Nanaimo, BC is a coastal paradise. Located on Vancouver Island, the city is the second largest on the island, after Victoria, and the fifth largest in all of British Columbia. So why live in Nanaimo? Nanaimo is a haven for students, retirees, and young families alike. This picturesque island city is far more affordable than many other BC cities while still boasting a waterfront location, tons of natural beauty, and a bustling economy. In fact, Nanaimo has a reputation for offering some of the best living conditions in the province.
Quality and diversity of education in Nanaimo
Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools, also known as School District No. 68 operates 48 schools in the greater Nanaimo area. Over 15,000 students attend these schools, which include Pleasant Valley Elementary School, Fairview Elementary School, Nanaimo District Secondary School, Mountain View Elementary School, and Chase River Elementary School, among others. Locals can also find Catholic and private education opportunities in Nanaimo. The city also has its own university, Vancouver Island University. However, residents are not far from Victoria (roughly one and a half hours by car), which is home to the University of Victoria, Camosun College, Royal Roads University, Vancouver Island School of Art, and Pearson College UWC. Meanwhile, a ferry roughly one and half hours in length will have you in Vancouver, which boasts several other post-secondary options, like University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, Capilano University, Vancouver Film School, the Art Institute of Vancouver, and the Emily Carr University of Art + Design.
Most populous cities in Nanaimo
The most populous neighbourhoods in Nanaimo include Chase River, Departure Bay, East Wellington, Wellington, Starks, Harmac, Extension, South Nanaimo, Hammond Bay, Diver Lake, Lantzville, Jingle Pot, and Northfield.
Quality of infrastructure for Nanaimo
Nanaimo has its own regional airport, Vancouver Island Airport. However, it is only an hour and a half drive from Victoria International Airport or an hour and a half ferry from Vancouver, which contains the largest airport in the province. Just like in Victoria, BC Transit is the public transportation system that services Nanaimo. It has a massive network of bus routes through the city. Meanwhile, the Island Link Bus and Vancouver Island Connector offer coach bus services connecting Nanaimo with Victoria, Tofino, Campbell River, and more. When it comes to healthcare, Nanaimo Regional General Hospital is located here, which features a newly renovated, state-of-the-art emergency department. However, the province’s capital city of Victoria also has two major hospitals that Nanaimo residents can take advantage of, Victoria General Hospital and Royal Jubilee Hospital.
Safety and security for Nanaimo
Call 9-1-1 right away if you are ever in an emergency situation in Nanaimo. Nanaimo is serviced by the Royal Canadian Mountain Police (RCMP). However, you will have peace of mind when living here due to the fact that this Vancouver Island city is one of the safest in the country.
Nanaimo property market
Nanaimo’s property market is thriving, which makes it a great place to buy a home. As more and more people have started moving to the area, an increasing number of properties have become available. While the area is known for its historic homes, you can also find a range of bungalows, semi-detached homes, detached homes, duplexes, triplexes, apartments, condos, and cottages here.
Standard of living in Nanaimo
From the mild west coast climate and year-round recreational activities to endless natural beauty and small town charm, Nanaimo has it all. You can bet that your standard of living will be high if you choose to call Nanaimo home. Even better, the cost of living is low across the board, from housing to food. It also has a relatively small population compared to other BC cities, currently hovering around 90,000, which translates to perks like a tight-knit community and minimal traffic congestion.
Something wonderful about Nanaimo
Nanaimo is an outdoor playground. Not only is it situated on the ocean but it also features over 200 parks, lakes, and beaches. You will even find multiple nearby islands to explore like Gabriola Island and Newcastle Marine Park. Plus, the city is home to the world’s largest artificial upright reef, a draw for scuba diving enthusiasts. Mount Washington is also nearby, which offers some of the best skiing on Vancouver Island. In all, activities that Nanaimo residents can enjoy almost all year include hiking, biking, swimming, kayaking, canoeing, golfing, fishing, and whale watching.