Named after: the water channel that ran through it.
A creek starting just below (todays) Kennedy Road ran down the hill and drained into Victoria Harbour where (todays) Wanchai Road runs. Possibly as early as the late 1840s, when Queen's Road was built, the creek was diverted and ran covered under the street.
Shipbuilding in Wanchai started in the mid-1840s already. On Marine Lot No. 31 and the adjoining Marine Lot No. 36 the Victoria Foundry was built in 1868. This was taken over by George Fenwick in 1880.