Great Neighbourhoods in Nanaimo Part 1: A Spot in Harewood

Ryan Coffey
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In Nanaimo real estate, there are some locations that are better known, better advertised and more highly valued than others. I’m out there daily looking for the best deals for my clients and while doing so I see areas which I think are great but not as celebrated as they may deserve.

This will be the first in an ongoing series where I highlight neighbourhoods across Nanaimo which I think are generally underappreciated. There are pros and cons to every location and the specific list of those pros and cons will change for each person based on tastes, budgets, long term or short term plans.  I will, however, cover the broader aspects of each area that I think are important considerations for many people.

I don’t think I will ever finish this series because I can immediately think of dozens, if not hundreds, of locations that are worth illustrating. Each requires mention of specific details that are beyond what can fit into a listing description and each is more specific than describing a broader neighbourhood or section of town that is large enough to be referred to by a convenient name.

Don’t be offended if your area isn’t in this series. I’m quite aware that there are Buyers for your area too and it’s a myth that real estate is all about location  and there are many factors that add value to a home. A gem can be found in any neighbourhood, but being in a nice area certainly does make a difference.

I’ve decided to kick the series off with a section of town that I’ve long been a believer in despite what some people say about it.  A section of Harewood. I choose this simply because the bad rep that Harewood has among some locals irks me.  I think that the way some regard Harewood is outdated and not generally deserved with the exception of a few spots. I’ve written about this before, here.

There are in fact quite a few great, affordable spots in Harewood and the one I’m focusing on today is what I sometimes refer to as the oasis of Hamilton Ave., Stirling Ave. and Winchester Ave.


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I’ve had a handful of clients moving to and from this location over the years and while visiting them, passing through and doing my real estate work I’ve always noticed how quiet it is compared to the areas that immediately surround it. There is a great park (Robin’s Park) nearby with a large field where local softball games are held among other activities and there is green space access behind there as well. Nice place to take your dog, or just yourself, for a walk.

Shopping is easy. There is a recently upgraded mall (University Village) only a couple of blocks away. Up the hill from there is the university and easy access to the parkway which means you can go to other ends of town or outside of Nanaimo without having to deal with as many traffic lights as you would coming from many other areas.  Go the other way and downtown isn’t very far. If you’re up for a twenty minute walk to get there you could do that, ride your bike or drive there in five to ten minutes. Walkable or semi-walkable neighbourhoods are becoming more sought after and getting a single family home rather than a condo in such an area is a bonus for many people. Also nearby is access to mountain biking on Mt. Benson (a mountain which many properties in this area have a great view of) as well as the Nanaimo Aquatic Centre and Nanaimo Ice Centre if you choose to have an active lifestyle.

More posts highlighting specific locations around Nanaimo are to come.

Ryan Coffey