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Moving to Vancouver: Your Relocation Guide

October 12, 2021
Vancouver is a pretty underrated city. While it may not be Canada's capital city, it's practically tantamount to it with how big and bust it is. Not to mention it's quite a major city itself, rivaling the likes of New York, Los Angeles, and even Paris and London! Similar to those cities, there are so many things to see and do in Vancouver, as well as a growing global community. So don't be surprised if, one day, you might see yourself moving to Vancouver someday. And when that happens, let this relocation guide help you with all the basics.

Moving to Vancouver: Your Relocation Guide



What to Know Before Moving to Vancouver

Before moving to Vancouver, here are a few things worth knowing about the city.


  • Vancouver is one of the most expensive cities in Canada.


  • Since it's a coastal city, a few great beaches are here.


  • There are many mountains nearby too. 



  • Prepare for all four seasons here.


  • Renting typically starts on the 1st or 15th day of the month.


  • Vancouver is also a popular site for TV and movie filming locations. 


Moving to Vancouver Pros & Cons

As with any other city, there are pros and cons to moving to Vancouver.



  • A bustling business hub


  • Stable job market


  • Lots of natural beauty


  • Efficient public transport


  • Relatively low crime rates




  • High living costs


  • Prone to traffic jams


  • Fairly limited housing


  • Expect frequent cold climates


  • Vandalism is a common crime here


Overview of Vancouver

Vancouver is a major city in Canada. With a current population of around 678,984 residents, it's one of the biggest cities in the world. The same goes for its land size too. Vancouver's metropolitan area covers about 115.18 km2 (44.47 square miles) in British Columbia. Since the city is in North America, Vancouver also gets all four seasons. Since it was formed in 1886, the city has seen snow every winter, usually during its coldest month, January, which has an average temperature of 4.3 °C (40 °F). Its hottest month is August, with an average temperature of 18°C (65°F). 


What to Visit in Vancouver

While it's not the most popular tourist destination in the world, there's still a lot to see in Vancouver. Stanley Park with its horse-drawn carriages and Science World with its shimmering metallic dome are a couple of highlights. As are the historic Burnaby Village Museum and the Vandusen Botanical Garden. These are just some of the places worth visiting in Vancouver. 


What to Do in Vancouver

You'd be surprised at how much there is to do in Vancouver for a day, what more if you move to the city? Apart from the usual museum-browsing and retail shopping, you can check out Gastown, for example. This is the city's historic quarter with a famous steam clock, one of the last of its kind. You can also visit the Wander Van Dusen Botanical Gardens and relax amidst the botanical bliss. But if you're more of an adventurous type, there are countless nearby rivers for kayaking or mountains for hiking. Take your chance to drive up the famous Sea-to-Sky Corridor too and enjoy its scenic views. 

Moving to Vancouver: Your Relocation Guide

Source: Wikimedia Commons 


Getting Around Vancouver

Since it's a major city, Vancouver's public transport will help you get around much faster and easier. The city's light rapid transit system, for example, more commonly known as the Skytrain, goes through most of the districts. No matter where you're going within Vancouver, you can be sure that there will be a Skytrain station not too far from the place. You can also hail taxis off the street or ride the bus. The latter follows the set timetables diligently so you can always get the chance to catch it. 


Getting Around Vancouver Without a Car

As already mentioned, Vancouver's public transport is efficient enough that you can easily get around without a car. And when all else fails, you can always rely on a transportation app to bring you to your next destination. Popular ride-hailing apps like Uber and Lyft operate in Vancouver, providing another, albeit more expensive, option for commuting. 

Moving to Vancouver: Your Relocation Guide

Source: Wikimedia Commons 


Where to Live in Vancouver

Naturally, a major city is bound to be a diverse one. Vancouver is no different! The many neighborhoods in Vancouver differ from each other in more ways than one. So when you do plan to move here, you must choose a place that fits your specific lifestyle. Are you more into big-city living? Downtown Vancouver might prove to be perfect for you in the long run. The quaint district of Gastown, on the other hand, will fit you better if you prefer a better blend of lively urban energy and a peaceful historic district. There's also the Kitsilano neighborhood, which is perfect for a peaceful stay with the whole family. 


