• A Roadmap to our Future (What's a Strategic Plan?)

    by Derek Johnstone | Jul 17, 2019

    6am clock

    Picture this. It’s 6 am on a Saturday morning (the first day of your week-long vacation!) and you’re about to head out to visit some great friends in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. Except, you didn’t make a plan. You don’t have a map and your phone and GPS systems aren’t working.

    How do you get there?

    BC Ferries and Flowers

    You know your starting point – you have a ferry to catch! Once you reach the mainland though, which way do you go? There are signs on the highway labelling the different routes, but none of them point specifically towards your destination.

    Chances are, even without a map and GPS, you will eventually get to Moose Jaw. But how many wrong turns did you take, how much time was lost, and how much frustration did you suffer? Having a well-planned travel strategy would make it a much more direct trip.

    Now, scale that experience up to planning for a City, and a crucial key to success is having a great map and knowing the different routes. That’s really what a strategic plan is. A roadmap with a predetermined route and destination.

    Phone Map

    For City Council, their 2019–2022 Strategic Plan outlines four important pillars to help Council guide the City of Nanaimo into the future. These important pillars are Environmental Responsibility, Governance Excellence, Livability, and Economic Health. 10 key focus areas as well as a multitude of action items support these four strategic themes.

    Imagine a City that’s age-friendly, has good and affordable housing options for everyone, and is future-minded with a strong Climate Resilience Strategy. Picture an economically strong City that creates a transportation infrastructure geared for cycling, walking, and driving. Now imagine that it’s all governed by a Council that believes in excellence.


    These are just some of the great focus points and actions that are guiding our Council and the City’s operations through the City of Nanaimo’s 2019-2022 Strategic Plan. It’s a vision. It’s values. And it lays the foundation for the development and success of work plans and operations across the City. Read the plan here: 2019-2022 Strategic Plan


  • It Starts Here...Public Works Week 2019

    by Tracy Loewen | May 16, 2019

    Have you ever wondered how a city runs? How does clean drinking water flow through your tap? What happens after the toilet flushes? Who plans and builds the roads, sidewalks and bike lanes to ease your commute? Where does your recycling go after it is picked up?

    All these things that make your day run, start with a city’s Public Works department and its employees. Building on this concept is the theme of the 2019 National Public Works Week - It Starts Here.

    Public Works Week poster

    The City is once again participating in Public Works Week, a week-long recognition of the work the professionals in this field do to improve your quality of life and make our community a great place live, work and play.

    On Wednesday, May 22, 2019, approximately 450 students from Grades 4 and 5 within School District 68 will tour the City’s Public Works Yard. Through interactive activities, students will gain an understanding into the many services provided by the Engineering and Public Works Department and the impact of Public Works on their daily lives. Check out this video from last year’s event.

    Are you interested in learning about the journey the water flowing through your tap takes? Register for the free Nanaimo Watershed and Water Treatment Plant Tour on May 23. This all-day guided tour will take you through Nanaimo’s drinking watershed to our water treatment plant.

    South Fork Crest

    Find out more about what your Public Works department does to make our city run by viewing the following videos.




  • Buttertubs Marsh - more than just a pretty place!

    by Natalie Sponaugle | Feb 22, 2019

    Buttertubs Marsh is a hidden gem in the heart of Nanaimo. Step foot onto its trail and you will immediately be transported from the hustle and bustle of your surroundings into a serene sanctuary.

    Buttertubs Marsh 1


    Located just a short distance from the Nanaimo Ice Centre and Nanaimo Aquatic Centre, Buttertubs is a birdwatcher’s paradise. The two-kilometer loop trail is easily accessible and there are observation decks and a tower for taking in the views. It is also home to the famous Miner’s Cottage, which was built sometime around 1910-1912 and relocated to its current site in the late 1990’s.

    Miners cottage

    Buttertubs trees

    A bird and wildlife sanctuary, Buttertubs is a perfect place to go for a stroll, take in the sights and enjoy one of our city’s greatest natural assets. But there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to the role it plays in our community.

    A study completed in 2018 reveals that this 55-hectare wetland plays an important and extremely beneficial role in moderating the downstream flow of the Millstone River. In fact, if the marsh did not exist it would cost the City anywhere from $4.7 to $8.3 million dollars to build a system to do the same job that the Buttertubs does just by being there! Other benefits to a natural stormwater storage system like this one is that there are no up-front or replacement costs and no depreciation. Not to mention, it eliminates the need to buy land and build on it.

    Buttertubs Marsh (2)

    Among some of the world’s most productive environments, wetlands like Buttertubs are Mother Nature’s water filtration system and are vital for human survival. They serve to mitigate climate change, control flooding and are home to countless species of plants and animals that depend on them for survival. Want to learn more? You can read the full report here.


