Parksville offers younger families great opportunities for beach fun, plus the double rink arena for hockey and figure skating. There is a small-town feel to Parksville which people really appreciate. Younger families like that Parksville is ‘close to everything.’ During the 2015 census Parksville's population was determined to be about 12,000 with about 42% over the age of 65. Let’s emphasize that this means 58% are under the age of 65! Here, residents have pretty well all of their shopping needs met locally. Athough big city shopping with all the 'box' stores can be found in nearby Nanaimo.
Much of the city's present day economy is centered on the tourism industry. Two sandy beaches, Parksville Beach and Rathtrevor Beach (part of Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park), have historically been the city's main attraction. The Parksville Beaches are a truly impressive feature and draw worldwide visitors. Parksville is close enough to Nanaimo that some families choose to live here and commute 20 minutes to work in Nanaimo (with a population of about 86,000 in 2014).
With downhill and cross-country skiing at Mt. Washington only about an hour away, combined with six nearby golf courses, this is a great place for raising a young family or for your retirement. For those who buy Parksville real estate there are loads of stimulating hiking trails are nearby and marinas can be found at Beachcomber, French Creek, Deep Bay and at Schooner Cove in Fairwinds.
The Parksville area has cool wet winters with 80 to 85% of the precipitation falling between October and April. The average annual precipitation is only about 38 inches. Mean daily temperature range from 1 to 3°C (34 to 37°F) in January with cloud and rain from north Pacific air masses dominating the winter weather. This coastal region enjoys a significant climatic benefit from being in close proximirty to nearby Vancouver Island Mountains. As the strongest winds come in from the southwest, this region lies in the rainshadow of nearby Mt Arrowsmith and Mt Moriarty. Clouds heading in off the Pacific drop their moisture over Tofino, Ucluelet and Pt Alberni (ie. about 250 inches) , thereby giving this local microclimate a significantly drier result than both Nanaimo (ie. about 50 inches) to the south and Courtenay/Comox (ie. about 55 inches) to the north. In a normal winter, the strongest winds and perhaps some snow may come in December. Usually by the end of January the crocuses and snowdrops are blooming with Spring heralded in the later parts of February with daffodils.
The area is amenable for almost year-round gardening and golf. Environment Canada rates southeastern Vancouver Island as having the most favourable climate in all of Canada, on the basis of mild winters, abundant sunshine, little fog, light winds and low humidity. Truly a golfer, gardener or sailor's paradise!
The first European settler in the Parkville area was John Hirst, who pre-empted 300 acres of land on both sides of the Englishman River in 1873. Parksville was named after the area's first postmaster, Nelson Park, in 1877. The Village of Parksville was incorporated June 19, 1945. Parksville became a Town on April 1, 1978 and a City on June 1, 1981.
The Parksville beach itself is a truly impressive feature and draws visitors from all over the world. By the way, if shell collecting, please only remove a few of the white Sand Dollar shells from the beach and the living ones are still dark brown.
The new Waterfront Boardwalk is much loved by local residents and visitors alike. Take an early morning or evening stroll along the stimulating beachfront boardwalk with the stunning white-capped Mt. Arrowsmith as a backdrop.
Each summer thousands of visitors come here to experience Parksville’s International Sandcastle Competition.
It is interesting to note that for people who buy real estate here, they often will have visited the area on an average of 6 times previously. Many newcomers first came here as young kids. Then when it came time to retire, they considered what a great place this is and purchased their home here.
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