Where to Live in Vancouver as a Young Professional

If you're moving to Vancouver as a young professional, you'll want to stay in either Downtown Vancouver, Gastown, Yaletown, or the West End. These districts are at the heart of the metropolitan area, near many of the company headquarters and office buildings in the city. And even if you're a freelancer, these places are also where you'll find some of the best coworking spaces in Vancouver. 


Where to Live in Vancouver with a Family

Kitsilano, Shaughnessy, Dunbar, West Point Grey, South Granville, and Burnaby are some of the best neighborhoods in Vancouver for a family. They're all peaceful districts that are generally safe, near great schools, and other fun attractions the kids will love too. 

Moving to Vancouver: Your Relocation Guide

Source: Wikimedia Commons 


Living Costs in Vancouver

There's no getting around it: the living costs in Vancouver are high. It makes sense that if you want to enjoy the city's high standard of living, you'll have to contend with its high living costs. While Vancouver is far from the most expensive city in the world, it's undoubtedly not the most affordable. A single adult alone spends about C$1,609.60 per month in Vancouver on top of their rent. Meanwhile, a family of four spends an average of C$5,883.40 per month on top of their rent. Considering that the average net salary here is about C$4,220.76, it shows that a good chunk of your money goes to your daily and monthly expenses. 


Monthly Living Costs in Vancouver

Let's break it down a bit more starting with rent. How much does it cost to rent a luxury apartment in Vancouver? A minimum of C$1,800.00 to a maximum of C$6,000.00 per month. How about your utility bills? How much do they cost? Well, the basics (electricity, water, heating, etc.) can cost around C$99.17 to C$304.98 per month while wifi costs about C$50.40 to C$110.00 per month. And there are your food expenses. If you're the type to eat out regularly, know that you'll likely spend about C$18.00 to C$40.00 per mean in a mid-range restaurant. Do you think you can afford all that?

Moving to Vancouver: Your Relocation Guide

Source: Wikimedia Commons 


Employment in Vancouver

If you're moving to Vancouver, it probably means that your job relocated you here. But that's not the case, know that it's that hard to find a job in Canada, especially in a big city like Vancouver. For one thing, Canada's job market is fairly stable. The country is currently enjoying a low unemployment rate of 5.8%, solid proof that there's a good chance you'll land employment here. At the same time, the city's main industries are diverse, ranging from trade, technology, and natural resources to film, television, and of course, tourism. This opens up your possibilities even more. 


What is The Employment Rate in Vancouver?

Want further proof that there's a good chance you'll get a job in Vancouver? The city's current employment rate is 61.7%, much higher compared to other Canadian cities or even entire countries. 

Moving to Vancouver: Your Relocation Guide

Source: Wikimedia Commons 


Education in Vancouver

If you're moving to Vancouver with your entire family, you'll also have to think about where your kids will continue their schooling. Since this is a big change in their lives, will their education suffer because of it? Of course not! There are many great international schools in Vancouver, for starers. Enroll them in the finest institutions like Lord Byng Secondary School, Mulgrave School, or West Point Grey Academy and they're sure to receive the best education your money can buy! 


How is The Education in Vancouver?

Vancouver offers high-quality education by way of its many fine schools. The city is filled with outstanding educational institutions that offer well-detailed academic programs, excellent facilities, and some of the best teachers in the country. 


Is Education in Vancouver Free?

Yes but only for public schools. If you want to enroll your little ones in any of the previously mentioned international schools, you'll have to pay their commonly hefty tuition fees. 

