Nanaimoites testify to the greatness of downtown Nanaimo

While some long-time Nanaimoites say it wasn't always the case, downtown Nanaimo is a vibrant area, full of life.

While some long-time Nanaimoites say it wasn’t always the case, downtown Nanaimo is a vibrant area, full of life.

It is a great place, they say.

Greg Badger, owner of Funk your Fashion on Commercial Street, has owned his business for five years and been in Nanaimo for eight – some people have told him that it used to be rundown and a bit scary.

“All I know Nanaimo downtown is to be a vibrant area with amazing artists, busking on the streets, as well as shops as my own and lots of great restaurants and coffee shops and stuff like that. It is a phenomenal downtown, just waiting to explode,” says Badger. “It’s doing well but it has the potential for it and the upside is incredible.”

Jane Coupland, owner of Very Vintage Upcycled Chic on Commercial Street, likes being situated in downtown Nanaimo as it allows a blend of different people, such as tourists and people at conferences.

She likes being part of the downtown community as well.

“It is so great because geographically and esthetically, it’s beautiful and with the ocean and the walkway and we have a lot of great heritage buildings – to me it’s the soul and the heart of the city,” Coupland said.

Kathy Boland, a long-time Nanaimoite, moved from Ontario two decades ago and she said people didn’t really feel comfortable coming downtown back then but things have changed.

“It’s really got a small city, active feel in the downtown core,” Boland said. “There are little shops, there are small, interesting retail that you can meander through and get things that are unusual. More and more people are starting to come downtown and enjoy it.”

According to Steve Lebitschnig, owner of downtown music and movie store Fascinating Rhythm, having independent business owners downtown is what makes it so great.

“We’ve got a nice mix of independent businesses, especially unique stores. A lot of owner/operators, people that can make decisions can provide maybe a better level of service and satisfaction than you sometimes get at a chain store,” Lebitschnig said.

Nanaimo African Heritage Society President Shalema Gantt sees her organization’s location downtown and the centrality is what makes it great.

“We’re such a great port city. Everything is so convenient. From downtown, you’re surrounded by parks, the ocean,” Gantt says.

Just Posted

Potters Virginia Dunseith and Ruth Porter present their joint exhibit ‘Dig It’ at Art 10 Gallery until the end of June. (Josef Jacobson/News Bulletin)
Potters show pieces for home and garden at Nanaimo’s Art 10 Gallery

Virginia Dunseith and Ruth Porter’s show ‘Dig It’ on display until end of June

Construction work continues on the City of Nanaimo’s new Fire Station No. 1 on Fitzwilliam Street. (News Bulletin file)
Next phase of borrowing approved as Nanaimo fire hall construction ongoing

City of Nanaimo CAO says construction on Fitzwilliam Street hall on schedule and budget

Nanaimo Fire Rescue firefighters at the scene of a single-vehicle crash on Tenth Street near Southside Drive on Sunday, June 13. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Driver OK after crashing vehicle off the side of Nanaimo’s Tenth Street

Crews say wet roads a factor a crash Sunday, June 13

Emergency crews on scene of a two-car crash at the intersection of Cranberry Avenue and the Trans-Canada Highway on Sunday, June 13. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Crash blocks Cranberry intersection in Nanaimo, no one injured

Incident blocks both southbound lanes of Trans-Canada Highway

Emergency crews on scene of a two-car crash at the intersection of Cranberry Avenue and the Trans-Canada Highway on Sunday, June 13. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Crash blocks Cranberry intersection in Nanaimo, no one injured

Incident blocks both southbound lanes of Trans-Canada Highway

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials watching U.K.’s Delta variant struggles, ‘may need to slow’ restart plan

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

Highway notices like this come down effective June 14. Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and commercial operation have hit local businesses in every corner of B.C. (B.C. government)
Province-wide travel back on in B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan

Gathering changes include up to 50 people for outdoor events

Calgary Stampeders’ Jerome Messam leaps over a tackle during second half CFL western semifinal football action in Calgary, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
CFL football will be played this summer in Canada

Governors vote unanimously in favour to start the ‘21 campaign on Aug. 5

Citizenship Minister Marco Mendicino holds a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020. The federal government is announcing that Indigenous people can now apply to reclaim their names on passports and other government documents. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous people can now reclaim traditional names on their passports and other ID

Announcement applies to all individuals of First Nations, Inuit and Métis background

Harvesting hay in the Fraser Valley. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
COVID-19: B.C. waives farm income requirement for a second year

Property owners don’t need minimum income for 2022 taxes

A view of the outside of St. Andrews Roman Catholic Cathedral on Victoria’s Blanshard Street. (Don Denton/News staff)
Vancouver Island bishop apologizes for church’s role in residential schools

Bishop Gary Gordon of the Diocese of Victoria voices commitment to healing and reconciliation

Most Read