The mid-Island region (and Nanaimo in particular) has seen considerable growth since the early 2000s. This was predictable in light of several local characteristics within the larger regional context:
- Changes to the labour pool
- Physical geography
- Vancouver's influence
A lot of resource extraction jobs vacated Nanaimo in the final decades of the 20th century. The blue-collar areas of the city decayed. Meanwhile "the suits" moved investment away from the old city, opening shopping malls and clearing large ridgetop lots north and west of Departure Bay. Many residents commented that things were too dispersed. By the 1990s, the city was spread thinly and had a clear north/south divide.
But all Nanaimo needed was more people to fill it out,…