Issue 8/Spring 2023
View/download the pdf printed version.
Westwood Lake Park Improvements
A number of improvements are coming together for one of Nanaimo’s busiest and most popular places to visit. Phase 1 of the Westwood Lake Improvement Project is expected to wrap up in May - just in time for summer! Here is what you can expect:
- enhanced natural green spaces
- improved parking (moving some current spots to lessen environmental impact, using permeable and impermeable surfacing and additional spots including four additional accessible parking stalls)
- better parking lot circulation flow and safety features
- planting of additional native trees and shrubs
- integration of storm water management areas and rain gardens to capture and filter rainwater
- mobility improvements along Westwood Road for both pedestrians and cyclists.
These improvements came out of community consultations done during the REIMAGINE NANAIMO process. More improvements are expected in Phase 2 of this project. Stay tuned!
Midtown projects coming along
You may have noticed a lot of construction activity in central Nanaimo. We have two multi-year construction projects taking place in that area right now - Midtown Gateway and Midtown Water Supply. You can stay up to date with these projects on the City’s socials (@CityofNanaimo) and on their project pages on the City’s website.
The Midtown Gateway Project is transforming an old brownfield site impacted by industrial activity into a neighbourhood gateway. Work done so far includes environmental remediation, ground improvements over the future roadways and restoration of a wetland that had long since been filled in with coal mining and construction waste. Construction continues on underground utilities including water pipes that will connect to the Midtown Water Supply project.
The Midtown Water Supply Project involves the installation of two large water pipelines from College Heights to the roundabout at Labieux and Kenworth Rds. So far, water mains have been installed through Beban Park, along Labieux and next to the Parkway from Northfield to East Wellington Rd. They are also currently being installed along Northfield. Coming up, water mains will be installed on East Wellington Rd from the Parkway to Bowen Rd, which will affect commutes at the East Wellington and Bowen Rd intersection. Construction of a pipe bridge across the Millstone River will begin in June with construction access off Jingle Pot and East Wellington Rds.
Tell us how you stay connected
Complete a short online survey on how you stay up to date with City of Nanaimo news, programs and initiatives. Visit www.GetInvolvedNanaimo.ca to have your say. Need a paper copy? Give us a call 250-754-4251 or visit any City facility to pick one up.
Your tax notice: how it's calculated
The City of Nanaimo tax rate is based on what we need to balance the budget. The property taxes are based on your property’s assessed value, which is determined by BC Assessment. The gross taxes are then calculated as follows:
Your Property Assessment/$1,000 x Tax Rate = Your Portion of Property Taxes
An assessment increase does not necessarily mean there will be a significant increase in your property taxes. It’s about how your assessed value changed relative to the average change for your property class. Find more information about this in the The Relationship Between Property Assessment and Property Tax section on the Property tax Information page on the City website.
Your tax notice also includes amounts for these other taxing authorities: School District 68, Hospital, Search & Rescue, BC Assessment, Regional District of Nanaimo, Vancouver Island Regional Library and Municipal Finance Authority. Learn more about the budget process on the City Budget page on the City website.
DID YOU KNOW?
City Council approved changes to the City’s user rates charges and rate structure. The changes are the result of a comprehensive Utility Rate Review. To learn more visit the User Rates page.
Your 2023 property taxes are due July 4, 2023
There are a number of ways to pay:
- Your bank: online, phone or in person. When paying this way for the first time, search “Nanaimo”. The folio number on your notice is the account number.
- Mail a cheque: 455 Wallace Street, Nanaimo, BC, V9R 5J6. Payment must be made out to “City of Nanaimo” and received by July 4, 2023.
- At the Service and Resource Centre: 411 Dunsmuir St, Monday through Friday from 8 am to 4:30 pm.
- Your mortgage company: Make sure their name is listed on the front of your tax notice. Don’t forget to apply for the Home Owner Grant.
- Pre-authorized payments: Visit the Property Tax Prepayment Plan page for more information or give us a call at 250-755-4415.
A late payment penalty of two per cent will be applied to payments received after July 4, 2023 and an additional eight per cent will be applied for payments made after Aug. 31, 2023.
