Discover Parksville, British Columbia: A Blend of History, Culture, and Natural Beauty

Parksville, a city on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada, is renowned for its expansive sandy beaches at Parksville Bay and Craig Bay. With a population of 13,642 as per the 2021 Census, the city has seen a 9.5% increase since 2016. Parksville is easily accessible via the Island Highway, the Island Rail Corridor, and a nearby airport.

The Rich History of Parksville, British Columbia

Human habitation in Parksville dates back thousands of years, with several Coast Salish indigenous groups, including the Qualicum, Snaw-naw-as (Nanoose), and Snuneymuxw peoples, being the original inhabitants. The Spanish were the first Europeans to explore the area in 1791, followed by the fleet of George Vancouver of the British Royal Navy.

The first European landholder in Parksville was John Hirst, who pre-empted 120 hectares of land on both sides of the Englishman River in 1873. The city, named after the first postmaster, Nelson Parks, saw a boom in tourism with the extension of the Esquimalt and Nanaimo (E & N) Railway in 1901. The Village of Parksville was incorporated on June 19, 1945, and it became a city on June 1, 1981.

The Geography of Parksville, British Columbia

Parksville is strategically located 37 km northwest of Nanaimo, 48 km east of Port Alberni, and 7 km southeast of Qualicum Beach. The city's land base lies between Englishman River and French Creek, with a substantial portion along the western shores of Craig Bay.

The Climate of Parksville, British Columbia

Parksville experiences a warm-summer Mediterranean climate, with July and August receiving less than 40mm of rain.

The Demographics of Parksville, British Columbia

As per the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Parksville had a population of 13,642 living in 6,754 of its 7,105 total private dwellings. The median household income in 2006 for Parksville was $55,524, which is below the British Columbia provincial average of $62,346.

The Culture, Recreation, and Leisure of Parksville, British Columbia

Parksville is known for its annual events, including the "Parksville Beachfest" sandcastle-building competition, the Polar Bear Splash on January 1, and the Canada Day Parade. The city also hosts the Summer By the Sea Market, supporting local small businesses and attracting visitors.

Polar Bear Splash in Parksville, British Columbia

Every year on January 1, residents gather at Parksville Community Park beach to plunge into the cold water to welcome in the new year.

Summer By the Sea Market in Parksville, British Columbia

Each summer, Parksville holds a night market on Tuesdays. The market, which has had up to 150 vendors in the past, was relocated to the Parksville Community Centre during the COVID-19 pandemic. As of 2022, it has returned to Craig Street.

Canada Day Parade in Parksville, British Columbia

Parksville hosts an annual Canada Day celebration, featuring a parade along the Island Hwy, vendors, food trucks, live music performances, carnival attractions, and fireworks.