March 5, 2024 – Update on Cornerstone. Cornerstone is the name of the new 51 unit supportive housing building funded by BC Housing and located at 285 Prideaux Street. Connective Nanaimo is the operator. You can learn about Cornerstone on the Connective website at

The latest news from BC Housing explains their HEARTH program. “People experiencing homelessness are living in unsafe conditions in encampments throughout multiple communities in British Columbia. To address these challenges, BC Housing is working with partners to provide people living outdoors and in encampments with better access to a range of support services, new shelters, and housing options through new programs funded by the Province under the Belonging in BC Homelessness Plan: Homeless Encampment Action Response Team (HEART) and the Homeless Encampment Action Response Temporary Housing (HEARTH).

The HEARTH model will be used at Cornerstone. BC Housing will “be working with local shelters, with our Coordinated Access and Assessment (CAA) Managers, and the operator to identify the needs of each individual within those shelter facilities in the community to find the right fit for temporary housing. The CAA process is designed to be a thoughtful and intentional way to identify folks whose needs will best be met at the HEARTH site. That’s why for this particular model and this site, we want to ensure that people are ready and that we’re matching people up to their support needs.” You can learn more at: Encampment & Homelessness Response: HEART & HEARTH | BC Housing

It is hoped our new neighbours will begin moving in in March 2024.

February 2024 – The Molnar Group advised neighbours in early February 2024 that construction has finally begun at 388 Machleary Street! You can learn about Ocean View Senior Living on the Molnar Group website at:

The Molnar Group send the letter below to the surrounding neighbourhood the first week in February.

Letter from the Molnar Group

June 2023 – Unsheltered Neighbours Working Group – Our goal is support our unsheltered neighbours and find solutions to stop the vandalism, fires, drug use in front of areas where children gather in the old city.  All residents of the old city are welcome to attend our working group meetings which happen once a month either 10:30 am at La Isla Cafe or evening meetings at 7 pm at the Black Rabbit restaurant.

Upcoming Meetings
Wednesday, July 19 – 7 to 8 pm
Wednesday, September 20 – 7 to 8 pm
Wednesday, October 18 – 10:30 to 11:30 am
Wednesday, November 15 – 7 to 8 pm

May 1, 2023 – Nanaimo Mental Health and Substance Abuse information – check the link below for information on services offered by Island Health in the areas of mental health and substance abuse.

Nanaimo Mental Health and Substance Abuse information

January 23, 2023 – Who to Call – The City of Nanaimo publishes a Who to Call brochure each year with contact numbers for Public Works, Bylaws, Community Response and Shelters.

Public Safety – Who to Call

November 23, 2022 – What are your priorities for your neighbourhood? Your NOCA Board of Directors is discussing priorities for the coming year. Here’s what we’ve come up with.

1. Continue our program of boulevard and alleyway beautification.

2. Promote safety in the neighbourhood through changes to the built environment.

3. Continue to promote walkability and a sense of community in our neighbourhood.

4. Continue to lobby to ensure the design of any new development respects the character of the neighbourhood.

5. Promote environmentally sustainable design for new and retrofitted buildings incorporating green space in its broadest sense (e.g. shade trees, pocket parks, food gardens).

What do YOU think? Let us know by emailing

February 22, 2022 – Beautify the Boulevards and Alleyways in the Old City! Join us on Sunday, March 13, 2022 from 1 to 4 pm at Pawson Park (corner of Franklyn and Machleary streets) as we kick off this new project!

