1892 Nanaimo Directory

Descriptive

The City of Nanaimo is most favorably situated on an indentation of the east coast of Vancouver Island, forming a splendid natural harbour nearly opposite the terminus of the Canadian Pacific Railway, at the city of Vancouver, on the Mainland of British Columbia. While Nanaimo is at present within connection with the C.P.R. by practicable railway ferriage across the Straits of Georgia, the distance can be bridged to an hour's journey by means of a projected and feasible railway route from a well sheltered shipping point on the south-east corner of Gabriola Island, to the Port of Nanaimo, and on the completion of this connection with the great continental highway, its continuation by means of trunk lines of railway from Nanaimo to the North of Vancouver Island, and thence to the Ports on the North-west Pacific nearest to Japan and China, will be the natural course of development, and must rapidly be accomplished. Thus is Nanaimo assured in the enjoyment of the advantages of its fine geographical position, as well as in its command of the chief safe and commodious deep water harbour facilities on the east coast.

The calm and land locked bay of Nanaimo is secured from the force of all storms by Gabriola, Newcastle and Protection, the surrounding islands, but there are two clear channels for passage into the Straits available at all seasons of the year, and at every stage of the tide. There are no bars to navigation, and the anchorage is good. Many of the largest steamships and sailing vessels afloat frequent the port of Nanaimo and are loaded with the utmost facility and dispatch at the great loading wharves, alongside which the deepest ships can ride safely. The annual tonnage of vessels arriving and departing amounted for the last fiscal year for Nanaimo port to 1,203,643 tons, including foreign and coastwise shipping resorting to the port.

A dry dock of the largest capacity, and most approved model, is projected for construction at a site offering superior natural advantages and near the shipping wharves.

The city of Nanaimo is beautifully located, it has a frontage of several miles upon a broad sheet of water, and recedes from the shore by easy gradients to the western verge of the town site, for about a mile where an elevation is reached, from which is afforded a grand panorama of scenery as the spectator views the whole horizon. O'Conner Power when recently making a tour of Vancouver Island, was enraptured with his prospect from the hill side, and thus recorded his sense of the grandeur of the scene, in a communication to the press. "A short run of about an hour brings the traveller from Chemainus to Nanaimo, which with its abundance of coal and iron, side by side, (as it were), is known as the "Newcastle of the Far West." The railroad depot occupies an elevated position from which a magnificent view presents itself. Just beneath you lies the inner harbor, deep, placid, and sheltered at every point, and affording safe anchorage for craft of every description, from a canoe to a line of battle ship. The primitive old fort, overlooking the water is the "Bastion," and is an old mark of Hudson's Bay rule. Beyond the harbor you see the rolling waves of the Straits of Georgia, and looking across to the mainland opposite, you behold the rugged snow capped peaks of the wild Coast Range, now rising like clear crystal spires in the sun, now robing their majestic forms in shrouds of mist, and finally retiring with the parting day until they are lost in the lowering clouds &c." Viewing the town site from the same (or better) vantage ground, the most ordinary observer cannot fail to be impressed with the possibilities of extension, and the active improvement going on, on every hand. Conforming to the contour of the country, a large portion of the city site is laid out in semi-octagonal plan with cross streets radiating from the city front, where, however the business street is much more crooked than the proverbial rams-horn, having been built along the base of the hills at a time when, to use the words of an old settler, the houses were just thrown in anywhere and in the existence of a busy city at that site was never thought of. This was back in 1854 or thereabouts, when the Hudson's Bay Company first started to dig a little coal out of the rocks and put up a few houses. Now the old fashioned street is full of business and activity, and behind it a large and handsome residence district has grown up, filled with tasteful houses standing amidst their own shrubbery on the wide and well graded streets.

The nomenclature of the streets and squares is an interesting study which affords a clue to some of the distinguished and enterprising capitalists who promoted and have fostered and developed the coal industry of Nanaimo until it has arrived at its present immense proportions: there are Roberts street and Lubbock square, after the well known bankers of London, and Fitzwilliam and Milton streets, in honor of the scions of the noble Earl of Fitzwilliam, who have in early days made the tour of the province, notable, Lord Milton, whose travels in the upper country are part of Colonial history. The memory of the late Justice Haliburton, a former chairman of directors of the Vancouver Coal Company, and of world wide renown as the writer under the nom de plume of "Sam Slick," is perpetuated by one of the longest streets. And the honorable directors of the company, Galsworthy, Tendron, Prideaux, Selby, Irwin and Fry, Campbell, Young and other supporters of the company's adventure with other celebrities, such as Robins, Finlayson, Robson, Dunsmuir and others, are handed down to posterity as familiar household words.