    The Municipal Natural Assets Initiative pilot study was organized through the David Suzuki Foundation, the Town of Gibsons, Sustainable Prosperity, Asset Management BC and Brooke and Associates. Nanaimo was one of five communities across the country invited to take part in the study, which looked at ways to apply measurement and management methods used in asset and financial practices to conserve and enhance natural capital.

    Buttertubs Marsh is co-owned and managed by the City of Nanaimo, The Nature Trust of British Columbia and Ducks Unlimited Canada.

    Buttertubs Marsh (3)

  • Splish-splash we’re having a blast!

    by Natalie Sponaugle | Feb 14, 2019

    Summer may feel like a long ways away but that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy some aquatic fun! Both the Nanaimo Aquatic Centre and Beban Pool are open year-round for your enjoyment, while the outdoor Kin Pool at Bowen Park stays in hibernation until May.

    Nanaimo Aquatic Centre

    NAC Entrance

    Did you know? The Nanaimo Aquatic Centre (or NAC as it is commonly referred to) opened in June 2001 and is home to one of the largest wave pools in western Canada! In addition to riding the waves, you can also enjoy its lazy river, three waterslides and interactive fishing boat water feature with a slide and climbing net. And of course, a trip to NAC wouldn’t be complete without a soak in the large hot tub or taking in the sauna and steam room.

    Nanaimo Aquatic Centre (14)

    NAC slide lookout

    Feeling adventurous? Take a plunge off the 1-metre and 3-metre diving boards! Also featuring a 50-metre, Olympic-size pool, there is plenty of space to swim and enjoy one of the island’s most popular aquatic facilities.

    NAC Aquafit

    Nanaimo Aquatic Centre (12)

    If you’re looking for a more challenging workout, why not try out the weight room at NAC which features an impressive collection of fitness equipment. There are also public rentable meeting spaces available - especially great for hosting birthday parties! Other amenities include an on-site cafe, swim wear specialty shop and physiotherapy clinic.

    NAC gym

    NAC Pool Entry

    Beban Pool

    Beban pool entrance

    Located within the Beban Park Complex, you will find four different pools making Beban Pool a place for all ages and abilities. The main pool first opened in 1976 and has seen many changes and updates over the years. There is now a leisure pool with spray features and lazy river, a tot pool, aquafit pool and 25-metre length pool. Other features include a water slide, 1-metre and 3-metre diving boards, a steam room and hot tub. 

    pool and babies

    Beban Pool

     Beban waterfeature

    One of Beban Pool's claim to fame's is their annual Halloween Howl event held at the pool each year. Complete with a haunted slide tower and real pumpkins floating in the pool, it's a fun family event you'll want to be sure to check out once October rolls around!

    Halloween Howl

    Overlooking the pool deck is a weight room with both free weights and stationary fitness equipment. So, whether you want to join an aquafit class, let the kids splash around, swim laps, soak in the hot tub or lift weights you’re sure to find there is something for you at Beban Pool!  

    Beban gym

    Kin Pool

    Kin Pool

    Built in the 1960’s, the Kin Pool is Nanaimo’s first public, and only outdoor, swimming pool. It was built in partnership with the Nanaimo Kinsmen Club and is now operated by the Nanaimo White Rapids Summer Swim Club who use it as a training pool and for swim meets. They also offer summer swimming lessons and public swimming.

    The pool opens in May with weekend public swimming beginning in June. Toward the end of June the pool opens up on weekdays for public swimming, aquafit classes and adult length swimming. For more information on public schedules check out the Nanaimo White Rapids website.

    Kin Pool 2

    Check out the following links for pool events, drop-in schedules or to register for swim lessons:




    Some upcoming fun swims!

    Feb. 22 - Coast Capital Savings Everyone Welcome Free Swim, 7-9 pm at Beban Pool

    March 18 & 25 - Marvelous Mondays Spring Break Pool Party, 1-3 pm at NAC

  • A Look Through Time: the History of Bowen Park

    by Natalie Sponaugle | Feb 05, 2019

    Bowen Park is named after a pair of brothers, George and James Bowen, owners of the San Francisco-based Western Fuel Company. In 1918, the company donated the parkland to the City of Nanaimo with a condition that it be used for park purpose only (official land title registration took place in 1931).

    The park was very popular with residents who enjoyed hiking the trails and having picnics and other gatherings in the picturesque setting next to the Millstone River. Controversy arose in 1949 between the parks board and City Council when the parks board hired well-known logger Ole Buck to remove 293 trees in the interest of public safety. Plans for developing the park were brought forward by the BC Forest Service in 1951 and on February 18, 1953, the Rotary Club of Nanaimo took on the project and established the Bowen Park Development Association. 

