Few neighbourhoods still embody the town's coal mining heritage quite like the University District, Nanaimo. Affectionately known by locals as "Harewood," this well-established area was once predominantly rural. In fact, before it was known as Harewood, the community was called "Five Acres" as the land was subdivided into five-acre plots. Over time however, these farms were sold and re-zoned for residential use, the last of which was sold in 2011.
Today, the University District real estate market is attracting an entirely different demographic. Its close proximity to Vancouver Island University (VIU), downtown nightlife, and recreation is appealing to students, families, and young professional alike. As the community continues to be revitalized, we are seeing an increase in new condo developments, infill properties, and remodeled single-family homes. Learn more about the University District in Nanaimo.
Homes For Sale in University District, Nanaimo, BC
While the days of farming in the University District have come and gone, homebuyers can find a good cross section of homes for sale. With character homes to modern townhouse developments, and everything in between. You can also find a number of apartments and mobile homes on the market. The majority of homes were build from the 1970s to the early 1990s, though the overall housing stock is getting newer with 30% of homes having been built in the last 20 years.
For those homebuyers searching for a good investment, there are many infill opportunities in the University District, as distressed homes are being torn down. There also remains a few tracks of land that remain undeveloped, which offer lots of potential.
University District Amenities
One of the University Distict's greatest assets is the abundance of parks and public green spaces available. Colliery Dam Park is a local favourite. On any given day, you can see people walking their dogs, runners exploring the trail system, and families swimming in the dam in the summer.
Buttertubs Marsh Conservation Area is another local gem. This 100-acre tract of marshland is home to dozens of native and migrating bird species. The 2.5 km loop offers a scenic stroll that takes you into your own personal oasis away from city life.
On Third Street, residents can find a number of recreational facilities including the Nanaimo Aquatic Centre, Nanaimo Ice Centre, and the Serauxmen Sports Field complete with funning track.
For daily errands, University Village Mall is a great place for groceries, shopping, and a bite to eat. There are also a number of good dining options for hungry students. Popular places to eat include Lee's Famous Recipe Chicken, Gateway to India for curries, and Pho Tin Tin for Vietnamese cuisine. Another little known secret is the Discovery Room at VIU. Run by the VIU Culinary Institute of Vancouver Island, diners can experience five-star meals at prices that won't break the bank.
University District Schools
Georgia Avenue Elementary
Park Avenue Community School
Nanaimo District Secondary School (French Immersion instruction available)