Love is in the air

NANAIMO – Harbour City named one of most romantic cities in Canada and residents point to the waterfront.

The view from Neck Point Park is a popular spot for couples looking for a romantic stroll or natural venue to get married.

The view from Neck Point Park is a popular spot for couples looking for a romantic stroll or natural venue to get married.

Romance is in the air today (Feb. 14) and chocolate hearts, roses and greeting cards aplenty will be exchanged across Nanaimo on the most important day of the year for lovers.

Apparently love is also in the water or, more accurately, the waterfront in the Harbour City.

Last week, in advance of Valentine’s Day, Amazon.ca released its fourth annual list of the top 20 most romantic cities in Canada and Nanaimo was No. 9 on the list.

The list was compiled by comparing Amazon.ca sales data of romance novels and relationship books, romantic comedy DVDs and a collection of romantic CDs from the past year on a per capita basis in cities with more than 80,000 residents.

When asked about romance in Nanaimo, one of the first things that comes to mind for residents is the city’s numerous waterfront views.

Whether one prefers to admire the sunrise while walking along the waterfront walkway or contemplate the sunset over Mount Benson, the city provides a range of spectacular backdrops for lovers, said Mayor John Ruttan.

“Nanaimo can be a very romantic place to be,” said Ruttan. “I think there’s a little something for everyone. It’s kind of an interesting accolade, but one I think is worth pursuing. If we do have a percentage of romantic people in Nanaimo, that can’t be all bad.”

Neck Point Park is one picturesque spot that Ruttan and his wife of about 40 years, Dianne, like to go walking.

He also points to the quaint Old City Quarter, various beaches and Bowen Park as some other places particularly suited to lighting the flames of passion.

Marriage commissioner Lee Montgomery is witness to many of the more lovey-dovey goings-on in the city.

Even though she’s performed numerous nuptial ceremonies, she still finds herself choking back tears sometimes as she watches residents finding unique and touching ways to say ‘I do.’

Neck Point Park and the outdoor amphitheatre in Bowen Park are the top two spots in Nanaimo couples choose to tie the knot, said Montgomery.

Downtown Nanaimo is a beautiful setting for the sentimental at heart, said Corry Hostetter, general manager of the Downtown Nanaimo Business Improvement Association.

“Anybody who comes here to visit raves about how beautiful the downtown is and how romantic it is,” she said.

Her top three spots – a bench overlooking the waterfront in Maffeo Sutton Park, a table in the back of Modern Café and the display counter at Bastion Jewellers.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nanaimo city council voted unanimously Monday to pass a bylaw establishing the foundation for a new downtown business improvement association. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
City of Nanaimo adopts bylaw to create new downtown business improvement association

Chamber of commerce says next steps will be a board of directors and five-year strategic plan

Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district teachers’ union, and its counterparts from Mount Arrowsmith district, seek stricter COVID-19 rules. (News Bulletin file)
Nanaimo-Ladysmith teachers’ union asks health authority for stricter COVID-19 measures

Teachers ask for vaccine, more online learning, mask mandate for primary students

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C. deficit to grow by $19 billion for COVID-19 recovery spending

Pandemic-year deficit $5 billion lower than forecast

Chakalaka Bar & Grill remains open in defiance of orders from Island Health to close. (Cole Schisler photo)
Island Health seeks injunction against restaurant defying COVID-19 orders

VIHA says Chakalaka Bar and Grill also violating water and sewer regulations with RV hook-ups

Nanaimo Fire Rescue investigator Mark Jonah probes the scene of a blaze that destroyed two apartments on Sunday, April 18. The cause of the blaze has not been determined. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
UPDATE: RCMP say Wakesiah Avenue fire was arson, suspect has been arrested

35-year-old man arrested for allegedly starting fire lived in the complex

A man pauses at a coffin after carrying it during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. announces historic half-billion-dollar funding for overdose crisis, mental health

Of it, $152 million will be used to address the opioid crisis and see the creation of 195 new substance use treatment beds

Children’s backpacks and shoes are seen at a CEFA (Core Education and Fine Arts) Early Learning daycare franchise, in Langley, B.C., on Tuesday May 29, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. budget to expand $10-a-day child care, but misses the mark on ‘truly universal’ system

$111 million will be used to fund 3,750 new $10-a-day spaces though 75 additional ChildCareBC universal prototype sites over the next three years.

The City of Nanaimo will further investigate an initiative to set up two 12-cabin sites to create transitional emergency housing for people experiencing homelessness. (Black Press file photo)
City of Nanaimo will ask for expressions of interest to operate tiny cabin sites

Staff expresses concern about workload, councillor says sheltering people must take priority

Ambulance paramedic in full protective gear works outside Lion’s Gate Hospital, March 23, 2020. Hospitals are seeing record numbers of COVID-19 patients more than a year into the pandemic. (The Canadian Press)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate declines, 849 cases Tuesday

Up to 456 people now in hospital, 148 in intensive care

Christy Clark, who was premier from 2011 to 2017, is the first of several present and past politicians to appear this month before the Cullen Commission, which is investigating the causes and impact of B.C.’s money-laundering problem over the past decade. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)
Christy Clark says she first learned of money-laundering spike in 2015

The former B.C. premier testified Tuesday she was concerned the problem was ‘apparently at an all-time high’

Police executed a search warrant at the Devils Army Clubhouse on Petersen road in Campbell River on August 10, 2017.
Murder trial into 2016 Campbell River killing underway in Victoria

Ricky Alexander is charged with the first-degree murder of John Dillon Brown

Pat Kauwell, a semi-retired construction manager, lives in his fifth-wheel trailer on Maxey Road because that’s what he can afford on his pension, but a Regional District of Nanaimo bylaw prohibits using RVs as permanent dwellings, leaving Kauwell and others like him with few affordable housing options. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Housing crunch or not, it’s illegal to live in an RV in Nanaimo

Regional District of Nanaimo bylaw forcing pensioner to move RV he calls home off private farm land

Most Read