Vancouverites should consider Nanaimo, business leader says

Forget making the trip from Mission or Chiliwack. Could you imagine doing it from Nanaimo? The city's economic development CEO says more people are doing it, and many are bringing business to Vancouver Island.

'Nanaimo continues to make a real good B.C. solution to Vancouver’s cost challenges'

Sailboats cruise about in Nanaimo's harbour. More and more Vancouverites are calling Nanaimo home, Nanaimo Economic Development Corporation CEO John Hankins says. (David Stanley/Flickr)

Would you consider living in Nanaimo and commuting back and forth to Vancouver?

According to Nanaimo Economic Development Corporation CEO John Hankins, high housing costs are driving Vancouverites away, and some of them are flocking to Harbour City.

He says the average cost of a detached home in Nanaimo is less than a third than in Vancouver, and that has many considering island life.

"We've had people doing this for quite some time, but as the house prices continue to spiral upwards in Vancouver, Nanaimo continues to make a real good B.C. solution to Vancouver's cost challenges," he told All Points West host Robyn Burns.

But Hankins says what he wants to see is Vancouverites establishing new businesses in Nanaimo and bringing the workforce there, instead of commuting back and forth.

"With today's technology, you don't necessarily need to be going back and forth every single day," he said. "We're finding more and more people may be establishing a business here or living here and going over to Vancouver one or two days a week."

"That cost, if you compare it to sitting in traffic congestion, finding parking … it soon becomes a pretty viable option."

Hankins says he's encouraging more mainlanders to come over by sharing "the Nanaimo story" and extolling its virtues such as the low cost of living, cheaper real estate and the chance to get on the property ladder while starting a family.

To hear the full story, click the audio labelled: Vancouver's newest bedroom community is ... Nanaimo?!