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Getting Here & Accommodations

Getting Here

Vancouver Island University is located in Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada. We are on Vancouver Island, a short flight or a 1.5 hour scenic ferry ride from Vancouver, BC.

Address: 900 Fifth Street, Nanaimo, BC, Canada V9R 5S5

Driving Directions

From South of Nanaimo take the island highway North, and ensure you follow the by-pass route marked "Hwy. 19 to Parksville" that begins just south of the city ("Nanaimo Parkway" on the map). Stay on the Parkway until you see the sign for Vancouver Island University/5th Street (first traffic light after connecting to the Parkway). Turn right and proceed downhill. Our campus is on the left.

From North of Nanaimo take the Nanaimo Parkway bypass and follow the parkway until it climbs up the side of Mt. Benson. As it begins to level out, you'll come to the exit for Vancouver Island University via 5th Street. Turn left and proceed down the hill. Our campus is on the left.

Campus Parking

VIU Nanaimo campus parking map

Getting onto Vancouver Island

Nanaimo by Ferry

Two handy routes serve Nanaimo:

Horseshoe Bay (West Vancouver) to Departure Bay (Nanaimo) [1 hour 40 minutes]

Tsawwassen to Duke Point (15 minutes south of Nanaimo) [2 hours]

Nanaimo by Air

Regularly scheduled flights from downtown Vancouver and Vancouver International Airport South Terminal are available through Harbour Air SeaplanesHelijetSunshine Coast Air and Seair Seaplanes

You can also fly into the Nanaimo Airport (YCD) via connecting flights from Vancouver International Airport.


The conference is being held at the Nanaimo campus of Vancouver Island University. 

It is possible to book accommodations on campus in student residences

There are also several hotels within a short drive of  or on a transit route to the university:

  • Coast Bastion
    • 2.8km from university (5 minute drive)
    • Downtown, waterfront 
  • Best Western Dorchester
    • 2.8km from university (5 minute drive)
    • Downtown, waterfront
  • Quality Inn 
    • 2.4km from university (5 minute drive)
    • Downtown
  • Travelodge by Wyndham 
    • 2.8km from university (8 minute drive)
    • North of downtown core; personal transportation or taxis would likely be needed
  • Ramada by Wyndham 
    • 2.9km from university (8 minute drive)
    • North of downtown core; personal transportation or taxis would likely be needed

You can sometimes get a better rate at these hotels through sites such as

It is, of course, also possible to look at AirBnB, but be mindful that Nanaimo is a sprawling city without a strong public transit infrastructure (buses often are scheduled half an hour to an hour between runs), so you want to be cautious about booking too far from the centre or not on a bus route if you won't have your own transportation.

Accessible Wayfinding Resources

Find your way around the VIU Nanaimo campus by accessible routes


Campus Map

Downtown Nanaimo Map

Vancouver Island Map