Moving to Vancouver: Your Relocation Guide

Source: Wikimedia Commons 


Healthcare in Vancouver

Canada's healthcare operates on a universal system, Medicare, which means you'll get access the moment you became a legal resident of the country. Of course, this applies to when you relocate to Vancouver too. Once you've gotten your legal papers sorted and you can finally settle down in the city, handling your health coverage ought to be one of the first things you do. The public coverage is good enough but you'd do well to get a private medical plan on top of it if you can afford to. This gives you more access to the country's healthcare, including private hospitals and clinics. The more options you have, the better. 


Is Healthcare in Vancouver Free?

No, it's not. Canada's universal health coverage only provides financial assistance for your medical needs. It doesn't pay everything for you. 


How is Healthcare in Vancouver?

Excellent! There are many prominent hospitals in Vancouver that are well-equipped in dealing with all sorts of patients with all sorts of health problems. There's the Vancouver General Hospital, for example, which specializes in trauma care, and transplant surgeries, among many others. It's one of the biggest hospitals in the city and the staff are more than able to handle even foreign patients. There's also British Columbia's Children's Hospital, which boasts one of the finest pediatrics departments and maternity wards in the entire country. 

Moving to Vancouver: Your Relocation Guide

Source: Wikimedia Commons 


Safety in Vancouver

While it's not exactly the safest city in the world, Vancouver's crime rates are not that bad. They're not the lowest but they're by no means the highest too. Currently. the city is enjoying a fairly moderate 44.02% general crime rate. It's not a serious cause for concern, but it still pays to be careful when you go out and about. Especially since Vancouver's rate of increasing crimes is 63.60%, which is considered high. 


Crime and Safety in Vancouver

If you want to get more specific about it, Vancouver's highest crime rate is drug dealing at 75.04%. It's considered high, which means it's more rampant compared to other commonly committed crimes in the city. The second-highest is a combo of vandalism and theft, which have a combined rate of 55.29%. And for the third-highest, it's car theft, which currently has a rate of 54.52%. 


How Safe is Vancouver?


Generally speaking, Vancouver is a safe place. The city currently boasts a high safety rate of 78.97% during the day. At night, it falls to 54.69% which is still moderate. Not bad, right? 

Moving to Vancouver: Your Relocation Guide

Source: Wikimedia Commons 


Taxes in Vancouver

Before you even step foot into Vancouver, you really ought to learn about Canada's tax system first. The way they do taxes here may be practically similar to those in other countries, but still! Canada is Canada and the more you understand about the way the country operates, the better your stay here will be. All you really have to worry about as an expat here is your income tax. Note that it's normal that your employer will already deduct your monthly contribution from your paycheck before they give it to you. 


What are The Taxes in Vancouver?

Apart from your income, Canada also imposes taxes on sales, property, and corporate activities. Even if you may never encounter any of these, it still pays to learn about them and how to go about paying them. 


Are Taxes High in Vancouver?

Not necessarily. Taxes in Vancouver are generally the same as in other parts of Canada. Perhaps the only difference is the city's property taxes. Since Vancouver real estate is popular and constantly in demand, the city's property taxes are slightly higher compared to other cities in the country. 

Moving to Vancouver: Your Relocation Guide

Source: Wikimedia Commons 


Relocation Tips for Vancouver

Before settling down here, here are a few tips worth remembering and following upon moving to Vancouver.


  • Pack some winter clothes. 


  • It's easier when you have a credit card here. 




  • Save money as often as you can. 


  • It won’t hurt to learn some French. 




  • Always follow proper Canadian business etiquette at work. 


  • Go out into nature every once in a while. 


Moving to Vancouver: Your Relocation Guide

Source: Wikimedia Commons 


Moving to Vancouver can be the easiest thing in the world if you know what you need and what to do. Fortunately, this Vancouver relocation guide lays out all the basics. It can help you settle down in the city much more easily.


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Vancouver, Canada
277 $ / night    
3 bedrooms2 bathrooms6-6