Nanaimo is the second largest urban centre on Vancouver Island and the fifth largest in British Columbia. The City's central location makes it a natural transportation and distribution hub for all of Vancouver Island. Home to an excellent deep-sea port, on average this ocean-side city receives over 4 million tons of cargo through its port facilities and deep-sea terminal. Direct flights to Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Toronto are available from the Nanaimo Airport, an all-weather facility. Seaplanes and Helijet link downtown Nanaimo to downtown Vancouver in 20 minutes. BC Ferries provides vehicle and passenger service between Nanaimo, Vancouver, and Richmond from two terminals located in Nanaimo.
Nanaimo is home to over 6,400 businesses and growing. Businesses choose to locate in Nanaimo because of the cost efficiencies, exceptional technological infrastructure, and easy access to world markets. The city offers a well-trained, stable and educated workforce. Vancouver Island University graduates from various disciplines provide a constant stream of new employees for area companies. This welcoming region of over 172,000 people is proud of their recreational facilities, community spirit, and the region’s natural beauty. The City of Nanaimo accounts for 4.3% of the total land area of the Regional District, but is home to 59% of the population and operates as the region’s economic and employment centre.