Nanaimo's Old City Quarter boasts charm and is known as the Economic core of Nanaimo. The revitalization of heritage buildings dating back to the late 1800’s, along with the addition of new development that stayed true to the era has made this a unique destination for shopping, business and superb dining.
The revitalization program on the 1980's attracted upmarket retailers. The success and growth of this area as a destination shopping, business and dining area with the charm of yesterday resulted in the formation of the Old City Quarter Association. The association was incorporated in April 1993. The goal of the association is to collectively administer and coordinate the improvement, promotion and awareness of the Old City Quarter as a unique destination.
The tall bell tower and picturesque roofline of Saint Andrew’s United Church make this a prominent landmark. The cornerstone for this imposing building was laid on July 18, 1893. The oldest remaining building in the area is the Occidental Hotel, opened in January 1887 by Samuel Fiddick. Due to its proximity to the station, the ‘Oxy’ became known as ‘the first and the last’, as it was the first stop in Nanaimo for thirsty travelers, as well as their last stop before departure. Maffeo Salon at 538 Wentworth Street, was once the home of former Nanaimo mayor, Pete Maffeo. Around 1962, real estate developer Mladen Zorkin purchased a historical building and set up his offices here. Zorkin built Terminal Park, the first open-air shopping centre on Vancouver Island. The Heritage Mews is a diverse range of businesses located in this pleasant outdoor arcade.