Nanaimo is my hometown (see also; Nanimo), and is located just above the 49th Parallel in British Columbia, Canada. To quote a previous writeup, "... It is home to Malaspina University-College, The Departure Bay Ferry Terminal, and Newcastle Island Provincial Park." - Hai-Etlik. New additions include the half-built Landmark Tower, the prestigous Woodgrove Mall, and the world-renowned Bathtub Races. Recently built was the Duke Point Ferry Terminal.

Nanaimo has an interesting history regarding its downtown core.

Nanaimo is a town situated on the coast of Vancouver Island, between Mt. Benson and the water. Because of the sloping, limited terrain, Nanaimo became a long strip of a town, comprised of several communities (Cedar, Yellowpoint, Lantzville, Cameron Island, Gabriola Island, Wellington, Departure Bay, Harewood, and likely more).

Some history... Cameron Island used to be a small island (4-5 city blocks square) just off of what used to be the village of "Nanaimo," a coast salish indian village that suddenly expanded when explorers discovered heavy deposits of coal. The excess junk of the coal mines were dumped into the water between Nanaimo and Cameron Island, forming a small bay, making Cameron Island a spit. Over time, as the town grew larger, the bay filled with excess rock and garbage, completely attaching Cameron Island to Nanaimo proper. Businesses started springing up on Cameron Island and became what is known as "Downtown" today.

If you drive down the Island Highway through Nanaimo, you will see bridges pass overhead when downtown - the highway at this point is situated over what used to be the bay that seperated Nanaimo and Cameron Island.

In more recent times, rent on "cameron island" (downtown) became excessively high. This, coupled with 2 large abandoned building complexes under construction (namely, Landmark Tower) made the downtown corps a very "ugly" place to have your business. It's tight and narrow streets made parking lots prime real estate, and the police never skimped on giving tickets.

So where is the bustling town of Nanaimo to go? Lantzville. For years and years to the present, the biggest mall in Nanaimo was situated at about a 15 minute drive North of downtown in a quiet suburb. As time moved on, the mall merely got bigger and better (winning several "best mall west of "west edmonton mall"" awards) and the space between Nanaimo and Lantzville started filling with other businesses and homes. The towns became one.

Nowadays, the area immediately surrounding Woodgrove Mall in Lantzville is the busiest, bustlingest community around Nanaimo, complete with a Costco warehouse, Wal-Mart, Staples, and a Home Depot... Just to name the big boys. In comparison, downtown is a wasteland. Every other business has a for sale sign in the window.

Just goes to show that Location, Location, Location means more than you think.

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