A large reservation of ground, used by the company as a "home farm," and at present bearing the euphonius name of "Wake siah Park," will probably, at no distant period, be included together with the "five acre lots," in the limits of the city corporation, so rapidly is the city advancing westward that the company will no doubt throw open the land for settlement, when a legitimate demand arises, and its actual occupation and improvement is assured.

Nanaimo was incorporated in 1874, on the application of a number of its then small population, which was bitterly contested at the time, but the sequel has proved the wisdom of the action of the government of the day, and from its inception the course of municipal existence, although not always running smoothly, has been one of steady progress, resulting in the foundation of a city that is destined to attain a position of commercial and industrial importance only second to any of the Pacific Coast.

For some years the city has had waterworks, and gas works and telegraph and telephone services, and lately Mr A. Shaw has introduced electric light works, the only thing it lacks being the electric tramway which, however, has been chartered by the city council and an act of the provincial legislature, and is now in course of construction.

Besides the railway to Victoria there are well formed wagon roads from the city to the farming districts of Cranberry, Cedar and Oyster, and through them to Cowichan and Victoria on the south; westerly to the Harewood estate, towards Mount Benson and Little Mountain, and northerly to the rising town of Northfield, name after the North or New Wellington coal field of the New Vancouver Coal Co., which is being vigorously mined and shipped to n eager market over the company's Northfield railway and loading wharves at Newcastle Point. Northfield claims to be a thorough "union mining camp," is an extraordinary instance of rapid growth of a coal mining town, being only lately platted and sold. It is now thickly populated by a thriving and well contented people, who, excepting the tradesmen and artizans engaged in building houses, etc., are entirely employed in the company's New Wellington coal mine there.

The City of Nanaimo and suburbs, with the 6,000 or 7,000 inhabitants, owes its prosperity and its very existence to the New Vancouver Coal Mining and Land Company, which, in 1862, bought and obtained a transfer from the Hudson's Bay Company of the valuable Nanaimo estate, with the collieries, its town and other buildings, sawmill and shipping wharves, including all the dominant foreshore and other rights and privileges, held by the H. B. Co., by virtue of its special charter and grant from the crown. The mines and works of the New Vancouver Coal Mining and Land Co. form the main resources of the town, and the great bulk of its inhabitants are directly or indirectly dependent upon the success of the coal industry, which is promoted so energetically by the company. For several years after the commencement of its career the company was struggling against many difficulties. Natural "faults" in the subterranean strata and other causes, together, effected discouraging results, so that the total output between 1802 and 1883 only ranged from 20,000 to 90,000 tons of coal per annum, the highest figure being reached in 1883. In 1884, by more energetic management, the output of coal rose to 103,000 tons and steadily increased until a production of coal from the mines of the New Vancouver Coal Mining and Land Company amounting in round numbers to 500,000 tons per annum has been achieved, with a most promising outlook for further increase in the demand for the famous Nanaimo, Southfield and New Wellington coal, mined by this company only. Of the immense output about 400,000 tons were exported and about 60,000 tons were distributed in local sales, and the remainder put for consumption in the furnaces of the thirty or more engines of the company itself, which uses an average quantity of 100 tons a day. To meet the great extension of the company's business the capital of the company was augmented, but by no means correspondingly with the expansion of the concern.

The company has at present five mines open and four in active operation -- all commenced since 1884. They run down to great depths, and have double shafts (or pits) for ventilating, the law not allowing more than a limited number of men to work in a mine with but one shaft. The gross output from these mines has aggregated 2,000 tons a day. The mines and coal fields of the company extend up and down the coast for ten miles, and most of the property intervening is owned by the company, whose landed and mineral estate exceeds 30,000 acres in are. The company formerly owned the whole of Nanaimo and still hold a considerable area of the townsite, together with Newcastle, Protection and three or four other islands lying along the coast. The miners, excepting those at Northfield, all live in Nanaimo and on the suburban "five-acre lots," the company running work trains from the city to its outlying mines, thus enabling its employees to enjoy the advantages of the city life. The railroads connecting the shafts with the shipping wharves at Nanaimo and Newcastle Point (Northfield wharf) are of many miles in length, and are all of the standard gauge, ensuring complete intercommunication with the Esquimalt & Nanaimo Railroad, a privilege of which other mining companies having differential gauges are deprived, and in the connection it may be mentioned that the proprietors of the E. & N. railroad have been most accommodating to the New Vancouver Coal Company in furnishing siding and other facilities for traffic.

