Fire Station #1 Replacement

The City of Nanaimo is planning to replace the existing Fire Station #1 at the corner Milton and Fitzwillaim Street with a new one. The new station will house Fire & Rescue Command, Fire Dispatch, Office and Administration / Business Centre and the City of Nanaimo’s Emergency Coordination Centre.

Fire Station exterior
Figure 1. Existing Fire Station #1

Nanaimo Fire Station Render
Figure 2. Draft Concept Design of New Fire Station #1

Fire Station 1 Rebuild Timeline
Figure 3. Project Timeline

Project Budget

The approved project budget is $20,000,000.

Contact Information

If you have any comments or questions about the Fire Station 1 Replacement Project, please contact us at 250-756-5321 or email

  • Progress

    The project design phase began in late 2018 and is expected to be complete by the end of 2019. Construction is planned to begin in 2020 and be complete by the end of 2022. Additional progress updates will be made available below as the project progresses.

    Project Updates

      • July 11, 2019: Public Information session held at 666 Fitzwilliam Street.

      • July 2019:  The project is currently in the design phase.

      • January 22, 2020: Design has been completed and the Project has been issued for tender.

      • May 12, 2020: The tender has period has closed.

      • June 26, 2020:  Construction contract has been awarded to Kinetic Construction Ltd.

      • June 17, 2020:  Project budget updated and increased from $17M to $20M

      • July 27, 2020: Began Construction

      • October 5th, 2020: Construction in Progress (see below).

      • January 4, 2021: Construction in Progress (see below).

      • March 22, 2021: Construction in Progress (see below).

      • May 25, 2021: Construction in Progress (see below).

      • July 19, 2021: Construction in Progress (see below).

      • September 20, 2021: Construction in Progress (see below).

      September 20th, 2021 - Firehall #1 Construction Update

      • November 10, 2021: Construction in Progress (see below).

      November Firehall Update

      • January 17, 2022: Construction in Progress (see below).

              • March 23rd, 2022: Construction in Progress (see below).

              • May 16th, 2022: Construction in Progress (see below).

      May update for Fire Hall #1

            • July 21st, 2022: Construction in Progress (see below).

      Photo showing Firehall Construction progress for July 21st 2022

            • October 6th, 2022: Construction in Progress (see below).

      A picture showing demolition of old firehall building
    • Documents
    • Details

      Project Scope

      The scope of the project is to replace the existing Nanaimo Fire Station #1 on the same site at 666 Fitzwilliam Street. The existing station houses the Firecomm / Dispatch Centre and Emergency Coordination Centre (ECC), which will be re-housed in the new fire station. The new building will provide space for Nanaimo Fire Rescue Command and Business Centre, currently located at 580 Fitzwilliam Street. The existing building will remain open until the new building can be occupied. After that, it will be demolished.

      The new building is required to meet post-disaster requirements and best practices for sustainability. The design will marry the functional needs of the Fire Rescue Operation, ECC, Dispatch – Firecomm and Fire Command and Business Centre with the City of Nanaimo Official Community Plan, local zoning bylaws and applicable building codes to create a contemporary civic building that speaks to the history of Nanaimo.

    • Background

      In April 2017, a business case analysis was completed. It looked at renovation vs. replacement and recommended construction of a new Fire Station on the site of the existing building. In May of 2018, elector borrowing approval was received through an Alternate Approval Process (Bylaw No. 7257), and design began later in 2018. 

      The existing  fire station was built in 1967 and has a number of defi­ciencies and deterioration which have major impacts to station operations including:

      • In case of a major earthquake, the building would allow safe exit for occupants, but would no longer functional. It needs to function as the emergency coordination centre and 911 Dispatch centre through emergencies.
      • Ironically, there are no sprinklers or fire alarms.
      • There are not enough fire exits.
      • The building isn’t fully ventilated, making working conditions challenging.
      • The heating system (boiler) is in urgent need of replacement.
      • Electrical wiring is past its useful life.
      • The roof needs urgent replacement.
      • The building is not accessible for all.
      • The hose tower is structurally unsafe.

      While a major renovation was one of the options, the building would still need to be rebuilt within 10 years.

      Also, the cost to fix all the problems listed would be higher than building a new station.

      Delaying reconstruction of a new station would lead to higher risk to firefighter and community safety and higher costs over the life of the building.

      Through extensive review, rebuilding the station now proved to be the best value.

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