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Nanaimo is a traditional west coast community with ample recreation, modern lifestyles, and impressive mountain and ocean views. The city is very easy to access from Vancouver by plane or ferry. What’s more, this area is well known as a tourism destination, with many surrounding islands around the harbour to discover. This opens the door for even more real estate opportunities for property owners.This history of Nanaimo is quite rich starting with it’s name, derived from the Coast Salish who first called it home. They called themselves the “Snuneymuxw”, which means ‘great and mighty people.’ When white settlers arrived, they adapted the word to Nanaimo.
In the early 1800’s the Hudson’s Bay Company discovered rich coal deposits in the area, and you may recognise the names of former coal seams – Newcastle, Wakesiah, Wellington and Northfield – as you tour the city. The Company 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.
The tiny community safeguarded itself against attack by building the Bastion Fort in Nanaimo’s boat basin. Completed in 1853 it served as storage, defense arsenal and clerk’s office for running the township, with cannons at the ready. It never had the onerous task of defending itself, and its cannons were fired less than a handful of times. The fort has since been renovated and transformed into a museum, and it gives great insight into the way of life a century ago.
By 1938 mining was replaced by logging as the major industry in the region, and a pulp and paper mill was constructed near Duke Point. In modern times Nanaimo’s economy has diversified.
The local sports scene is a major source of entertainment and pride in Nanaimo with high level Lacrosse, Baseball, Soccer, Basketball and Football to watch. Nanaimo’s biggest sports attraction for the residents who live here are the local two junior hockey clubs, the junior A Nanaimo Clippers and the junior B Nanaimo Buccaneers.
As the second largest city on Vancouver Island, it offers an interesting combination of urban lifestyle in a vibrantly beautiful natural setting. Downtown area offers many commercial opportunities including the Vancouver Island Conference Centre and the reinvigorated old city quarter.