The Esplanade, or Eastfield shaft, which is the largest mine of the company, is at Nanaimo, within 50 yards of the company's offices and warehouses, on Farquhar street, and an enormous outlay has been made in its equipment and development, but until last year a series of "faults" of the most difficult and apparently insurmountable character have impeded the works and threatened to suspend them entirely. These difficulties have, however, been successfully overcome, and a very large area of coal ground, extending at a depth of 600 feet, far under the waters of Nanaimo harbor, has been proved or "won" in mining phrases. During the past year reserves of coal have been opened that will yield an output of over 1,000 tons per day for many years. This "No. 1 shaft, Esplanade," is a prominently characteristic feature of the coal mining city of Nanaimo, its lofty and massive chimney pouring forth black smoke all day and night the year round -- its great furnaces and boilers, its powerful engines (made by Oliver, of Chesterfield, England,) and the endless steel cable hoisting the coal cars from the depths at the rate of half a mile a minute -- all are striking objects to the observer. This shaft goes down for 600 feet, as also does the "air or ventilating shaft," within a stone's throw from the hoisting shaft; both are circular, and of 16 and 18 feet in diameter respectively, and there are over ten miles of drift passage and slopes in connection with the foot of the hoisting shaft. The engines can hoist 1,000 tons in eight hours, besides pumping water if required. The company has established an electric power house near the pit bank of the Esplanade shaft, and from the powerful dynamos the underground traction and other practical operations in the mine can be furnished with electric motive force, and probably the mine will, in course of time, be lighted by electricity.

The New Vancouver Coal Mining and Land Company are also proprietors of other collieries at Southfield, Chase and Nanaimo rivers (a little to the south of Nanaimo) upon a large proved coal area of the company's estate there, of over 2,000 acres, as well as the Northfield colliery, from which the best coal mined on the coast is produced, known as "New Wellington." The output from Northfield colliery is now a large one, considering the short time of the pit's life, but as the underground workings extend the quantity of coal produced will be enlarged to an amount more nearly adequate to the demand, which greatly exceeds the company's present power to supply. The success of the Northfield colliery, and the production of the best bituminous coal ever mined, is an accomplished fact, in the face of prophecies and predictions of failure that were enough to stagger the heart of a giant, and the miners themselves, who are shrewd judges of prospects "below the surface," are exhibiting their strong faith in the future success and prosperity of the mine by building up the town of Northfield to an extend that will soon make it a suburb, if not an integral part, of the city of Nanaimo itself.

The principal portion of the exports of coal from the port of Nanaimo is shipped to San Francisco, San Diego and Los Angeles, in California, while other shipments are made to the Hawaiian Islands, and to Portland, Oregon, and far north to Alaska and Petropaulovski. There is also a large demand for use in the Province, and transient steamers and vessels are loaded on calling at the wharves. This local or "domestic" consumption is considerably increasing, owing to the growth of Provincial industries and to the excellent quality of the coal now produced, making it more economical for householders to use for fuel than the old-time cordwood and blocks of forest timber. The coal is carried principally in American bottoms. The harbor of Nanaimo is always well stocked with shipping, either loading or waiting their turn, generally from four to a dozen steamers, ships and other sea-going vessels may be seen riding at anchor or at the wharves, in addition to the regular coasting steamers and smaller craft. The company alone has an average of about 150,000 tons of shipping under charter, and other ships are chartered by the buyers or call on their own account. With the great demand of the market of late the company has found even its extensive output unequal to furnish supplies called for, and necessarily declined many orders. Consequently the company has started the sinking of new shafts. One is now down about 500 feet at a site on Protection island, owned by the company, where a very fine vein of coal was struck at about 550 feet deep. When this new shaft is finished the coal will be worked far under the sea of the Strait of Georgia, where there is room for many years mining and a practically inexhaustible field of good coal. The company have going in full force exploration options with three diamond drilling machines of powerful make and some capable of piercing to a depth of 3,000 feet and from thence bringing up entire core or section of the measures or strata being passed through of several inches in diameter. These drilling operations are carried on ahead of the workings both at North and South "Fields," and the coal measures of the "Harewood" part of the company's estate are being prospected by diamond drill with satisfactory results. Near the site of one of the bore-holes to the dip of the Northfield mine, pit (or shaft) is being sunk to the seam of New Wellington coal proved to be there.

