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Nanaimo, British Columbia
Nanaimo (pop. 78,000), located at 4911′N 12359′W, is the second largest city on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. It has been dubbed the "Bathtub Racing Capital of the World" and "Harbour City". Nanaimo is also sometimes referred to as the "Hub City" because of its central web location on Vancouver Island and due to the layout of the downtown streets which form a "hub" pattern. It is about 55 km west of Vancouver, separated by the Strait of Georgia, but directly linked to Vancouver via BC Ferries. It is the seat of the Nanaimo Regional District.

By virtue of its proximity to Vancouver, Nanaimo is the gateway to many other destinations both on the island Tofino, Comox Valley, Port Alberni, Rathtrevor Provincial Park and off its coast Newcastle Island, Gabriola Island, Valdes Island, and many other of the Gulf Islands.

Nanaimo began as a trading post in the early 1800s; in 1849 the Snuneymuxw chief Ki-et-sa-kun ("Coal Tyee") informed the Hudson's Bay Company of the presence of coal in the area, and 1853 the company built a fort known as the Nanaimo Bastion (still preserved). Subsequently the town was chiefly known for the export of coal. The 1887 Nanaimo Mine Explosion killed 148 miners and was the largest man-made explosion until the Halifax Explosion. In the 1940s, lumber supplanted coal as the main business, although Minetown Days are still celebrated in the neighbouring community of Lantzville.

Nanaimo is now experiencing a great deal of growth, especially in the old city area and on the waterfront. There is some fear of overdevelopment as building sizes begin to increase, blocking water views from further back along the city. The current council is also working hard to solve the drug and biker issues often associated with Nanaimo.

Nanaimo is home to the Nanaimo Clippers, a Junior A hockey club in the British Columbia Hockey League, Vancouver Island Raiders, a Junior football team, the Nanaimo Timbermen, a Senior Mens lacrosse team in the Western Lacrosse League, professional boxer Shane Sutcliffe, the poet Tim Lander, musicians Diana Krall and Allison Crowe, actress Kim Cattrall, rock band Frine and the Tinas, author Kevin Patterson, Wikipedia editor Brad Guderyan, and Derek Isbister. Nanaimo is home to the oldest continuous community band in Canada, The Nanaimo Concert Band, established in 1872. Nanaimo is also known for its bathtub race during the annual marine festival, and for firing a cannon (blank) on the parapet next to the Bastion, (a bastion or fort), everyday at noon and for special events.

Nanaimo is home to Petroglyph Provincial Park, where visitors can view ancient petroglyph rock carvings and runes. Newcastle Island is another provincial park in Nanaimo, and was at one time a world-famous summertime tourist destination.

Malaspina University-College's beautiful and scenic main campus is located in Nanaimo, which brings many international students to the city. The school is also well renowned for its music programs.

Nanaimo is named for the Snuneymuxw people. It is the origin of the famous Nanaimo bar.


This article is licensed under the GNU
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article "Nanaimo, British Columbia"

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