Blake Deal
The Navigator

Photo courtesy of Nanaimo Museum

The Nanaimo Museum is getting ready for the newest exhibit: “Navigating Nanaimo: Maps and Charts of the Harbour City.”

The exhibit will be looking at the growth and change of Nanaimo through the use of maps and charts. The maps and charts will range in date from 1791 to modern day. They will be looking at land, roads, buildings, and railways.

The centrepiece of the exhibit is a seven metre long map of the underground coal mine from Cedar Road to Brechin.

There is also a display made up of survey equipment that was used for the railways and mines.
Museum curator David Hill-Turner said it was fairly easy to get all the maps and charts together as they were already in their collection.

The owner of the survey equipment collection was also the person who used it. Hill-Turner said it was interesting to learn how he managed to survey the mines with no horizon.

He said they want this to be a meaningful display, as many people have either never seen these maps and charts or haven’t for a long time.

Hill-Turner said they want their exhibits to include Nanaimo and also have variety. He said there was interest shown in this particular display and thought it was a good idea to bring out the seven metre map that has been out of commission for about 20 years.

The exhibit will give visitors an idea of how much the city has grown and how much the waterfront has changed.

“Maps are more informative,” said Hill-Turner.

He said the C&N land grant helps explain the background of a government decision that has a lot of misunderstandings.

The exhibit will have over 15 different maps and charts and will be running from January 22-March 22.

For more information on the exhibit and the museum, visit