The machine shops, blacksmith and carpenter shops are replete with all modern appliances and labor-saving contrivances, as well as lathes for heaviest work and for fine use, boring, cutting and fitting machines, steam hammers and blowing fans, etc.

The whole plant and equipment of the collieries of the company, including the many fixed and locomotive engines, and the capital rolling stock of loading, freight, ballast, flat and passenger cars, are in perfect order, and re being worked up to their highest efficiency.

There is telephonic connection by the company's private wires between the superintendent's office and every pit-head, loading wharf and workshop, and engine house, from Northfield to Southfield, and also with the C. P. R. telegraph in the city, thus using about 12 miles of wire, in addition to the ordinary connection with the city telephone system.

The land department of the New Vancouver Coal Mining and Land Company is of itself attaining extensive proportions, and has required most anxious attention in order to secure the best results from the disposition of the company's land, such as its due settlement and improvement by purchasers. In all respects, however, the sales and other dealing of the management with the the town and suburban and country lands of the company re upon a just and liberal basis, and have hitherto proved mutually advantageous to the settler or occupant and the company. The town and other lands are open to acquisition to all bona fide purchasers upon reasonable terms, upon condition of actual use and improvement of the same in a manner suitable to the environments. If anything, preference is given by the company to its workmen in the dealings with the lands, with marked advantage in all instances, but particularly with respect to the opening up of a large area of suburban land into five-acre allotments, and the letting of the same to workmen on liberally long terms of payment with right of purchase conditional upon certain annual amelioration of the property. The "five-acre lots," s they are termed, in the hands of frugal and industrious workmen, have contributed largely to the advancement of the prosperity of the occupants, and caused the clearing and cultivation of a surprisingly large expanse of land at the back of the city that, with its forest and swamp, formerly blocked all the progress westward, and now the want is of a continuation of a road to Mount Benson, which has already been made more than half way to the summit, from which on of the most magnificent views on the island can be enjoyed by citizens or tourists at the expenditure of only a few hours' walking (and climbing) exercise. Many ladies, and even children, have made the comparatively rough ascent from the end of the road, which the completion of the road would render easy of accomplishment.

The demand for the company's five-acre allotments has exceeded the ability to supply the applicants, until further surveys have been undertaken, and this is good evidence of the popularity of the policy of management of the lands and of the general prosperity of the people at Nanaimo. The head office of the New Vancouver Coal Mining and Land Company is in London, and John Galsworthy, Esq., is the president of the company. It has a branch office at San Francisco, and is represented in most of the coast cities.

The vast interests of the Company in Vancouver Island are under the direction and control of Samuel Matthew Robins, J. P., whose ornate and cosy villa is easily found nestling amongst the shrubbery of its well kept grounds on the seashore of the esplanade at Nanaimo.

The employees of the company number about 1,500. The miners work 8 hours a day and are almost unexceptionally contented and well to do. The company have hardly ever ad any disputes with their workmen, nor is it the intention that the miners shall have just cause for complaint. The works and the whole city and its surroundings bears evident signs of thrift and order, and Mr. Robins, the able superintendent, has been known to say that during the seven or eight years of his management and administration of the company's affairs he has never uttered nor received from his employees a single angry word.

Of the City of Nanaimo proper and its varied town and commercial and industrial interests hardly too much can be said in its praise for its patience endurance of past vicissitudes, during the passage of the coal mining industry through its shady and fluctuating career; but the present position and prospects of the city are of the most promising character, and of this its citizens and tradesmen who are capitalists have not been slow to take advantage by the erection of many fine business blocks and residential buildings, of a style and finish that are creditable to the rising city, and the huge three and four story brick blocks now in course of construction are alike evidence of the growth and stability of the place and its commercial interests. Vying wit sister cities, Nanaimo citizens are arranging for the establishment of a first class hotel, suitable for the higher rank of tourists and equal to all the demands of the travelling public. The scheme is in the hands of the Board of Trade, who are energetically pushing the hotel to completion. Not that Nanaimo is without very fair hotel accommodation at the present time, as not a few of the score or so of licensed houses in the city are well kept and provide pleasant and convenient entertainment, and six of the leading hotels are commodious brick buildings. However, the addition of the new hotel is a foregone conclusion, and it will fill a useful place in the commercial and social life of the community without lessening the trade of present hotels, but by the attraction of greater influx of visitors will rather add to the prosperity of those who have vested interests in the hotel trade.

