Shopping in Victoria
Park your car, lace up your walking shoes and get ready to explore. For a refreshing change of pace, the heart of Victoria is a treasure trove of shopping discovery and its intimate little shops prove small is beautiful and bigger is not always better. These diminutive places of discovery are chock-ful with one-of-a-kind offerings, from locally made crafts to treasures from afar. The diversity to be found on the mainstreets and sidestreets and alleyways, squares, courtyards and arcades is astonishing.
Just north of the city's Inner Harbour, the downtown shopping district radiates out from Government Street, with souvenir shops, clothing boutiques and fantastic places to eat and drink tucked into historic buildings, retrofitted to serve modern day masters. Discover Victoria's oldest book store, specially blended teas and coffees, delicious handmade chocolates and so much more.
Built in the 1860s by a gentleman named Trounce to attract shoppers, Trounce Alley is just steps away from the bustle of Government Street at View. Colourful shops and a restaurant and outdoor patio entice visitors to relax and enjoy one of downtown's quaint hideaways.
At the heart of Victoria's Old Town, Market Square is a restored 19th-century courtyard, surrounded by two-levels of artisan shops and restaurants. Adjacent Johnson Street is experiencing a rebirth, and boasts a growing selection of funky shops, operated by their owners.
Once the path from Fort Victoria to the vegetable gardens, Fort Street is now a path to the past. The street east from Blanshard is known as the city's Antique Row and is brimming with small and fascinating shops that draw collectors and browsers alike. After all that browsing, your tastebuds will appreciate a great selection of great bakeries, coffee houses and restaurants.
Victoria's Chinatown, Canada's oldest, mixes contemporary stores and live-work condos with traditional Asian markets and diners. The splendid Gate of Harmonious Interest marks the entrance to Chinatown and visitors can stroll historical Fan Tan Alley – at four feet the narrowest street in North America – and the newly developed Dragon Alley. The area offers up a menu of great restaurants, art and gift galleries, variety and specialty shops, bakeries, cafes and tea shops, which serve up glasses of famous bubble tea.
East of downtown in the Fairfield neighbourhood, Cook Street Village is a funky gathering place with several blocks of shops. It's a popular destination for coffee and conversation and to meet up with friends.
Oak Bay Village The municipality's major shopping area, tempts with tearooms and coffee shops, gallery and gift shops, bakeries, boutiques and bookstores, specialty shops, restaurants, markets and pubs. It's located on Oak Bay Avenue.
Mattick's Farm is another destination that features an excellent selection of stores and services. En route to the ferry and next door to Cordova Bay Golf Course, this enclave of specialty shops is a favourite for locals and visitors alike.
Art Galleries & Antiques
Madrona Gallery is dedicated to promoting the best in Canadian art through the critical curatorial eye of director Michael Warren. The gallery exhibits both emerging and internationally-recognized artists from across Canada. The diversity of their collection allows a wide range of exhibitions throughout the year; from the powerful and iconic landscapes of Nicholas Bott to the abstract mixed-media works of Meghan Hildebrand. Madrona Gallery also has a wonderful collection of contemporary and historic Inuit art. Located in the centre of downtown Victoria, Madrona Gallery is a must for all art lovers.
The Coast Collective Art Centre The Collective produces approximately 20 gallery exhibits each year, and feature the works of over 100 local artists and artisans in an extensive GO LOCAL gift shop. The Coast Collective Gift Shop carries superbly fashioned, unique and original crafts and fine art created by talented local artists and artisans at very reasonable price points. Works include stunning jewellery, hand thrown ceramics and colourful fiber arts. Open Wednesday through Sunday, noon – 5pm.
Robert Bateman Centre Gallery From the oceans of British Columbia to the wilderness of Africa, this exhibit of more than 100 pieces unleashes the full scope of Robert Bateman’s work. Travel through eight galleries with Bateman’s video commentary. At Thinking Like a Mountain, the Robert Bateman Centre shop, you will find a collection of nature-inspired giftware made by local British Columbia artists.
