Known as the Heart of Vancouver Island, Port Alberni is a hidden gem. But don’t just take our word for it. We’ve compiled a list of the top 6 reasons why you should live in Port Alberni. We hope you will come to love this area as much as we do.
Reason #1: The Affordable Housing Market
Port Alberni boasts of one of the most affordable housing markets on Vancouver Island. Housing prices are drastically lower than in cities like Victoria and Nanaimo, or even Parksville Qualicum.
According to the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board’s July 2021 market report, the “cost of a benchmark single-family home in Port Alberni reached $488,100, a 47 per cent year-over-year increase.” This is significantly lower compared to Nanaimo, where the benchmark price rose by 31 per cent, hitting $739,000. The Parksville Qualicum area saw its benchmark price increase by 34 per cent to $850,100. In comparison to other Vancouver Island cities, Port Alberni offers a great, affordable, and central location for homeowners.
Reason #2: Port Alberni’s Central Location
Aptly named the “Heart of Vancouver Island,” Port Alberni is situated in a fantastic central location, only a short drive away from some of the most picturesque sites British Columbia has to offer. Often called the “Gateway to the Pacific Rim,” Port Alberni’s valley road leads to the incredible Long Beach and Pacific Rim National Park. The stunning coastal communities of Ucluelet and Tofino are only a 90-minute drive west. If you head east, a 30-minute drive will lead you to Parksville’s gorgeous sandy beaches. The Comox airport is only a 75-minute drive north. The bustling town of Nanaimo is located 1-hour south, along with the BC Ferry Terminal. British Columbia’s capital city, Victoria, is a manageable 2 and a half hours south by car.
Reason #3: The Weather
Summer in Port Alberni usually reaches a comfortable average 26 degrees Celsius. For those who don’t like long, cold, snowy winters, Port Alberni is the perfect place to live. Winter weather rarely reaches below -5 degrees, generally hovering around 0 degrees. As Port Alberni sits in a valley, the winter season sees a lot of fog and rain. If you don’t mind rain and clouds, the mild temperatures is another great reason to live in Port Alberni.
Reason #4: Hiking in Port Alberni
Port Alberni is surrounded by rainforest, lakes, rivers, mountains and ocean. Not surprisingly, it is home to some truly incredible hikes. Port Alberni boasts of hundreds of different trail networks. Some of the most popular trails include the Alberni Inlet Trail, a challenging 3 stage hike, and the Log Train Trail, a beautiful 25 kilometer trail along the foot of Beaufort Range. Another noteworthy hike is the Stamp Long River Trail, a 7.5 kilometer trek paralleling the river.
Reason #5: Port Alberni’s Outdoor Recreation
Port Alberni has so much to offer for people who love outdoor recreation. Close to so many different bodies of water, Port Alberni is a fantastic place for boating. Residents enjoy anything from kayaking to canoeing, wake boarding, wake surfing, kitesurfing, and more. The nearby mountains offer opportunities for rock climbing. Residents also enjoy biking, horseback riding, caving, geo caching, scuba diving, and ATV trails.
The small town of Port Alberni can’t boast of high culture or bustling city life, but residents enjoy a wide variety of outdoor activities, right on their doorstep. Another plus over city living is cheaper gas prices and no paid parking.
Reason #5: Fishing in Port Alberni
Known as the Salmon Capitol of the World, Port Alberni offers some of the best Sockeye, Chinook, and Coho fishing in the world. Top fishing spots include Alberni Inlet, Barkley Sound, Somass River, and Stamp River. Port Alberni was named the Ultimate Fishing Town in Canada, a testament to its amazing fishing opportunities, for visitors and locals alike.
Reason #6: The Port Alberni Community
For a small town of approximately 25,000 people, Port Alberni offers a rich community. Port Alberni is a popular place for retirees because of the warm climate, outdoor recreation, and low cost of living. New subdivisions are being built especially for retirees – bungalow style homes with small manageable yards. The town ensures that all residents have access to incredible health care facilities.
Port Alberni is also a great place to settle for young families. The fresh air, the outdoor opportunities and active lifestyle is a huge draw for families. The town offers 6 elementary schools, including a French emersion program, as well as 3 private schools.
Port Alberni was built on the traditional territories of the Tseshaht First Nation and the Hupacasath First Nation. The rich culture and history of these First Nations can be seen throughout the Alberni Valley.
We hope these 6 reasons to live in Port Alberni has convinced you to lay down roots in this beautiful area. We’d love for you to join our thriving community.
For more information about buying or selling in Port Alberni, don’t hesitate to contact one of our Port Alberni REALTORS®.