Johnson Street was originally a ravine which allowed water drainage to flow from town into the harbour. This ravine divided the occidental new immigrants and the oriental. Because the end of the ravine was where much of the harbour activity was taking place during the Fraser River gold rush, wood shacks were eventually built and the ravine was filled in to make way for a thoroughfare. In 1858 over 250 wood buildings went up in the area, in l863 85 new brick buildings were erected, mostly hotels, supply shops, dance halls and saloons . Johnson Street flourished with these businesses until the first world war when Victoria stopped growing and Seattle became the new gateway to the goldrush. This area spiraled into depression until the 1960s when Victoria went through a revitalization in order to attract tourists. The Heritage Society was born and the oldest buildings in Old Town were saved.