What was once the epicenter of Nanaimo's booming coal mining industry has undergone a major revitalization; many of the area's grand Victorian homes and miners’ cottages have been lovingly restored, resulting in a community attracting those looking for that slice of history while longing for an emerging urban setting.
Long before coal mining shaped the landscape of the South End, the shoreline of this traditional Snuneymuxw territory was dotted with longhouses, and its sacred sites told stories of the land. The once-bustling Haliburton Street was home to hotels and saloons. Today the surrounding area is quickly transformed into an upscale, family-oriented neighbourhood. Because of groups of dedicated residents, who pride themselves on preserving the historical significance of the land and maintaining its amenities, a strong sense of community prevails. In addition, this neighbourhood’s central location boasts stunning views of the ocean, mountains, and nearby green space, making this district the epitome of West Coast living.
Parks and Recreation
Take time to explore. Harbourview District offers a great range of getaways. Thoughtfully restored by the South End Community Association, a local favourite is Deverill Square Park. In the heart of this south end neighbourhood, this family-friendly park features a waterpark, playground, basketball court and lit playing field; making it the ideal setting for annual community celebrations. Stroll through this vibrant neighbourhood to the harbourfront seawall, dotted with art installations, cafes, and ice cream shops. Follow the seawall to Maffeo Sutton Park, host to many festivals and concerts throughout the year, including the famous weekend-long International Bathtub and Dragon Boat races.
Get back to nature with a visit to Petroglyph Park, or explore kilometres of scenic boardwalk at the Chase River Estuary, which is only a short drive away. For indoor recreation, head to the Nanaimo Aquatic Centre, twin rinks at the Ice Centre, or check out the brand new covered outdoor sports complex at Harewood Centennial Park.
Thinking of a day trip? Hop on a ferry to nearby Newcastle, Protection and Gabriola Islands while developing a new perspective of the city as you explore beaches and trails, and hunt for clues of Nanaimo's mining history. Or take a scenic floatplane ride with Harbour Air.
Skip the north end malls and stroll along sidewalks, peek into storefronts and unique shopping that line the streets of downtown and the Old City Quarter–a quick 10-minute walk from Harbourview District. From bookstores to one of a kind boutiques like Archer and Arrow, Cayo Fashions, and NYLA, you're sure to find a treasure or two. Downtown is also home to Port Place Mall, which features a large medical clinic, London Drugs, a casino, Thrifty Foods, and eateries
Entertainment & Nightlife
When it comes to dining and cultural entertainment, many of Nanaimo's best venues and popular restaurants are a fifteen-minute walk from your door. On your way to downtown stop in for sushi at the Firehouse Grill or make your way to the Old City Quarter to check out a variety of pubs and restaurants such as Asteras Tavera, Le Stella Trattoria and Coach and Horses.
For a truly local dining experience in the heart of downtown, visit Gabriel's Gourmet Cafe. Their farm-to-table motto means that their meats, eggs, and produce are locally sourced from small sustainable farms. For a taste of Nanaimo's craft beer industry, check out White Sails Brewing, a gathering place to unwind and take in locally inspired brews with friends and family.
Discover Nanaimo's growing community of artists at one of White Rabbit Coffee Co. pop-up art shows or take in some musical talent at the Queens. The Vault Cafe hosts weekly events and is the ideal setting to work remotely during the day and transition into A great evening unwinding with friends.
Off the harbourfront walkway is the Port Theatre, hosting more than 250 performances and musical events a year, and home to the Vancouver Island Symphony. When it comes to dining and entertainment, everything you need is within walking distance.
At Harbourview District, you can truly have it all. Stunning ocean views, combined with a walkable neighbourhood close to transit and shopping in Nanaimo's downtown core. Nanaimo's central transit terminal is just a 9-minute walk from your door, and even closer is the Helijet terminal connecting you to Vancouver in 20 minutes. Nanaimo is also home to two seaplane terminals. Harbour Air is just an 18-minute walk along the harbourfront, and the SeaAir terminal is approximately a 10-minute drive, located next to the Departure Bay ferry terminal.
By car, it takes approximately 20 minutes to reach North Nanaimo, for a smooth, stress-free commute. With no real rush hour, you can be home from work in a fraction of the time it would typically take in a larger metropolis. The Nanaimo Airport is just 13 kilometres south of Nanaimo proper, and it's now the second busiest on the island and currently undergoing a massive expansion.
Real Estate Activity
Recognized as the North and Central Vancouver Island economic hub, Nanaimo is the fifth fastest-growing urban center in BC. The real estate market, fueled by the area's affordability, climate and proximity to larger city centres, continues to hold steady. The benchmark price for multi-family dwellings as of January 2019 was $323,921 (Vancouver Island Real Estate Board), with sale prices continuing to rise year over year.
As Nanaimo's economy grows, and the downtown core continues to draw buyers and investors, the demand for real estate has radiated into surrounding downtown areas. This growth is making Harbourview District a prime opportunity to own a slice of urban living at an affordable price. With an abundance of new condo developments in South Nanaimo, very few can offer ocean views, an established sense of community, historical charm, and are within walking distance to downtown.
Nanaimo, "The Harbour City," is an oceanside community located on the southeast side of Vancouver Island and its the second-largest urban center. Nanaimo has a population of approximately 90,504 with 155,698 in the Regional District of Nanaimo. Based on BC Real Estate Association stats, the population for the City of Nanaimo is projected to grow to 138,476 residents by 2041.
The south end community that encompasses the Harbourview District has a population of approximately 540 people, while the surrounding downtown and Old City Quarter is home to roughly 1470. Affordability and proximity to downtown are making this south end neighbourhood a desirable location for people looking to experience the conveniences and cultural vibe of urban living.
The median age of Nanaimo residents is 44.2 years, according to statistics Canada, with 66,795 residents between the ages of 15 and 64 years old, who make up 63.7% of the population. Meanwhile, the median age of those living in Downtown Nanaimo, the Old City Quarter and the South End are between 20-50 years of age. Here, residents work mainly in sales and service, trades and transport, business, finance, and administration, with an average total income of $76,949 for private households. Nanaimo is fast drawing the attention of young professionals and families attracted to Nanaimo's affordability and livability.
Post-Secondary Educational Programming
Nanaimo houses the main campus for Vancouver Island University (VIU). Offering a range of post-secondary programming, VIU has a student population of 14,484. Meanwhile, the international student population, most from China, Japan and India, has seen a steady incline of enrollment year over year with a student population of approximately 2,000. Many students choose to stay in Nanaimo and on the island after completing their education–contributing to an increasingly diverse demographic. By car, VIU is approximately 10 minutes away or a bus commute from the nearby downtown bus terminal.