Neighbourhoods & Communities
Squares and Alleys
Victoria's neighbourhoods are a haven for both the leisurely traveller and the active visitor. The city reflects its First Nations and British history in heritage buildings and totem poles alike. The scenic Inner Harbour and downtown core are infused with colour and charm. Victoria boasts the mildest climate in Canada and embraces its natural surroundings. As a result, gardens bloom year-round and outdoor adventure abounds.
Part of the original Fort Victoria, Bastion Square encompasses several buildings and is part of a lively outdoor market during the summer. The Court House (designed by architect H.O. Tiedeman) was the first concrete building in Victoria. Built in 1889, it now houses the Maritime Museum. The Law Chambers, designed by F.M.Rattenbury, was built at the turn of the century. Burnes House, originally a hotel in 1882, then a brothel and later a warehouse, was restored in 1967. Strousse Warehouse was built in 1885 as a supply centre for gold miners. The Board of Trade building was built in 1892 by A.M. Muir.
Centennial Square was built to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the city's incorporation (in 1962). It includes City Hall, the McPherson Playhouse, a senior citizens activity centre and Capital Regional District services. It also contains shops, a parkade and the city archives. Centennial Square is home to Victoria's Spirit Square featuring a performance stage for small to medium sized outdoor performances, an artistic drinking water fountain and a garden filled with native species.
Fan Tan Alley
Located in Chinatown, this alley is the narrowest commercial street in North America, being only 0.9 metres at its narrowest. Originally a gambling district it now contains a variety of unique shops, restaurants and galleries.
Formerly part of Olde Towne Victoria, this square has three levels of independent shops and restaurants. An assortment of eclectic arts and culture activities take place in the square year round.
Instead of a regular square with shops and restaurants this square actually a cemetery - the second one established in Victoria and in use between 1858 and 1873. Many distinguished pioneers were (and still are) buried here.
Named after Victoria Pioneer Thomas Trounce, the alley contains authentic gaslights more than 125 years old. Trounce Alley is home to one-of-a-kind shops sure to satisfy the desires of shoe and handbag aficionados. W&J Wilson Clothiers has been at its present location on the corner since 1862, the same year Victoria was incorporated as a city.