Life in Nanaimo for Immigrants – Guide for Newcomers

This guide explains practically everything you need to know about life in Nanaimo for immigrants.

Are you doubtful of what life in Nanaimo for immigrants will look like? Here, we will offer you information about the many reasons why you should move to Nanaimo.

The decision to move to Nanaimo is a big one, but it’s plain to see that it’s definitely a smart decision. Nanaimo offers a world of opportunities for both yourself and your family. The beautiful West Coast city is known as the Harbor City and provides some of the best living conditions in all of Canada.

With the incredible landscapes, vibrant shops and restaurants, and beautiful historic real estate to choose from, Nanaimo is one of the top places to live in all of British Columbia!

Whether you’re a family, retiree, or student looking for the very best Canada has to offer, look no further than relocating to Nanaimo, B.C.

In this article, we will explain in detail the perspective of what life in Nanaimo for immigrants will look like.

Where is Nanaimo?

The fantastic city of Nanaimo can be found approximately 111 kilometres northwest of Victoria, British Columbia’s capital, and fifty-five kilometres west of Vancouver and is separated by the Strait of Georgia. British Columbia mainlanders can access Nanaimo via the Horseshoe Bay BC Ferries in West Vancouver.

Population of Nanaimo

Moving to Nanaimo has been the first choice for many Canadians residing in British Columbia and other provinces. The population has steadily increased by over 5% annually, with an estimated population of over 160,000 in the Nanaimo Regional District.

Weather in Nanaimo

Nanaimo has one of the most temperate climates in all of Canada. The winter months average temperatures around 8ºC, while the summer months rarely rise above 25ºC. Rainfall from late October. though snow is infrequent and melts very quickly after it falls, while sunshine is abundant in the summer months from May through September. You’ll find, unlike most residents of other Canadian cities, Nanaimo Locals don’t own snow tires.

Educational system in Nanaimo

Nanaimo is home to some of the top schools on Vancouver Island. The public schools are operated by School District 68 Nanaimo-Ladysmith. With over thirty elementary and secondary schools, the students residing in Nanaimo have access to some of the best schools in the area including access to some of the top resources.

School District 68 Nanaimo-Ladysmith provides exceptional education to residents of central Vancouver Island, focusing on the cities of Nanaimo and Ladysmith in particular.

Alternatively, there are also several fantastic independent schools available to the residents of Nanaimo. These private and religious-based schools offer an alternative education to the public school district.

Attractive Employment

According to the latest statistics, Nanaimo residents average $55,000 a year. There are numerous opportunities for retail managers, accountants, and operation managers in Nanaimo; these jobs typically pay between $36,000 and $95,000 annually. In addition to Western Forest Products Inc,  Hub International Inc, and Real Estate Webmasters three top employers are listed here.

Nanaimo’s average hourly charge is approximately $20.35. Companies such as Vancouver Island Health Authority, The Country Grocer, The Home Depot Inc, Inn on Long Lake, and Western Forest Products Inc pay their employees anywhere from $14 to $38 per hour, based on the job description.

Enjoyable Lifestyle

The vast majority of residents moving to Nanaimo do so in search of a better quality of life. It is easy to enjoy leisure and recreation on an island. Nanaimo has lots to offer tourists, but locals enjoy the outdoors and enjoy taking advantage of their environment. Another thing you’ll notice about the Nanaimo lifestyle is that it doesn’t come at a rapid pace like other larger cities. And that’s what makes it perfect for islanders.

Neighborhood in Nanaimo

When considering moving to the beautiful city of Nanaimo, potential residents have an excellent selection of neighborhoods to choose from, catering to all lifestyles. With approximately thirteen main neighborhoods, Nanaimo offers a space for everyone of all walks of life.

List of neighborhood in Nanaimo

  1. Brechin Hill
  2. Cinnabar Valley
  3. College Heights
  4. Departure Bay
  5. Divers Lake
  6. Dover Bay
  7. Harewood
  8. Hammond Bay
  9. Hospital Area
  10. North Nanaimo
  11. Uplands Drive
  12. Jinglepot
  13. Chase River

Nightlife and popular restaurants in Nanaimo

The residents of Nanaimo have access to a fantastic selection of exciting nightlife activities to keep entertained all hours of the night. Classy cocktail lounges, thrilling game rooms, and vibrant dance halls are scattered all throughout the city.

