All roads lead to Nanaimo. As a port city on the harbour, we also serve as the hub of Vancouver Island, connecting Central and North Vancouver Island with the rest of BC, Canada and the world, embracing all forms of transportation (air, land, rail and sea).

a cyclist rides on a new Metral Drive bike lane while an oncoming car passes

All digital roads lead to Nanaimo too, and our growing city is connected well with cellular, fibre, and cable. Many tech companies have built their businesses here, taking advantage of our leading-edge network.


Nanaimo’s transportation network both supports and promotes business growth and the establishment of new operations. Nanaimo has one airport, two float plane terminals, three ferry terminals (with plans for an additional passenger ferry), an easy to navigate highway system, and a public transit system. The average commute time from the outer boundaries of the city to downtown is 15 minutes. 

Nanaimo also has deep-sea shipping facilities available through the Port of Nanaimo. Businesses have a range of options to access markets, customers and suppliers. Nanaimo is situated directly on Vancouver Island’s main highway, Highway 19, providing easy access to all major centres on Vancouver Island. 

Major investment in the island highway has reduced travel time between Nanaimo and other island communities. This has resulted in access to a larger market and workforce area, and has enhanced the city’s role as a transportation and distribution hub for the central and North Island.

From Nanaimo to:

Vancouver BC 61 km 38 miles Port Hardy, BC 391 km 242 miles
Victoria BC  113 km 70 miles Seattle, Washington 217 km 135 miles
Courtenay BC 107 km 66 miles Calgary, Alberta 983 km 609 miles
Campbell River BC 153 km 95 miles Edmonton, Alberta 1,163 km 721 miles


The City of Nanaimo is well served by the national and local telecommunication providers. High speed and high capacity voice and data services are available, connecting customers worldwide. Nanaimo is serviced by multiple data cables leading off the island, and thereby ensuring that your business connections are reliable and always available.

Telus, Bell, Shaw and Allstream all provide a full suite of services in Nanaimo. Each of these national companies can meet all your voice and data requirements. In addition to these established organizations, you will find many smaller competitive companies that can also provide similar services for your business.

High speed internet connectivity is available throughout the City. The downtown area of Nanaimo is exceptionally well serviced. Gigabit Internet speed is available from multiple providers and 4G/LTE wireless speeds are available from both national networks.

Free wireless hotspots can also be found around the City. The City of Nanaimo has partnered with several other organizations to provide limited free wireless in the downtown area, in the harbor and along the waterfront to the BC Ferries Departure Bay terminal.  All city facilities offer free wifi.

Nanaimo is a 911 service area. This emergency service is available through all wireline and wireless telephone providers.

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Last updated: June 21, 2024

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