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Parksville is a city on Vancouver Island, in British Columbia, Canada. The city is on Highway 19A, 37 kilometres north-west of Nanaimo, 48 kilometres east of Port Alberni and 7 kilometres south-east of Qualicum Beach, between Englishman River and French Creek. At the 2011 census, Parksville's population is 11,977 and it is the 15th-largest municipality on Vancouver Island in terms of population.

Parksville is best known for its large sandy beaches at Parksville Bay and Craig Bay. The city's best-known annual event, since 1982, is a sandcastle-building competition in the summer, dubbed "Parksville Beachfest". Beachfest is a World Championship Sand Sculpting official qualification event.

Local media, businesses, and civil services frequently refer to Parksville, with its adjacent municipalities, as the community of "Oceanside", typically including Qualicum Beach, French Creek, Coombs/Hilliers, Errington and Nanoose.Template:Citation needed

HistoryEdit

The Spanish were the first Europeans to explore the area in 1791. In Spanish maps, the Englishman River is called "Rio de Grullas," (River of Cranes, i.e. herons) while French Creek is named "Punta de Leonardo."

The first European settler in the Parksville area was John Hirst, who pre-empted 120 hectares (300 acres) of land on both sides of the Englishman River in 1873. The River, as it was known, remained an outpost until the turn of the century when a road was built from Nanaimo.

A post office soon followed in 1877, with mail distributed from the cabin of Nelson Parks (to which Parksville owes its namesake).

At that time, logging was a major industry and the extension of the Esquimalt and Nanaimo (E & N) Railway in 1901, to McBride Junction spurred Parksville’s growth and the beginning of a tourism boom, mainly Vancouver Islanders who travelled to Parksville to enjoy the incredible beaches.

Motels, stores, resorts and campgrounds soon followed and the community continues to prosper today. The Village of Parksville was incorporated June 19, 1945. Parksville became a town on April 1, 1978, and a city on February 15, 1986.

EconomyEdit

Tertiary sector and secondary sector jobs make up the largest part of the Parksville economy. The three largest types of occupations in Parksville are the service industry; the construction industry; and the business, financial, and administration industries. These are the largest sectors of the city's economy largely due to the summer tourism industry, and a large influx of retirees moving into the area. There is also a fair amount of primary sector industry in the surrounding areas of Parksville, primarily fishing and forestry.

There is an industrial park located in the south-east section of the city, which includes many small tradesman shops.

TourismEdit

Parksville has long been a tourist location primarily catering to people from across Vancouver Island as well as Greater Vancouver.

Parksville Beach (located at Community Park) and Rathtrevor Beach (located at Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park) have long been the city's two main attractions. There are many hotels and motels and two R.V. parks located in the vicinity of Parksville Beach, while there are also numerous resorts and camping opportunities offered near Rathtrevor Beach.

Tourist attractions located within the city include:

  • Community Park [1]
  • Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park
  • The MAC on McMillan (Oceanside Community Arts Council) [2]
  • Craig Heritage Park [3]
  • Paradise Mini Golf [4]
  • Riptide Lagoon Adventure Golf [5]
  • Sunset Bowling Lanes [6]
  • Englishman River Estuary
  • Pacific Rainforest Adventure Tours [7]

Other tourist attractions that are located near the City include:

Sport and recreationEdit

Parksville is home to the Oceanside Generals of the VIJHL.

ClimateEdit

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DemographicsEdit

Parksville had a population of 10,993 people in 2006, which was an increase of 6.5% from the 2001 census count. The median household income in 2006 for Parksville was $55,524, which is below the British Columbia provincial average of $62,346.[1]

Canada 2006 Census Population  % of Total Population
Visible minority group
Source:[2]
Chinese 40 Template:Percentage
South Asian 85 Template:Percentage
Black 0 Template:Percentage
Filipino 40 Template:Percentage
Latin American 15 Template:Percentage
Southeast Asian 15 Template:Percentage
Arab 0 Template:Percentage
West Asian 0 Template:Percentage
Korean 35 Template:Percentage
Japanese 75 Template:Percentage
Other visible minority 10 Template:Percentage
Mixed visible minority 0 Template:Percentage
Total visible minority population 310 Template:Percentage
Aboriginal group
Source:[3]
First Nations 360 Template:Percentage
Métis 0 Template:Percentage
Inuit 0 Template:Percentage
Total Aboriginal population 360 Template:Percentage
White 10,130 Template:Percentage
Total population 10,800 100%

EducationEdit

The City of Parksville is located within School District 69 Qualicum. Springwood Elementary, Oceanside Elementary and Ballenas Secondary School are all located within Parksville. School District 69 also operates a Continuing Education Centre, Collaborative Education Alternate Program and PASS/Woodwinds Alternate School in Parksville.

A regional campus of Vancouver Island University is located in Parksville.

ReferencesEdit

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External linksEdit

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