Campus Towns: Vancouver Island/Coast Region

A quarter of B.C.’s public administration jobs are in this region, plus it has the highest proportion (83%) of jobs in the service sector of any area in B.C., according to Work BC stats. Projected growth of jobs 2018-2028: 29% (44,600 jobs).

By Charlene Rooke



Where: UVic has facilities in the Oak Bay and Saanich districts of the greater Victoria area.
What: UVic’s areas of research strength include culture, data and computer science, environment, social justice, health, Indigenous studies, ocean and physical sciences, engineering and math.
Size: 400 acres, 22,000 students, 280 programs.
Community: Stroll Finnerty Gardens, visit the university’s downtown Legacy Art Gallery, attend a Phoenix Theatre student performance or book an expert talk for an event through the Speakers Bureau.


Where: Located on Hatley Park, a 565-acre Edwardian estate and National Historic site with an actual castle, formal gardens and more than 15 kilometres of trails. (The site ofcam countless weddings, events, and filming of 80 productions including Deadpool and X-Men.)
What: Specializes in a blended learning model with many professional, part-time and lifelong learning opportunities, including its renowned MBAs.
Size: 565 acres, 5,300 students, 350+ programs.
Community: Sample yoga and fitness classes plus personal training at the recreation centre, or walk or ride the nearby Galloping Goose trail.

Colwood single-family residential properties were up 10% in 2019 (average value $637,000) and condos were up 11% (average value $400,600). Colwood Corners by Onni is a nearby 284-unit, five-storey developement coming soon: register at


Where: Camosun has two campuses, Landsdowne in Uplands and Interurban in Saanich.
What: B.C.’s largest public college has univeristy transfer programs and a strong teaching reputation.
Size: Two campuses, 10,000 full-time students, 160 programs.
Community: The Camosun Innovates program offers applied research, product design, advanced manufacturing and prototype services, Camosun International offers global consulting and partnership services and the Atheltic & Exercise Therapy Clinic at the Interurban campus offers athletic, exercise and laser therapy plus orthotics assessment training.

Greater Victoria single-family residential properties were up 10% in 2019 (average value $842,050) and condos were up 8% (average value $447,800). One-, two-bedroom condos at Fifteen88 in Cedar Hill, a five-minute bus ride from UVic and a six-minute bike ride from Camosun College, sell from the high $300,000s to the mid $600,000s.

Photo courtesy Vancouver Island University



Where: An ocean-view campus in Nanaimo is the anchor for a learning network in four other locations.
What: Early childhood education is one focus at the Sunshine Coast campus in Powell River; a Cowichan campus in Duncan has a Trades Centre; there’s a Parksville Civic & Technology Centre campus.
Size: 92 acres, 14,500 students, 120+ programs.
Community: In Nanaimo, take in a campus View Gallery exhibition or a Malaspina Theatre performance. The Parksville-Qualicum campus has an Elder College program with opportunities for instructors and lifelong learners, plus a Saturday Speakers series.

Nanaimo single-family residential properties were up 12% in 2019 (average value $490,000) and condos were up 15% ($309,000). Nearby modern DLX on Third condos by Wertman (181 micro-suite, studio, one- and two-bedroom, from $119,000 to $450,000) are meant to allow students to build property equity while they study.

Campbell River


Where: With no student residences at its Campbell River, Comox Valley, Port Alberni, Ucluelet or Port Hardy campuses, residential property in one of NIC‘s communities is a smart investment.
What: The Campbell River campus has a Youth Train in Trades program; Courtenay has a Trades Training Centre; Port Alberni has the Tebo Vocational Centre with equipment and shops for student work; Ucluelet, once served by travelling NIC tutors, now has its own campus. Last year the Port Hardy campus moved into a renovated $1.4-million, 6,000-square-foot space in the Thunderbird Mall.
Size: Four campuses, 8,000 students, 200+ programs.
Community: Eat student-prepared food at Third Course Bistro in Campbell River or Roger Street Bistro in Port Alberni. Visit Shadbolt Studios or take in an Elder College lecture at the Courtenay, Campbell River or Port Alberni campuses.

Campbell River single-family residential properties were up 16% in 2019 (average value $401,000) and condos were up 23% (average value $240,300). New rental units at Crowne Pacific’s nearby Crestview at Seymour Village rent from $1,250 for a one-bedroom; nearby condos can be purchased for less than $200,000.

Posted in Winter 2019