NANAIMO, CENTRAL VANCOUVER ISLAND, BRITISH COLUMBIA
Nanaimo offers the Best of British Columbia and we feel very lucky to live here. Our community is surrounded by natural beauty - ocean, islands, mountains, rivers, lakes, wildlife. We have hundreds of parks, 250 kilometres of trails, both bike and walking and a fantastic Harbourside Walkway which showcases our most beautiful asset, Nanaimo's famous harbour. Lots of festivals and events.
Nanaimo is centrally located on Vancouver Island in beautiful British Columbia on the west coast of Canada. You can find us at latitude 49° 11’ north, longitude 123° 58’ west or visually at Google Maps.
Nanaimo is well positioned to offer the perfect base for all of your Vancouver Island explorations. In fact in our central area we have the vast majority of the island's greatest attributes: golf courses; beaches; Gulf Islands; murals; forest groves; scuba diving; snorkeling with the seals, sking and fishing. And everything else is within easy day tripping distance. Victoria is 1.5 hours away. Oceanside is 25 minutes away. Cowichan Valley is 40 minutes away. Comox and the Cowichan Valley is 1.25 hours away. Nanaimo is the perfect base.
And talk about access. We have 4 ferry terminals in our town. Two seaplane bases and one land based airport. Getting here's not the problem, it's the leaving part. We have a myriad of things to see and do! Enough to keep you busy for a while!
NANAIMO QUICK FACTS
In 2004 our population was 78,271. Nanaimo is attracting many newcomers so expect to see that number rise quickly in the next few years.
Average prices in our community (according to October 2005 MLS statistics) are:
Nanaimo is often mispelled. Variations include Nanimo, Naniamo or as Naimo.
One of our great redeeming features is the incredibly mild, comfortable weather we have and it almost never snows here, although Mt. Washington ski hill is just over an hour from Nanaimo. In the past few years Nanaimo has tied with Victoria as Canada's Most Comfy City according to Environment Canada! The cities with the most comfortable weather are determined by selecting 23 "comfortable" weather categories, including the mildest winter, spring and fall; the most sunshine; the lightest winds and the lowest humidity. Check out today's mild weather! And have a look at our climate statistics. Mild huh!
Although our winter weather is mild, it does rain fairly frequently from November to March. Make sure to pack an umbrella and raincoat or windbreaker. Snow is infrequent but the rain does help us to create a beautiful rainforest! The bonus is after those winter storms, the beach combing is at it's best! And with the cold weather brings incredible visibility in the water. Scuba diving is at it's best in the winter months.
Not sure what to do while you're in Nanaimo? Guests to Nanaimo, and locals, often list the following as the best experiences.
All this just in Nanaimo. When you include the beaches in Oceanside, caving at Horne Lake, a day trip to Victoria, the murals of Chemainus, Cathedral Grove near Coombs, Coombs Market, fishing in Campbell River, Saturday market on Saltspring Island, kayaking in the Gulf Islands and a quick trip to Tofino, Ucluelet and Long Beach, you can see why Nanaimo is your Vancouver Island Adventure Base!
A SHORT HISTORY OF NANAIMO
Nanaimo has been populated for at least 2000 years by the Snuneymuxw Coast Salish people. They lead a nomadic life moving their homes from Departure Bay to Newcastle Island and other locations in our regional area. The resources and food supply were plentiful. When European settlers moved to Snuneymuxw they changed the spelling of our town's name to reflect it's sound in English, thus the name Nanaimo was adopted.
In the early 1800's the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) discovered rich coal deposits in the area. HBC needed workers to mine the rich deposits, and they placed notices in British newspapers in the spring of 1854. Twenty-four English and Scottish families answered the summons, and travelled here by steamship.
Today Nanaimo is now home to world-class scuba diving, fish farming and research facilities, leading edge technology industries, call centres, regional shopping centres and a bustling university-college.
Spend a bit of time downtown learning our history and while you're there stop off at the Nanaimo Museum. You'll see First Nations artifacts and crafts, tour through old-time Nanaimo and the short-lived Chinatown and walk through a life-like replica of a coal mine. Outside is an authentic miner's cottage and railway engine. You can also enjoy noon-hour cannon firings at the Bastion Fort. Check out the red pagoda memorial to Nanaimo's Chinese pioneers on Stewart Avenue across from the Shipyard and the Vancouver Island Military Museum in Rutherford Mall.
Take a wander through this site and see what intrigues you about Nanaimo. Better yet come for a visit and stay awhile. You'll have a hard time leaving. We look forward to welcoming you!