Market Square was the seedy side of Victoria in the late 1800s when sailors and gold prospectors came to seek fortune and fun of the unwholesome variety. It was in stark contrast to Victoria's otherwise quaint English outpost reputation. It is now a touristy shopping mall though it retains much of its architectural charm, no doubt a lot nicer than in its infamous former glory. It's a pleasant place to window shop, grab something quick to eat, or just enjoy the very nice courtyard if the weather is fine.
Located in the heart of the "old town", it is a shopping plaza where you find from restaurants to weird craft. The stores I liked were Avalon (esoteric stuff), Rubber Rainbow (a condom shop) and Café Mexico (as a good Mexican jeje).
During summer it hosts the Latin Caribbean Festival which is a blessing for latin people, like me, to move our feet! Also some other events, performances and concerts are held all year round.
Market Square is truly one of a kind. Located at the bottom of Johnson and Pandora Streets, it is a three-story shopping plaza and patio that houses some of Victoria's most-loved local shops and restaurants. Restaurant choices include Cafe Mexico and Green Cuisine, and shopping choices include Beadworld, EScents (bath and body), Muffet & Luisa (home decor) and Dig This (gardening). The central courtyard also hosts numerous community events and concerts throughout the year.
Market Square is a shopping centre located in downtown Victoria.
The building is quite unique because it's one of the oldest brick structures, and it overlooks a massive courtyard... but the courtyard is completely hidden from the street. The building was built in the 1880's when Victoria was undergoing prosperity with the gold rush, so it definitely has that wild western feel to the structure! There are a few entrances into Market Square, but they're not obvious... and it's certainly not obvious that there's a courtyard until you find yourself through the entrance. When you do, it feels as if you've accidentally stumbled upon a hidden secret!
While many shops are located on the ground level, other shops are located upstairs where you have to walk through a series of staircases and elevated decks to enter. The stores tend to be locally-owned boutiques featuring a variety of arts, crafts, toys, interior decorating, jewellery, and even food.
Some of my favourites at Market Square include:
Jamaican Patty Wagon - It's a small Jamaican take-out shop in the north-west corner of the market. I ate some of the best tasting jerk chicken while I last visited. They also sell things like Jamaican beef patties. I'd definitely return for some more jerk chicken!
Beadworld - I don't do much beadwork, but the shop's always cool to browse through.
Dannsu Gifts - really cool Asian art, crafts and furniture. It's always neat to see what's there.
Old Town Strings - I swear, you can find every stringed instrument here! It's a must-see for guitar, violin or mandolin players!
Foxglove Toys - A small but whimsical toy store carrying really neat items, especially magical-looking things like kites and puppets.
Also worth noting for those that might have visited Market Square in the past, for a while, a really cool t-shirt store called Utopia was located here, but they've since moved down to Government Street.
This was once a two-story complex of shipping offices and supply stores. It now contains more than 40 shops that sell everything from sports equipment, fudge, music, and comic books to jewelry, local arts, and new-age clothing. There are also seven restaurants here. The central courtyard is often the site of live performances in summer.
This market’s pre-1900 architecture around a central courtyard has been restored to its original elegance. Two stories of retail surround its courtyard ampitheatre. The square is now home to specialty shops, restaurants and galleries.
This is a nice historic site that used to be Offices and Supply stores. It is now renovated and it holds more than 40 shops.
Nice area with shops, restaurants (the mexican restaurant is highly recommended) and nightclub.
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