Vanity Fair Antiques & Collectibles Mall is located at 1044 Fort Street. This is Victoria's oldest antique and collectibles mall and features over 50 dealers. They feature a wide assortment of vintage and antique items, including fine silver, jewellery, art, vintage toys, glass, china, militaria and curios.
Cigars & Accessories
Visitors to Victoria who are looking for a good cigar or smoking accessories are blessed, as our city has an excellent selection of places to satisfy your needs.
The Cuban Cigar Shop Located at 938 Fort Street, features over 24 brands of the finest Cuban cigars. This represents 190 different Cuban cigars, including collectables and Limited Edition cigars. They also feature 120 non-Cuban cigars from around the world from places such as the Dominican, Nicaragua and Honduras. They also carry European cigarillos and cigar accessories, such as cigar cases, cutters, humidors, lighters, pipes and accessories.
Old Morris Tobacconist was established in 1892 on its present site at 1116 Government Street, and is one of the last remaining examples of pure high society in the city. As one of Canada’s oldest tobacconists it serves as a rare example of the early days of twentieth century retail in North America. The interior, comprised primarily of mahogany, marble and onyx, was completed in 1910 and offers the environment a quaint air of "High Victorian," which is well suited to the typical patrons of this specialty shop. The store features an excellent selection of cigars (both Cuban and non Cuban), cigarillos, tobacco, giftware and accessories.
Goodfellas Cigars has two locations in Victoria, but their downtown store at the corner of Store Street and Pandora is the most convenient for most visitors to Victoria. Their stores offer a wide range of Cuban cigars plus a full range of Nicaraguan, Honduran and Dominican products. Goodfellas is here to help you find what meets your needs best and surpass your expectations with exceptional product knowledge and investment in the culture of fine smoking. They are passionate about cigars and pipes, and all the various forms of tobacco. The experience you'll have at Goodfellas will reflect that.
Since 2005, BC Smoke Shop has provided its customers the best in local glass, high quality vaporizers and fine imports. They provide Victoria with the top shop for vaporizers and for all of your smoking needs. This includes glass pipes, wood and novelty pipes, bongs, grinders, papers and wraps, hookahs and accessories. They are located at 2652 Quadra Street, near Hillside.
Fashion & Apparal
The heart of the city is bursting with trendy little shops that showcase the exceptional work and quality of local designers. Lower Johnson Street (LoJo as locals call it) is a great place to hunt for everything from the latest yoga wear to designer bags and a stunning choice of Vans and Chuck Taylors.
Handcrafted fashions from the Cowichan Valley's First Nations can be found in many retailers around the city, ranging from world-famous sweaters to intricate knits. Cuff socks, flap hats, mittens, scarfs and toques are affordable choices. You can also take some West Coast Aboriginal culture home with you. Sweaters come in vest, poncho, hoodie, butterfly and traditional styles, just to name a few.
Independently owned and family-operated, W & J Wilson is located at 1221 Government Street in downtown Victoria, as well as in Oak Bay and Sidney. They take pride in bringing a variety of European clothing you won't find in many other stores. They feature well known names such as St. James, Gerry Weber, Marc Cain and Eileen Fisher for women and Coppley, Biella, Viyella and Tommy Bahama for men. Of special interest is their iconic men's and women's collections of waxed jackets, quilted jackets and accessories by Barbour, which caters to every outdoor pursuit and season. Barbour epitomizes Wilson's dedication to providing their customers with beautiful, practical and stylish clothing and accessories.
Located at the Tea Lobby of the Empress Hotel, Designer's International will treat you to a world of luxury. They feature high-quality Canadian and Italian fur and leather jackets, designer accessories, Italian handbags, scarves and cashmere.
Oak Bay has a number of fashion stores you should visit. Tulipe Noire at 1887 Oak Bay Avenue, continues to bring women of all ages the very best in today's quality casual designer fashions. This is a nurturing environment where they strive to make dressing smart, comfortable and always sophisticated.
