Wow, this is awesome!
I'm not nearly as grey as some here as I was born in the mid 70's but lots of this stuff brings back lots of memories too.
Growing up in Lantzville, I remember the days when only the metral strip mall (used to have a Terry's Save Rite in it, now a beer store) and the Green Thumb were the only things visible from the old highway! No lights except at Hammond Bay I think.
Dots was great! The old IGA was on the top of the hill were Rutherford, oops, North Town Village is now - I have pictures of that since my dad built that mall back in '79 I think it was. Woodgrove was built in '81 I think.
I remember when many things, most things actually, were not open on Sunday, I remember the Speedway, the old pedal pusher bike shop, the best store ever if you were a kid collecting LEGO - Toys and Wheels in Harbour Park, then Brooks Landing and then Woodgrove. I remember the huge LEGO display at EATON's down town, the escalators in that store and going down there to shop with my mom. I remember Sears being across the street in PP Mall and Fletchers Furniture on Commercial as well as the musical instrument store too.
As a teen I used to go to the comic shop on comercial as well. I remember the bus depot being on Cameron Isl. and even the old pirate ship in the Terminal McDonalds back in the day.
I do also remember Marks and Spencers right beside the waterpark thing in Woodgrove, good times.
My dad bought a Volvo on that lot on Bowen. Too bad it is gone, I like Volvo's. I'm not old enough to remember it called Jack Harris but it will always be Tom Harris Chevy to me.
Anyone remember Nanaimo's first boutique coffee shop, Flithy McNasty's? That was only like 1990 or something where Acme is now and boy how things change with the Tim Horton's, Serious, Star Bucks and all the rest...
Lots of changes for sure.