What does a beautiful neighbourhood look like?
You may have noticed some of our fellow Old City area residents have made gardens on the street side
of their homes. We’d like to help you do the same. NOCA has formed a committee to help you develop a small garden near your home. This could be in the strip between the sidewalk and the curb, within a traffic calming ‘bump out’ like those along the 300 and 400 blocks of Milton Street, or any roadside green space you would like to transform.
We can offer design help, examples of current boulevard gardens, seeds, plants, gardening tips, and manual labour to get you started. Contact us if you live in the old city and would like a free seed package with various plants to start beautifying your boulevard. Packages will be handed out March 13.
Your ideal boulevard planting might include drought resistant, food, ornamental, or pollinator attracting plants, or a combination. Learn more by coming to our project kick off on Sunday, March 13, 2022.
Would you like to share gardening methods, plants that are important to you and methods of gardening significant to your culture? Contact us to book your spot to speak at our Kick off March 13. Neighbors are encouraged to bring seeds/plants significant to you to give away trade or sell.
Thank you to the Nanaimo Foundation and neighborhood small grants for the grant to start this project.
We will have a gathering on May 28 for all participants to share about their experience. We would love to hear your ideas, and welcome volunteers and resources. Contact the committee on facebook or email us at :
City of Nanaimo requests for this project:
– Notify the city of your boulevard location
– You the residents are responsible for maintenance of your boulevards
– Anything planted or placed will technically become City property, so if necessary, at some point could be removed or altered
– The responsibility is on the residents to know of the location of any underground services before digging or planting
–  Participants must not dig, disturb or pile excessive materials in the critical root zone of City boulevard trees
– Plants chosen should not obstruct visibility of roads.

If you  would like to have a tree planted in these landscapes, please notify the city by contacting Patrick McIntosh, the Urban Forestry Coordinator at the City of Nanaimo at 250 755 4460 (local 4357) If 
you are willing to enter a watering agreement the city could have a tree purchased and planted for you. 

November 20, 2021 – New Animal Responsibility Bylaw – Did you know Nanaimo has a new Animal Responsibility Bylaw?  Be a good neighbour and familiarize yourself with the Bylaw by reading this Fast Facts Brochure.

NOCA is taking an educational role and spreading the word.  Talk with your neighbours and let’s continue to make the old city the best place to live in Nanaimo!

October 19, 2021 – Board elected at Annual General Meeting – A new Board of Directors was elected at our Annual General Meeting (AGM) held on Monday, October 18 at 7 pm via Zoom.  Congratulations to the following folks who volunteered to sit on the Board and guide the activities of NOCA in the coming year:
Joy Adams Bauer, Diane Caldwell-Demon, Erin Chaba, Anna Mosolov, Mayta Ryn, Shelley Serebrin, Barbara Schreiber.

August 30, 2021 – A Development Permit for 388 Machleary Street, to allow for a seniors’ congregate housing development, was approved by Nanaimo City Council on August 30, 2021. The site is zoned for this type of development.

June 21, 2021 – Adding trees to the Old City. Did you know the City of Nanaimo intends to increase the street tree canopy in the downtown and the Old City over the next 5 years?   We all know how important trees are for the environment and for the overall esthetic of a neighbourhood. 

If you live in the old city and would like to have a tree planted, all you have to do is contact Patrick McIntosh, the Urban Forestry Coordinator at the City of Nanaimo.

250 755 4460 (local 4357)

If you are willing to enter a watering agreement, the city is willing to buy and plant a tree for you. What a great partnership! 

April 21, 2021 – Successful Neighbourhood Cleanup Day. It was a warm and sunny day, perfect weather for our first neighbourhood cleanup day.  In addition to asking old city residents to spend some time sprucing up their yards and collecting litter, a NOCA member offered the use of a 4’x 8′ trailer for anyone who needed larger items or garden waste too big for their green bin, to be picked up.  A team of volunteers made a total of 6 stops, including one a drop-off of 5 buckets of bricks!  Nine households took advantage of the offer. 155 kg of garbage and metal recycling was dropped off at the Nanaimo Regional Landfill.  Stay tuned for our fall event and continue to take pride in your neighbourhood!

December 14, 2020 – BC Housing wants to hear from you. BC Housing is proposing to build 51 new permanent homes with supports for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness in Nanaimo. These homes will be built at 285 Prideaux Street, which is currently home to the Community Services Building owned by the City of Nanaimo.

BC Housing invites input from residents of the old city on the design of the landscaping and the exterior finishes of the building. You can learn more at

The survey will remain open until January 6, 2021.

