Downtown Mobility Hub Project


Please join the conversation about Nanaimo’s Downtown Mobility Hub as we identify priority improvements that will help create a downtown transportation network that is safe, inclusive, accessible, and interconnected to all the places we love. Drop by one of our upcoming Pop-up Events to review and discuss early issues, opportunities, and ideas:

  • Saturday, April 27 @ Earth Day Celebration, John Barsby School
    10 am to 3 pm
  • Tuesday, April 30 @ Port Place Mall
    11 am to 2 pm
  • Saturday, May 4 @ Maffeo Sutton Park (near Lion’s Pavilion)
    10 am to 2 pm

You can view the display boards of the pop-up events here

These conversations are an important first step in this Project, helping to confirm improvement priorities.

Can’t make it to an event? Please take a few minutes to complete a questionnaire about the issues being studied and ensure your key concerns are recorded. The questionnaire is now closed. Thank you for your participation.

Nanaimo DT Mobility Study Graphic - FINAL

The City of Nanaimo is progressing ideas for an improved Downtown Mobility Hub – the heart of our transportation network. Over the years we’ve heard many ideas about how you want to walk, cycle, take transit, drive, or park in the downtown. Now we’re working to link these ideas together and set priorities to get improvements into the ground. The Downtown Mobility Project will confirm the issues and ideas that are important to you and develop designs for building priority projects in the coming years. Join the conversation!

The Nanaimo community – through the OCP, Transportation Master Plan, Downtown Urban Design Guidelines, Terminal Nicol Re-imagined, Port Drive Waterfront Master Plan, and other initiatives – has created a vision for our downtown multimodal transportation network – one that is safe, inclusive, accessible, and interconnected to all the places we love. 
Now it’s time to take concrete steps towards this vision. The goal of the Downtown Mobility Project is to identify and develop transportation projects to support a thriving downtown. To do this we need to:

  • Confirm the issues, opportunities, and ideas we’ve collected through various past projects.
  • See if there are any more ideas we need to consider.
  • Discuss trade-offs and different ways we could approach improvements.
  • Select design directions.
  • Figure out what should be built first

We’d like your help. Please join us over the coming months to identify a set of projects that will move downtown Nanaimo into the future.


  1. Attend a Community Event: Starting at the end of April 2019, we will be hosting a series of “Pop-ups” and public events in the downtown area. We’ll post announcements about events and locations here, as well as on Facebook and Twitter
  2. Participate in a Questionnaire: Alongside upcoming community events, we will also have a questionnaire posted on this site and available at community events. Share your thoughts, ideas, and concerns. 
  3. Sign up for Project Notifications: Send an email to with the subject 'Register to receive email updates' about upcoming events and announcements for the Downtown Mobility Project. Your email will be used only for updates about this project. We will not share your information.
  4. Email us: You can email us at any time at:


The Downtown Nanaimo Mobility Hub focuses on an 800 m radius around the intersection of Terminal Avenue and Commercial Street. Some of the key destinations and focus areas are highlighted on the map below.

Downtown Mobility Base Map-small-01



  • Progress


    We’re currently working on Phase 1 Concept Design. This phase will be happening from now until fall 2019 and will be focused on confirming issues and opportunities, identifying priorities, and developing concept designs to move forward to detailed design and ultimately construction.

    Nanaimo DT Mobility Process Graphic - 2019.04.09 - Big Picture 
  • Documents
  • Details


    What’s a mobility hub?

    A mobility hub is a concentrated area of activity including transportation options and connections, employment, recreational opportunities, housing, and shopping. Areas with concentrated activities are highly sustainable as they reduce the need for driving long distances. Rather, complete, compact communities can provide citizens the amenities and opportunities they need through sustainable modes of transportation, particularly as our City grows. 

    What about previous studies that have been done? Are they still relevant? 

    The City is building on previous studies to take a cohesive approach to downtown mobility that integrates the ideas, visions, and aspirations previously identified. The goal is to review the continued relevance of all previous studies and recommendations done to date , update where necessary and then select priority projects that can move forward into implementation.  

    What are the objectives of the project?

    The ultimate goal of the Downtown Mobility Project is to work towards implementing change on the ground. The process will identify feasible options and priority projects that could move forward to detailed design and eventually construction. Public engagement is a key part of the process to ensure that community needs and aspirations are being met. 

    What is being considered in the project?

    • Pedestrian Connections: A number of studies have identified opportunities, gaps, and barriers in the downtown’s walkability. Identifying priority projects that advance the walkability of our downtown is a priority.
    • Cycling Connections: Various cycling routes and connections have been considered for the downtown. This project is an opportunity to identify and prioritize the best routes to be developed.
    • Transit: The current transit exchange on Prideaux Street was created as a temporary location. The project will consider how a future transit exchange in the downtown will be integrated within the overall transportation network.
    • Vehicle Mobility: The project will look closely at key intersections and corridors where road improvements could improve both vehicle and multi-modal connections. 
      Parking: Parking in the downtown has not been studied in detail to date. A detailed inventory of parking supply is being developed, including both on-street and off-street, before determining utilization and turnover. A parking strategy will be developed to identify where parking supply might be increased or decreased and how restrictions, permits, and rates may be managed.

    Will there be an impacts or restrictions to traffic in the Downtown area?

    The Nanaimo Downtown Mobility Project is at the concept stage only. If priority projects move forward to detailed design and construction, there will be more information provided at that time about potential construction activities. While not part of this project, the Bastion Street Bridge Seismic Upgrades Project is planned for spring 2019 and will have short-term mobility impacts during construction. As part of that project, a temporary transit exchange will be located in the vicinity of 1 Port Place off Front Street. Learn more about the project here.   

    Will all options identified during the Project move forward into implementation?

    The project will identify options that are feasible and have the potential to be supported. While many options will be discussed and analyzed, some may not move forward beyond technical evaluation due to cost, technical merit, or public support. For projects identified, a key objective of the Downtown Mobility Project will be prioritizing projects to identify those that will be built first.


  • Background


    The 2014 Nanaimo Transportation Master Plan identifies seven “mobility hubs” in the City. It is envisioned that these hubs will be core areas for living and working, connected through an exceptional network that encourages people to use sustainable modes of transportation. Making these spaces highly walkable, bikeable, and attractive for transit is an essential goal.
    Mobility Hub Map from TMP


    The Downtown Mobility Hub contains some of the City’s highest population and employment densities – and ongoing growth in the downtown is on the horizon. You don’t have to look far to see the new construction underway, creating more spaces for people to live right in the heart of Nanaimo. The Transportation Master Plan identifies several opportunities for the downtown including a new downtown transit exchange, cycling facilities, and streetscape improvements as key components to making downtown a more successful mobility hub. 
    The City is planning Nanaimo’s future for the next 25 years including how we live, work, move, and shop. Previous projects and public engagement have articulated a strong vision for an integrated downtown transportation network that safely and comfortably accommodates pedestrians, cyclists, transit users, and motorists. The City wants to confirm the issues and opportunities for the Downtown Mobility Hub, develop potential options, and understand public priorities so that the City can select and ultimately develop projects that make concrete progress towards the envisioned future for Nanaimo’s downtown – a strong, sustainable, and economically prosperous hub.


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