The following are some of the top nightlife centers available to the Nanaimo locals, makes life in Nanaimo for immigrants interesting:

  • Evolve Nightclub
  • The Nanaimo Bar
  • The Arbutus Distillery & Cocktail Lounge
  • James Street Game Room

Restaurants in Nanaimo

Nanaimo locals are also treated to a fantastic array of diverse dining options. Whether you’re craving classic pub fare, Italian and Mediterranean delicacies, sensational sushi, or a relaxed coffee shop, Nanaimo has something to cater to all tastes.

The following are some of the best dining establishments in all of Nanaimo:

  • Gabriel’s Cafe
  • Minnoz Restaurant & Lounge
  • Mambo Gourmet Pizza
  • Melange Restaurant
  • Nori Japanese Restaurant
  • Zougla Restaurant
Life in Moncton for Immigrants

Fun things to do in Nanaimo

The fun and excitement in Nanaimo is practically nonstop! There is also something going on in this vibrant city. From educational experiences at various museums and galleries to themed events and festivals put on by the whole city, there is never a dull moment in this incredible community.

Park and Recreation centers

There are numerous park and recreation areas found within Nanaimo’s borders.Nature-lovers will delight in the natural beauty that Vancouver Island has to offer, from centuries-old forests to tranquil streams and rivers, from rolling hills complete with walking trails to quiet, sandy banks along the beaches, Nanaimo is a picturesque beauty found on one of Canada’s most magnificent islands.

Freshwater lake

There are also several freshwater lakes such as Westwood Lake and Long Lake, which both offer a secluded beach area. Many campers and hikers enjoy the scenic and winding paths that trail through the woods surrounding the lakes.

Golf courses

For those who wish to enjoy the great outdoors while enjoying a relaxed or competitive game with friends, Nanaimo offers a selection of incredible golf courses featuring breathtaking views of the surrounding forest, mountains, and oceans. Perfect for all skill levels, Nanaimo’s golf courses offer the chance for golfers to improve their game or just enjoy a casual experience on a sunny afternoon.


Several museums provide the chance for locals and visitors alike to explore and indulge in the city’s rich, cultural heritage. The Nanaimo Museum features the history of the city.

The Vancouver Island Military Museum is dedicated to the city’s military history. The Bastion is a historical landmark commissioned by the Hudson’s Bay Company back in 1853 and today stands as a symbol of Nanaimo’s rich trade era.

Musical outlet

Along with visual and performing arts, Nanaimo also offers a musical outlet to those who appreciate this particular artform. The underground music scene is driven by the students of Vancouver Island University. These passionate music enthusiasts have put together the Nanaimo Blues Society, which has organized five Summertime Blues festivals, an outdoor event held in the heart of Nanaimo featuring local, provincial, national, and international blues musicians

Going to sports centers

Nanaimo is home to a multitude of excellent sports teams and clubs. Nanaimo United Football Club is the largest sports club on Vancouver Island, home to over 1700 members, and is the oldest club in Canada.  However, The Canadian Junior Football League’s Vancouver Island Raiders are based out of Nanaimo and play at the beautiful Caledonia Park.

Transit in Nanaimo

Life n Nanaimo for immigranyts have been made simple with the Nanaimo Regional Transit system. The bus service travels along highways 1, 19, and 19A throughout the city. Both conventional bus service as well as special needs paratransit services run through the Nanaimo Regional Transit, providing accessible service to all who reside in this thriving city.

There are seventeen scheduled bus routes running through Nanaimo and the buses run seven days a week, with exceptions on holidays.

Since Nanaimo is such a green city, every bus comes equipped with bike racks for those who opt to bike rather than drive around the city.

Due to Nanaimo’s location on Vancouver Island, ferries are available to those who wish to travel to and from mainland Vancouver and the rest of British Columbia. The Nanaimo Port Authority manages and operates the inner Harbour Basin marina as well as two terminal facilities at Assembly Wharf and Duke Point, which caters to cargo operations on and off the island.

There are two airports that serve Nanaimo. The Nanaimo Airport (YCD) connects to Vancouver, Toronto, and Calgary. The Nanaimo Harbour Water Airport operates through Vancouver Harbour, Vancouver Airport, and Sechelt.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is Nanaimo located?

The city of Nanaimo is on the east coast of Vancouver Island in British Columbia,

What is the best immigration pathway ti Nanaimo?

The best immigration pathways to Nanaimo is through the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program


Finally, Nanaimo is a fantastic city to live in, you will enjoy the better quality of life the city has to offer. We hope this guide will be of help to you when you plan to move to Nanaimo.