Hubby commented on the regulations it must take to preserve the original architecture and keep the buildings clean. I picked up a brochure on the topic. Tourism more than pays for the costs of preserving the downtown area.
If one wants to see strip malls and modern buildings in Victoria they can travel out Douglas street for ten minutes and see all the modern you might want. I do recommend traveling outside the downtown area. Of course, everybody wants to see the Butchart Gardens, but we stayed at a B&B down the coast where we could walk on the beach and watch the Straights of Juan de Fuca.