The city is well provided with shops, stores and offices of the multifarious variety of a modern city, which are all doing a brisk business, particularly on the great pay-days of the mines, when large sums are put into circulation, aggregating $250,000 a month from all the industries tributary to the city. All wages are paid uniformly in hard cash, and with unfailing regularity and a large and healthy trade in the town is the result.

The city wharves are scenes of busy life: the daily discharge of eastern freight brought per steamer Cutch, via Vancouver; the San Francisco and Portland imports per steamers Empire and Michigan, and other calling steamers with the east coast steamer Isabel and the fleet of small steamers and sailing craft trading to the port, cause a lively traffic from the wharves to the city warehouses which is steadily increasing. Wharf extension is in contemplation, and is now pressingly needed to meet the requirements of steamships and craft mentioned, besides the Fraser river trade carried on by the plucky company owning and running the City of Nanaimo between this port and Vancouver, New Westminster and lower Fraser ports. Return cargoes of mineral, lumber, quarried and measurement stone (of the famous Newcastle quarry) and general products are taken from Nanaimo in reciprocal trade, to a considerable extent, but as yet the balance of trade is against the coal city, whose capacity for absorbing colliery supplies and necessities of life manufactured or produced in sufficient quantity by provincial manufactures and island farmers is of much larger volume than is commonly understood.

The local industries, other than coal, comprise the well appointed "Nanaimo Sawmill," of Mr. Andrew Haslam, whose recent enterprise in building at the Nanaimo ship-yard, the staunch powerful and swift steamer Estelle, an achievement reflecting great credit upon Mr. Haslam for far seeing business tact and energy, and the steamer will undoubtedly prove a source of profitable income to its owner, as well as a useful addition to the stem fleet of the port. At the sawmill are steam factories for all sorts of wood-work, doors, sashes, etc., which are worked upon a large scale, and will in the near future find an outlet in exportation. The mill is fitted with the most improved patent saw and other machinery, and has been able to keep up with an extraordinary demand for the extensive building going on in the locality. The British Columbia Tanning Co., Limited, have established an extensive leather and shoe factory on the bank of the Millstream in the city. The factory is worked by steam power and is possessed of the most improved machinery and appliances. This industry has a great future before it and will yet justify its aspiring name under the able and practical directorate and management now in charge. The Nanaimo foundry of T. & N. W. Dobeson, thoroughly experienced mechanical engineers and foundrymen, is furnished with appliances for producing castings of all kinds and the performance of engineer's and machinist's work. The workshops are being extended to make room for the growth of business, and being upon the water front are convenient for steamship work. The Nanaimo Machine Works of Mr. Robert Wenborn, are kept busy in the various branches of machine work, and are well adapted for first class-work. Almost adjoining are the electric light works of Mr. Alexander Shaw, having dynamos equal to the lighting of the streets and buildings of the city in an efficient manner with Arc and incandescent lamps, and the supply of motors for ordinary purposes. The city is poled and wired throughout with heavy insulated electric conducting wires, many private houses are lighted by this means. The Municipal Corporation have, in addition to gas lamps, a number of Arc lamps lighted by the electric works. Not that the Nanaimo Gas Co's are in the shade, on the contrary the demand has so largely exceeded the Company's power to supply that an enlargement of the retort house and its appliances and of the gas holder has become needful and is being carried out under the resolution of the shareholders, who are confident of the soundness of their investment. The mains are laid along the leading streets and to the coal loading and town wharves add also to the Esplanade Shaft Works, where gas is used, to the exclusion of old time fish-oil lamps. One of the most successful enterprises of the city is the Nanaimo Water Works Company, which has supplied the city with pure mountain water without a mishap for some years. The water mains are spread all over the city, and reach to the limits, so that for domestic and gardening purposes there is no want of this most necessary article of life at Nanaimo. The mains supply the shipping at all wharves, and also the engines of the Esplanade Colliery, locomotives and workshops, and it is purposed to lay a main under the harbor to the New Vancouver Coal Co.'s mine on Protection Island, in order to ensure a permanent reservoir of water there. The waterworks re capable of almost indefinite expansion, and it is one of the most promising concerns on the Island.

There are several breweries, two are of brick, and of good architecture and fitted with modern machinery, viz: The Nanaimo Brewery, and the The Union Brewery, both owned by joint stock companies, besides these are the Empire and Lansdowne Breweries, of fair pretensions, and all turning out large quantities of beer in bulk and family kegs and bottles, some of which is shipped up and down the coast.

