A city of this size, surrounded by natural wonders - if you can buy a home that is "central" in Nanaimo, it means you're within 9 or 10 minutes of ANYTHING, including:
Real estate in Central Nanaimo has become more desirable (relative to other parts of the city) in recent years, partly owing to the development described below, and partly because of gentrification created by more working-class families moving to Nanaimo and wanting to be central. There are all kinds of development in this region, from TOC miner's cabins to brand new developments.
You can read more below; or, here are homes for sale in Central Nanaimo:
Homes in Central Nanaimo
The boundaries of Central Nanaimo would vary according to who you ask - but the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board uses these boundaries:
The length of Northfield to the Parkway ; south to the Millstream (Pryde Vista) ; downstream to Quarterway ; following Bowen Rd down to Wall St ; jump over the curling rink to Barsby Park ; down to the Pearson St Bridge ; north on the Island Highway back to Northfield.
Central Nanaimo Amenities
Terminal Park mall is just across the highway from Central Nanaimo - the mall has an excellent line of boutique shops all close together: a fish market, a popular family-owned specialty meat shop, a bakery, a liquor store, and a health food store.
On the other side of the area is the Bowen Road corridor, which includes a growing number of commercial amenities. There is the Country Grocer supermarket, the amazing Arbutus Distillery, a veterinary hospital, two Vietnamese restaurants, a Korean barbecue, Greek, ramen, more bakeries, specialty meats, fish and chips, drug store, haircutters, women's gym, furniture boutiques and barns, thrift stores, and much more.
The Landlubber Pub, Windward Pub, and Quarterway Hotel (and pub) are all popular meeting places in the area.
Parks and Rec
Central Nanaimo Neighbourhoods & Home Styles
There's been a big explosion of homes in this area, including large clean apartment buildings with amazing mountain views, and affordable new-construction houses and townhomes on smaller lots, convenient to everything.
The "hospital area" is roughly in the centre of Central Nanaimo. Named for Nanaimo Regional General Hospital (the busiest hospital on The Island), this area has some nice family-oriented neighbourhoods, as well as some more run-down ones. I'd be happy to discuss the differences with anyone who needs information for choosing the best area!
A lot of real estate investors like this area because there is constant demand for temporary housing for hospital staff, ferry workers, etc.
Quarterway and Townsite Rd West
South of the hospital are the Townsite and Quarterway areas. These include some older neighbourhoods from the early 20th century (Quarterway is so named for being a quarter way along the old 1800s road from Nanaimo to Wellington). Some beautiful old homes are here, especially near Townsite Rd and the Pryde Vista golf course near Buttertubs Marsh. There are some older apartment units near the hospital, and a lot of new condos near the commercial corridor along Bowen Rd.
The western ends of Boxwood Rd and Meredith Rd - just south of the old Northfield School - the area seems quite peaceful despite being near the Parkway and a light industrial park. There are some gorgeous views of Mt Benson, here.
In recent years, this space between the corridors of Bowen Rd and the Nanaimo Parkway has been getting developed into light industrial purposes - it makes sense because of the proximity to the noisy Parkway.
- New apartment buildings
- Medium-sized '80s-'90s homes on 7500-8500 sqft lots
- Some homes on large parcels
- Houses on ~5250sqft strata lots
Meredith Road Area
This area between the hospital and Northfield Rd, stretching west to Bowen Rd, is generally quiet and family-oriented. Most homes were built in the '70s-'80s, aside from some newer ones in the area west of Woodlands School.
Median lot sizes seem to be about 7500-8000 square feet, though there are some sized 10,000 and even 12,000.
Much of this area feels separated from the retail and service corridors, which is nice for drivers, but not always for pedestrians - but the #3 bus (hospital) does run through here.
Strathmore, Waddington, Millstone
From the old Woodlands High School, east to the highway and then south past St George St almost to Townsite Rd, there is a well-kept but unpretentious neighbourhood comprised mainly of homes built 1960-1990. There are some well-built 1940s-era homes nearer the southern reaches of this stretch, getting even older (for some homes) nearer Mansfield Park and Millstone Ave.
Much of this area is just across the highway from Terminal Park mall and Brooks Landing mall, convenient to the appealing ravine trail of Beach Estates Park as well as the E&N Trailway that appeals to cyclists and joggers. Bowen Park is also just 3-20 minutes' walk away, depending on your starting point.
Boundary Crescent to Holly Avenue (Townsite)
While the far western end of Townsite Rd is characterized by new and old apartments near to Quarterway (see above), and the eastern reach of Townsite is a semi-luxurious drop to the ocean among early-century monster houses, the area in between is what is most commonly referred to when someone says "the Townsite area". There are some beautiful character homes here (as well as everyone's favourite arbutus tree - EDIT: that was cut down, boo), but some parts of this neighbourhood are considered to be a bit dodgy.
Townsite is named for the site of "Newcastle Town", a prestigious residential suburb in the early 20th century. It's the area close to the ocean, near the White Spot restaurant.
Back to Nanaimo neighbourhoods