It is said it's the most haunted place of Victoria. My English school was located there but I didn't see anything unusual during the time I was there.
In Bastion Square you find the Maritime Museum, the Burns Building, Board of Trade Building among other historic buildings. During summer it hosts the Festival of Arts where many vendors offer their craft. A great place to drink some coffee while you enjoy street performances and acts. Take a picture of Helmcken Alley, chances are you get a ghost photographed!!
Bastion Square is a charming pedestrian street that stands close to where Fort Victoria, the Hudson's Bay Company's trading post erected in 1843, used to be. Many important buildings were erected in this "cradle of the city", including the old Court House, the first concrete building in Victoria (it now houses the Maritime Museum), the Law Chambers, designed by architect Francis Rattenbury, Burnes House, one of the city's first hotels dating back to 1882, and the Victoria Board of Trade, erected in 1892.
Nowadays, Bastion Square is mostly known for its open-air public market, running from spring to fall, where numerous local artisans set up little craft shops. There are also a few great pubs, restaurants and cafes in the square and nearby alleys.
I wish I could find the notes from my UVic architecture class to tell you a bit about the buildings in Bastion Square- perhaps it is enough to know that the square used to house the Law Courts, and the legend of Matthew Begbie (the Hanging Judge) still lives on! In the summer there is a great market in the square, with people selling all sorts of stuff. My personal favorite stall is owned by Free Spirit Botanicals, a local company (with whom I am NOT affiliated in any way) that makes great body products. I had so many customer rave about their Gardeners Hand Cream that I finally had to check it out for myself- AMAZING stuff! You can also visit the Maritime Museum, located in the heart of the square.
There is also a popular pub (Darcy's) and busy nightclub (Upstairs Cabaret) at the lower end of the square. Upstairs is busiest on Friday and Saturday nights. Cafe Paradiso de Stelle has good pastas and paninis for lunch, and Rebar (at the top of the square) is one of my favorite restaurants in Victoria. If you cross the streets at the bottom of the square and go down the wooden stairway, you will reach Boom Boom Room- the best club in Victoria on Monday nights.
Originally, Bastion Square had been the site of one of Fort Victoria's octagonal gun bastions. It became a bustling area with waterfront hotels, saloons, and warehouses during the late 19th century. It included Victoria's original Court House which is now the Maritime Museum. In 1963, the area was restored as a heritage square. Now it is once again bustling as it's a great place to check out street muscians while taking in wobbly pop at the outdoor seating of the pubs and restaurants.
Site of the original Fort Victoria (1843)... now long gone ... and said to harbour a haunted building (need to check this out!), many small shops, arts and crafts stands, benches to sit on, several restaurants, and some welcome greenery ... and a wide scenic view of Inner Harbour and beyond ... Bastion Square gives respite from the rush of the city in the midst of the city, and a chance to regroup oneself while soaking up some pacific scenery.
Stretching between Wharf and Government Streets, there are street musicians, even bands in summer here, who add the beauty of their music to that of the scenery ... and the always popular outdoor seating of the restaurants completes the lively historic ambience of Bastion Square.
Many small shops, arts and crafts stands, benches to sit on, several restaurants and a wide scenic view of Inner Harbour.
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WHile you are walking Downtown, admiring the old buildings, taking in the scenery and enjoying the outdoor entertainment you should stop by Bastion Square. From May 1 until mid-October Bastion Square Hosts an Open air market (one of the oldest and most prestigious markets in Victoria). it is open Wed-Sun and all holidays from 10:30am-5:30pm and id all local artists and craftsmakers. You can also see local entertainers.
On a normal day you will find t-shirt makers, basket-makers, hjewelers, painters, glassworkers, book-binders, musicans, tarot readers (me!!), Henna Tatooists and Face painters.
There are also many restaurants and The Victoria Marintime Museum.
Come and joins us!! Spend a day in the sun and get a real feel for the artistic side of Victoria!!!!
unlike China Town, Bastion Square does not have drastic contrast of Chinese style construction to have the "East meets West", it is one of the old town and people enjoy their days, walk around and feel their life style and the atmosphere. So relaxing...
It was around 6pm when I first saw Bastion Square. It was a beautiful day, and the sun was just setting. I was on Wharf St and saw the steps of Bastion Square on the harbour side. The restaurants at Bastion Square had outdoor seatings filled with diners. And there were people-watching people sitting on the steps. For a moment I thought I was at the Spanish Steps in Rome.
Too bad I forgot to take a photo then. The photo attached showing the steps of Bastion Square was taken the next morning, when all the shops were still closed. Great place to be though.
The Square runs between Government Street and the Wharf Street waterfront, is lined with 19th-century buildings, including Victoria's original Court House (1889), where long ago Judge Matthew Begbie earned his nickname "the hanging judge." Today, it houses the Maritime Museum and the oldest working elevator in North America. Along Wharf Street are some of the city's oldest buildings, including the original Customs House (1876) at the foot of Broughton Street. Today, you can shop, gallery hop or sip cappuccino at a sidewalk cafe?steps from the waterfront where sailing ships once unloaded their cargoes.
Once the site of Victoria’s Court House, Law Chambers, a brothel and several hangings, Bastion Square is now alive with shops and restaurants. In the summer, take in the Bastion Square Festival of the Arts; a bustling market, vendors and local artisans sell their hand made arts and crafts. The people here are so friendly and obviously very talented from the handiworks they create. I couldn't go through the area without buying something!!
Feels almost like Italy...
More pictures at: http://victoriabc.myphotos.cc