Overnight Shelter in Parks

A homeless person without other shelter may also take up temporary shelter in certain City parks between 7 PM in the evening and 9 AM the following day. The shelter must be entirely dismantled and removed from the park by 9 AM each day. The City of Nanaimo and the First Unitarian Shelter have also partnered to open a shower program at Caledonia Park (110 Wall Street) which is free of charge for any community member and open every weekday between 7 AM and 12 PM .

On FEB-25-2019, Council voted to pass a bylaw regulating which City parks are available for overnight shelter. Parks with complete bans or restrictions around amenities have been chosen to reduce conflicts between potential campers and park users. Waterfront parks in the downtown and within the Nanaimo Harbour are deemed prohibited from overnight shelter. These parks are generally ‘open-space’ areas with heavy usage, tourism, public use and special events that take place at various times and hours of the year.

The following parks and areas are prohibited for overnight camping, as outlined in Bylaw 7073.07


  • Maffeo Sutton
  • Georgia
  • Queen Elizabeth Promenade
  • McGregor
  • Departure Bay Seawall
  • City Hall

Amenity Areas

  • On or within 20 metres of - Playgrounds, spray parks, pools, bike parks, skateboard parks, tennis & sports courts,  sports fields, sports field buildings, stadiums, dugouts, stages or bleachers, washroom facilities, picnic shelters or gazebos, recreation facilities
  • On – pathways, bridges, docks, wharfs, environmental sensitive areas, sidewalks, medians, boulevards, public squares, horticultural display areas or ornamental gardens


Last updated: November 2, 2023

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