    Largely driven by volunteers from the community, work on clearing some of the land and putting through a roadway alongside the river began.

    Bowen Park Rotary Project Clearing Bush 1953

    Bowen Park Cleanup Sunday Work Party April 19 1953

    Bowen Park Rotary Project-Burning Brush 1953

    In 1958, Harry Wipper was hired as the manager for the newly formed Civic Properties and Recreation Commission board and began work on a ten-year master plan for the park. Mr. Wipper later became the first Director of Parks and Recreation and both he and the commission played a role in building the recreation complex, outdoor pool, tennis courts and bowling green.

    Bowen Park and Complex 1967

    Bowen Park’s natural beauty has always been a main attraction for visitors, both then and now. At the main entrance to the park is the Billy Lewis Centenary Memorial Rose Garden, which was dedicated in 1963, when Mr. Lewis celebrated his hundredth birthday. 

    Centennary Memorial Rose Garden at Bowen Park Dedication Billy Lewis ca 1968

    Another colourful feature is the Hailey Rhododendron Grove, thanks to the donation of 350 rhododendron hybrids from the collection of Mrs. Ellen Hailey in April 1975. There are shady interpretive trails that meander along the Millstone River, passing by Garry Oak meadow, a salmon habitat and a scenic waterfall.

    Hailey Rhododendron Grove

    Bowen trail

    Deadman Falls in Bowen Park

    Many come for sports! Bowen is home to a championship disc golf course, the only outdoor sand volleyball court in Nanaimo and a popular lawn bowling club. The park’s sport field, curling club, tennis courts and outdoor lacrosse box provide ample opportunities to try a new sport and get some exercise! Other popular features include the outdoor amphitheatre, duck pond, playgrounds and picnic shelters.

    Bowen Lawn Bowling

    Bowen playground

    Bowen Park ampitheatre

    Bowen Park- Landscape

    Bowen Park really does offer something for everyone. Sign up for a cooking course and you might end up in the Bowen Kitchen, where many of these Parks and Rec classes take place. If you stroll the halls, you’ll hear little voices and footsteps running around, as it is home to pre-school and baby ballet. Seniors meet regularly and enjoy dancing classes, yoga, card games, music, pool, woodworking and much more. Check out the Activity Guide for a full list of courses offered and come visit soon!

    Want to explore more parks in your area? Check out the City of Nanaimo's park search!

    Historical information courtesy of "A Place In Time: Nanaimo Chronicles" by Jan Peterson. Historical photos courtesy of the Nanaimo Community Archives.

  • Skate away in Nanaimo’s arenas

    by Tracy Loewen | Jan 31, 2019

    Skating is as Canadian as maple syrup. Bundling up in our winter coats and mittens and lacing up our skates is a routine most of us have experienced. Skating is a great skill to learn and a fun way to spend time with family and friends. 


    In Nanaimo, you can choose from four ice rinks to experience this quintessential Canadian pastime whether it be as a participant during an Everyone Welcome skate or a spectator at a hockey game. Last year, our arenas saw over 44,000 visits. 
    WW Skate-30

    Nanaimo Ice Centre

    On Third Street, you will find the Nanaimo Ice Centre, which opened in 2006. With two NHL-sized ice rinks you can take skating lessons, learn hockey skills and drop-in on an Everyone Welcome, Parent & Tot or Scrub Hockey session. One Saturday evening per month, the ice centre hosts the Starlight Skate, an Everyone Welcome skate under soft light “stars”. Coast Capital Savings also sponsors a free Everyone Welcome skate session one Friday night each month here. 

    Cliff McNabb Arena

    Located in Beban Park, Cliff McNabb opened in 1994. Named after the founder of the Nanaimo Clippers, this NHL-sized rink hosts a number of hockey and skate camps during Pro-D days and winter and spring breaks. You can also sign up for hockey programs such as Hockey Rascals and private hockey lessons. Drop into Cliff McNabb arena for Stick n’ Puck and Adult Co-Ed Scrimmage sessions.

    Frank Crane Arena

    Also located in Beban Park, Nanaimo’s oldest standing arena opened in 1976 and is named after Frank Crane, a well-known member of the community and a hockey advocate who sat on the Parks and Recreation Commission. In this fully accessible arena, you will find seating for up to 2,400 spectators and an NHL-sized rink where you can sign up for skating and hockey lessons as well as attend a number of drop-in skate sessions. It is also home to the Nanaimo Clippers – Go Clippers!
    Frank Crane

    The Nanaimo Lions Club, along with other community organizations, sponsor a weekly Lions Free Skate session each Sunday from September through March. The City hosts community events here as well including the monthly Glow in the Dark Skate and Winter Wonderland, an annual event that runs from December 26-30. This popular event takes place thanks to partnerships between the City of Nanaimo and various local businesses and is a way to say "thank you" to the community and give everyone, regardless of age, skating ability or economic circumstances, an opportunity to enjoy skating.