The carriage, wheelwright and general smithing and farriery works of Mr. Ralph Craig, on Bastion, Street Bridge, are quite an extensive manufactory in themselves, and some of the best work in all branches is carried out. Steam power is used and many workmen are regularly employed. The old established shipsmith and general blacksmith, farriery and wheelwright shop of Messrs. Renwick & Horne, on the city front, near the old Bastion, is equal to any emergencies that may arise in their line, and has produced some heavy mining and other machinery as well as fine work. The carriage works of McDonald & Andrews, recently erected on Chapel street, are roomy and replete with carriage work of fine grades as well as good wheelwright work in all branches, and carriage painting is a specialty.

Cigar, candy, soda water, clog, medical and other factories incidental to a progressive town are in a flourishing condition at Nanaimo.

A Co-operative store of the Nanaimo Equitable Pioneer Society, is conducted on the well-known principles of co-operation in trade, and is largely owned by members who are workingmen in the city and district. A splendid brick block has just been completed by the Society. At its first inception this "Co-operative Store," appeared to menace the well being of the traders of the city, but after several years of experience the course of trade has been found fairly equalized, as buyers will in the long run resort to the market most satisfactory to themselves, and there being no friendship in business; and while the Society carry on successfully a very extensive concern prosperously, on strictly co-operative principles, there is an abundance of trade outside their operations, for all comers.

Of public buildings, there are several of good pretensions. The post office and custom house, combined in a splendid three-storey stone building, that would do credit to a city many times to size. The court house, and public school houses, also the Nanaimo Public Hospital, are prominent buildings. Since the formation of a company of militia, a drill shed has become in demand, and will doubtless be erected by the Dominion, at an early date. The fire department has outgrown its present engine house, and the City Corporation intend to erect a fine brick building as an engine house that will do justice to the engines and apparatus in possession of the brigade, which meritoriously won and proudly holds the championship of the last Provincial tournament. There are several stations of the department in the city, and hydrants are placed at most serviceable points which are well served by the waterworks at a pressure sufficient to throw streams over all existing buildings. In a word Nanaimo is as well provided as any city of its size in the matter of fire department, engines -- one a steamer of Merryweather make, hose reels and an abundance of hose, with a first rate water service.

The Municipal Council of the consists of Mayor and nine Aldermen, three for each of the North, South and Middle Wards. The assessment of the real-estate improvements not reckoned, foots up to $1,110,264, values being stated on a liberal, moderate basis. During the past two years an expenditure of $60,000 has been incurred by the Corporation in opening and grading some 5 or 6 miles of new streets, and in other city improvements. The city owns a valuable plot of land on which stands a City Hall, and Council Chambers, leaving plenty of spare space for further erections. The sanitary condition of the city is well looked after, and an exhaustive by-law is promptly applied in delinquent cases. A city licensed scavenger is authorized to remove all nuisances, and keep all premises clear. A system of drainage is under consideration, for which the situation and grades of the town site are extremely favourable. As well as grading the streets, miles of sidewalks have been laid, giving pedestrians a means of access to distant points in all weather. Under a special by-law a powerful steam rock crusher and steam drill will be set to work, and the city will enter upon an era of macadamized roadways, much needed where traffic is heaviest. Several of the public squares and the park have undergone improvement by grading and fencing, and an ornamental lake formed in the park. On the Dallas Square a handsome band stand is erected in compliment to and for the use of the Nanaimo Silver Cornet Band, whose summer afternoon performances have delighted crowds of citizens resorting thither for promenade. The band is renowned for its skill and splendid equipment of instruments and uniform, it is a favourite institution of the city, which is justly proud of the "Nanaimo Band." Altogether the energy and administrative ability displayed by the Mayors and Councillors of the city and their excellent officers in pushing the city ahead so as to be abreast of the times, is worthy of commendation, and has won the confidence of the citizens at large, and it is apparent that no reasonable efforts will be wanting on the part of the Municipal authorities in the future administration of civic affairs to accomplish the advancement of the city, and as in the past, the hands of the city for the time being will doubtless be strengthened by the support and assistance of Mr. S. M. Robins, the superintendent of the New Vancouver Coal Mining and Land Company, whose interests are so thoroughly identified with those of the citizens, and who so largely contribute to the revenue of the Corporation.

