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Bastion Square with people sitting on steps and walking around.
Home > Plan > About Victoria > Alleys & Squares

Alleys & Squares

Stroll back through the centuries. Victoria’s rich history is on full display in many downtown alleys, squares and important landmarks. They’re all well preserved and add a unique and distinguished sense of enchantment to Victoria’s modern, vibrant character.

 

Bastion Square

Part of the original Fort Victoria, find some of Victoria’s finest restaurants, pubs and cafés (and some of the sunniest patios) in Bastion Square. The area is also part of a bustling outdoor summer market.

The square sits in the heart of downtown overlooking the Inner Harbour and includes several notable late-19th Century landmarks:

  • The Court House (designed by architect H.O. Tiedeman) was the first concrete building in Victoria, built in 1889.
  • The Law Chambers, designed by F.M. Rattenbury, was built in the late 1800s.
  • 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

Centennial Square was built in 1962 to mark the 100th anniversary of Victoria’s incorporation. It includes City Hall, the McPherson Playhouse, a senior citizens’ activity centre and Capital Regional District services.

It also contains shops, a parkade, the city archives, Victoria's Spirit Square (with a performance stage for outdoor shows), an artistic water fountain and gardens filled with native flora.

Fan Tan Alley

Found in one of the oldest surviving Chinatowns on the continent, this alley is also the narrowest commercial street in North America—just 0.9 metres (less than 3ft) wide at its narrowest. Originally a gambling district, you’ll now find a variety of interesting shops, restaurants and galleries.


Market Square

Formerly part of Olde Towne Victoria, Market Square boasts three levels of independent shops and restaurants. An assortment of eclectic arts and exciting cultural activities take place year-round.


Pioneer Square

Instead of shops and restaurants, this square next to Christ Church Cathedral is actually a cemetery—Victoria’s second oldest—that was established and used between 1858 and 1873. Many distinguished pioneers are buried here.


Trounce Alley

Named after Victoria Pioneer Thomas Trounce, Trounce Alley contains authentic gaslights that are over 125 years old. Trounce Alley is also home to one-of-a-kind shops sure to satisfy the desires of shoe and handbag shoppers.