The Hidden Waterfalls of Nanaimo

Story and photos by Spenser Smith I moved to Nanaimo, British Columbia, a city full of winding streams and rivers, in 2013. It was a big change from my home province, Saskatchewan, which has its own beauty, but not generally of the wet kind. In fact, all of Vancouver Island was a revelation. One of my first ventures was to Little Qualicum Falls, 58 km. north of Nanaimo, and for the first time I witnessed the strange phenomenon of water flowing over a vertical drop. (Vertical drops are also … [Read more...]

Is Toque a Real Word?

By Chelsea Mark “Where are you headed, and how long?” “Pullman, Washington, a week.” “Pullman?” The customs agent looked at me confused. “Yes, Pullman, it’s right on the border of Idaho—“ “I know where it is. Why?” Anyone who knew anything about Pullman had reacted in the same way when I told them my travel plans. Apparently my vacay destinay wasn’t the exciting, bustling location of many peoples’ holiday dreams. But despite the lackluster destination, I was unbelievably … [Read more...]

Home Again

By Alexandria Stuart Nanaimo was in the middle of a heat wave as my boyfriend Sean and I set out on our "nearcation" to northern Vancouver Island, A/C on high. The familiar landscape of coastal British Columbia flew by: Moss-draped forests alternated with scabs of clear-cut, blanketed in pink fireweed as the land tried to heal itself. It was the same scenery I’d been looking at my whole life. A "nearcation" is a variation on the "staycation"; we would travel  farther north on the Island … [Read more...]

Home Again (Part Two)

The village of Sointula, Malcolm Island’s main port, looked like something out of a Dr. Seuss book. Brightly coloured sea shacks dotted the waterfront and the homes lining the main street, sitting on small, tidy fenced lots, were gaily painted. Sointula, meaning “place of harmony," was settled in the early 1900s by Finnish immigrants fleeing the harsh conditions in Nanaimo’s coal mines. They envisioned a utopian socialist society with communal property and equal participation/equal voice for … [Read more...]