    To find a drop-in skate or hockey session, use the Drop-In Schedules tool on the City website and to register for a program, check out the Recreation Nanaimo on the City website.
    Glow Skate-15

  • A Look Through Time: the History of Beban Park

    by Natalie Sponaugle | Jan 15, 2019

    From farmland to parkland

    Beban Park has a rich history beginning as a 160-acre farm property acquired by Frank and Hannah Beban in 1930. The Beban family built the mansion known today as Beban House on the property and over the next 20 years developed the property with gardens and a horseracing track.

    Beban HouseBeban House - photo courtesy of the Nanaimo Community Archives

    Frank Beban 1940Frank Beban circa 1940 - photo courtesy of the Nanaimo Community Archives

    Horse Race Beban Estate 1935Horse racing at Beban Estate circa 1935 - photo courtesy of the Nanaimo Community Archives

    In 1953, after Frank’s death, the City of Nanaimo purchased the estate. In the early days, the park was known as Exhibition Park. It was, and still is, the site of the Vancouver Island Exhibition (VIEx).

    City Acquiring Beban House May 1953City acquiring Beban House May 1953 - photo courtesy of the Nanaimo Community Archives

    Changes through the years

    Beban Park has seen many additions and changes throughout the years.

    In 1958, the Centennial Building, a number of livestock barns and the Grandview Bowl were built. The Grandview Bowl, a renown race track that remained open until 1985, was considered one of the most up to date stock car racing tracks in Canada at the time and was even visited by Queen Elizabeth II during a visit in 1959! 

    Grandview Bowl 1970Grandview Bowl circa 1970 - photo courtesy of the Nanaimo Community Archives

    From 1973 to 1990, ownership of the park transferred to the Regional District of Nanaimo. The Beban Pool, Frank Crane Arena and Social Centre opened to the public under the name “Beban Park” in 1976, and the Agriplex was constructed in 1987.

    Beban 1976A brand new Beban Park circa March 1976 - photo courtesy of the Nanaimo Community Archives

    Beban Agriplex

    In the early 1980’s, the local Kinsmen Service Club built the 23 acre Participark – a treed wellness loop inspired by the federal government’s ParticipACTION program to motivate Canadians to get outside and exercise.

    Other amenities added to the park over the years include the opening of a BMX park in 1991, the Cliff McNabb Arena in 1994, a Pitch and Putt golf course in 1999 and the Beban Park Community Gardens in 2010. The Altrusa Playground and a dog off-leash park are other popular spots for park-goers. The park also features two artificial turf fields, on the site of the old Grandview Bowl, as well as the Beban Park Four Fields, a project funded by community groups. 

    Beban pool

    Frank Crane Arena

    Altrusa playground

    Numerous renovations and upgrades have taken place over the years, including a significant renovation in 2010, funded in part through $1 Million of federal funding through the Canada Action Plan RinC Grant Program. The Cliff McNabb Arena was also refurbished in 2012.

    More recently, in 2017 the Steve Smith Bike Park, named after the young professional cyclist from the Nanaimo area who tragically lost his life in May of 2016, was opened to the public. Featuring a pump track, dirt jump and return trail, this addition to the park has been very popular with riders of all ages.

    Steve Smith pump track

    Another addition in 2017 was a new greenhouse built by the Nanaimo Community Gardens Society – this volunteer-led group runs the Beban Learning Gardens, located next to the VIEX grounds.

    Looking ahead

    There are a number of exciting plans in store for this park, some of which are outlined in the Beban Park Master Plan. The City of Nanaimo is dedicated to ensuring that Beban Park continues to serve our growing community for many years to come.

    Beban Park has been a community gathering space for 60 years and is Nanaimo’s largest city-owned recreation centre.

    Beban breezeway

    Want to explore more parks in your area? Check out the City of Nanaimo's park search!

    Historical information courtesy of "A Place In Time: Nanaimo Chronicles" by Jan Peterson. Historical photos courtesy of the Nanaimo Community Archives.

  • Be active in 2019

    by Tracy Loewen | Jan 04, 2019

    Happy New Year, Nanaimo! Now that the holidays are over, many of us are settling back into routine and making resolutions for the year ahead. Take a moment to make a goal to be more active in 2019.


    Nanaimo Parks and Recreation has a variety of programs for all ages and abilities designed to help get your body moving and have fun!

