|City of Nanaimo|
|Nickname(s): The Hub, The Harbour City|
|• Mayor||John Ruttan|
|• Governing body||Nanaimo City Council|
|• MPs||Jean Crowder
|• MLAs||Leonard Krog
|• City||91.30 km2 (35.25 sq mi)|
|• Metro||1,280.84 km2 (494.54 sq mi)|
|Elevation||28 m (92 ft)|
|• City||83,810 (ranked 63rd)|
|• Density||918.0/km2 (2,378/sq mi)|
|• Metro||98,021 (ranked 38th)|
|• Metro density||76.5/km2 (198/sq mi)|
|Time zone||PST (UTC−8)|
|• Summer (DST)||PDT (UTC−7)|
|Postal code span||V9R to V9V|
Nanaimo // (Canada 2011 Census population 83,810) is a city on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. It has been dubbed the "Bathtub Racing Capital of the World" and "Harbour City". Nanaimo was also dubbed early in its history by the Vancouver Island Development League as the "Hub City" because of its central location on Vancouver Island. It is also fondly known as the "Hub, Tub, and Pub City" because of its association with the bathtub racing and the numerous "watering holes" in Old Nanaimo. It is the location of the headquarters of the Regional District of Nanaimo.
Nanaimo began as a trading post in the early 19th century; in 1849 the Snuneymuxw chief Ki-et-sa-kun ("Coal Tyee") informed the Hudson's Bay Company of the presence of coal in the area, and in 1853 the company built a fort known as the Nanaimo Bastion (still preserved). Subsequently the town was chiefly known for the export of coal.
Robert Dunsmuir helped establish coal mines in the Nanaimo harbour area as an employee of the Hudson's Bay Company, and later mined in Nanaimo as one of the first independent miners. In 1869 Dunsmuir discovered coal several miles North of Nanaimo at Wellington, and subsequently created the company Dunsmuir and Diggle Ltd so he could acquire crown land and finance the startup of what became the Wellington Colliery. With the success of Dunsmuir and Diggle and the Wellington Colliery, Dunsmuir expanded his operations to include steam railways. Dunsmuir sold Wellington Coal through its Departure Bay docks, while competing Nanaimo coal was sold by the London-based Vancouver Coal Company through the Nanaimo docks.
The gassy qualities of the coal which made it valuable also made it dangerous. The 1887 Nanaimo Mine Explosion killed 150 miners and was described as the largest man-made explosion until the Halifax Explosion. Another 100 men died in another explosion the next year. In the 1940s, lumber supplanted coal as the main business although Minetown Days are still celebrated in the neighbouring community of Lantzville.
Nanaimo has had a succession of four distinct Chinatowns. The first, founded during the gold rush years of the 1860s, was the third largest in British Columbia. In 1884, because of mounting inter-racial tensions related to the Dunsmuir coal company's hiring of Chinese strikebreakers, the company helped move Chinatown to a location outside city limits. In 1908, when two Chinese entrpreneurs bought the site and tried to raise rents, in response, and with the help of 4000 shareholders from across Canada, the community combined forces and bought the site for the third Chinatown at a new location, focused on Pine Street. That third Chinatown, by then mostly derelict, burned down on September 30, 1960. A fourth Chinatown, also called Lower Chinatown or "new town", boomed for a while in the 1920s on Machleary Street.
Location and geography
Located on Vancouver Island, Nanaimo is about 110 km northwest of Victoria, and 55 km west of Vancouver, separated by the Strait of Georgia, and linked to Vancouver via the Horseshoe Bay BC Ferries terminal in West Vancouver. As the site of the main ferry terminal, Nanaimo is the gateway to many other destinations both on the northern part of the island — Tofino, Comox Valley, Parksville, Campbell River, Port Alberni, Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park — and off its coast — Newcastle Island, Protection Island, Gabriola Island, Valdes Island, and many other of the Gulf Islands.
Like much of the coastal Pacific Northwest, Nanaimo experiences a temperate climate with mild, rainy winters and cool, dry summers. Due to its relatively dry summers, the Köppen climate classification places it at the northernmost limits of the Csb or cool-summer Mediterranean zone. Other climate classification systems, such as Trewartha, place it firmly in the Oceanic zone (Do).
