Photo of Nanaimo's Bastion

The Nanaimo Bastion

Many of VIE’s day tours and multi-day tours start near the iconic Bastion in Nanaimo. We have chosen this location for a number of reasons. Not only is this a must-see attraction for anyone visiting the city, particularly for history enthusiasts, but it is also a symbol for what Nanaimo used to be and what it is today.

The Bastion is central to Nanaimo’s history and continues to be an integral part of the city’s fascinating story. It is a constant visual reminder of how the city has grown around it. The Hudson’s Bay Company constructed the Bastion in 1853 to protect its coal mining interests in the Nanaimo area. Although this fortification never had to use its cannons in defense, the Bastion played a significant role in protecting this vitally important harbour city. Over the years, the structure has changed very little, despite a minor relocation (it only moved across the street) and a recent restoration project.

Looking at it from the outside, the Bastion’s gleaming white octagonal frame stands guard over Nanaimo’s harbour. Once inside, you are immediately transported back to the mid-19th century. When you touch the thick timber beams, they convey a sense of strength, craftsmanship and history. The three floors allow you to walk amongst period artifacts, including the original cannons! Simply entering the Bastion allows you to feel as if you are a part of the history of this building, the city of Nanaimo and Vancouver Island.

Join us on selected day tours, the Historical Vancouver Island Tour or the Vancouver Island Sampler Tour where we explore the Bastion and truly experience Vancouver Island’s history.