    Register for a program: whether it is skating, swimming, yoga, boot camp, karate or Bollywood dance lessons, these programs offer a fun and welcoming environment for you to stay active. Register online, in person or by calling 250-756-5200.


    Drop-in to an activity: the City’s rec centres offer a variety of classes such as Total Barre Fitness and Power Yoga in Oliver Woods Community Centre and, over in the Bowen Park complex, drop in on Circuit Training and Train and Strength classes. Our pools and arenas have daily drop-in skating and swimming sessions for all ages. Build strength in our weight rooms located in the Nanaimo Aquatic Centre and Beban Pool and the gym in Oliver Woods Community Centre offers a variety of drop-in sports like floor hockey and volleyball. Find a list of drop-in activities on the City website.



    Floor Hockey (1)

    Get outside: from running, walking and hiking to mountain biking and playing, Nanaimo’s parks, playgrounds and trails have a variety of terrain to get you moving. Not to mention, exploring our natural beauty has other health benefits including reducing stress levels and lowering blood pressure. Check out the Nanaimo Parks Search on the City website to find a park or trail to explore.

    Neck Point-12

    Mnt Bike-4Have fun: at our pool and arena special events this month. Nanaimo Ice Centre hosts a Starlight Skate on Saturday, January 19 from 7-9 pm, Coast Capital Savings is offering a free skate session in Nanaimo Ice Centre on January 18 from 3:45-5:15 pm and the Lions Free Skates continue each Sunday from 12-1:30 pm (10:45 am -12:30 pm on Clipper game days) in Frank Crane Arena. Over in the pools, take part in a Super Hero Fun swim in Beban Pool on Sunday, January 20 from 1:30-3:30 pm and Coast Capital Savings will host a free swim on January 25 from 7-9 pm. Find more information these and other City events in the events listing section on the City website.

    NAC -after renos-22

    Skate-44Check out the Fall and Winter Activity Guide for more ways to stay active in 2019 and stay tuned for the Spring and Summer Activity Guide coming out in March!

  • What To Do When Winter Weather Hits Nanaimo

    by Tracy Loewen | Feb 19, 2018

    We are fortunate to live in an area that has, for the most part, a pretty mild climate year-round. So, when we get hit with weather, such as snow, that the rest of Canada experiences on a regular basis during winter, it can take everyone by surprise. 

    Snow plow for blog STILL

    The City prepares for snow and ice conditions ahead of time by salting the roads with a brine solution before a winter storm. Watch this short video for more information on how this process works.

    When it comes to clearing the roads, the City has 17 vehicles in its fleet capable of removing snow and salting roads. Crews work multiple shifts day and night to assess the condition of the roads.



    We also have priority routes that must be cleared first and stay clear in order for emergency vehicles to get to and from the hospital, fire stations and BC Ambulance stations. Once these are clear, crews move onto other routes. 

    The winter of 2016-17 was particularly "wintery" for Nanaimo with higher than average snowfall and freezing temperatures. This made for a number of issues for both the City and residents. 

    We have been able to avoid any significant amount of snowfall - until this past weekend when we were reminded there is still some winter left! Below are some tips to get you through any winter storm event.

    At Home:

    On the Roads:

    • Take extra caution whether you're driving, walking or cycling. Roads and sidewalks can be slippery during and after snowfall meaning everyone must do their part to use extra care when on their daily commutes.
    • Plan ahead by checking the weather reports and following the City on Facebook or Twitter for winter road updates. 
    • Some extra tips for drivers:
      • Make sure to have proper winter tires on your car.
      • Check the radiator anti-freeze protection level and windshield washer levels on your car.
      • Make sure there is an ice scraper in your car.
      • Keeping door lock de-icer on hand.
      • Checking the condition of your car's window wiper blades.
      • Keep your gas tank full.
      • Allow more time for your vehicle to warm up.
      • Slow down when driving.
      • Allow more stopping distance, driving well ahead.
      • Plan your route to avoid hills.
      • Stay well back from snow plows and salt trucks.

    Visit the City website for more information on Snow and Ice Control.

  • Nanaimo Recycles Trunk Sale

    by Derek Johnstone | Sep 15, 2017

    Buying, selling, and trading used goods isn't just good for the pocketbook - it's great for the environment as well! On September 9, 2017, the City of Nanaimo held a trunk sale and gave residents a free opportunity to get together and shop on this wet Saturday morning. The new garbage trucks were on scene too, as well as The Wave, helping to inform the public about the new Sort Toss Roll automated curbside collection program. Have you got a great name for these trucks? Read more at Name The Garbage Trucks


  • A Stroll Through the Art

    by Ross Collicutt | Aug 11, 2017

    When art is created with intriguing detail and personality, it draws me in every time. The temporary art that pops up in Nanaimo’s downtown and Maffeo Sutton Park each year is some of my favourite to take in and to photograph. From materials to presentation, there is a lot to look at, and I find that different angles tend to offer a different experience with each piece.