Nanaimo is usually shielded from the Aleutian Low’s influence by the mountains of central Vancouver Island, so that summers are unusually dry for its latitude and location — though summer drying as a trend is found in the immediate lee of the coastal ranges as far north as Skagway, Alaska.
Heavy snowfall does occasionally occur during winter, with a record daily total of 0.74 metres (29.13 in) on February 12, 1975, but the mean maximum cover is only 0.2 metres (7.9 in).
|Climate data for Nanaimo|
|Record high Humidex||16.0||17.8||21.3||26.2||37.0||36.4||40.5||42.9||35.7||29.5||20.2||20.1||42.9|
|Record high °C (°F)||15.6
|Average high °C (°F)||6.2
|Daily mean °C (°F)||2.7
|Average low °C (°F)||−0.8
|Record low °C (°F)||−17.8
|Precipitation mm (inches)||169.5
|Rainfall mm (inches)||141.7
|Snowfall cm (inches)||27.2
|Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm)||19.0||16.7||17.5||14.2||14.1||12.1||7.9||7.5||9.1||14.6||20.5||20.6||173.8|
|Avg. rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm)||16.8||15.3||17.2||14.2||14.1||12.1||7.9||7.5||9.1||14.5||20.0||18.5||167.2|
|Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.2 cm)||4.1||2.7||1.1||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.1||1.1||3.8||12.9|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||68.5||79.5||131.8||189.1||226.2||222.6||291.0||269.3||203.1||131.6||65.7||60.7||1,939.1|
|Source: Environment Canada|
Nanaimo is served by three airports: Nanaimo Airport (YCD) with services to Vancouver (YVR), Nanaimo Harbour Water Airport with services to Vancouver harbour and Vancouver Airport (YVR South Terminal), and Nanaimo/Long Lake Water Airport. Nanaimo also has three BC Ferry terminals located at Departure Bay, Duke Point, and downtown. The downtown terminal services Gabriola Island while Departure Bay and Duke Point service Horseshoe Bay and Tsawwassen respectively.
The Nanaimo Port Authority operates the inner Harbour Basin marina providing mooring for smaller vessels and the W. E. Mills Landing and Marina providing mooring for larger vessels. The Port Authority also operates two terminal facilities one at Assembly Wharf (near the downtown core) and the second at Duke Point for cargo operations. In 2011 the Authority completed the addition of a $22 Million Cruise Ship Terminal at Assembly Wharf capable of handling large cruise ships including providing Canada Border Services Agency clearance.
Nanaimo had a population of 83,810 people in 2011, which was an increase of 6.9% from the 2006 census count. The median household income in 2005 for Nanaimo was $45,937, below the British Columbia provincial average of $52,709.
|Canada 2006 Census||Population||% of Total Population|
|Visible minority group
|Other visible minority||40||0.1%|
|Mixed visible minority||270||0.3%|
|Total visible minority population||6,295||8.1%|
|Total Aboriginal population||4,060||5.2%|
The original economic driver was coal mining; however, the forestry industry supplanted it in the early 1960s with the building of the MacMillan Bloedel pulp mill at Harmac in 1958, named after Harvey MacMillan. Today the pulp mill is owned by the employees and local investors and injects well over half a million dollars a day into the local economy. The largest employer is the provincial government. The service, retail and tourism industries are also big contributors to the local economy.
The average sale price of houses in Nanaimo for 2011 was approximately $350,000. A recent surge of higher-density real estate development, centred in the Old City/Downtown area, as well as construction of a city-funded waterfront conference centre, have proven controversial. Proponents of these developments argue that they will bolster the city's economy, while critics worry that they will block waterfront views and increase traffic congestion. Concerns have also been raised about the waterfront conference centre's construction running over its proposed budget. The current council is working hard to solve homeless issues, and has established a strong relationship with the provincial government to provide several hundred low-income housing spaces. Nanaimo has also been experiencing job growth in the technology sector.
