Shopping Centres, Victoria
This funky little shop is home to all sorts of crazy home decor items (and some basics too). The prices are all very reasonable for items from vases and candles to martini glasses and mirrors. There are tons of kitschy little items too- last time I was in there was a collection of retro-inspired toys that were just too cute! There are lots of great gift ideas here too!
I can't resist the cute cards and postcards, but I've also picked up everything from shower radios to glass beads.
The Bay Centre, located on Government Street in downtown Victoria, is a run-of the-mill shopping centre (mall). For budget travellers, however, it offers one little gem - its food court! In a city where menu prices can make dinner time daunting for backpackers, the food court, on the top floor of the Bay Centre, saves the day! You can get a huge meal for about C$15.
There's also a Blacks Camera store in the mall if you need a new memory card or film.
What to buy: Besides the food court, the shopping centre has al the usual suspects in the world of mall retail! I bought some reasonably well priced clothes here to stock up my summer clothing.
Trounce Alley is a short small shopping street with a bit of Victoria history in it. The Alley is still lit by gas lamps and has flower baskets hanging around.
The stores are one-of-kind shops with unique items, art and clothing for the curious and creative.
Mayfair Mall is jam-packed full of stores that have something for everyone. They have a large variety of clothing stores, plus The Bay (a major department store), HMV, Electronics Boutique, Body Shop, Toys R Us, and a large food court (including Victoria's only Arbys... which greatly excited my beef-dip loving brother). Recent fashion additions include The Gap, Off the Wall (great mid-priced jean selection for under-30s) and American Eagle Outfitters.
The mall was recently renovated and is bright and spacious, with plenty of parking (rooftop, street level and underground). It is about a five minute drive from downtown along either Douglas or Blanshard Streets. It tends to get very busy and is a popular place for middle-school kids to hang out.
See the link below for a mall directory, and the phone number provided is for the mall's general customer service desk.
The Bay Centre is located in downtown and it is the city's most popular shopping place. It has almost every kind of shop, boutiques, restaurantes and services. At the 4th floor there is a permanent photograph exposition of the Hudson Bay Company, the oldest company in Victoria and owner of The Bay.
My favourites shops are:
- Claire's (accesories)
- A buck or two (a dollar store)
- Hallmark (gifts store)
- Sirens (women clothing)
- Mariposa (women chothing)
What to buy: Clothing, shoes and accesories... basically whatever you want!!
What to pay: as much as you want
The Bay Center is huge, and figuring out which stores are worth your time can be difficult. Here's a guide for those in the 16-35 age range:
Ground Floor - Purdy's Chocolates are made in Vancouver and due to their limited distribution area they are preservative-free (unlike those at Roger's Chocolates on Government Street). Le Chateau is good for disposable clothes you'll wear once or twice to a nightclub. The liquor store in the mall is the only government-run store that is open on certain holidays. Don't miss Esprit (below the escalators).
Second Floor - Jacob is good for smart casual wear and work clothes. It's located near Guess (which everyone knows) and The Body Shop. Aldo is good for shoes, Sterling isn't.
Third Floor - Club Monaco has super-modern casual and workwear. La Senza sells decent lingere, and has recently been bought by Victoria's Secret.
Fourth Floor - Food court... skip it. See my bazillion restaurant tips for amazing places to eat (at every price) nearby.
Though deceivingly small upon first glance, the Bay Centre in downtown Victoria is actually a pleasant shopping mall and certainly worth a visit if you're planning on any clothing purchases. While many of the shops are international and Canadian retail chains (The Body Shop, Aldo, Smart Set, le Chateau, Suzy Shier, Cole's Books, etc), it's also home to The Bay department store, a BC liquor store, and a large food court. The mall has 4 floors, with the food court taking up the "penthouse", so to speak. What's nice about it is that it has a little garden patio, so you can take your food outside if you wish.
Formerly called the Eaton Centre, after the in and out of bankruptcy Canadian retail store, but now the Bay, this old-fashioned style mall sits in the middle of downtown between Douglas and Government streets. It offers a wide arrangement of stores and food courts.
If you want to shop at some fairly well-known stores, then this would probably be the place.
An interesting footnote: at the center of the building towards the roof are a set of clocks which give the times to many of the British Empire's former ports of call. Next to it is written, "Westward the course of Empire takes its way." Clearly when the mall was built, its designers tried to import the city's old imperial past into the marketing. Still nevertheless, it's an interesting thing to notice.
In Hillside mall you'll find from the supermarkets Thrifty Foods and Zellers to a department store like Sears, the food court (with a Tim Horton's store yomi, yomi) and many, many shops where you'll find whatever you need.
What to buy: Fantasy jewlery in Claire's, lots of cd's and dvd's in HMV and lots of stuff in the dollar shop!
Hey Mexicans, are you looking for our food and well known branches?? go to Thrifty foods! there is a special section of Mexican food where you will find from Valentina Salsa and jalapenos to Chilaquiles.
Walmart was my first Victoria shop visited.
I just needed an actual map of the town and some drinks & snacks for the night.
It looked like the super store had its own basement parking entrance from Saanich Road.
Parking was easy, free and covered.
There were escalators to the main entrance and the size just overwhelmed me.
The layout though was familiar (the same as in any other Walmart), but the size was huge.
I think this was the first Walmart I went into with a fresh food section.
I saw another hardware section on the first floor, but did not need to go there.
I just did my shopping and was on the road within 10 minutes.
What to buy: Anything!
What to pay: Low prices.
The Bay Company left its traces everywhere in Canada, but in Victoria there are many historical roots of the company. The nowadays Shopping Mall does not resemble the trading company that once started here.
A list of the shops in the year 2012 in the Mall:
BC Lottery Ticket Centre
Call It Spring
Cargo & James Tea
Crabtree & Evelyn
Glen's Fabulous Sandwiches
Great Canadian Dollar Store
Marble Slab Creamery
Maritime Travel @ The Bay
My Foot Reflexology
New York Fries
Orchard On View
Pure Health Lounge
Sandwich Corner Cafe Express
The Tuscan Kitchen
Umi Sushi Express
Formerly known as the Eaton Centre, the Bay Centre is named after its new anchor store. The Bay Centre covers 2 city blocks filled with 4 floors with over 80 shops and services of the standard mall type.
It's a huge shopping center where you can buy anything, eat there and play!
What to buy: Also I likes Purdy's chocolate LOL
What to pay: with good sales you can buy lots!