    Earlier this summer, before I realized the new art pieces were installed, the #Hungry Bunny stood out like a cartoon character come-to-life. The bold pink is impossible to miss against the green grass of the park, and the blue sky of a sunny summer day. The artists on this piece drew their inspiration from the rising population of feral rabbits. Are Nanaimo’s bunnies cute or a nuisance? Right now that may be debatable, and this piece certainly inspires some deep bunny thought.


    * #Hungry Bunny, Artist: Dale (Dasch) Schulz

    Meet Me at the Blue Flowers in MacGregor Park across from the Port Theatre, is also a sculpture made of metal, and makes great use of metallic shine and blue glass to draw in attention. This is one of my favourite locations for temporary art, with the waterfront and boats in the background, and the historic clock beside it. These large and sparkling blue flowers seem right at home here, and yes, the flowers do help make this a great meeting place.


    * Meet Me at the Blue Flowers, Artist: Deryk and Samuel Houston

    Another painted steel creature looks out at the water from Maffeo Sutton Park. Lunar Flyer is a great horned owl and is about to take hold of an unwitting mouse. There is a lot of realism in this representation, and given that horned owls are nocturnal, they are common but rare to see. This piece of art is a great reminder of their presence.


    * Lunar Flyer, Artist: Heather Wall

    Portal  is another symbolic piece, but this art is made stronger by its creative story. This structure is a steel frame completely wrapped with pieces of discarded rope provided by a local log salvor. Making old new again, this artist takes materials and reuses them in a very thoughtful way here.


    * Portal, Artist: Heather Passmore

    There are more temporary and permanent art structures around downtown and Maffeo Sutton Park, enhancing the parks energy and appeal. You can visit www.nanaimo.ca and click through Visitors – Public Art to access more information, and even a smartphone app that will use your phone’s gps to guide you to the nearest masterpiece. So head out for a stroll through Maffeo-Sutton Park and Nanaimo's downtown, and enjoy some of the 169 public art projects that Nanaimo has to offer!

  • Tips to Keep Cool

    by Ross Collicutt | Aug 01, 2017
    Hey Nanaimo,
    With the expected heat wave this week, we have compiled a few ideas on how to stay cool and a few safety reminders to keep top of mind. 
    Please Remember:  
    • To wear a hat
    • To slather the sunscreen on before going out in the sun
    • If possible, choose cooler times of the day for strenuous activities and exercise
    • That staying hydrated is important, pack your water bottle
    • To take moments in the shade to cool down
    • It is not OK to leave a pet or child in a hot vehicle
    • We are on level two water restrictions
    • There is a BC wide fire ban in effect
    • To properly dispose of cigarettes and other smoking materials
    • To try to reduce the risk of a wildfire spreading you can remove deadfall and debris and keep hedges trimmed and grass mowed


    Parks & Recreation has a few events & ideas to help you stay cool:

    Share your "keeping cool moments" this month with us on instagram @nanaimoparksandrec using #ilovemyparksandrec


  • Picture a Park: Westwood Lake Park

    by Ross Collicutt | Feb 10, 2017

    One of Nanaimo's most popular parks is Westwood Lake Park. Located off Westwood Road, this 187.6 hectare (463 acres) park boasts many amenities to enjoy year-round.

    sign (5)

    First off, the lake itself. It's great for fishing, swimming and boating. There is a wheelchair accessible fishing float towards the south side of the park past the second beach.

    In the summer, people flock to Westwood Lake to cool off. Lifeguards are on duty at the main beach area during the summer. A washroom and changeroom building is located near the beach and a small playground is located at the second beach near the gravel parking lot. Both electric motors and non powered boats are welcome on the lake. 

    beach (3)



    A well-groomed main trail winds its way around the lake and is excellent for both runners and walkers. Some shorter loops can be accessed from the south end of the main trail. There are trails leading to hikes of nearby Mount Benson and Morrell Nature Sanctuary. There is also a dog off-leash area accessible from the far side of the lake and runs along the hydro lines. Make sure to keep your dog leashed when you are not in the off-leash area.

    trail (6)


    Lastly, Westwood Lake Park has many trails designed for mountain biking. 


    Looking for a park to explore? Check out the Nanaimo Parks Search tool.




  • Where's the Fire?

    by Ross Collicutt | Feb 10, 2017

    Want to get an idea of the types of calls Nanaimo Fire and Rescue receives on any given day? The Fire Incident Response tool on the City website gives you updated information of fire calls throughout Nanaimo.