Nanaimo is served by three newspapers — the Glacier Media-owned Nanaimo Daily News with about 6367 (audited) copies six days a week and the Harbour City Star with approx. 37,000 copies (claimed) once per week, as well as the Black Press-owned Nanaimo News Bulletin (33,000 copies three times a week — audited). Nanaimo also hosts a bureau for CIVI-DT (CTV Two Victoria, cable channel 12) and a satellite office for CHEK-DT (Independent, cable channel 6).
Nanaimo is also served by the Jim Pattison Group's CHWF-FM (The Wolf) and CKWV-FM (The Wave), as well as CHLY-FM, an independent community campus radio station. CBC Radio One is heard over CBU from Vancouver, providing Nanaimo with local programming from Vancouver instead of from Victoria.
In the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia, Nanaimo is represented by the ridings of Nanaimo (Leonard Krog, British Columbia New Democratic Party), Nanaimo-North Cowichan ( Doug Routley British Columbia New Democratic Party ), and Nanaimo-Parksville (Moira Stilwell, British Columbia Liberal Party).
The mayor of Nanaimo is currently John Ruttan, who was preceded by Gary Korpan. The most colourful and famous mayor Nanaimo ever had was Frank J. Ney, who instigated Nanaimo's well-known bathtub races, which he regularly attended dressed as a pirate. There is a statue to commemorate Ney — dressed in his pirate costume — and the bathtub races at Swy-a-Lana Lagoon, which is on the Nanaimo waterfront; Ney was also an MLA for the Social Credit party while he was also mayor. An elementary school has been named in his honour. Mark Bate became Nanaimo's first mayor in 1875. He served an additional 15 1-year terms as mayor (1876-1879, 1881-1886, 1888-1889, and 1898-1900).
The city's planning department has, over the past five years, steadily produced enough municipal data to warrant a Time magazine article on open-government. Nanaimo has been dubbed 'the capital of Google Earth'. Working directly with Google, the city fed it a wealth of information about its buildings, property lines, utilities and streets. The result is earth.nanaimo.ca, a wealth of city data viewed through the Google Earth 3D mapping program. Their Open Data Catalogue is available at http://data.nanaimo.ca/
Nanaimo has over 30 elementary and secondary schools, most of which are public and are operated by School District 68 Nanaimo-Ladysmith.
The main campus of Vancouver Island University is located in Nanaimo, which brings many international students to the city.
Sprott Shaw College, a private post-secondary institution, also has a campus in the city.
The Nanaimo Art Gallery has two locations, and showcases works by many artists year round. The Port Theater in downtown Nanaimo hosts many performers and shows during the year. Smaller, local theatre companies such as In Other Words Theatre , Western Edge Theatre  and Schmooze Productions  perform at the Nanaimo Centre Stage . Nanaimo also began running a fringe theatre festival in 2011 .
A huge component of the underground music scene in Nanaimo is from the student body of Vancouver Island University. The Nanaimo Blues Society has organized and presented five highly successful, Summertime Blues! festivals. These outdoor Blues festivals have been held in downtown Nanaimo featuring local, provincial, national and internationally renowned Blues musicians."Nanaimo Summertime Blues Festival".
The Nanaimo Concert Band, known as the oldest continuous community band in Canada, was established in 1872. They maintain a regular schedule of concerts and feature some of the best musicians in the area. "Nanaimo Concert Band".
The Nanaimo bar which is a no-bake cookie bar, is a Canadian dessert named after Nanaimo.
- Nanaimo is home to Canada's longest running competition paintball team (since 1986), the B.C. Supernaturals.
- Nanaimo is home to the Canadian Junior Football League's Vancouver Island Raiders, who play at Caledonia Park.
- Nanaimo is home to the British Columbia Hockey League's Nanaimo Clippers and to the Western Lacrosse Association's Nanaimo Timbermen, both of which play at the Frank Crane Arena.
- The Nanaimo Pirates, of the B.C. Premier Baseball League (BCPBL), play at Serauxmen Stadium.
- The Nanaimo United, of the Vancouver Island Soccer League (VISL), play at Mearle Logan Turf Field in Beban Park.
- The Nanaimo BMX Association, sanctioned by the ABA - American Bicycle Association races at Beban Park.