Further down, at 2227 Oak Bay Avenue, brings you to Maresa Boutique where you can express your own unique style with contemporary fashions in natural fibres. Choose from North American and International designers such as the funky elegance of Animale and Bryn Walker; the casual tailoring of Eric Alexandre or Renuar, or the West Coast vibe of Cut Loose and CMC.
A very interesting selection of stores await you at Mattick's Farm at 5325 Cordova Bay Road. They certainly do have a farm nearby and are next door to Cordova Bay Golf Course, but two fashionable stores are located here. Sunday's Snowflakes prides itself in giving the best in "retail therapy" with their commitment to the latest fashions, which would make your selection easy. Choose from designer Kokomarina or other elegant lines, such as Sandwich, Blaest and Simon Chang. Here you will always find the best Victoria has to offer backed up with attentive service. Something More is also located at Mattick's Farm and they feature Plus Size Fashions from classic designs to leading edge styles. X-Two, Gelco, Spanner, Flax, Cut Loose, Simon Chang and Conrad Lundstrom are some of the fashion designers they feature, and they also carry an exquisite line of creative jewellery and accessories.
In a city that beckons to walkers, it’s no surprise that Victoria is home to a wide range of footwear stores. From active wear for hiking, cycling, kayaking and fitness walking to casual shoes, designer selections and everything in between, you're likely to run out of time before running out of places to browse. There are a range of chain stores in local malls, and some of the best discoveries can be found downtown, where independent outlets cater to active outdoor and urban sophisticated shoe desires. If you are looking for footwear for an active holiday, don't forget to check out our local sports stores, as they all have a fabulous selection to fit your latest adventures.
Walk in Comfort Located at six locations, you will find Vancouver Island’s largest selection of walking and comfort shoes. Check out their locations in downtown Victoria, as well as Victoria’s top two shopping malls, Mayfair and Hillside, or visit them in Sidney and Nanaimo. Come in and find some of the world’s top brands, including Ecco, Merrell, Clarks, MBT, New Balance and SAS just to name a few.
Since 1969, Baggins Shoes has helped you express your personality through your footwear. They’re now taking it to the next level as one of the only shops in the world offering custom printing on your Converse or Vans. With the help of their graphic designer, let them make your shoe dreams come true by applying your own design or image right on your shoes.
The Cobbler has been serving Victoria for over 46 years. They have the best selection of boots in Victoria, and provide a unique selection of fashion, comfort shoes, many from Europe. As well they feature one of the largest selection of Naots in the province. If you are looking for something a little bit different, you’ll find it here!
Hobbies & Handcrafts
One of Victoria’s most beautiful shops, Button & Needlework Boutique at 614 View Street, offers an outstanding selection of yarns, ribbons, needlework and incomparable buttons from around the world. Find exquisite knitting yarns and notions, and handcrafted one-of-a-kind buttons. Also look for embroidery, crewelwork and needlepoint supplies. Open Monday - Saturday, 9:30am - 5:30pm and Sundays from Noon - 5pm.
The Beehive Wool Shop at 1700 Douglas Street, is home to BC's largest and best selection of fine knitting yarns and accessories! With a spacious 3,000 square-foot store, they carry over 700 types of yarn, lots of needle choices — including Addi, along with the latest patterns and books. Also featured: luscious, hand-dyed Canadian and local yarns, Sweet Georgia, HandMaiden, FleeceArtist...and more! Within easy walking distance of Victoria's inner harbour, the Beehive is a 'must see' for any fibre lover. Full range of knitting and crochet classes available. Expert, friendly advice any time!
Victoria Bead Town Designs is just a short walk from the Inner Harbour, on your way to Chinatown. Locally owned and operated by sisters Susan and Lorrie, with over 25 years beading experience. They offer a vast array of semi-precious beads; in all shapes and sizes, including BC Jade. Come check out everything from hand-carved stone buddhas and skulls to Dreamcatcher supplies, hemp cord, sequins, bone, wood and crystal beads. Over 500 colours of delica beads...and other special size seed beads! Discover all the treasures, including delightful glass mermaids in their spacious store.
