Great Neighbourhoods in Nanaimo Part 3: Northern Old City

Ryan Coffey
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Very early on in my real estate career I developed a certain fondness for some of the homes in what the MLS map calls “Old City”. This area, just up the hill from downtown, is Nanaimo’s original settlement area which means that it is where the oldest houses in town are found. This means character and it means charm.

As you head from the southern part of the area (Old Victoria Rd) around the often mentioned hub towards the north end of it (Bowen Rd.), the houses gradually become, bigger, fancier finishing and in many cases better maintained over the years. Back in the day, the houses in the northern part of the old city were lived in by Mayors, Doctors and other well to do people of the era. Some of the nicer homes have fabulous wainscoting, oak floors with a darker inlay and great old fashioned fireplaces that give you those warm fuzzy feelings most of us only experience around Christmas time. Being older homes that are built pre-war, they are not nearly as large as what we consider a fancy home to be nowadays but the charm and quality of craftsmanship is undeniable. When someone says “character home” these are what I consider to be the standard in Nanaimo.

Not everyone wants to be walking distance from the downtown core. It certainly means more pedestrians going by at all kinds of hours but the flip side is having oodles of convenience is your lifestyle. You can walk to all the restaurants and shopping if you so choose, not to mention the parks and nightlife if you are so inclined.  Bowen park and the giant walkway with its associated parks at the waterfront are there inviting you at all times. Your home will probably have some lovely mature trees in the yard which often means lots of fresh fruit. Due to the era of construction, your home will have a unique style of its own that would be expensive and difficult and in some details, impossible to replicate in our own era.

You can have a look at the sorts of properties I am describing on the Nanaimo MLS system or you can get the general idea by doing a google image search like the one I show  below.


nanaimo kennedy street















Ryan Coffey