August 19, 2020 – City of Nanaimo response to 388 Machleary letter. The City of Nanaimo has responded to NOCA’s letter of May 25, 2020 to the planning department re the development permit application for 388 Machleary Street. You can read the response here.

You can view the development permit application here.

June 9, 2020 – NOCA’s response to 388 Machleary Development Permit Application. Thank you to those neighbourhood residents who provided comments on the Development Permit Application for 388 Machleary Street.

NOCA sent the letter below to staff in the planning department who will consider our comments and communicate back with the applicant.  Once the application has been reviewed by internal departments at the city (including the Engineering and Transportation Sections), planning staff will follow-up in response to the questions posed in the letter.

NOCA’s response letter

March 7, 2019 – Take our survey on the Molnar Group’s application to Amend the Official Community Plan.  The City of Nanaimo has received the Molnar Group’s application to amend the Official Community Plan for the property located at 388 Machleary Street (the former site of Malaspina Gardens/old Nanaimo Hospital).  The application is asking to “re-designate the land use designations in the Official Community and Old City Neighbourhood Concept Plans to authorize a medium-density multi-family residential development.”

You can view the application on the City of Nanaimo website at

You can provide feedback to your neighbourhood association about the application by completing our 8 question survey.  Please print the survey, complete and drop in the mailbox at 108 Milton Street or 25 Machleary Street. If you’d prefer to complete via email, please email

December 20, 2018 – NOCA has been contacted by the Molnar Group about an Open House the Molnar Group is hosting in the New Year regarding their development proposal for the old hospital site at 388 Machleary Street. The Open House will be held from 5:30 to 7:00 pm on Friday, January 11, 2019 at St. Andrew’s United Church.  The Molnar Group tells us the purpose of the Open House is to give us an update on “where the design stands and any other related details (units, landscaping, parking, etc.).”

October 16, 2018 – The new NOCA Board of Directors was elected at our AGM on October 15, 2018.  Board members for the 2018/2019 year are:

Joy Adams Bauer
Joy Anderson
Brian Booth
Ian Knipe
Penny MacMillan
Anna Mosolov
Eve Reinarz
Kelsea Shadlock

Officers (President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer) will be selected at the Board’s first meeting in November.

June 1, 2018 – The City of Nanaimo has informed the NOCA Board that planning staff have received formal applications to redevelop the property at 388 Machleary Street. Staff are reviewing the information submitted in support of the joint Official Community Plan (OCP) and Zoning Bylaw Amendment applications. As the initial review of the application continues by city staff, NOCA can expect to receive a referral request in the weeks ahead.

City staff also tell us that the formal amendment review process, will likely begin in the fall of this year (2018). Prior to the meeting of the city’s Community Planning and Development Committee, the developers are required to host an open house to provide the community with more information about the development proposal. City staff anticipate the developer’s open house will also likely be held in the fall of this year.

March 28, 2018 – Over 80 people attended our community meeting on March 27.  They heard from representatives of NOCA’s 388 working group, and the Molnar group (the developer who now owns the land at 388 Machleary Street). City planning staff answered questions about the process to apply to amend the Official Community Plan and neighbourhood residents completed a work book to provide their feedback on the Molnar Group’s latest proposal for the site. You can view the NOCA presentation here. Visit the 388 Machleary Street page on our website for more information on the 388 Machleary working group.

March 14, 2018 –  Are you interested in the future development of the property at 388 Machleary Street (the former Old Hospital/Malaspina Gardens site)?

The Nanaimo Old City Association (NOCA) is holding an important community meeting on Tuesday, March 27 from 7:00 to 9:30 at St. Andrew’s United Church Hall on Wesley St.  Come out to see the Molnar Group’s revised proposal for this iconic neighbourhood property and hear from City of Nanaimo representatives about the processes involved in redevelopment. This is a major opportunity to ask your questions, put forward your comments, and influence the future or our neighbourhood!

March 4, 2018 — We launched our new website in early March 2018. Our new look is clean and streamlined with all of the information you’ve come to expect from your old city neighbourhood association. Like any website, it’s a “work in progress”.  In the coming months information and features will be added. Have fun surfing around and feel free to send feedback to