This photograph was taken through the Ritchet Building on Wharf Street. Wharf Street is situated in the Victoria harbor area and its businesses were marine related. The Ritchet Building was constructed starting 1861 and finished 1889. It was owned by a guy from San Francisco named Robert Paterson Ritchet. He came here because of the gold rush and as a business man maintained connections and trade between San Fransisco and Victoria. This man was very much opposed, against popular opinion, to joining with the USA and later was mayor of Victoria for some years.
The building was bought by the government and extensively renovated on the inside to accommodate office space. With the heritage protection that was activated in the mean time the outside could not be altered.
This is what I could see through a grimy window in a back alley looking towards Wharf Street: