From Coal to Cosmopolitan: Nanaimo Historical Walking Tour

Whether you’re new to Nanaimo, a visitor, or a born and bred local, join us for a leisurely, 1.5 hour long, guided walking tour that will engage, educate, and entertain!

About This Tour

Voted First Place in Canada’s inaugural “Great Streets” competition, you will get a chance to explore a vital, thriving downtown that celebrates its historic past while embracing its cosmopolitan rebirth. (And, of course, no Nanaimo tour is complete without an insider’s tip on where to find (and eat!) the best of the world famous Nanaimo Bar).


  • A stroll down the revitalized historic Commercial Street
  • A visit to Nanaimo’s original economic downtown core, the Old City Quarter
  • Observe and learn about some of the city’s distinct architectural styles, including a photo stop at a little-known vantage point of the city’s earliest “Frontier” or “Boomtown” style buildings
  • Insider pointers on best places to eat, drink, and shop
  • Cannon firing at high noon (for morning tours only; seasonal - check for availability)

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Tour Details

Ticket Pricing

Per Person
Children 10 & under

Above rates are per person. Rates do not include 5% GST. All pricing listed in Canadian dollars (CAD).

Payment & Policies

Deposits are not required for this tour. Full payment is due prior to tour departure.
Making a payment
Once your booking has been confirmed we will provide you with a link to our secure online payment gateway. Payment can be made ahead of departure via credit card, Paypal, or e-Transfer. Cash payments are accepted in person as the tour departs (credit/debit card payment not available at tour departure). Interac e-Transfer
Refunds & cancellations
Full refunds will be provided up to 24 hours prior to departure if given notice of cancellation (excluding 4% fee if booked by credit card). No refunds given within 24 hours of tour. Note: If extenuating circumstances force a cancellation of any tour by Detours, there will be a full refund.

Tour Group Size

Min. # of guests
2 guestsTo schedule this tour, we require at least 2 guests. Don’t worry if your party is less than this number: we may have other guests lined up, and we will do our best to make sure your tour goes ahead.
Max. # of guests
15 guestsIn order to provide the best experience, we do not allow more than 15 guests for this tour.

Scheduled Dates

This tour does not currently have any pre-scheduled dates, but can still be booked by private groups. Tap the button to request a custom date, or just phone 250-619-3734.
Request your date

Tour Summary

Tour Duration
1.5 hours
Activity Level
This tour is geared towards those with the ability to withstand walking and intermittent periods of standing. Children must be accompanied by a parent at all times.
Group Size
Minimum of 2 guests, maximum of 15 guests
Pick-up Location
Option A: 10:30am start time; meet at the Bastion (98 Front Street) in Nanaimo; tour ends at same place at the ceremonial Cannon Firing (seasonal – check for availability)
Pick-up Location
Option B: 1:00pm start time; meet at the Bastion (98 Front Street) in Nanaimo; tour ends at same place (there is no Cannon Firing on this tour; however, you are encouraged to partake in the ceremonial firing every day at noon at the Bastion on your own; free to the public).

Notes & Fine Print

Please note: if you are looking to join a tour during a time of day that is not listed above, please contact us as we may be able to accommodate your request.

Request a Reservation

Your Tour Your Way

Do you have a special request? Just let us know!We are happy to work with you to make sure your tour is just right. All you have to do is request a reservation and make sure to include the unique needs of your group.

Request a Reservation

This tour does not currently have any pre-scheduled dates, but can still be booked by private groups. Let us know your preferred date, or phone 250-619-3734 for details.