Cilaire and Beach Estates, Nanaimo
On the hill directly above the Departure Bay ferry terminal, there is a 140-acre residential area that represents some of the most sought-after ocean view real estate in Nanaimo. (See an aerial image at the bottom of the page.)
Nearest to the ferries (turn north off Brechin Road to Beach Dr) is Beach Estates, a neighbourhood of about 130 homes mostly built in the 1950s. This was pricey real estate even in the 1950s, so the homes are usually custom; there are some Mid-Century Modern gems, and a home built for former mayor Frank Ney. The Beach Estates neighbourhood backs onto a dramatic ravine, where the "Beach Estates Park" trail winds its way between steep canyon walls down to the rocky beach.
On the other side of the ravine is a larger area called Cilaire (over 200 homes) built in the 1960s and 70s. Cilaire is accessed from Departure Bay Road and has a wide gentle slope toward the ocean, ending where the high bank drops dramatically to the beach below (there are access trails). Most of these homes have been gorgeously maintained because of their value - they typically have some kind of ocean view that includes forested islands and distant mountains, and the iconic BC Ferries ships coming and going. It's called Cilaire in honour of the Hamilton Powder Works (later owned by C.I.L. Industries) that made explosive powders here over 100 years ago. You can still see signs of this history in ruins and rusty artifacts down at the beach. (See my blog post: Historic Nanaimo explosions)
Current listings in Beach Estates and Cilaire are shown below. If you want to see inside one, just contact me.
Homes for Sale in Cilaire & Beach Estates
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