Vancouver Island University (VIU) is located in the city of Nanaimo on Vancouver Island, off the west coast of beautiful British Columbia, Canada. Just over 460 kilometres long and 80 kilometers wide, Vancouver Island is the largest island on the West Coast of North America and is blessed with beautiful beaches, mountains, temperate rainforests, freshwater lakes, and rolling farmland.
Considered one of the top vacation destinations in Canada, Vancouver Island also has the mildest climate in Canada. With temperatures ranging from 20 to 25 degrees Celsius in the summer months and 0 to 10 degrees Celsius in the winter months, Vancouver Island is known for its accessibility to year-round outdoor pursuits, including hiking, kayaking, surfing, mountain biking, caving, rock climbing, whale watching, camping, and much more. As an added bonus, skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing activities are also available in the winter months by driving a short distance to the popular Mount Washington Ski Resort just 1.5 hours north of Nanaimo.
The City of Nanaimo is home to over 90,000 residents and is considered a mid-size city by Canadian standards, yet still offers all of the ammenities and services that one would expect in a major city. With numerous public recreational facilities, shopping malls, banks, grocery stores, restaurants, public parks, art galleries, wineries, outdoor attractions, and local markets, visitors to Nanaimo find that there is always something to see or do. In addition, visitors can choose to attend one of the many public festivals, sports competitions, or multicultural events that are held throughout the year, showcasing Nanaimo’s commitment to a safe and caring community and highlighting devoted community partners.
Close to Vancouver, Victoria, and Seattle, Nanaimo is truly accessible and central. Due to this,visitors can easily travel to Nanaimo by air or sea.
By Air: There are regular 15-minute commercial flights from Vancouver International Airport (YVR) to Nanaimo Airport (YCD) every day of the week (Air Canada and Westjet Encore). For those looking for an extra special experience, visitors can alternatively choose to take a seaplane from Vancouver International Airport (YVR) and land in one of two seaplane terminals in downtown Nanaimo (Harbour Air Seaplanes or Seair Seaplanes Ltd.).
By Sea: Cruise the modern, comfortable, and well-equipped BC Ferry service between the mainland of British Columbia and Vancouver Island. Since BC Ferries is the largest ferry service in North America and the second largest in the world, many compare the vesssels to miniature cruise ships with food services, comfortable seating, and shopping options on-board. Best of all, travellers can view some of the most spectacular scenery in Canada. Travel between Horseshoe Bay (West Vancouver) to Departure Bay (Nanaimo) takes 1 hour and 40 minutes. Travel between Tsawwassen (South of Vancouver) to Duke Point (15 minutes South of Nanaimo) takes 2 hours.