A Shoppers’ Paradise!
Walk down any street in downtown Victoria and be wowed by shops both large and small selling everything from traditional Chinese medicine to high fashion clothing and shoes to gourmet coffee and pastries!
Here are some highlights and some of MY favorite places to shop! See MAP for locations of all listed.
Brightly painted Victorian-era shop-fronts flank both sides of busy Lower Johnson Street between Wharf and Government Streets. Once home to hotels and stores supporting the gold rushes of the 1850s and 1890s, today the area is known for its local and independent boutiques and restaurants.
2. Market Square
Located in the ‘Lo-Jo’ area at 560 Johnson St, Market Square offers a wonderful shopping experience! Browse your way through unique, local boutiques in heritage brick-and-beam buildings surrounding an open air courtyard – a great place to take a break and enjoy a take-out lunch.
Also: Sundays 10 – 3 May through September is the Victoria Flea Market
Admission is Free and over 50 vendors with everything under the sun on display!
Lots of little shops selling all sorts of intriguing asian food, trinkets & clothing as well as a number of Chinese restaurants are all crammed together in a one block shopping delight! Located on Fisgard St. between Government & Wharf streets – you’ll find the entrance on Government St. easily as there’s a beautifully decorated ‘archway’ over the street entrance. And don’t miss Fan Tan Alley … a little walkway with some funky shops to explore!
4. Government Street.
All along this street are shops, shops and more shops! Most are unique and selling everything from native art/jewellry, toys, clothing, hats and more! Be sure to stop in at my favorites: Murchies for tea/coffee/munchies/lunch, & Munro’s books for a book browsers heaven!
5. Store Street.
Not a lot of shops, but some unique ones for sure! My favorites are Capital Iron (everything from soup to nuts as they say … hardware, clothing, housewares, camping equipment, fishing equipment … you name it!), Chintz & Co. (lovely and unique housewares, home decor, fabric … all gorgeous stuff!), and the Value Village for a real change of pace!
If you keep on heading towards the centre of the city, Store Street magically becomes Wharf Street with more shopping and restaurants and will eventually lead back up to Government Street, the Inner Harbour & The Empress.
6. Ocean River Sports.
Between Capital Iron and Value Village is a wonderful place called ‘Ocean River Sports‘. They are your one-stop shopping experience for all things related to kayaking! Boats, accessories, clothing … they have it all. Plus a great line of outdoor clothing, shoes, camping accessories … just to name a few things. Their staff are all outdoor enthusiasts and will help you pick out just the right gear for you. Plus, Ocean River is a great resource to arrange a paddle adventure or some lessons while you’re in town.
7. The Royal BC Museum Gift Shop.
Located on the bottom floor of the museum and adjacent to the cafe, this shop is open to the public and you don’t need to pay an admission for the museum to shop in it. It has some of the most beautiful and unique things … books … clothing … jewellry … toys … and all quite reasonably priced. I love this place!
8. The Bay Centre.
This is a multi-level mall with the Bay (Hudson’s Bay) as it’s anchor tenant. It is bordered by Government St., Fort St., View St. & Douglas St. There is a parkade in the lower (street) level for easy access. It has all the ‘usual’ mall-type stores and a food court on the top level.
9. Mountain Equipment Co-op
(or MEC … pronounced ‘mek’ as we call it here in Victoria!). Located on Government St. between Johnson St. & Pandora St. A very large store carrying everything ‘out-doorsy’ such as clothing, camping, biking, hiking, climbing, paddling equipment. You have to be a member (it’s a co-op) to shop there but it’s a small fee for a life-time membership ($5). Lots of good stuff!
DATE: May 1 – September 30 (Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays) | 11 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
11. Victoria Public Market at The Hudson
(Sundays) 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Indoor Farmers’ Market: Year-round (Wednesdays) | 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Outdoor Farmers’ Market: May – October (Wednesdays) | 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. (Back carriageway of The Hudson)
LOCATION: The Hudson, 1701 Douglas Street
12. Antique Row
Fort Street has long been known as “Antique Row” for its many auction houses and antique shops, but the arrivals of several international restaurants, fashion boutiques, coffee shops, bakeries, book stores and jewelers have given the area a fresh feel. The area of Fort Street near the intersection with Cook Street has recently been rebranded as “Mosaic Village” – a testament to its newfound diversity and identity. The area’s specialty antique shops offering rare china, silverware, toys and furniture are now interspersed with an array of fitness, fashion, food and sustainability-orientated independent businesses as well. An amazing restaurant for a gourmet dinner is Cafe Brio at 944 Fort St.!
13. Trounce Alley
Four blocks along Government Street, on the right hand side, is Trounce Alley, one of Victoria’s best-kept secrets. European fashions and gift shops await as well as a tasty restaurant called the Tapa Bar.
14. Government Street Public Market
The former Government Street Sunday Market — and its Farmers’ Market — has moved to Bastion Square and Langley Street on Sundays. (see #10 above for more info.)
15. James Bay Community Market
At the junction of Menzies Street & Superior Street (across from the James Bay Tearoom) from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm is a local market featuring juried artisans, local farm produce, flowers, jams & music.
Held every Saturday from May 1 – October 9.
Contact: 250-381-5323 (message)
Here’s a map to all of the above listed places: