Trip 228 - August 30, 2021 (Monday)

Nanaimo BC Old City Square Visit

Location: City of Nanaimo on Vancouver Island.

Liked: Interesting buildings, wall-art, free-roaming rabbits.

Of Note: The area is full of socially disadvantaged people, with some being rather unfriendly.

Related Websites: Nanaimo Old City Square - Official Website, Wiki - Nanaimo BC.

The City of Nanaimo is home to over 90 thousand people, and is one of the largest towns in British Columbia. Nanaimo's Old City Square is comprised of several blocks near Nanaimo's Arts District, and features interesting-looking buildings and wall-art. There are also several shops and eateries, an impressive church, and a hotel. Nanaimo City Hall is located right next door. Unfortunately, Old City Square also has numerous homeless and/or drug addicted people, and one of them even confronted us in a fairly polite manner after thinking we took a photograph of another drug addict.

There is a 2-hour free street parking in the area, and at least one paid parking lot. A police station is located there too.

Today, we have parked on Selby Street, and walked on Selby, Fitzwilliam, Wallace, Wesley, Wentworth and Franklyn Streets.

1. Here is a directory of Nanaimo's Old City Square, posted on one of the buildings.

2. A map close-up.

3. We parked on Selby Street (Coordinates: N 4909.958' W 12356.591'. Elevation: 28 meters), in a 2-hour free parking zone, and walked to the first intersection - Fitzwilliam Street. A small paid parking lot is located to the right of where we are standing.

4. Selby Street past Fitzwilliam has some interesting sights, and we will visit them shortly. For the time being, we turned left onto Fitzwilliam Street, where Occidental Hotel is located on the corner.

5. A neat frog.

6. Fitzwilliam Street past Selby Street. Going towards Nanaimo's Arts District / waterfront.

7. In about 100 meters, Wesley Street starts on the right side. A very impressive St. Andrews United Church is located on the corner of Wesley and Fitzwilliam.

8. Now we have turned right and are walking down Wesley Street.

9. A classical-looking Wesley Square.

10. And the award for the best business street sign goes to...

11. The above three photos were taken within one block. We are now back on Fitzwilliam Street, having turned right from Wesley Street. At the far end of this photograph we see the next interesting intersection - Fitzwilliam Street at Wallace Street.

12-13. Here is that interesting intersection.

14. A very neat ivy-covered building on one side of Wallace Street.

15-16. And a cool building with a lion right across.

17. Walked one more block down Wallace Street...

18...turned left onto Wentworth Street, and there was this fine otter wall art at the next intersection on the corner of Wentworth and Richards.

19. Behind the building with otters, after Selby Street, the next intersection is Prideaux Street. Right before Prideaux and running parallel to it is this rail track. We walked down the track, past graffiti-covered wall seen far ahead on the right side, and exited onto Fitzwilliam Street again, very close to the intersection with Selby Street seen in photo #3. Shortly before exiting from the rail track onto Selby Street, there was a group of 3-4 campers under the graffiti-covered wall. One of them saw us taking photographs and said "hello!". We also said "hello" and kept going.

20. Back on Fitzwilliam Street, with Selby Street running left to right in the photo below.

21. Now we have turned right onto Selby Street, with love being just ahead.

22-24. Could not find love, but found a neat-looking Coach & Horses restaurant building. Right to left.

Just before we reached this restaurant, the same man who shouted "hello!" to us near the rail track, caught up to us (about 200 meters later),  and, in a rather friendly but still confrontational manner demanded to know if we took a photo of his friend. His words were: "just because we are drug addicts...". We assured the man that we did not take a picture of his friend. During the conversation, the man asked us "not to be alarmed", and even said "welcome to Nanaimo" at some point. At the end of the encounter, he slightly bowed and went away.

25-26. Several rabbits were hanging out by the restaurant.

Here is our video of the rabbits.

More videos are on our YouTube Channel.

27-28. Nanaimo Conservatory of Music is right next door.

29. Alas, all is not well in Nanaimo's Old City Square. In addition to the drug addict encounter we have mentioned above, we had a man staring at us from across the street in an unfriendly manner, and, in just over an hour, observed five or six clearly homeless people hanging out on the streets.

30-31. After that, we went down Wallace Street again, and, just past Franklyn Street, discovered Nanaimo City Hall.

32. Looking back, we see a neat residential building on the corner of Wallace and Franklyn.

33. Now walking up Franklyn Street past the building seen in the photo above.

34-35. Finally, this cool wall art on Franklyn Street between Robson and Wesley.

Nanaimo's Old City Square is an interesting place to visit. Just watch out for the usual social issues.

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