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Navigating Nanaimo: Maps and Charts of the Harbour City

January 7, 2014

For Immediate Release: Nanaimo Museum

Navigating Nanaimo: Maps and Charts of the Harbour City

From an early Spanish chart to contemporary maps, recording Nanaimo on paper is the theme of the Nanaimo Museum’s next exhibition. ”Examining old maps and charts of the city is fascinating” said museum curator David Hill-Turner. “For example, they show railways and mines that are no longer there.”

Nanaimo’s most detailed maps show places none of us have seen: the vast tunnel network under the city, all drawn to scale. “The exhibition’s centre-piece is the coal works map” he said. “The seven meter long map documents all the works from the Southfield Mine (the Cedar landfill) north to Brechin Point and east beyond Protection Island.”

In addition to Nanaimo, the exhibition will also examine the E&N Railway land grant. To attract private development of the railway, an offer that included over 1.5 million acres of land was offered to bidders. While often considered a “giveaway”, the grant was important to attracting development and settlers.

Detailed maps would not be possible without surveying and cartographic tools. A display of equipment from the 1880s to the 1920s will complement the exhibition of maps and charts.

The exhibition opens Tuesday, January 21 and runs until Saturday, March 22, 2014. The museum is open Monday-Saturday, 10am-5pm.

The Nanaimo Museum is located in the Vancouver Island Conference Centre, beside Serious Coffee, and is open Monday – Saturday 10am-5pm.  For more information please visit or call 250 753-1821.

Media contact:  David Hill-Turner, 250-753-1821,

Becka Macdonald

Communications & Rental Coordinator


100 Museum Way

Nanaimo, BC V9R 5J8

Phone: 250.753.1821


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