REMINDER: Claim your Home Owner Grant by July 4, 2023. You can claim it by phone at 1-888-355-2700 or at www.gov.bc.ca/HomeOwnerGrant.
Defer your taxes: If you are over the age of 55, widowed, a person with a disability or a family with children, you may qualify for the property tax deferment program. This Provincial program provides low-interest loans to qualified homeowners to pay their primary residence property taxes. Find more information on the Tax Deferment page.
Property Taxes: How your dollars are used
The property taxes collected pay for the important City services and initiatives that make Nanaimo a community that is livable, environmentally sustainable and full of opportunity for all generations and walks of life.
Also, one per cent goes towards an increase in funding for the general asset management reserve. Some highlights of what your taxes are funding include:
IMPROVING PUBLIC SAFETY
- Community Safety Officers (CSOs) work proactively to prevent conflict and provide a welcoming, secure presence.
- Fire Station 1 has been fully operational since last fall. In addition to a working fire station, it also acts as headquarters for Nanaimo Fire Rescue’s administrative staff and the City’s emergency coordination centre.
- An additional 40 firefighters will be hired over the next three years.
- Police Services will see four additional civilian staff and three sworn RCMP members in 2023. Seven sworn and civilian staff to perform administrative duties will also be hired in the coming three years.
- Two full-time Clean Teams are operating to remove debris and garbage downtown.
PLANNING FOR GROWTH
- The Midtown Gateway Project will help reduce traffic congestion and make it safer to move through our community with the addition of a new road connection to Beban Park as well as new walking, rolling and cycling trails.
- Another Midtown project, the Midtown Water Supply project, is underway replacing a water main to make sure there is enough capacity for our growing community.
CREATING MORE PLACES TO PLAY
- In partnership with the Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN), 99.1 hectares of land was purchased in the Westwood area last year to expand and connect Westwood Lake Park and Mount Benson Regional Park creating a corridor that takes you from lake shore to mountaintop.
- The second phase of playground improvements were completed in Maffeo Sutton Park. Both playgrounds were designed to be accessible for the whole community to enjoy.
- Two new turf fields in Harewood Centennial Park will add to Nanaimo’s inventory of all-weather sports fields.
CELEBRATING OUR COMMUNITY
- Investments in community events such as hosting the annual Summer Concerts in the Parks series and supporting other events and festivals.
- Working alongside Snuneymuxw First Nation and Nanaimo-Ladysmith School District 68 to put together the annual National Day for Truth and Reconciliation event.
- Supporting our artistic community through programs such as Temporary Public Art.
Summer FUN in Nanaimo
Join us in Nanaimo’s parks for FREE summer fun!
- Family Fun Nights are back! Join us on June 29 in Departure Bay Kiwanis Park, July 27 in Mansfield Park and Aug. 24 in Deverill Square Park for an evening of games, crafts, food and more.
- The popular Concerts in the Park series returns to Nanaimo’s parks this summer. Stay tuned for a line up in June.
- Water parks are open 9 am to 8 pm daily in Departure Bay Park, Deverill Square Park, Harewood Centennial Park and Mansfield Park.
- Our Playground Program features activities including crafts, games, music and more from July 6 to Aug. 31. Check recreation.nanaimo.ca for locations.
- Come down to Maffeo Sutton Park on July 1 from 11 am to 3:30 pm for Canada Day festivities.
- Play in one of Nanaimo’s playgrounds. In addition to neighbourhood playgrounds, destination playgrounds are located in Beban Park, Harewood Centennial Park, Maffeo Sutton Park and Oliver Woods Community Park.
- Explore Nanaimo’s parks and trails this summer. Check out our Parks and Trails brochure to discover your next adventure.
For more details, please visit recreation.nanaimo.ca or call 250-756-5200.
SUMMER NIGHT MARKET
Head downtown Thursday evenings beginning June 22 for the Commercial Street Night Market. Find more information on the Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce’s website: NanaimoChamber.bc.ca.
Building community through art
Art Agora is a new digital commons with the objective of bringing together residents of Nanaimo through shared creativity with monthly projects in which you can participate and even win a prize.
- May: En-light-ened Island. Make candles at home from scratch and reflect on what it means to you.
