June 20 – August 29

Photo by Mike Anderson


Taking place over eleven consecutive weeks, from June 21st to August 30th, The Commercial Street Night Market makes for an amazing downtown Nanaimo experience.

Between 5pm and 9pm on Thursday evenings, Commercial Street, the city’s ‘main street’, will be closed to vehicle traffic to allow pedestrians to enjoy 100+ vendors, local merchants, booths, exhibits, and tents.

Food trucks will be parked along the street for a tasty and convenient bite.

Many permanent downtown businesses, sidewalk cafes, art stores, and clothing shops, etc., will be joining in on the fun by extending their hours until the late evening.

Multiple performance stages showcasing different talent each week will be up and rocking; if you love music and dance you don’t want to miss this event.

Keep an eye out for the climbing wall, dunk tank, and giant Jenga present each and every Thursday.

What to do Before and After The Market

Photos by Mike Anderson


Before you hit the streets:

  • Take a walk on the waterfront, grab an ice cream or a gelato cone from one of our downtown shops, and check out all the cute little stores.
  • Enjoy a nice dinner at one of Commercial Street’s sidewalk cafés and restaurants, or head to the Old City Quarter for a bite to eat.
  • Participate in the 10-stop self-guided ‘Art Crawl’: flyers available at The Nanaimo Art Gallery, Nanaimo Arts Council (Wharf Street), Gallery Merrick or at the Night Market.

After the Market:

  • Stroll along the harbour at twilight;
  • Relax at one of downtown Nanaimo’s pubs or 19+ lounges (we recommend you ask your server about local craft beers and regional wines).
  • Party the night away at one of our nightclubs — Level 2, Koncept, or Evolve.
  • Enjoy some late-night tapas (Food Koma is open till 3am Thursday-Saturday and they have bubble tea!).

Top 10 Instagrammable Commercial Street Moments

Photo by the Tourism Nanaimo Marketing Team


  • Take a picture of yourself and friends sitting on the sidewalk patio in front of the retro neon sign outside Modern Cafe. Have one of their signature cocktail in hand.
  • Share a photo of your new Vancouver Island-inspired outfit from Local by Lucid.
  • Make an original pose in front of the giant tuning fork statue outside the Vancouver Island Regional Library at 90 Commercial Street. The flower gardens in this courtyard also make for a great backdrop.
  • Take a picture of the historic and photogenic Great National Land Building located at the top end of Commercial Street
  • For a fun pic, pat the dog mannequin outside of NYLA Fresh Thread (a men’s clothing store)
  • Show your colours crossing the Rainbow Crosswalk at the intersection of Bastion St. and Commercial St.
  • Show your love of old-school architecture with a picture of the Palace Hotel (a downtown heritage building) on Skinner Street, just off of Commercial Street
  • Take a picture of the artwork you just purchased from Gallery Merrick
  • Take a focal point photo of the view of the Bastion (one of Nanaimo’s oldest and most recognizable landmarks), visible from the corner of Bastion Street and Commercial Street
  • Foodgram a picture of yourself with a Cold Front Gelato cone #yum #nomnom


  • The murals that decorate the corner buildings on the corner of Terminal Avenue and Commercial Street (painted by the folks at humanity in art). Look for the angel wings on the north side of the building.

— Written by Curtis Havekotte