Where you can do more than just work hard.

Living and working in Nanaimo is sustainable, invogorating, and promotes a balanced quality of life. With a living wage significantly lower than that of Victoria, Vancouver, and comparable regions, the Mid VI is refreshing place to make a living, go out and explore, and come home to.

Household Income

From 2010 to 2014, the growth rate of median family employment income was higher than both Vancouver and Victoria, and is comparable to other same size cities in the province. As well, from 2011 to 2013, the average income per taxfiler has increased at a higher rate than that of BC. When compared to similar urban centres, the ratio of median income to the cost of housing allows for a more plentiful lifestyle.

Median Family Employment Income Growth
Average Income per Taxfiler

Post-Secondary Education

Vancouver Island University
Discovery Community College
Sprott-Shaw College
Vancouver Island University

VIU is a dynamic, internationally known university supporting a student population in excess of 16,000 full-time and part-time learners, including over 2,070 international students, 1,500 aboriginal students, and employing over 2,000 faculty and staff.

Discovery Community College

Discovery is a professional private college located in Campbell River on Vancouver Island, with satellite campuses in Nanaimo & Qualicum.

Sprott-Shaw College

A private institution founded in 1903 with an active campus in downtown Nanaimo offering accredited, relevant, respected education, and training delivered in a modern way.

Elementary & Secondary Schools

Elementary school enrolment has been increasing in recent years, signalling younger families moving into the region. Two school districts are encompassed by the Mid VI region, with a total of 52 public schools.


35 Schools
SD68 Nanaimo-Ladysmith
12 Schools
SD69 Parksville-Qualicum

Independent Schools

Nanaimo Christian School
Aspengrove School
Discovery Montessori School
Arrowsmith Independent School

Tamagawa Nanaimo is the non-profit satellite facility of Tamagawa Gakuen, a highly esteemed and private K-12 Academy and University located in Tokyo, Japan.

Nanaimo Christian School

Offering K-12 curriculums, NCS is a funded, fully accredited Group 1 Independent school that is community-focused and forward-thinking.

Aspengrove School

Aspengrove School offers Junior K-12 curriculums focused on university preparation, and applies the curriculum of the International Baccalaureate Programme.

Discovery Montessori School

With campuses in Nanaimo and Parksville, Discover Montessori School offers a self-paced, individualized curriculum featuring progressive and experiential learning with free-flowing, activity-based, co-operative classrooms.

Arrowsmith Independent School

With smaller class sizes and more individual attention, Arrowsmith Independent School goes beyond the BC curriculum, with students learning skills in agriculture, cooking, outdoor regional studies, sustainability, music, drama and art.

Arts & Culture

In Mid VI, there’s no shortage of things to do and see! Our region has a multitude of museums, theatre, libraries, arts studios and societies, festivals, events, and more.

Nanaimo Museum

Celebrate 50 years in 2014, the Nanaimo Museum offers diverse interpretive programming, encouraging visitors to “Make a Discovery” while exploring the…


The Bastion

Originally built in 1853, The Bastion in Nanaimo is the last remaining wooden Hudson’s Bay Company Bastion in North America.


Port Theatre

Originally opened in September of 1998, hosts music and theatre events all year long, with the purpose of stimulating and enhancing artistic, cultural and economic activity.


Vancouver Island Regional Library

VIRL has seven branches throughout the region, access to a host of digital resources, and offers programs and events for everyone of all ages. 


Other cultural experiences

  • Live music performances
  • Public art installations
  • Unique local dining
  • Historical buildings


More arts institutions

  • Nanaimo Art Gallery
  • Ladysmith Waterfront Arts Gallery
  • Vancouver Island Symphony


Mid Vancouver Island is an ideal place to play, with activities and experiences awaiting everyone, no matter their age, interest, or activity level. If you can’t find it within the region, you can be you’ll find it somewhere on the island!

Recreation centres – Tens!

The city of Nanaimo is dotted with 21 sports fields, and that’s not all – the region also has aquatic centres, curling and hockey rinks, and 18 golf courses.

Kilometres of trails – Hundreds!

Just within the City of Nanaimo is a trail system that extends over 130 kilometres.

Hectares of parks – Thousands!

The Regional District of Nanaimo boasts 2720 hectares of well-maintained playgrounds and invigorating green spaces.

Ocean access points – Countless!

As the entire region is bordered by the ocean, it’s nearly impossible to go more than a few kilometres without finding beach access.


