Every walk of life can be found here, from starving artists to blue collar mill workers to professors and doctors. Overall the vibe is very relaxed and unpretentious, with a roll-up-your-sleeves community spirit that goes back generations in Nanaimo.
Below, I've broken down some of the distinctions between each part of South Nanaimo. Or, check out these properties for sale in South Nanaimo:
Homes for Sale in South Nanaimo
South Nanaimo Neighbourhoods
This is a very large and diverse area, and I wouldn't have listed it all together on one page if the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board didn't include it as a single region. So, I've broken down the distinctions here. Remember, if you want to get notifications when new listings hit the market in any area, just contact me and tell me what the search filters should be (price, size, geographical range).
This is the largest homogeneous part of South Nanaimo - it's a wide plain of about 3.25 km² between the railway and VIU, between 4th St and 10th St.
Harewood is very convenient to downtown and both highways, as well as being snug against the wilderness behind town.
This is a charming and relaxed neighbourhood - and it's old - it was a rural district with its own municipality prior to its annexation by Nanaimo in 1976. When this area was first settled as land for the coal miners and their families in the late Victorian/Edwardian eras, it was subdivided as five-acre plots (it's also called "Five Acres"). Over time, these plots were subdivided and newer homes (1920's craftsman bungalows to post-war ranchers and split-levels), were added beside them.
This is a great place to find a well-made home of solid wooden construction. There used to be a lot of old-growth fir available in these parts, and it shows.
Old Victoria Road, Bayview area
This is a quiet area with some nice homes, set apart somewhat from the bustle and hustlers of the South End (see below) yet not quite falling into Harewood. There are old character homes, as well as mid-late 20th century boxes and everything in between.
South End aka Harbourview
In old Nanaimo, this was part of the "South Ward" - a distinct community with its own teams - holding rivalries with other downtown neighbourhoods. A lot of renovated miners' cabins and sumptuous Victorian homes still remain, overlooking the harbour and the estuary. Despite what I've written below, I have to acknowledge that at least half of all the properties in the South End are lovingly cared for and are very desirable for their period architecture and/or mature yard spaces.
This is finally emerging as a great real estate investment area in Nanaimo. It was the roughest part of town for decades, but is now being gentrified by investment-minded buyers who see the immense potential of this oceanside location so close to downtown Nanaimo, or lower-budget buyers who like getting a solid craftsman home at a discount.
Parkshore Developments out of North Vancouver is planning (and already executing rapidly) a large-scale redevelopment of this area, taking the form of low-rise condo buildings taking advantage of the ocean views and proximity to downtown. They are calling their vision Harbourview (I'm not sure whether this is their name for it, or an existing moniker promoted by the City). Their first building was the Outlook, already completed in early 2021 near the old Balmoral Hotel. Their next project, Prospect (just south of Outlook), has already broken ground and is sold out. As of May 2021, they are announcing the first pre-sales of their Lumina building, a block to the north.
For many people, this is not the place to raise children or teens. While addiction is a problem in every neighbourhood, it is slightly more concentrated in this area. But tolerant, down-to-earth people can tell you this is a great place to live, with the best neighbours you'll find anywhere, great community values and affordable costs - where else can you get an ocean view for less than $450,000? If you want notifications when new homes become available here, just contact me and tell me what you want.
While the north end of Haliburton has its rough patches, the south end has some very desirable real estate. This is the area near Petroglyph Park and the Calico Cat teahouse, with beautiful homes on large lots overlooking the expansive Nanaimo River Estuary.
There are also a couple of multi-family complexes as well as a mobile home park here, offering great views! Let me know if you want to see a listing for sale in this area!
There's been an explosion of development in this area since around 2009, and it's not slowing down. The homes are on "modern sized" lots (i.e., smaller than traditional single-family plots) which helps them to be affordable despite many of these homes having high square footage and some nice finishes, and many have legal basement suites, easily rented to students attending nearby VIU. These neighbourhoods are family oriented, and so far at least, the yards are very well kept.
These neighbourhoods are close to the newer Quality Foods supermarket near 9th St. and Bruce Ave - there is also a gas station and beer store.
I don't know if there's a more official name for this area up on the hill, near the Colliery Dams! In addition to a well-kept 1990s subdivision around Brookfield Dr and Glengarry Cr, there's also a lot of new construction especially around Southwind Dr and (most recently) up Harewood Mines Rd.
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