The huge influx of people when the gold rush started in 1858 caused a rushed panic of new buildings.  Fort Victoria was a small population in l853 of 450 Europeans and 700 of the Lekwammen people. It is estimated that 20,000 passed through in l858 and many stayed. The resident population grew to 6000. The fort soon became a bustling community of canvas tents and wooden structures made from Californian redwood. These were eventually replaced with brick when the fire hazard became too high.  225 buildings went up in the Johnson street area in six weeks. The bricks used on these buildings were often low quality and had to be later stuccoed to keep the bricks from disintegrating. When the recent updates were done to many of the buildings in the area the stucco was removed and the bricks are now deteriorating.