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Moving To Nanaimo
Considering a move to Vancouver Island? The city of Nanaimo, also known as the Harbour City, offers awe-inspiring beauty matched with a vibrant urban life. As one of Canada’s most beautiful regions, experience a city surrounded by continuous mountain ranges stretching into brilliant blue skies, lush green cedar rainforests, and spectacular ocean views at every turn. Littered with parks, trails, pristine beaches, delicious cuisine, amazing shops, and warm and welcoming people, Nanaimo is the destination for the ultimate West Coast Experience.
A charming growing city, with a small-town feel.
A growing city with a small-town feel, you’ll fall in love with the Island lifestyle. Moving to Nanaimo means enjoying the splendors of a big city without the hassle of traffic. Centrally located to everything, you are only a 90 minute ferry ride to Vancouver, a 90 minute stunning, scenic car ride to Victoria, and a 3-hour drive to Tofino.
Stretching along the coastline of the southern end of Vancouver Island, Nanaimo has very warm and pleasant summers accompanied by mild winters. With a wide variation of precipitation, there is plenty of rain on the west coast to keep everything lush and green so you can enjoy the tranquility of nature year-round. Nanaimo is an active city that offers activities such as kayaking, snowboarding, skiing, boating, sailing, and much more!
A paradise for any outdoor enthusiast, locals enjoy walking, hiking, and biking with over 170 kilometres of trails to explore.
Visit Neck Point Park and immerse yourself in nature with a rejuvenating walk through beautiful trails under the sound of singing birds and soaring bald eagles. Or, if you’re feeling extra adventurous, check out WildPlay Elements Parks and fly through the air above the Nanaimo River gorge on a guided zipline tour!
Looking for the ultimate excursion?
Looking for the ultimate excursion? Let somebody else do all the planning and preparation and choose from a selection of local tour operators for your next adventure. Take in breathe taking new sights with an aerial tour with the Straight of Georgia Seaplane Tour, go cave diving at Horne Lake, or introduce yourself to Vancouver Island’s diverse ecosystems through whale watching, birding, or salmon and trout fishing.
After you are fresh off your latest outdoor adventure, how about treating yourself to some shopping?
Visit Woodgrove Mall to discover all the latest fashion trends, or visit Nanaimo’s downtown for a fantastic selection of unique shops, art galleries, charming bookstores, and boutique clothing shops. Pick up a fresh new look at NYLA Fresh Thread and then decorate your new home with with some contemporary decor from Flying Fish.
Never a dull day, Nanaimo is a social and fun city that is rich with food, craft beer, music, theatre, and festivals.
Take the 10-minute ferry or even paddle to Protection Island and visit the Dinghy Dock Pub & Floating Restaurant. Relax with a drink in your hand and the melodious sounds of music as you and gaze into a sparkling ocean until the sun fades into dusk behind the surrounding mountains. No matter the time of year, come fall or winter, there is always entertainment close by.
Home to many festivals, locals enjoy the smooth sounds of jazz with the Summertime Blues Festival at Maffeo Sutton Park, an action-packed spectacle at the world famous Bathtub Races at the city harbour, or the perfect duo of craft beer and amazing tunes at the Longwoodstock, an all-day music fest.
Moving to Nanaimo means enjoying some of the best seafood in the country.
Fresh salmon, halibut, trout, oysters, mussels, you name it! If seafood doesn’t tickle your fancy, enjoy a farm-to-table breakfast at Gabriel’s Gourmet Cafe, or maybe you’re in the mood for local fusion dishes with a twist at The Nest Bistro. Once your belly is full, take a leisurely stroll along the Harbourfront Walkway and satisfy your sweet tooth with a creamy, decadent Nanaimo bar. If eating out is not your style, no problem, the Bastion Waterfront Farmer’s Market at Pioneer Plaza is full of fresh, local products to take home.
There is a reason why the locals are some of the happiest, relaxed, and most helpful people you will ever come across.
That is because they have found a slice of island paradise and so can you! So, if you are ready to feel the crisp ocean air, marvel at lush rainforests, and smell the sweet fragrance of the west coast rain, then maybe it is time to consider moving to Nanaimo and start living life to the fullest!
For a list of local resources &
referrals, check out our list below:
Vancouver Island Health Authority
Island Health provides health care services through a network of hospitals, clinics, centres, health units, and residential care locations.
LifeLabs offers laboratory tests to help diagnose, treat, monitor and prevent diseases in a number of locations across Vancouver Island.
Medical Services Plan of BC
The Medical Services Plan (MSP) is a provincial insurance program that pays for required medically necessary services provided by physicians and midwives, dental and oral surgery performed in a hospital, eye examinations if medically required and some orthodontic services.
Nanaimo Regional General Hospital
Nanaimo Regional Hospital’s team of staff, nurses, and physicians offers care to the residents of Nanaimo and surrounding area.
Theatre & Arts
Nanaimo’s premiere theatre on the waterfront showcases a broad range of world class performing arts, art exhibits, a variety of educational and artistic programming for Vancouver Island youth, and educational events and conferences.
Nanaimo Art Gallery
Located in the heart of downtown Nanaimo, the Nanaimo Art Gallery enhances the cultural environment of Vancouver Island through exhibitions by contemporary artists, educational workshops, lectures, and hands-on activities for both children and adults.
Mount Washington Alpine Resort is a year-round recreation destination located on Vancouver Island, British Columbia for skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking, hiking, scenic chair rides and more.
Vancouver Island Whale Watch
Vancouver Island Whale Watch, owned and operated by marine scientists, offers whale watching aboard an open zodiac-style boat or semi-covered vessel. The waters surrounding Nanaimo are home to a variety of Transient orca, humpback, whales, sea lions, harbour seals, porpoises, eagles, and more.
BC Ferries provides all major passenger and vehicle ferry services for coastal and island communities.
Find flight information, airport operating hours, check in times, luggage specifications, parking, pet info, and more.
City of Nanaimo
This websites features everything locals and visitors need to navigate the community, including public notices, parks & recreation facilities and schedules, parks & trails maps, quick links to maps of the City, and emergency information, to name a few.
Everything you need to know as a driver of BC, including driver licensing & ID, vehicles & registrations, auto insurance, and claims.