|City of Nanaimo|
|Nickname(s): The Hub, The Harbour City|
|• Mayor-Elect||Bill McKay|
|• 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.
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 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 entrepreneurs 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 Airport (1981–2010)|
|Record high Humidex||16.0||17.8||21.3||26.2||37.0||36.4||40.8||42.9||35.7||29.5||20.2||20.1||42.9|
|Record high °C (°F)||15.6
|Average high °C (°F)||6.9
|Daily mean °C (°F)||3.5
|Average low °C (°F)||0.1
|Record low °C (°F)||−17.8
|Precipitation mm (inches)||187.9
|Rainfall mm (inches)||167.8
|Snowfall cm (inches)||21.0
|Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm)||19.7||16.0||18.2||15.6||14.8||12.4||7.6||6.8||8.2||15.5||20.5||20.4||175.6|
|Avg. rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm)||18.0||14.9||17.8||15.6||14.8||12.4||7.6||6.8||8.2||15.4||19.8||18.8||170.0|
|Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.2 cm)||3.1||2.3||1.0||0.0||0.1||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.1||1.2||3.2||11.0|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||56.8||88.6||133.1||179.0||224.4||226.1||288.8||280.0||213.9||131.9||67.0||50.8||1,940.2|
|Percent possible sunshine||21.0||31.0||36.2||43.6||47.4||46.7||59.1||62.8||56.4||39.3||24.3||19.7||40.6|
|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.
The 2011 Canadian Census reported that Nanaimo had a population of 83,810, a 6.5% increase since 2006. The size of the cities land area is 91.30 km², making the population density 918.0 people per km². The average age of a Nanaimoite is 44.8 years old, higher than the national median at 40.6.
The average number of people occupying one dwelling in the city is 2.3 people. In Nanaimo, there are 38,800 private dwellings, 36,204 which are occupied by usual residents (93.3% occupancy rate). The median value of these dwellings are $348,460, which is a fair-bit higher than the national median at $280,552. The average (after-tax) household income in Nanaimo is $48,469, slightly lower than the national median at $54,089. The median individual income is $27,620, which is also a bit lower than the national median ($29,878). The unemployment rate was 9.2%.
The racial composition of Nanaimo is mostly made up of descendants of Europeans, however the Aboriginal population ratio is larger than the national ratio. The entire racial make up is:
More than half of Nanaimo's residents do not practice any religion (51.7%), considerably higher than the national ratio (23.9%). However, for those who do participate in religions, most are of a Christian faith (44.7%), but there are still sizable Sikh communities (1.1%) and Buddhist communities (0.6%).
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.
Technological development on Nanaimo have been growing with companies such as "Inuktun" and the establishment of government-funded Innovation Island as a site to help Nanaimo-based technological start ups by giving them access to tools, education and venture capital.
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, has 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 once per week, as well as the Black Press-owned Nanaimo News Bulletin (33,000 copies twice 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 and Vista Radio's CKAY-FM (Coast FM). CBC Radio One is heard over CBU from Vancouver, providing Nanaimo with local programming from Vancouver instead of from Victoria.
While not considered mainstream media, a leading alternate media has been serving Nanaimo for over six years and has archived over 8200 articles to do with news and events in the Harbour City. Started to provide an alternate view of city hall politics, Nanaimo-Info-Blog.com has steadily carved a niche in reporting on local politics, taking on a watchdog role at city hall. The blog's author has attended every city council meeting and committee of the whole meeting for the past five years, which allows a different, in depth perspective on the functioning of city hall. In addition to civic politics the blog is also a source for information about community events and activities in a convenient format.
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 (Michelle 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 Music Department at Vancouver Island University offers a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies. Faculty members include guitarist Pat Coleman, trumpeter Greg Bush, and bassist Ken Lister.
The Nanaimo Conservatory of Music, a non-profit, charitable organization has been offering classical music lessons and producing concerts since 1977.
Other prominent musicians in Nanaimo include classical trumpeter Paul Rathke and jazz composer and author Andrew Homzy.
The Nanaimo bar, which is a no-bake cookie bar, is a Canadian dessert named after Nanaimo.
Buttertubs Marsh is a bird sanctuary located in the middle of the city. The marsh covers approximately 100 acres (40 hectares). Within this is the 46 acre (18.7 hectare) "Buttertubs Marsh Conservation Area", owned by the Nature Trust of British Columbia.
- Nanaimo is home to North America’s first legal, purpose-made bungee jumping bridge, operated by WildPlay Element Parks
- 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.
- Football Nanaimo plays at Pioneer Park.
- 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, best known for his role of Lurch on The New Addams Family
- Jodelle Ferland, actress
- David Gogo, blues guitarist
- Gogo, keyboardist for the rock band Trooper
- Ashleigh Harrington, actress
- Christopher Hart, actor and magician, best known for his role of the disembodied hand, Thing in "The Addams Family" film series
- 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
- "Internment Camps in Canada during the First and Second World Wars, Library and Archives Canada".
- 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; 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
- "Nanaimo A". Canadian Climate Normals 1981–2010. Environment Canada. Retrieved May 14, 2014.
- "Nanaimo Port Authority". Retrieved 2013-04-27.
- "Nanaimo cruise ship terminal nearing completion Vancouver Sun". Retrieved 2013-04-27.
- NHS Profile, Nanaimo, CY, British Columbia, 2011 Retrieved December 6th, 2013
- Bellaart, Darrell (December 5, 2009). "Merchants bail out as Port Place mall gets ready to renovate". Nanaimo Daily News. Retrieved 4 July 2014.
- 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.
- Tourism BC
- “First Legal Bridge Bungy in North America”
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