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Departure Bay is a beautiful oceanside neighbourhood, a bowl-shaped valley rising from a large beach.

It is a highly desirable area owing to its spectacular ocean views, large swimming beach and park, well-kept homes, and central location. Almost anyone who's been to Nanaimo will be familiar with Departure Bay as the large bay where the ferry arrives from Vancouver. (But the ferry terminal is not in the residential area referred to as Departure Bay - it's in the Brechin Hill neighbourhood.)

There are luxury waterfront houses down by the beach of course, but as you go uphill you'll find different types of neighbourhoods. At the southern end are Cilaire and Beach Estates - then further north is the Lynburn neighbourhood, also notable for its mid-century and higher-end postwar homes. There are some strata buildings close to the beach, and then to the north, the land rises as dark basalt bluffs covered in houses of wood and glass. Sherwood Forest is tucked into here (with streets named Prince John Way, Marion Way, Bowstring Close, Nottingham, etc.).

North of Sherwood Forest there is still a lot of undeveloped land (beautiful undulating lands with arbutus and moss and towering firs and hemlock), with multiple ridges rolling back toward the Hammond Bay area. These ridges are still being developed with beautiful newer custom homes, but a large area has also been preserved as hiking trails and protected lakes.

Amenities are very near with several big malls within a 10 min drive. But even closer are the many beaches and rocky shores, most notably Pipers Lagoon and Neck Point, and of course the long sandy Departure Bay Beach, a popular (but seldom crowded) swimming beach with a playground, grassy lawn, driftwood hide-outs and a coffee shop.

Need help buying or selling in Departure Bay? Contact me.

Properties for Sale in Departure Bay

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New
2060 Berkshire Pl, Nanaimo

$729,900

2060 Berkshire Pl, Nanaimo

4 Beds 3 Baths 2,386 SqFt 6,534 SqFt Lot Single Family Detached MLS® # 919826

RE/MAX of Nanaimo

New
2618 Departure Bay Rd, Nanaimo

$849,900

2618 Departure Bay Rd, Nanaimo

3 Beds 2 Baths 1,968 SqFt 7,406 SqFt Lot Single Family Detached MLS® # 919806

RE/MAX of Nanaimo

New
2080 Bay St, Nanaimo

$1,049,000

2080 Bay St, Nanaimo

5 Beds 4 Baths 2,630 SqFt 7,841 SqFt Lot Single Family Detached MLS® # 919712

Sutton Group-West Coast Realty (Nan)

New
3593 Country Club Dr, Nanaimo

$835,000

3593 Country Club Dr, Nanaimo

5 Beds 2 Baths 2,321 SqFt 8,277 SqFt Lot Single Family Detached MLS® # 919703

Royal LePage Nanaimo Realty (NanIsHwyN)

1530 Bay St, Nanaimo

$799,900

1530 Bay St, Nanaimo

4 Beds 3 Baths 1,755 SqFt 4,356 SqFt Lot Single Family Detached MLS® # 919427

eXp Realty

1067 Beach Dr, Nanaimo

$924,900

1067 Beach Dr, Nanaimo

3 Beds 2 Baths 2,158 SqFt 10,455 SqFt Lot Single Family Detached MLS® # 919407

Sutton Group-West Coast Realty (Nan)

2485 Cosgrove Cres, Nanaimo

$989,900

2485 Cosgrove Cres, Nanaimo

4 Beds 3 Baths 2,272 SqFt 9,584 SqFt Lot Single Family Detached MLS® # 919243

RE/MAX of Nanaimo

2465 Lynburn Cres, Nanaimo

$1,395,000

2465 Lynburn Cres, Nanaimo

6 Beds 4 Baths 3,294 SqFt 12,633 SqFt Lot Single Family Detached MLS® # 919020

460 Realty Inc. (NA)

162 Cilaire Dr, Nanaimo

$1,199,900

162 Cilaire Dr, Nanaimo

5 Beds 3 Baths 2,766 SqFt 13,068 SqFt Lot Single Family Detached MLS® # 918925

RE/MAX of Nanaimo

350 Sunny Dr, Nanaimo

$425,000

350 Sunny Dr, Nanaimo

0 Beds 0 Baths 0 SqFt 13,504 SqFt Lot Land MLS® # 918892

460 Realty Inc. (NA)

3410 Arrowsmith Rd, Nanaimo

$3,495,000

3410 Arrowsmith Rd, Nanaimo

4 Beds 5 Baths 5,338 SqFt 217,800 SqFt Lot Single Family Detached MLS® # 918607

RE/MAX of Nanaimo

2401 Lynburn Cres, Nanaimo

$949,900

2401 Lynburn Cres, Nanaimo

5 Beds 3 Baths 2,721 SqFt 13,940 SqFt Lot Single Family Detached MLS® # 918385

460 Realty Inc. (NA)

View of dozens of Departure Bay homes among the trees

Nearby Schools:

  • Rock City Elementary ; 3741 Departure Bay Rd
  • Departure Bay Elementary ; 3004 Departure Bay Rd
  • Cilaire Elementary ; 25 Cilaire Dr
  • Wellington Secondary ; 3135 Mexicana Rd

Did You Know?

The first telephone line in British Columbia was installed here in the 1880s - it ran from the wharves at Departure Bay up to the coal town of Wellington (now part of Nanaimo, between Diver Lake and Long Lake). One of the mining engineers assembled the telephone system based on instructions he saw in a science magazine.

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Areas of Departure Bay, Nanaimo