With housing costs 1/3 of that in Victoria, and 1/4 of Vancouver, Mid VI is growing and offers the opportunity for ownership to those who many not have had the option. As a result of the area’s recent population increase, much of the housing has been built within the past 25 years.

The region’s housing market is stable yet growing, with single detached homes making up the majority of housing in the area. The mix of housing is changing as the area continues to flourish, with a proportional decline in single family residences and an increase in multi-family housing types.

Average House Price
Average Cost of Rent
Rental Vacancy Rate


With its centralized location and reputation as a transportation hub, Nanaimo plays a critical role in the economy of the region. All points of the island can be accessed by car in a few hours, and Vancouveris is only a 15-minute flight or 95-minute ferry ride away.

Nanaimo Airport (YCD)
Seaplanes & Helicopters
BC Ferries
Cruise Ship Terminal
Seaspan Terminal
Bus & Other
Nanaimo Airport (YCD)

Located 18 km (9 miles) south of Nanaimo in Cassidy, the Nanaimo Airport has seen steady growth in the last decade, serving an estimated 358,184 passengers in 2017. FedEx also operates out of the Nanaimo Airport. It offers national flights and international connecting flights from the following airlines:

  • WestJet
  • Air Canada
  • Island Express Air
Seaplanes & Helicopters

Harbour Air – harbourair.com
Nanaimo to Downtown Vancouver & YVR Airport
Visit website for up-to-date schedules

Seair Seaplanes – seairseaplanes.com
Nanaimo to Downtown Vancouver & YVR Airport
Visit website for up-to-date schedules

Helijet – helijet.com
Nanaimo to Vancouver Harbour & YVR Airport
Visit website for up-to-date schedules

BC Ferries

Horseshoe Bay (West Vancouver) ↔ Departure Bay (Nanaimo)


Tsawwassen (Vancouver) ↔ Duke Point (Nanaimo)

Cruise Ship Terminal

In May 2011, the Nanaimo Port Authority opened a new $25 million floating cruise ship terminal and welcoming centre, which brings in thousands of tourists to the area every year

Seaspan Terminal

Located at Duke Point, offers regular barge service between Nanaimo and Vancouver

Bus & Other

IslandLink / IslandExpress Bus – https://www.islandlinkbus.com

  • Offers daily service between most Vancouver Island points, as well as select points on the Mainland


Regional District of Nanaimo Transit System – https://bctransit.com/nanaimo/

  • Regular bus service every day from South Nanaimo & Cedar all the way to Qualicum Beach


Nanaimo CarShare – http://modo.coop/

  • A great option for those who only want to drive periodically, or don’t want the hassle of car maintenance and ownership

Mid VI is connected by three main highways:

  • Highway 1 (TransCanada Highway)
  • Highway 19 (Nanaimo Parkway or Inland Island Highway)
  • Highway 19A (Island Highway)


The economy of Mid VI is heavily dependent on knowledge-based skills, and is a prime location for people with experience or education to find meaningful employment. With 90% of the industry based on the service sector, there is also amply opportunity to entry level positions.

Many companies in the region have been able to thrive and prosper in our community, and could offer exciting careers for new residents.

Unemployment Rate

Employers in Nanaimo From The Top 100 in Canada

  • BC Ferries
  • Cactus Club Cafe
  • Connect Hearing
  • Coast Capital Savings
  • Island Health
  • Raymond James Ltd
  • Save On Foods
  • TELUS Corporation

Major Employers in Nanaimo

  • Nanaimo Regional General Hospital
  • School District #68
  • Woodgrove Centre
  • Vancouver Island University
  • City of Nanaimo
  • Shaw Communications
  • Coastal Community Credit Union
  • Nanaimo Forest Products
  • Department of Fisheries & Ocean
  • Regional District of Nanaimo
  • Walmart
  • Thrifty Foods
  • The Real Canadian Superstore
  • The Home Deport
  • Royal Canadian Mounted Police
  • Hazelwood Construction Services
  • Costco Wholesale
  • Coastland Wood Industries
  • Sears Canada
  • RW Wall Contracting
  • Tilray
  • Real Estate Webmasters
  • The Bay

Job Boards & Employment Services

NYSA (Nanaimo Youth Services Association) http://www.nysa.bc.ca/
Global Vocational Services http://www.gvsjobs.com/
GT Hiring Solutions http://gthiringsolutions.ca/