- June: Book-warmth. What book would you give to someone you think needs it? Make a bookmark and tell them why.
- July: Arbour City. A “Painting Scavenger Hunt.” Find meaningful/iconic/historical locations in the city and paint them.
- August: Being in Nanaimo. Choose a person, animal, or plant you discovered in Nanaimo. Share their picture and another with a handwritten note on what they mean to you.
This project was commissioned by the City of Nanaimo and conceptualized and created by media artist and designer - Tanuja Mishra. Share your creations and find more information at: www.artagora.ca.
Stage 2 Watering Restrictions in Effect
Until Sept. 30, even-numbered addresses can water on even-numbered days and odd-numbered addresses on odd-numbered days for up to 2 hours between the hours of 7 am to 10 am or 7 pm to 10 pm. Vegetable gardens and fruit trees can be watered any time – micro-drip encouraged. Find more information on the Watering Restrictions page.
Have a Safe and FireSmart summer
The arrival of summer usually brings hot, dry weather. Follow these simple FireSmart steps and visit firesmartbc.ca to learn more:
- Clear dead brush, dry debris and other combustibles from within 10 metres of your home, clean your roof and gutters and keep your lawn short.
- Remove branches overhanging the roof of your house and keep all lower tree branches pruned up two metres.
- Clean and maintain your BBQ before using it and never leave it unattended while cooking.
- Properly extinguish and dispose of all smoking material. NEVER throw cigarette butts out the window of your car. Not only is it littering, it’s also the cause of many wildfires.
- Be vigilant: call 911 to report all fires no matter the size
- Sign up to receive emergency alerts from us through the Voyent Alert! app. Download the app for free or give us a call at 250-758-5222.
- Visit Prepared BC's Extreme Heat page for more information on how to be prepared for extreme heat events.
Recycle Right! Reduce blue cart contamination
Let’s work together, Nanaimo, to make sure we are recycling right and reducing blue cart contamination! Contamination happens when items that aren’t accepted at the curbside are tossed in with accepted items in the blue cart. We WISH we could recycle everything you toss in the cart; however, there is a reason why some items can’t be mixed in with other recyclables. For example, glass containers break, which can make for dangerous handling conditions for workers. Soft plastics such as plastic wrap and bags can get tangled up in machines at the sorting facility causing damage.
Recycle BC, the organization that oversees recycling across the province, requires collectors of recycling, such as the City of Nanaimo, to maintain contamination rates of less than three per cent to meet contract requirements. Currently, we have an average recycling contamination rate of over seven per cent! Higher levels of cart contamination can lead to increased service fees for homeowners and recycling ending up in the landfill. The goal is to never leave a cart behind, but households that continue to contaminate could see their blue carts not being collected.
If you aren’t sure if something is accepted in your blue cart, use the What Goes Where Waste Wizard tool found on the Recycling page on the City website at or download the free Nanaimo Recycles App. Don’t have access to the internet? Give the Recycling Hotline a call at 1-800-732-9253.
Join in on the FUN at our Reduce and Reuse special annual events!
Do you have a storage room full of household items that you haven’t looked at, let alone used, in years? Nanaimo’s Trunk Sale and Reuse Rendezvous annual events aim to give unwanted household items a longer lease on life and reduce the amount of waste sent to the landfill.
This year you’ll have double the chances to bargain hunt! On Saturday, June 24 come down to the Country Club Mall parking lot from 9 am to 2 pm in and on Aug. 26 the sale will be held at VIU’s Parking Lot A from 9 am to 2 pm. Registered vendors can sell their unwanted items from the trunks of their cars to bargain hunters. Registration is free and spots are limited.
Join in on the city-wide swap meet over the weekend of July 22 and 23 . Stick a “FREE!” label on unwanted household goods and set them out on the curb for other community members to take and reuse. Please make sure to take any items left over after the weekend back inside.
Visit the Reduce and Reuse Community Events page on the City website for full details and event updates, including registration information for the Trunk Sales and guidelines for Reuse Rendezvous.
QUESTIONS ABOUT CURBSIDE COLLECTION?
Call us: 250-756-5390