If you were wondering what is living in Vancouver like, know that this Pacific metropolis is consistently ranked among the top five cities in the world in terms of livability, quality of life, eco-friendliness, and urban planning. Add to it the fact that it will take you about 45 minutes to reach the US, and you may have found yourself a perfect home up north.
If you are considering moving to Canada for good, remember that you will be a resident of the second-largest country in the world by territory and the tenth-largest economy, with Vancouver as its largest port. Finding a job, a good education, and something fun to do should not be that hard in Canada’s third-largest metropolitan area and of the most densely populated places in North America.
Nevertheless, before you start the adventure called moving to Vancouver, we’d like to introduce you to the most popular neighborhoods, the cost of everyday life and everything that the so-called Hollywood North has to offer in terms of entertainment.
Living in a Good Neighborhood Is Essential When Moving Abroad, and Hollywood North Has Plenty of Those
- Downtown is a business center brimming with tourist attractions. From studio apartments to two-bedroom flats and duplexes, rent varies depending on the exact location. Besides, you will be minutes away from the famous shopping district in Robson Street. Buy yourself some nice things and enjoy your life in downtown.
- The city of Burnaby is cheaper than most other areas. Its suburban vibe is perfect for all of those who want to escape the urban jungle that is the center. The SkyTrain, a rapid transit system, covers the location, making it accessible and well connected.
- Marpole is a family-oriented area because it provides its residents with spacious properties with large bedrooms and gardens. If you are moving with your pet, and you want them to have a space to run around, pick Marpole; you won’t make a mistake.
- East Van is excellent for those who don’t want to live downtown. When you find housing here, take a walk around Main Street. You can be your own guide and explore all the hidden gems of the location on foot.
Keep in mind that this is just a (very) brief list of the top “Raincouver” residential areas. The metropolis is made of 23 official neighborhoods divided into several smaller districts and communities, each with its own charm. Before you pick one to call home, do your research and make sure you choose the right one according to your needs, preferences, and budget.
A Guide for Choosing the Right Spot
Are you going to be working in Vancouver? Or maybe you are relocating because of educational opportunities? No matter the reason, some areas will be better than the others for you. After all, if you figure out how to immigrate to Canada, you will figure out what the perfect spot to settle down is. Go over housing prices, crime levels, commute time, the overall vibe of the neighborhood, and entertainment options in the vicinity. With those pieces of information, it will be easier to make a decision.
Living in Vancouver Can Be Expensive
According to data from independent online guide LivingInCanada, house and apartment prices are the highest in the country, but if you opt for renting, prices can be more affordable. To buy a property, you will need around $1,200 for a square foot in the center and $900 in other locations.
Essential monthly utilities, according to data from the online database Numbeo, would cost you around $90, with an additional internet bill of $75. Compared to Toronto, it is 10% pricier. Also, if you want to save up, you might want to reconsider mobile data usage, because it is not cheap like in the US.
Phone Plans Can Be an Issue
Keep in mind that phone plans are something of an issue for many Americans living in the Great White North. Those people who spend a lot of time online will have to pay a lot of money to have more than one gigabyte of mobile data. Check out more than one provider and settle for the one that has promotions that you like. Some cost less than others, but they still offer only up to five gigabytes of data. However, even if you run out of data, the city is well covered with free wi-fi, so you won’t stay off-grid for too long.
You Need to Embrace All Forms of Transportation
The city is surrounded by water on three sides but is connected with several bridges to the north and south. Locals who don’t live in the center can use bus services, sky trains, streetcars, and west coast express trains to get by. Besides, ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft started operating in the city in January 2020, after years of delays. Of course, you can always get around with traditional taxis or on a bike.
The metropolis doesn’t have a freeway that goes through Downtown, but Highways 1A, 7, 10, 15, 17, and 91 are in the region. So if you want to, feel free to sit behind the wheel and drive.
When Living in Vancouver, Consider Driving
If you want to ship your car to your new location, know that you will be able to drive through toll-free highways. Also, with a major road network, you will be able to reach every part of the metropolis with relative ease. The rules and regulations for traffic are similar to those in the US, so you won’t have to get used to any significant changes.
You Can Open a Bank Account as an Expat
Money is an indispensable part of everyday life, and it makes the world go round. When it comes to international moving, it is smart to open a bank account in the country you are relocating to. Transactions will be faster, and you will avoid high fees. As an American, know that you can have a bank account in Canada. All you should do is provide your chosen bank with a passport, immigration papers, social insurance number, and a second form of ID.
Basic Medical Care Is Free
It is better to be safe than sorry, especially when it comes to your health and the health of your family. If you are moving with kids, you will want to provide them with the best healthcare possible. Luckily, basic medical care in the metropolis is covered by the Medical Services Plan of British Columbia (MSP). Expats who are moving to the city are also eligible for MSP coverage. Even though basic care is free, patients must pay for additional treatments or non-emergency check-ups.
The Rain City Has That Singing-and-Dancing-in-the-Rain Vibe
Don’t forget your umbrella when packing for an international relocation, because you are going to one of the wettest Canadian cities. Here you can sing and dance in the rain but also enjoy some of the warmest winters in the country, where it snows only nine days a year.
You Will Be Entertained in Hollywood North – From Great Restaurants to Museums and Festivals
After all the moving stress and unpacking is over with, you should kick back and relax. Luckily, you chose the right place to do so. Everybody can find plenty of things to do, from outdoor enthusiasts to homebodies. If you want an adventure, you will get it.
You Will Be Moving to the Home of the Best Restaurants
This British Columbia gem is proud of its immigrants, and that can be seen in the variety of international restaurants here. Foodie fans of Chinese, Filipino, and Indian cuisine can find plenty of restaurants to satisfy their cravings. When you are done eating your way around the city, you can hit a nightclub or a pub or check out some of the best entertainment options.
There is a Variety of Entertainment Options
Vancouverites have a vibrant and growing art scene, and if you are one of those who appreciate fine art, make a day out of visiting galleries and museums. Also, with the International Fringe Festival and the International Film Festival, movie buffs will have a place to go to when they want to enjoy new movies.
Due to the proximity of the ocean, rivers, lakes, mountains, and beaches, this is a perfect spot for golfing, canoeing, snowboarding, cycling, and any other outdoor activity that crosses your mind.
Live Like a True Vancouverite
Even though the housing market is for those with deep pockets, don’t let it discourage you when it comes to settling down in the most populous city of British Columbia. With a good career and carefully chosen neighborhood, you will be able to afford a comfortable living.
Try international cuisines, go outside and hike, bike, and bask in nature’s glory. When you feel nostalgic, drop by to the US and see your friends. America is just a short drive away.