There are  many reasons why people choose to move to Nanaimo. Some people may wonder why people are flocking to Vancouver Island and into this city in particular, so I  have decided to list some of the best reasons to relocate to this amazing Island. After all, Nanaimo was voted  (Condi Magazine) to be the  best city to live in for the quality of life. People seem to be more laidback, (yet active) friendly,  and dedicated to living their lives to the fullest. Check out the top ten reasons why.




Vancouver Island has one of the best climates in Canada…..Canada’s California.  Many Canadian seniors move to Vancouver Island to get the best of the Canadian weather. The city has beautiful summers and autumns, when the leaves change colour, and people can enjoy the best beaches all year round. The avid golfers have a year round playground.



Nanaimoites are happy,  friendly, relaxed and love the Island lifestyle. Although the city’s population is 85,000 is has a small town friendliness. It is great for the person who enjoys the outdoors and nature. It offers almost everything that a large city has, but without the stress of heavy traffic that city driving brings. It is central to everything! You are a 90 minute ferry trip to Vancouver and 90 minutes drive to Victoria. You can travel up Island for hiking at Strathcona Park, or approximately a 3 hour drive to Tofino for surfing at Long Beach or just long beautiful walks along the beach, watching the rolling surf.


Community Design

The relationship between the built environment and the existing conditions,  as key to making a city safe efficient and functional. Enhancing the natural and existing landscape, that creates a community design that is healthy, inspiring and energizing. With that kind of focus and vision,  it not only highlights a clear path to future development, but also offers achievable steps. Setting the foundation and doing the necessary prep work right. This is some of the reasons the City of Nanaimo leaves you feeling content, relaxed, inspired, and thoughtful.



Nanaimo is far more affordable than Vancouver or Victoria. This of course brings the cost of living down considerable. As we know a big portion of our income is for housing. Many of my client have sold their homes in Vancouver or Victoria, and moved here and bought homes here with their large equity, in turn lowering their mortgage payments, and enjoying our quality of life.  Nanaimo is a great places to raise children and a wonderful place to retire. There is this quality of life that everyone seeks. It is here in Nanaimo!!

Eco-Friendly Clean City

Most Nanaimo companies recycle and locals have recycling bins for bottles, cardboard, newspaper, plastic and more. Islanders do not like to see someone littering in their beautiful city, so we trust you will keep it clean if you are visiting us. Nanaimo is a very clean city for the most part. The city of Nanaimo takes care of its main streets, parks and beaches and you will always catch someone picking up trash and putting it into a bin. In the summer the streets are lined with colourful fragrant hanging planters. The communities of Nanaimo work together to keep it clean.


Festivals Galore!

There are so many festivals held every year up and down the Island.  From Jazz festivals to our famous Bath Tub Races.  The streets are alive with festivities, as salsa dancing, parades, and carnivals. The harbour fills up with every size of boat from yachts, to kayaks, to watch our spectacular  fireworks display. For land lovers, the harbor front fills up with excited spectators, enjoying the music and the fireworks for the shores. There is something for everyone to enjoy on Vancouver Island. Vancouver is an energetic city that loves to provide events and family fun for visitors and locals alike.



Nanaimo is known as an active city with many things to do. The city has activities for summer and winter lovers alike, such as skiing, snowboarding, kayaking, boating, sailing, rollerblading, cycling, mountain-biking, hiking and so much more! Don’t forget our Nanaimo seawall for brisk morning walks, topped off with a cup of mocha, right along the seawall.  Mount Washington, is a one hour trip from Nanaimo, and is enjoyed year round……summer hiking and of course of ski and snowboard destination in the winter.


Best Fresh Seafood

Nanaimo has some of the best fresh seafood in the country. Visitors can enjoy fresh oysters, mussels, salmon and halibut from some of the finest restaurants around the city of Nanaimo. You may want to try or floating oyster and fish and chip café, right on our own water front. Or hop on little ferry that takes you over to our floating pub, the Dingy Dock Pub, with live entertainment on the weekends, while watching the sail boat races. You may just want to buy fresh prawns right of the boats in the harbor………or for a little fun, throw our crab traps off our dock, and take home our own catch. Watch for Lucy our friendly little seal.


Beautiful Beaches

Nanaimo has some beautiful beach, boasting one of Canada’s  largest shorelines, hosting areas for visitors and locals to spend the day. There are so many beaches there will never be a day, when it is so crowded you cannot find a parking spot. Well maybe……..a Wedding Day at Pipers Lagoon Park may keep you waiting for parking. It is such a spectacular beach park.


Parks, Trails and Fields.

Some of Nanaimo's greatest assets are its public outdoor spaces. With over 588 hectares of City parks, over 100 kilometers of trails, 65 playgrounds, and 22 sports fields, there is something for everyone to enjoy and discover. Locals enjoy spending the day on large spans of beach, or having a picnics in our lush parks. There are many parks around Nanaimo has many trails and hikes to enjoy. The gardens in and around the city are lush, colorful and always blooming.



Nanaimo’s distinct personality combines the bathtub race capital of the world, mild climate, internationally acclaimed cold water and wreck diving, high caliber artists, renowned local food, and abundance of parks and trails along with picturesque ocean views in nearly every direction. Our distinctness is in our adversity. We have incomparable natural beauty, rich arts district, growing food culture and employment in a variety of sectors from technology to retail. It is a distinct community with many characteristics.



Nanaimoities  travel to the moon and back every day according to traffic surveyors. Knowing this plays an important role in the successful movement of goods, services,  and people. Discovering patterns is an efficient means of improving service.  Nanaimo has added charging stations for electric cars, at strategic points throughout the city and for those suffering from range anxiety stations will be opening soon along the Oceanside corridor. Living on an island we have to consider all modes of traffic, including external, like ferry and air. There is a multimodal being created that will be centrally located downtown by the waterfront that can connect with the ferries, Tofino bus, seaplane, RDN regions, cruise ship terminal, potential foot ferry and airport. To reduce independence to fuel powered vehicles, the city increased bike lanes, pedestrian pathways and number and times of buses.


Vibrant Economy

Westjet’s arrival at Nanaimo Airport lands daily flights to Alberta. This service will increase the economic component  for the mid-Island region by opening up opportunities  in a number of disciplines like the resource sector, tourism, and high tech industries. It will make it much easier for families living in Nanaimo to work in the oil fields of Alberta. The will work elsewhere, but continue to enjoy the lifestyle here, bringing the dollars back to our area. The airport has tremendous advantage and opportunity for moving good and people. It also creates a significant role in cultural experiences, broadening relationships and stimulating a global perspective. 



Meeting the needs of the present without compromising future generations ability to thrive is the essence of economic, environmental and social sustainability. Smart growth and green building is part of the new urbanism. It focuses on specific principles and guidelines that orient around building lasting community. City planners want Nanaimo to be a destination where they can escape and enjoy an exceptional quality of life.   

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Diane Stasiuk

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