Nanaimo can be pretty ugly sometimes at ground level, but it's almost always beautiful from above. I'm sure there are hikers and pilots and Google-Earth fanatics with photos for this thread.
Starting things off - this is Departure Bay (etc) seen from atop Roberts Roost.
This is South Nanaimo and Duke Point and Gabriola Island from the same place (actually about twenty meters away). I like how the estuary looks:
Too bad about all the log booms, though, if what I've heard is true: that those booms poison the muddy bottom in the estuary and prevent anything living there.
And here's looking towards the north - it's Westwood Ridge with the Winchelsea Islands, Lasqueti, Texada, etc in the background.