take this walking tour to discover all the great attractions of the Mount Pleasant area.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 km
Walking Tour of Yaletown in Vancouver

Walking Tour of Yaletown in Vancouver

For many years Yaletown has been the thriving industrial heart of Vancouver. This area of the city looks unlike any other and is considered to be the home of Vancouver's "elite" society. This walking tour will take you to the most significant Yaletown spots.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.0 km

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


16 Distinctively Canadian Things to Buy in Vancouver

16 Distinctively Canadian Things to Buy in Vancouver

British Columbia, in general, and Vancouver, in particular, are among the top Canadian destinations worth being explored. The amalgam of aboriginal and western cultures, Vancouver is a treasure trove of distinctively Canadian delights that are not found anywhere else. Most of these items make for an...