The Blogging from A to Z Challenge 2013 – Road Trip! {Letter “N” / Recipe}

A to Z Challenge

I am very excited to be taking part in the Blogging A to Z Challenge 2013.  This is actually my third challenge; the first year I featured a recipe for each letter and last year I drew on  my nursing background and used “parts of the human body” as my inspiration!

This year I have decided to change things up a bit.  I live in Canada and believe it is one of the most beautiful countries on the planet; so I have decided to feature a different Canadian “place”, for each letter of the challenge.

I am very much looking forward to seeing how everyone interprets the Challenge and I would love to have you join me, as I crisscross this vast country on my Blogging from A to Z Challenge 2013 – Road Trip!

So, without further ado,   “N” is for Nanaimo, British Columbia

A few years ago, while on a work related trip to Victoria, BC and during some downtime, I had the opportunity to do some exploring of beautiful Vancouver Island.  Being a huge fan of the dessert treat, Nanaimo Bars, of course I was unable to pass up the opportunity to visit the city of the treats originator and namesake, Nanaimo, BC!

A to Z ChallengePopulation: City 83,810 / Metro 98,021 {2011 census}

Climate: Like much of the coastal Pacific Northwest, Nanaimo experiences a temperate climate with mild, rainy winters and cool, dry summers. Due to its relatively dry summers, the Köppen climate classification places it at the northernmost limits of the cool-summer Mediterranean zone.

  • Record High Temperature – 36.7 C (98.1 F)
  • Record Low Temperature – minus 20 C (−4 F)

Location/Geography:  Located on Vancouver Island, Nanaimo is about 110 km northwest of Victoria, and 55 km west of Vancouver, separated by the Strait of Georgia, and linked to Vancouver via the Horseshoe Bay BC Ferries terminal in West Vancouver. As the site of the main ferry terminal, Nanaimo is the gateway to many other destinations both on the northern part of the island and off its coast.

Some Notable Residents:

  • Diana Krall, jazz pianist and vocalist
  • Gogo, keyboardist for the Canadian rock band Trooper
  • Cory Monteith, actor
  • Lloyd Gilmour, NHL Referee

A to Z ChallengeCulture:  The Nanaimo bar which is a no-bake cookie bar, is a famous Canadian dessert named after Nanaimo. {Photo attribution:  joyosity (CC)}

I received the recipe I use for Nanaimo Bars from my mom who got it from my aunt Joan; if you would like to make them you can simply follow the link for the recipe.  Trust me, they are decadent and delicious!

History: The Nanaimo area was inhabited for thousands of years by the Snunéhymuxw, a band of Coast Salish Native peoples. The city’s name is an anglicized version of snunéymuxw, a word referring to the First Nations villages in the region.

Spanish explorers anchored briefly off Gabriola Island in 1792.  The city’s roots as a working-class industrial town, however, began with the discovery of coal and the arrival of an advance guard of Hudson’s Bay Company miners in 1852.  Coal remained Nanaimo’s leading source of revenue for nearly a century and Nanaimo’s growth into a modern-city accelerated following the Second World War.

Although the original economic driver was coal mining; the forestry industry supplanted it in the early 1960s with the building of the MacMillan Bloedel pulp mill in 1958. Today the pulp mill is owned by the employees and local investors and injects well over half a million dollars a day into the local economy.

Nanaimo Skyline 2005

Nanaimo, British Columbia – Skyline {Photo attribution:  Braveheart (CC)}

Namaimo aerial 4

Aerial image of downtown Nanaimo, BC with Newscastle Island and Protection Island {Photo attribution:  KenWalker (CC)}

BC Ferry Queen of Oak Bay

BC Ferry Queen of Oak Bay departs Departure Bay Nanaimo {Photo attribution: Kam’s World (CC)}

Our visit to Nanaimo has been so much fun and the beautiful scenery is breathtaking.  I’m skipping dinner tonight, too many Nanaimo Bars…lol and heading straight to bed for some much needed sleep.  I’ll see you in the morning for more exciting adventures as we continue the Blogging from A to Z Challenge 2013 – Road Trip.  Hmmm…somewhere beginning with the letter “O”, do you have any idea where we’re heading?

Past visits on the A to Z Challenge 2013 – Road Trip:

Complete listing of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge 2013 participants.

CREDITS – Map source – File:Canada British Columbia location map 2.svg  (altered to add place names).  Information contained in this post was obtained from Wikipedia Tourism Nanaimo and Hello B.C.



  1. I am so enjoying your virtual trip to the many Canadian cities, I’ve never seen. Living so many years in the country, I am still surprised by how large the cities, you’ve chosen are. I love the mountains behind Nanaimo and the ferry to the mainland looks so romantic. Great choice for ‘N’.

  2. Sugar & Spice & All Things ? Nice says

    I didn’t realize that the sweet, called Nanaimo Bars, was actually connected to the city of the same name…. we really do learn a lot from blogs. Also, was not aware that Diana Krall, a favorite of mine , hails from Nanaimo.

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