c.1935 Unknown Location | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

c.1935 Unknown Location

c.1935 Unknown Location

Where: I don't know - hopefully you do! [UPDATE: Several readers have identified this as Wellington Street, looking up the slope from the junction with D'Aguilar Street towards the junction with Wyndham Street.]

The road slopes gently uphill, and from the shadows we're looking east. At the end there's a broad flight of steps to the right, and it looks as though the road narrows to an alley on the left.

Who: There are a couple of pairs of sedan chair bearers waiting for customers:

Sedan Chairs

Am I right to say that means we're on Hong Kong island? I think of Kowloon only using rickshaws, as the streets there aren't as hilly.

It's busier than I'd expect for a dead-end street, so maybe there's a road junction up near the steps?

What: Here's a closer view of the top of the steps:


On the left there's a large sign with writing in Chinese and English. Is the building at the top of the steps some sort of institution? Maybe a school or a hospital? The man on the right of the photo looks smartly dressed in a white suit.

We can also see the names of several businesses along the street. Canada Shoes is the big name on the left, and further along on the right are a couple of tailors' shops, Man Hing, and Yee Sing.

When: This comes from the same set as the photos of Altadena [1] and the rat bin [2], taken in the 1930s.

If you recognise the street, or can add any clues, please let us know in the comments below.

Regards, David


  1. c.1935 Altadena, Barker Road
  2. c.1935 Hawker, book stall, rat bin

Reference: A077U

Date picture taken (may be approximate): 
Tuesday, January 1, 1935


Wellington Street
Wellington street. The building that next to the Canada shoe shop looks the same.

Hi There,

I tend to agree, however I think the terrace looked familiar despite the present day location didn't look like what's in the photo.  The terrace is likely to be On Hing Terrace.  The stone wall is still there.

Thanks & Best Regards,


That was my first thought; Wellington Street :-)

Yep.  You can just about make out that the street sign with a white background on the right (about 2/3 of the way across the photo, containing 3 Chinese characters) says "Canada".

That was quick - thanks for your help.

Now I know where to look, I found another photo looking the opposite direction: http://gwulo.com/node/6072

It shows a lamp post at the bottom of the steps, which is just visible in the blown-up view of the steps above.

Regards, David

I had an email asking where the shop is in the photo.

In the older photo it is hidden under the navigator. Zoom in and on the left of the photo you can see the big sign "...NADA SHOE CO." (The photo was taken at an angle, so I had to crop it - the original photo shows the full name).

In the newer photo there's a white sign with the characters for 'Canada' in Chinese: 加拿大 (though it's written right-to-left, so 大拿加)

regards, David

Address: 18 D'Aguilar Street, corner with Wellington Street. Advert seen in HK Sunday Herald 5 August 1934.