Naniamo, British Columbia

NANAIMO, BRITISH COLUMBIA Ron Kirk Photography British Columbia THE HARBOUR CITY N anaimo, British Columbia, known as The Harbour City, is a picturesque community of 90,504 along the east coast of Vancou- ver Island, Canada. The indigenous people of the area, the Snuneymuxw, were the first to make the area’s uneven shoreline, sheltered islands, and sandy beaches their home, subsisting on the food, fresh water, and natural abundance of its bays and forests. Vancouver Island was first explored by Europeans when Juan de Fuca of Spain sailed north, up the continent’s western coast in 1592. The English, represent- ed by Captain James Cook, first arrived in 1778, as the Spanish continued to explore the island’s inlets, waterways, and eastern coast. Commodore Alejan- dro Malaspina, an Italian explorer in the service of Spain, led an expedition into the sheltered bays around Nanaimo in 1791 and named them Boca de Winthuysen or Winthuysen Inlet -a name that was used until 1794,when Captain George Vancouver negotiated the final Nootka Convention that gave the British possession of the island. Nanaimo began as a trading post in the early 19th century. In 1849, the Snuneymuxw Chief, Ki-et-sa- kun (“Coal Tyee”), informed the Hudson’s Bay Compa- ny of coal in the area, and Nanaimo became a min- ing town for the next hundred years. By the 1940s, the mines were shutting down - the last one closed in 1953 - and lumber supplanted coal as the main driver of its economy; the Harmac pulp mill (origi- nally named H.A.R. MacMillan, one of the principals AT A GLANCE NANAIMO, BRITISH COLUMBIA WHAT: A city of 92,000 WHERE: On the east coast of Vancouver Island, Canada WEBSITE: