Vancouver is located on the Pacific coast of Canada and is one of the most important ports on the Pacific Ocean. The city has about 700,000 inhabitants, is modern, characterized by skyscrapers and futuristic buildings, but at the same time is surrounded by natural landscapes of undeniable beauty. The city is equipped with modern infrastructure. It has an excellent public transport system and a well-developed network of bike paths. As a rule, everything works perfectly. There is practically no racial tension and crime is really minimal. You can easily walk alone almost anywhere in the city at night. The health care system is good, the schools and universities are excellent, and the bureaucracy is virtually nonexistent.
Vancouver’s only problem is traffic. The city was not built for today’s high number of vehicles Fortunately, the city’s transportation network is very efficient and covers the entire city. It is no coincidence that Vancouver is one of the cities with the best quality of life in the world.
As for the weather, Vancouver is one of the Canadian cities with the best weather. Temperatures reach up to 28 °C in summer, while in winter they drop to -4/5 °C. The peculiarity of the climate in the city is the rain. In Vancouver it rains a lot throughout the year. It can rain continuously for weeks, and the sky is gloomy and gray, rarely allowing a glimpse of a blue sky.
Living in Vancouver is expensive: the high cost of living is due to a number of factors. The cost of food is high: in winter, for example, fruits and vegetables must be imported from abroad, not to mention the immense distances that must be traveled to distribute the goods. In any case, the biggest problem is the very high cost of housing, the highest in Canada. So unless you have a very well paying job ($7,000 CAD or more per month), you can not afford to rent an apartment, or you have to live in a shared apartment.
Vancouver is the most ethnically diverse English-speaking city. Almost 50% of the population is of European origin and about 25% of Chinese origin. This multiculturalism is the reason for the great tolerance and the absence of any form of racism.
Foreigners are always welcome, the locals are used to their presence and will do everything to make you feel welcome. People are generally friendly and helpful. It is quite easy to socialize and meet new people, but it is much harder to make deep friendships. Finding a “true friend” is extremely rare. It is very difficult to build this kind of relationship abroad. It is possible to form lasting friendships with other immigrants. Building an intense relationship with a native person, on the other hand, is much more complicated. First, because of cultural differences, and second, because locals perceive the presence of an expatriate, albeit unconsciously, as a temporary presence that they can leave at any time, and therefore tend not to become emotionally involved in a relationship of uncertain duration
If you are looking for entertainment, Vancouver is not the city for you, there are not many clubs that offer entertainment and very few that offer live music. A perfect city, but also a bit boring. On the other hand, if you love outdoor life, this is the place for you, because the nature that surrounds the city is fantastic. Islands to visit, mountains to ski, the sea to sail and rivers or lakes to row.
As for work, the unemployment rate is below 5%, the lowest average in all of Canada. Vancouver is one of the largest manufacturing centers in the country and offers significant opportunities in many areas: Technology, Construction and Tourism.
Get a low-skilled job: waiter, messenger, etc. It’s relatively easy and takes no more than one/two days. The problem is that you can survive on the minimum wage, which is not that low ($15 CAD /hour), but unfortunately you have to face a very high cost of living. However, if you find a good job, you can enjoy high wages and good working hours, which in other words means a good work-life balance. The problem for a foreigner is to obtain a work visa to enter and work in Canada. The best option is to obtain a degree in Canada that will allow you to obtain a work permit to stay and work in Canada.
Living and working in Vancouver, pros and cons
Living in Vancouver, pros
- Excellent services (health, transportation, school)
- Very green city
- Safe city with low crime rate
- Excellent job opportunities
- Friendly and helpful people
- Beautiful, unspoiled nature
Living in Vancouver, cons
- Very high cost of living
- Often gray and rainy weather
- Few entertainment options
Is it better to live in Vancouver or Toronto?
Many wonder whether it is better to live on the Atlantic coast of Canada (Toronto) or on the Pacific coast (Vancouver) – both are English-speaking cities.
- The weather in Vancouver is better and less cold, and there is less snowfall than in Toronto
- Life is more relaxed and laid back in Vancouver than in Toronto
- Entertainment options are greater in Toronto
- Although both cities have an enviable natural environment, Vancouver is preferable
- The cost of living in Toronto is lower than in Vancouver
- Toronto offers more job opportunities than Vancouver
- Vancouver is considered the city with the best quality of life
- Vancouver is more expensive than Toronro
So is it better to live in Vancouver or Toronto? The answer is: it depends. If you are interested in work and career, I would definitely prefer Toronto. On the other hand, if you love a quieter and more relaxed lifestyle, Vancouver is the city for you.
If you want all the information about moving to Canada, read the article: How to move to Canada
If you want all the information about working in Canada, read the article: How to work in Canada