Nanaimo Business News – December 2019


Tim Horton’s continues to grow across the country, and Nanaimo is no exception.

The announced new store at the corner of Bruce Avenue and 5th Street in Harewood is not the only new outlet. The long anticipated Tim Horton’s is expected to open at the new Shell gas station on the Island Highway at Nanoose First Nation by January.

There has also been more construction on the location of another previously announced Tim Horton’s, next to the Esso gas station on Northfield Road near the Nanaimo Parkway access. No opening date has been announced.


MNP LLP is at it again – expanding.

The Chartered Professional Accountant firm, which has a big office in downtown Nanaimo, has announced another expansion, this time in the Okanagan.

MNP LLP, Canada’s fifth largest national accounting and business consulting firm, has added Chun & Co. of Kelowna in its latest merger. The move will be effective February 3, 2020, and MNP LLP now has 21 locations throughout British Columbia.


The former location of Harewood School has been vacant for several years, but that’s about to change, as Snuneymuxw First Nation, BC Housing and School District 68 have announced plans for the property at the corner of 5th Street and Harewood Road.

The Te’tuxwtun project will include new affordable rental housing along with learning, child care, health care and cultural, parks and recreational services once completed.


Congratulations to the Port of Nanaimo upon marking the three millionth seaplane passenger go through their Seaplane Terminal this year through carriers Harbour Air and Sunshine Coast Air.

Speaking of Harbour Air, the company is to be congratulated on conducting the inaugural flight of their first electric-powered seaplane.


Practicar at 111 South Terminal Avenue has become a new U-Haul dealer for Nanaimo.


Peter Richmond

There’s some positive changes in the food business in the Central Island.

Peter Richmond says the family owned 49th Parallel Grocery has broken ground on their new store at Berkley Corner in Duncan. 49th started in Ladysmith, and has an outlet in Cedar.

In Chase River, Country Grocer is expanding the deli section of their Southgate store, and has expanded their offering of dine-in and take-out hot foods, to match their successful set-up at their Dufferin/Bowen Road location.


Speaking of food, there are several other developments in the Nanaimo area.

The opening date for Big Wheel Burger at 4th and Bruce in Harewood has been pushed back to March. Sandy’s Kitchen, famous for its Ukrainian-style food at its long-time location on the old Island Highway near the Salvation Army, has moved to a new site in the Rock City Plaza.

Cha-Cha’s Take Out is taking over the former location of Rocky Mountain Chocolate at the BC Ferries terminal at Departure Bay.

Up in Parksville, the owner of Huong Lan restaurant in Nanaimo is opening a new eatery, called Lan Restaurant.

In Ladysmith/Saltair, The Coffee Shack has opened in Stocking Creek Village on Chemainus Road.

And Rawmbas Restaurant is gearing up to make products for sale in stores by the opening of a certified gluten free kitchen facility on Northfield Road. Rawmbas is said to be considering offering franchises in the near future.


Harvey Hurd is back running the Beban Park Golf Course.


Stralberg Physiotherapy is moving to 6453 Portsmouth Road, to a new three-storey professional building, where they’ll be on the top floor, and will be changing their name to Tapestry Integrative Health. Stralberg has been a home-based business in Nanaimo.

Also making the move to the top floor of the Portsmouth property is Skin Care West, which has been operating in Country Club Centre.


Mark MacDonald writes about business in Nanaimo. Tell him your story by emailing him at