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The downtown area is an extremely popular place for tourists and local Victorians as that is where many of the movie theatres, stage theatres, hotels, restaurants, pubs, night clubs, and shops are. Many tourist attractions are located in and around the area including Bastion Square, heart of the 19th-century city's professional district. Centennial Square is next to Victoria City Hall; it is used for small venue events such as the Electronic Music Festival, which takes place during the same time period as the BC Day statutory holiday and Symphony Splash. Market Square, towards the northwest end of downtown, is used for small venue concerts and festivals, containing shopping establishments and eateries and is part of the city's "Old Town". Just beyond Market Square and Old Town which is the cultural and historic Chinatown which forms part of the northern end of downtown Victoria. It has a colourful Chinese historical past from the early days of Victoria.
Downtown Victoria contains most of Greater Victoria's and the Capital Regional District's urban high rise office towers. They house the local offices of multinational banks, government agencies, private agencies, and other types of organizations. In recent years, many expensive, large condominium complexes were built or are being built to attract more residents to downtown. The goal of these projects is to increase the permanent resident base, to support the downtown economy. The Downtown neighbourhood is currently undergoing a repurposing trend where previous heritage and commercial buildings, like in Toronto, Chicago and New York, are being converted to residential “for-sale” condominiums. The most recent examples are The Janion by Reliance Properties and 595 Pandora by Cielo Properties.
The Bay Centre shopping mall is located in the middle of downtown. Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre, located on the site of the former Victoria Memorial Arena, is the largest sports-entertainment multiplex on Vancouver Island and the second largest in British Columbia outside of the Greater Vancouver area.