The real estate of the town in the hands of private owners, is well held and owing to the very liberal terms of payment given to purchasers by the company, the change of ownership is infrequent, but values have legitimately increased tenfold during the past two years, which is a most satisfactory showing, as there has been no artificial "boon" at Nanaimo.

The educational advantages of the public school system of the Province are fully enjoyed by the citizens of Nanaimo, where there is a high school, which is successfully conducted by a first-class professor. Besides there are two large school houses for boys and girls respectively, and ward school in convenient situations; all being in charge of able and popular teachers. The numbers of scholars in attendance at all the schools exceed the school accommodation so far as to necessitate the erection of new buildings, a duty that the trustees will not fail to perceive and perform.

The convent school of St. Ann affords a good means of education for young children, a large number of whom are entrusted to the sisters of that institution by parents desiring private tuition.

The convent is a three storey building with mansard roof, and is one of the principal buildings of the city. It is surrounded by extensive grounds. At the north side are the church of St. Peter and Young Men's Institute of the Roman Catholic Church.

There are two parishes of the Anglican Church, having the churches of St. Paul on the north side of the city and of St. Alban on the south, with school and mission house attached, while in connection with St. Paul's there is a fine Institute and a large roll of members. The hall of St. Paul's Institute is well provided with library, newspapers, piano, billiard table, stage or platform for entertainments, etc.

The Methodist church is an imposing edifice on the corner of Wallace and Franklyn streets, with lofty spire. A large piece of land adjoining is partly occupied by the parsonage, but there is space for school house and other buildings needed for church purposes, and several lots to spare.

The Presbyterian church, only lately erected, has already become too small for the large congregations that attend the services, and a new church is contemplated, and something superior in architectural effect may be expected. The old church, as is the old Methodist church, is used as a ward school. The Presbyterian manse, built on the church ground, is a roomy and well built dwelling house.

The First Baptist church, on the hill formed by Winfield Crescent, is a prominent object from all points of view, and is a pretty building. It is lighted by electricity.

Other church buildings, are the Methodist church in South Haliburton and the St. Alban's Mission on Gillespie street, also the Indian Mission church (Anglican) at the reserve, connected with which is the Dominion Indian school, recently built and organized.

The Nanaimo Telephone Company has a long list of subscribers, and the wires extend to Wellington on the north, and as far as Cedar district on the south. The service and plant of the telephone company are in excellent working order and the operations of the company are conducted to the entire satisfaction of the public. The demand for the service is growing daily, and the financial success of the enterprize is assured.

The C. P. R. Co.'s telegraph is at the public command, and will shortly be extended to Comox and Alberni. The line is well patronized at Nanaimo, and only needs an addition to the staff of operators and extended hours to make the service equal to the public demands.

The Bank of British Columbia has a branch in a brick block on Front street, where a savings bank department is available for the people's savings.

It has been stated that the bank of Montreal will at an early date establish a branch in this city, and will build a suitable banking house.

The Dominion Post Office Savings Bank is also available, and has a considerable share of the deposits.

The Nanaimo Building Society and also a branch of an eastern building society have good membership in this city. By the help of these provident associations many houses have been put up that would otherwise have had to abide their time. As it is, Nanaimo is inadequately supplied with dwellings, and there is scope in this direction in connection with real estate sales, and of this real estate men and capitalists would do well to take note.

The Free Press newspaper and printing office has for many years proved equal to the local demand for news and controversial matters. Several attempts to run a second paper in the city have met with financial disaster.

The Chinese storekeepers and residents are located at a point entirely isolated from the dwellings of the citizens, and only laundries in the city are tenanted by Chinese. It has been several times proposed to start a steam laundry owned by customers and worked on co-operative plans, but as yet this industry awaits the organizer who has the ability and application to manage this undertaking.

The Young Men's Christian Association is well established in rooms with gymnasium in the Oddfellows' block on Victoria crescent, where the visitor and stranger are ever welcome. The Y. M. C. A. intent to build premises that will be a credit to the city, and provide much needed extension of rooms.

The Masonic block on the corner of Skinner and Commercial streets, in the upper storey of which the lodge meets, has become valuable for business purposes, and it is stated a Masonic temple will be erected on the fine tract owned by the order on Front street, and formerly the site of the Methodist church. The Oddfellows' Hall in their block on Commercial street, near the north-east end of the long bridge, and the Forester's block, also containing their hall on the north-east corner of Bastion streets, and the Good Templar Hall on Crace street, are good buildings and evidence of the thrift of the Societies owning them. The orders of Workmen, Knights of Pythias, the Loyal Orange Society, and the Druids are at present using the halls of sister societies, but will in the near future become established in buildings of their own, and so add to the number of imposing blocks recently built in the city.