    With the tool, you can see a list of each days calls by entering a date in the "Select Date" field. The current date is always the default date.

    list (2)

    Further down the page, another feature of the tool lets you view each fire call on a map. You can also view the statistical data of the number of each particular incident Nanaimo Fire and Rescue has to attend. 


    For more information visit the Fire Incident Response tool on the City website.


  • Active Life: Nanaimo parks and rec loves summer

    by Ross Collicutt | Feb 10, 2017

    ACTIVE LIFE is a monthly series in the Nanaimo News Bulletin contributed by City of Nanaimo Staff.

    What a privilege it is to call Canada home. I know it’s been a few weeks since we celebrated our nation’s birthday, but I always reflect on how lucky we are during this time of year. Each time I get the opportunity to sing O Canada, I find it hard to stop the emotions this song evokes within me.

    It also got me thinking about this wonderful city we live in. There are so many amazing things to do at this time of year that are free and great for the whole family. Here are a couple:

    Concerts in the Park – These free outdoor concerts have been part of the city’s July and August schedule for many years now, and this year is no exception. Performances are held Mondays, 12:30-1:30 p.m. in Maffeo Sutton Park; Wednesdays in July, 6-7:30 p.m., at the Bowen Park Amphitheatre and Wednesdays in August, 6-7:30 p.m. in Maffeo Sutton Park. This year’s entertainment lineup encompasses a variety of genres, including folk, country, Latin, pop, rock, jazz and even an orchestra performance. I don’t want to miss any!


    Picture above: Bowen Park Amphitheatre


    Pictured above: Lions Pavilion, Maffeo Sutton Park

    Playground Program – This awesome program has also been part of Nanaimo’s summer for several years. It is a great way for children between the ages of 5 and 12, along with their parents, to play games, make crafts and more, all under the direction of a very enthusiastic leader.

    familyfunnight (2)

    This year’s program has incorporated some evening options so all families have an opportunity to participate. Check them out: Monday to Friday until August 28, 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at Harewood Mining Community Water Park; Monday and Tuesday until August 25, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at Mansfield Park, Carmanah Park and Fairview Community School; Thursday and Friday until August 28, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at Rock Ridge Park, Country Hills Park, Mansfield Park; Wednesdays in July, 3-8 p.m., at Country Hill Park, Carmanah Park and Mansfield Park; Wednesdays in August, 3-8 p.m. at Fairview Community School, Mansfield Park and Rock Ridge Park.

    If you’re looking for more details on summer activities in Nanaimo, please visit www.nanaimo.ca or call 250-756-5200.

    This summer, take a moment with Parks, Recreation and Environment!

  • Soak Up Some Fun in the Sun at Kin Pool

    by Ross Collicutt | Feb 10, 2017

    Did you know? Nanaimo's first public, and only outdoor, swimming pool is the Kin Pool located in Bowen Park.


    The pool was built in partnership with the Nanaimo Kinsmen Club in the 1960's. It's now operated by the Nanaimo White Rapids Summer Swim Club who use it as a training pool and for swim meets. They also offer summer swimming lessons and public swimming.

    The pool opens in May and weekend public swimming starts at the beginning of June. The pool is then opened up on weekdays at the end of June to public swimming, aquafit classes and adult lengths swiming. For more information on public schedules check out the Nanaimo White Rapids website


    Looking to explore one of Nanaimo's parks? Check out the Nanaimo Parks Search on the City website.

    Looking for information on a City facility? Check out the Nanaimo Facility Search on the City website.

  • Water Treatment Plant Photo Update - August 7, 2015

    by Ross Collicutt | Feb 09, 2017

    The latest photos from the Water Treatment Plant Project.

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    See the project page for background documents on the Water Treatment Plant.

    Follow the project on the Facebook Photo Album.


  • Bringing Neighbourhoods Together One Book at a Time

    by Ross Collicutt | Feb 09, 2017

    Have you noticed as you stroll through some neighbourhoods in town, cases filled with books? These are called "Little Libraries" and are a fast growing trend in Nanaimo. They are a fun way to help community members get engaged in reading and connect with their neighbours. 


    Little Libraries have been around for some time in Nanaimo; you might have one on your street.


    Recently the City, in partnership with Vancouver Island Regional Library, Literacy Central, VIU International Education, Nanaimo North Rotary and Play Nanaimo, had 15 libraries built so they could be put in neighbourhoods around the city. The demand from residents far outweighed the supply as 41 households requested to have one placed on their property! 

    When you come across one, you can take a book to read and then return it once finished. 


    Check out the map to see where the 15 new libraries were installed. It's a great way to tour Nanaimo and perhaps meet a new neighbour or two!