- The Nanaimo Hornets RFC home ground is at Pioneer Park.
- The city also is home to The Nanaimo Riptides Swim Team, That Practice at the Nanaimo Aquatic Center (NAC)
- The Nanaimo Rowing Club of Nanaimo practices on Long Lake
- There is also a synchronized swimming team The Nanaimo Diamonds
- The Nanaimo Track and Field club call the Rotary Bowl home.
- Football Nanaimo plays at Pioneer Park.
- There are two women's flat track roller derby teams in Nanaimo - Brass Knuckle Derby Dames and Harbour City Rollers both play at the Nanaimo Ice Centre (NIC)
- Alfred George Richard "Red" Carr, father of Gene Carr, who played 8 seasons of senior hockey before he played NHL Hockey in 1943 for the Toronto Maple Leafs. When he retired he coached hockey for the Vancouver Island Amateur League and was posthumously selected to be inducted into the Nanaimo Sports Hall of Fame in 2010
- Gene Carr, NHL Hockey Player drafted by St. Louis Blues (1st round, 4th overall of the 1971 NHL Amateur draft), New York Rangers, L.A. Kings, Pittsburgh Penguins and Atlanta Flames
- Cameron Bright, actor
- Justin Chatwin, actor
- Jimmy Claxton, Black baseball pitcher, born in nearby Wellington, who broke the US baseball colour line
- Raymond Collishaw, one of the highest scoring British Aces of WWI, ranking overall third in the British Empire with 60 confirmed kills
- Peter Croft, rock climber, free solo
- Allison Crowe, singer-songwriter and pianist
- John DeSantis, actor
- Jodelle Ferland, actress
- David Gogo, blues guitarist
- Gogo, keyboardist for the rock band Trooper
- Ashleigh Harrington, actress
- Christopher Hart, actor, magician
- Ingrid Jensen, jazz trumpeter
- Susan Juby, author
- Diana Krall, jazz pianist and vocalist
- Tim Lander, poet
- Cory Monteith, actor
- Shane Sutcliffe, boxer
- Kirsten Sweetland, triathlete
Nanaimo has one sister city:
- "Nanaimo Municipal Hall". City of Nanaimo. Retrieved 2009-04-04.
- Population and dwelling counts, for Canada, provinces and territories, and population centres, 2011 and 2006 censuses: British Columbia. Statistics Canada. Retrieved March 17, 2013
- Hub City: Nanaimo - 1886-1920, Heritage House Publishing, Googlebooks
- Nanaimo Info - History
- home movie of the Nanaimo Chinatown Fire, 1960
- Nanaimo Chinatowns website, Introduction
- Vancouver Island University "Nanaimo in the 1980s" website, Chinatown page
- Kottek, M.; J. Grieser, C. Beck, B. Rudolf, and F. Rubel (2006). "World Map of the Köppen-Geiger climate classification updated". Meteorol. Z. 15 (3): 259–263. doi:10.1127/0941-2948/2006/0130. Retrieved 2007-02-15.
- Global Ecological Zoning for the Global Forest Resources Assessment 2000
- Environment Canada—Canadian Climate Normals 1971–2000. Retrieved 7 April 2012.
- "Nanaimo Port Authority". Retrieved 2013-April-27.
- "Nanaimo cruise ship terminal nearing completion Vancouver Sun". Retrieved 2013-April-27.
- "Nanaimo, British Columbia — Detailed City Profile". Retrieved 2009-10-15.
- "Community Profiles from the 2006 Census, Statistics Canada - Census Subdivision". 2.statcan.gc.ca. 2010-12-06. Retrieved 2013-04-13.
- "Aboriginal Peoples - Data table". 2.statcan.ca. 2010-10-06. Retrieved 2013-04-13.
- Shaw, Rob (2008-03-10). "Postcard from Nanaimo How Google Earth Ate Our Town". Time. Retrieved 2009-08-27.
- "Nanaimo Art Gallery — Home". Retrieved 2010-10-26.
- "The Port Theater — Index". Retrieved 2010-10-26.
- "Nanaimo Arts Council". Retrieved 2010-10-26.
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