The present city hall is an old institution, where public meetings are held and the Salvation Army conducts its services; but the city is ripe for a new hall and civic buildings -- another source of city embellishment.

Three or four livery stables furnish spick and span turnouts, and carriages, vehicles and sleighs are as well horsed as in any city in the Province.

The fine rural drives will repay those who undertake them, and for genuine sport in hunting and fishing the district around the city cannot be beaten.

A fine cricket ground, also used for football and baseball matches has been generously set apart by Mr. Robins for the reception of young men who have formed clubs that have taken up the challenges of Victorians and Mainlanders, and fought many a hard battle for supremacy on the ground.

For boating, whether with sail or oar, the Nanaimo harbor offers scope for adventure, as well as smooth water for fine weather sailors -- as many as a hundred boats have been seen on the water on a fine day. Two boat builders have large stocks of boats of every description for sale or hire.

The Nanaimo Opera House is a three storey brick [building], recently built, and provides a roomy and well arranged theatre, where most successful entertainments have been given by first-class artistes. It is a favorite place of resort. The upper stories are used for hotel purposes.

The climate of Nanaimo is remarkably mild at all seasons, and most salubrious, making the city a desirable place of residence for people of independant means and leisure for life's enjoyments.

Agricultural progress is being made by a persevering farming community around Nanaimo and on the adjacent islands, and the certain and remunerative market always found among a mining population is a sure stimulus to exertion that should eventually and rapidly build up a prosperous farming and horticultural district, mutually supporting and supported by the city.

Nanaimo is fortunate in having a Board of Trade alive to the interests of the city and its commerce, and has an excellent personnel of leading citizens and merchants.

Just on the eve of publication a passing notice of Nanaimo, from the pen of a prominent Eastern divine, appeared in a leading paper, from which it is felt pardonable to quote in aid of the attempt to do some measure of justice to the city in so limited a notice as our space affords:

"Seventy miles north of Victoria, on the east side of the island of Vancouver and close down to the water's edge, stands the city of Nanaimo. The streets are laid out in a rather irregular kind of way. Whether the irregularity was caused by the nature of the ground on which the city is built, the site being a hillsite, or by the eccentricity of the people who founded the city, I cannot say, but certainly the place is unique in its plan, or perhaps I should say, want of plan. The irregularity of the streets, however, does not interfere with business. Nanaimo is the coal city of the coast, and so excellent is the fuel found there that it overrides all fiscal laws and more than holds its own in the markets of San Francisco and other cities. The supply seems practically unlimited. The amount of money that changes hands seems fabulous to economical Eastern people, and one cannot resist the conclusion that some day Nanaimo may be the greatest money producing spot on the coast. The human family cannot do without fuel more than without food. Let any man look at the coal fields of Nanaimo and then at the wheat fields around Brandon and say if the Almighty has not given us one of the richest countries on earth. If Canadians cannot develop our resources and govern this splendid land honestly they deserve to be scourged. A nobler heritage was never given to any people. Canaan was nothing compared with Canada."

There is a field at Nanaimo for the introduction of capital in the starting of industries for manufacture of articles of utility of many descriptions. There is an abundance of clay, and yet the brick fields are in their infancy; pottery and piping are in very large demand, and as yet no pottery has been tried. Ship building, and especially the building of steam and electric launches and small craft has been neglected, although most eligible sites can be found for building ships along the city front, and lumber of approved quality is close at hand. The shipwright's branch of trade is one that ere long will take an important place at Nanaimo, and the first to enter the field will command the choice of site for his yard. A furniture factory has been projected, and in the hands of practical men, will prove a paying investment. There is room at Nanaimo for tailoring and shirt factories for the making of clothing now imported or brought from other cities. A match factory would find employment, and many other openings will suggest themselves to enterprising business men with capital. There is an extensive manufactory of the Hamilton Power Company situated at a safe distance north-westerly of the city limit, where a first-class article of blasting and sporting powder is made in large quality, as well as giant and high-class explosives.



Solicitor - Mr. C. H. Beevor Potts, a Barrister and Solicitor, has his office on Commercial street. He is recommended as a thoroughly reliable and competent lawyer, and worthy of every confidence.