Population: 90,505

Nanaimo, British Columbia, is located on the east coast of Vancouver Island. It is the third oldest city in British Columbia. Nanaimo is accessible from the Vancouver Island Highway.

Nanaimo is a transportation hub, connecting passengers and vehicles to and from the mainland. Visitors arrive via BC Ferries Tsawwassen–Duke Point service and Horseshoe Bay–Departure Bay service. Visitors also arrive through floatplane terminals and the airport.

Visitor Information:

The visitor center is open daily May to August and weekdays September to April. It is located at 2450 Northfield Road, Exit 21. For more information, visit www.tourismnanaimo.com.


Moderate, with an average annual mean temperature of 9.5°C/ 49.1°F, and an average annual precipitation of 114.5 cm/45.1 inches per year.


Nanaimo is a good-sized city with complete tourist facilities including major-chain hotels and motels, restaurants and retail stores. The Nanaimo Harbourfront Walkway is one of Nanaimo’s main attractions in the downtown area. Passenger ferries connect the downtown waterfront with Protection Island, famous for Canada’s only floating pub. Passenger ferries also connect Saysutshun (Newcastle) Island Marine Provincial Park that has more than 20 km/12 miles of trails. Downtown offers a great variety of different water activities from sailing cruises to snorkel gear and kayak rentals.


Nanaimo is also home of the self-guided Nanaimo Bar Trail that features over 40 variations of the famous Canadian dessert (including a deep-fried version). Other downtown attractions include the Nanaimo Museum, the Old City Quarter with local shops and restaurants and the Vancouver Island Military Museum.

Nanaimo’s south area of Cedar & Yellow Point has a huge variety of artists, artisans, farms and food, as well as WildPlay Elements Park. The park features ziplines, bungy jumping, primal swing and much more. Several farmers markets run in the area from May to October.

Nanaimo has 200-plus parks, 81 miles of trails, and 12 off-leash dog parks. Nanaimo Aquatic Center is the largest west of Edmonton and features a wave pool, lazy river and lots of parking.