Jewellery & Gifts
Stone's Jewelry Enter the Fairmont Empress Hotel and be treated to a world of luxury. This high-end jewellery shop specializes in one-of-a-kind designs in 14-karat and 18-karat gold with a unique selection of custom-designed pieces in opals, rubies, sapphires, diamonds, gold charms and coins.
A visit to Artina's Jewellery at 1002 Government Street, is a must! Unique jewellery from over 100 of Canada's top jewellery artists, you will find everything from contemporary designs to modern interpretations of First Nations styles. Family-owned and operated for over 25 years, they specialize in unique, handcrafted jewellery and take pride in providing superior customer service.
At Simply The Best the discriminating buyer will find silk ties, writing instruments from Visconti, Fisher, Faber-Castell, Rotring, Diplomat, Mont Blanc, Stipula, Stypen, Omas, Faber-Castell, Aurora, Pelikan, Dupont, élysée, Montegrappa and Lamy. A variety of world-class clothing & accessories from Porsche Design, Boss, Armani, Brioni, Cutter & Buck, Versace, Klein and more. Handmade Alpaca, Cashmere and Mohair sweaters exclusively for Simply The Best. Simply The Best offers the largest selection of shaving products and accessories on Vancouver Island.
At 946 Fort Street and nestled amidst the quaint boutiques and restaurants of upper Fort Street, Idar Jewellery has been creating original handcrafted jewellery using the finest quality precious metals and handpicked gemstones for more than 45 years. Their European-trained jewellers use time-tested techniques and processes to craft exclusive, award-winning collections that blend traditional designs with modern interpretations. For wearable art that embraces the uncommon, visit Idar.
Shopping for Treasures
Munro's Books at 1108 Government Street, has often been called one of the world’s most beautiful bookstores. In it’s heritage building, it is a Victoria landmark and a destination for book lovers for more than 50 years.
At the Blenkinsop Valley Golf Centre at 4237 Blenkinsop Road in Saanich, Just Add Golf had evolved into a full-service golf store carrying top name brands in golf clubs, clothing and shoes.
Canada’s oldest surfshop, HTO Surfshop at 1314 Broad Street, (second location in Sooke) opened in 1980 to fill a need for surfers on South Vancouver Island. They pride themselves on a high level of customer service, knowledge and a long standing commitment to the surf, skateboard, spearfishing and swimming circles.
Located downtown, at 1483 Douglas Street, The Garden of Eden is Victoria’s original adult and lingerie boutique. This interesting store features quality adult products, lingeries, costumer, Venetian masks and more.
Vancouver Island’s only authorized Harley-Davidson retailer Barnes Harley-Davidson strives to provide the best selection of souvenir t-shirts, clothing, parts, accessories and collectibles available. Located at 2940 Ed Nelson Terrace in Langford.
Dragon Impact at 764 Yates Street in downtown Victoria, features a huge selection of knives, swords, battle axes, airsoft and paintball, military supplies, martial art and MMA gear.
Victoria’s home of romantic and erotic adventures is The Romance Shop This is a store created for lovers and romantics of all ages and features an outstanding selection of lingerie, adult novelties, educational videos and books, plus amazing and fun sex toys.
At Mattick's Farm you will find everything from shoes and fashions to carrots and tea. Located at 5325 Cordova Bay Road, adjacent to the Cordova Bay Golf Course, this premiere shopping destination features over 15 excellent shops and boutiques to wander through.
Enrico Winery & Vineyards is home to award-winning wines and friendly people! Visit their Tasting Room for a wine tasting and stroll through the picturesque vineyards of Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Ortega, Cabernet Foch and Cabernet Libra. Relax and sip wine in our picnic area by the trout pond. The Vineyard is a 50-acre property, which was purchased in 2000 as a mixed farming operation; with a long term vision to one day convert it to a vineyard and winery. Enrico Winery was completed in time for their very first grape harvest in the summer of 2009. The winery has recently been doubled in size to accommodate the estates harvest at full production.