Parksville, BC, incorporated as a city in 1986, population 11 977 (2011c), 10 993 (2006c). The City of Parksville is located on the east coast of VANCOUVER ISLAND, 35 km northwest of NANAIMO. First known as Englishman's River, Parksville was renamed after a pioneer resident, Francis Parks. It became an important stagecoach stop when the road between Nanaimo and Alberni (see PORT ALBERNI) was completed in 1886. Early settlers, chiefly English, had arrived by 1890. In 1945 it was incorporated as a village and in 1975 as a town. Parksville's population has nearly doubled since civic incorporation.
Parksville depends primarily on tourism; it is a popular summer resort, having fine sandy beaches, good saltwater and freshwater fishing and numerous motels. The city is also the commercial centre for a large logging and agricultural area. The cityscape of Parksville is beach oriented and includes many attractive subdivisions and tree-lined streets, making it a popular retirement centre. The Brant Wildlife Festival in April marks the arrival of the thousands of Pacific black Brant GEESE on their annual migration from Mexico. The large tidal sand flats are also the site of an annual sand-sculpting contest in August. Nearby there are numerous provincial parks (Rathtrevor Beach, Englishman River Falls and Little Qualicum Falls) and other recreation areas (Cathedral Grove and the Mount Arrowsmith Ski Area).