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  • Get Ready for Fall and Winter with a New Activity Guide

    by Ross Collicutt | Feb 09, 2017

    As we prepare for a new school year, the new Fall and Winter Activity Guide will arrive this week online and across Nanaimo. 

    Starting Wednesday, August 19, you can view the recreation and leisure programs the City has to offer online. Look for your copy in City recreation facilities, City Hall, grocery stores, libraries and malls across Nanaimo starting Saturday, August 22. Registration for Fall and Winter programs opens Wednesday, August 26.


    There are some cool new programs on offer for the upcoming Fall and Winter such as:

    • Little Explorers: This fun-filled program is designed for your preschooler’s first socialization experience. Activities include arts and crafts, story time, gym time, singing and free play.
    • Musical Theatre: This youth program will work on vocal technique, acting skills, performing in a group and moving onstage with confidence while learning songs from hit movies and traditional and contemporary musical theatre. The course ends with a musical revue performance. 
    • Cheese Making Series: Learn to make a variety of cheeses from Mozzarella to Traditional French Brie.
    • Aloha Hula: Bring Hawaii to Nanaimo by learning the basic steps of Kaholo, Hela, Kawelu and Uwehe.
    • Winter Evergreen Containers: Create outdoor living winter planters filled with twigs, berries, moss and evergreen shrubs. 
    • 20-20-20: This is a total body stretch, strength and cardio class that incorporates 20 minutes of stretch, warm up and cool down, 20 minutes of strength work and 20 minutes of cardio.
    • Vinyasa Flow Yoga: A fast-paced class that will get your heart rate up and get you sweating while flowing smoothly through a beautiful Vinyasa inspired yoga sequence. 
    • Trailblazers Light: This guided walking group is perfect for the beginner or for those wanting to get back into walking again. Enjoy fresh air and good company while exploring some amazing parks and trails in Nanaimo. 
    • Urban Commuting 101: Become a confident bicycle commuter. Learn bike control, effectiveness of changing gears, negotiating hills, rider safety, road rules and regulations, basic bike mechanics and more.
    • Holiday Swim and Shop: Drop off your child for a swim with one of our lifeguards and get all your holiday shopping done. We will play games, make crafts and have prize give-aways!
    • NHL Girls Only: This program is designed to introduce and develop the game of hockey for girls looking to play for enjoyment and fitness in an all-female environment. Participants will practice a wide variety of basic and advanced hockey skills.
    • Sports Sampler - Adaptive: This program will provide teens and adults with cognitive disabilities the basic skills to play several sports, such as pickleball, basketball, indoor soccer and more.

    If you haven't already, setting yourself up for online registration in advance makes it easier for you to register for programs online first thing on August 26. To get your own account for our online registration and for more information on programming and registration please call 250-756-5200.

  • Active Life: Beban Pool Getting a Fresh Look for Fall

    by Ross Collicutt | Feb 09, 2017

    ACTIVE LIFE is a monthly series in the Nanaimo News Bulletin contributed by City of Nanaimo Staff.

    What an amazing summer it has been so far. We’ve experienced record days of sunshine and many recreation options that have encouraged us all to stay active. It’s hard to imagine that in a short amount of time kids will be going back to school while the rest of us return to our regular routines and schedules.

    There is a lot of behind-the-scenes work taking place at Parks, Recreation and Environment as we get ready for the return of the fall and winter season.

    In case you haven’t heard, Beban Pool is undergoing some changes during its annual maintenance shutdown. When the pool re-opens on Sept. 8, swimmers will find five new water features that have been installed in the leisure pool area, including a water tunnel. In addition, the pool walls and ceiling are currently getting a fresh coat of paint in anticipation of the new theme and murals, which will take place this fall. Once it is all done, Beban Pool will feel like new in many ways with the spray features and the overall fresh colours and murals. New to the Beban Pool schedule this fall is a Sunday family swim from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., when the whole family can experience the water features together. 




    In addition, the production of your fall and winter Activity Guide is wrapping up. We have a team of program coordinators, instructors and marketing staff who work together to bring you the Activity Guide. This process takes several months of planning and organizing, but it’s very rewarding to be offering such a wide range of programs, special events and community information to the citizens of Nanaimo. Look for your copy starting Aug. 22 at all of our recreation facilities. Program registration begins on Aug. 26.


    We still have room in many of our summer camps and programs, so if the kids are looking for something to do, check out the current activity guide for ideas on making the last weeks of the season memorable and full of adventure. For more information, please visit www.nanaimo.ca or call 250-756- 5200.

    We hope the rest of your summer is fantastic and encourage you to ‘take a moment’ and participate in one of our many programs or special events this upcoming fall and winter.

Last updated: February 19, 2018

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