Nanaimo (na 'nai mo),
is the second largest city on Vancouver Island
in British Columbia
, Canada. It has been dubbed the "Bathtub Racing Capital of the World" and "Harbour City". Nanaimo is also sometimes referred to as the "Hub City" because of its central location on Vancouver Island, and being the main ferry connector between Vancouver and Vancouver Island.
Nanaimo is about 55 km west of Vancouver, separated by the Strait of Georgia, but directly linked to Vancouver via BC Ferries. By virtue of its proximity to Vancouver, Nanaimo is the gateway to many other destinations both on the island — Tofino
, Campbell River
, Comox Valley
, Port Alberni
, Rathtrevor Provincial Park — and off its coast — Newcastle Island, Gabriola Island
, Valdes Island, and many other of the Gulf Islands
Nanaimo began as a trading post in the early 1800s; in 1849 the Snuneymuxw chief Ki-et-sa-kun ("Coal Tyee") informed the Hudson's Bay Company
of the presence of coal in the area, and in 1853 the company built a fort known as the Nanaimo Bastion (still preserved). Subsequently the town was chiefly known for the export of coal. The 1887 Nanaimo Mine Explosion killed 148 miners and was the largest man-made explosion until the Halifax Explosion. In the 1940s, lumber supplanted coal as the main business, although Minetown Days are still celebrated in the neighbouring community of Lantzville
University-College's beautiful and scenic main campus is located in Nanaimo, which brings many international students to the city. The school is also renowned for its music programs.
Notable Persons from Nanaimo:
, Child actor
, Jazz pianist and singer