Located between Bourke and Little Bourke streets, Turners Alley extends west from Swanston Street. In 1860, it was home to wholesale confectioners, a fancy repository and bird cage importers.
On 13 August 1891, a petition signed by eight nearby occupants was forwarded to the City of Melbourne requesting that action be taken on this right-of-way, which was 'being used as a public urinal at all times of day and night'. As a result of the petition, the matter was brought to the attention of the police. Two years later, the City Council investigated the matter of a blocked drain on Turners Alley caused by the occupant of 280-282 Bourke Street, draper M.A. Rapkin. Rapkin was cautioned on several occasions for 'allowing large quantities of rubbish to accumulate in a scattered state'. According to Assistant Inspector Edward Thunderbolt, Rapkin had been treating Turners Alley as his own backyard.