Most Recent Nanaimo Homes & Condos Listed for Sale

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Why You Would Want To Live in Nanaimo

Known today as the Harbour City, Nanaimo radiates natural beauty with one of the largest shorelines in the country, a forested mountain backdrop, and one of the most moderate climates in Canada.  Offering an abundance of recreational activities minutes from all the amenities and conveniences a modern city boasts, Nanaimo is the perfect place to live, work, and play.

With its central location, 2 BC Ferries terminals connecting to the mainland, a growing regional airport, and a mere 15-minute floatplane ride from Downtown Vancouver, Nanaimo is the gateway to the recreational playground we call Vancouver Island.

Area Overview

Modern-day Nanaimo has evolved into a fast-growing urban centre situated 55 km east of Vancouver and 110 km north of Victoria; this west coast community is the second-largest city on Vancouver Island and the fifth-largest urban centre in BC after Vancouver, Victoria, Kelowna, and Abbotsford-Mission. 

Due to its central location on Vancouver Island, Nanaimo serves as the retail, distribution, service, and transportation hub for much of Northern and Central Vancouver Island, and as such is currently home to more than 5,600 active businesses. Nanaimo is an area in transition as the formerly primarily resourced-based economy shifts towards more of a service-based economy, which over the next decade should see an increased focus on catering to the needs of the aging population given the area’s increasingly older demographic profile. School District 68, VIHA, Vancouver Island University, BC Ferries, City of Nanaimo, Shaw Cable, and Nordia are the largest employers in Nanaimo, with small businesses also supplying a significant percentage of jobs in the area. 


Nanaimo is home to 24 public elementary schools, including 3 offering french immersion, that feed into the 5 secondary schools serving the community. In Nanaimo, students attend elementary school from Kindergarten through Grade 7, before moving onto secondary school for grades 8 through 12. 

Alternatively, there are two private schools in Nanaimo, both offering classes from Kindergarten through Grade 12. 

Vancouver Island University is Nanaimo’s premier post-secondary institution, offering a range of programs from trades to graduate degrees in a variety of fields. In addition, community colleges such as Sprott-Shaw and Discovery Community College provide a number of career preparatory programs.  


From trendy boutiques along the harbourfront to brand name retailers in Vancouver Island’s largest mall, Woodgrove Centre, Nanaimo provides a range of shopping options to appeal to a wide range of tastes. Serving as the regional retail hub for Central Vancouver Island, Nanaimo features a significant number of indoor and outdoor malls and is home to many big box stores to meet all of your needs. 

Recreational Opportunities

Recreational opportunities abound on Central Vancouver Island. With its mild climate and a selection of golf courses located within a 20-minute drive, year-round golf is one of the region’s most inviting offerings. The Strait of Georgia provides a picturesque setting for boating and sailing, with countless islands and charming west coast communities to explore. Nanaimo is home to some of the World’s top coldwater scuba diving, including 3 wreck dives, some outstanding reef, and wall dives, and a selection of easily accessible shore dives. Anglers will enjoy the range of options, from the local lakes and rivers to the ocean fishery offering not only excellent salmon and bottom fishing but also the opportunity to collect and feast on such west coast delicacies as clams, oysters, prawns, and crab. Just over an hour north of the city is Mt. Washington, Vancouver Island’s world-class alpine resort, offering downhill and cross country skiing through the winter and fabulous hiking and mountain biking in the summer months. Closer to home, sites such as Mt. Benson and the Lantzville Foothills offer some challenging hiking trails with some impressive views. The forested 6km trail around Westwood Lake offers a truly west coast nature experience, with the downtown seawall along the harbourfront providing an equally impressive west coast setting. 


Nanaimo offers a variety of entertainment options. The Port Theatre is Nanaimo’s premier venue for the performing arts, while a number of smaller, more intimate venues offer live music throughout the week and outdoor concerts are often on tap at Maffeo Sutton Park throughout the summer months. 

Sports fans will enjoy taking in the Nanaimo Clippers Junior A hockey team, the Vancouver Island Raiders junior football team, the Nanaimo Timbermen Senior A lacrosse team, the Nanaimo United soccer team, and the Nanaimo Hornets rugby team. 


For the size of the city, Nanaimo offers an impressive selection of restaurants. Fine dining, trendy brewpubs, casual family diners, tasty ethnic cuisine, local seafood, and even Canada’s only registered floating pub, Nanaimo has an option for everyone.

Some of our top picks include the following: Asteras Greek Taverna, Nori Sushi, and the Longwood Brew Pub.


With more than 880 hectares of parkland, which includes 12 off-leash dog parks, 70 playgrounds, 26 sports fields, and 2 outdoor amphitheatres, Nanaimo’s abundance of public outdoor spaces will surely be enjoyed by the whole family. The city also features more than 173 km of trails, contributing to the active lifestyle of the city’s population.