Moving to Vancouver | Country Guides | I Love Moving

Everything You Need to Know About Moving to Vancouver

Posted Country Guides / October 31, 2020
Blake Shaw

Bostonian and residential moving and packing expert. Blake Shaw enjoys bar-hopping, music, and writing insightful content.

Do you often catch yourself daydreaming about living in a big city filled with friendly faces and surrounded by breath-taking nature? Perhaps you should consider moving to Vancouver and fulfilling that fantasy. Located in British Columbia, this place has both the vibrancy of a metropolis and the serenity of a resort.

In case you are not that familiar with our northern neighbors, Canada is the world’s second-largest country right after Russia. Also known as the Great White North, it is a culturally diverse region with a rich history. It is widely renowned as one of the friendliest countries in the world, and if you keep reading, you’ll see it’s for a good reason.

Is Vancouver a Good Place to Live?

As it happens, Vancouver is one of the most popular migration areas in the country. It is well-known for its unique and diverse environment and tolerant, hospitable people. It has a long-standing reputation for ranking high among the top ten cities with the best quality of life year after year. If you are looking for a fresh start, this is the perfect place for it!

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It is Culturally Diverse

Being the most populated city in British Columbia, it is celebrated as a mecca of multiculturalism. Walking down the streets, you will hear a variety of different languages, including Chinese, Spanish, Tagalog, and many indigenous dialects. The Canadian government practices something called official bilingualism, which means both English and French are state languages, so before coming to this city, make sure to brush up on some tips for learning a new language. All in all, this metropolis is a melting pot of cultural diversity, a fact its people are very proud of, so you shouldn’t worry about fitting in.

The Art Scene is Thrilling

There is a lot of energy devoted to keeping the art scene thriving. The local community invests a lot of effort into maintaining its galleries and museums. If you’re an art buff, make time to visit the Vancouver Art Gallery, famous for its collection of historical and contemporary art from British Columbia, including works from First Nations artists. It also provides an excellent scholarship program and has recently founded the Institute of Asian Art.

British Columbia Has the Best Climate

Canada is infamous for its unyielding winters. However, you will be pleased to know that British Columbia has the best climate in the country. Due to its geographical location, the snowfall is usually light. The only thing that could get mildly annoying is those heavy rainfalls during spring and autumn. Fun fact: the city is sometimes referred to as Raincouver!

Is it Hard Moving to Vancouver, Canada?

Before focusing on breaking the language barrier, you should determine whether you’re relocating temporarily or permanently. A high percentage of US citizens move to Canada every year, so it shouldn’t be that hard. Depending on the nature of your stay, there are dozens of different immigration programs you could consider. If you are only interested in a short-term visit, you can apply for a temporary residency and spend up to six months in the country. However, if you are relocating for a job opportunity or as an exchange student, you should specifically apply for a work or student visa. In particular, Vancouver offers excellent opportunities for studying abroad that costs even less than education in the US.

How to Move to Vancouver? A Quick Guide to Express Entry

If you are moving to Canada indefinitely, you should consider Express Entry. It takes about six months to be granted permanent residency, so there’s plenty of time to make the necessary preparations for your international relocation. You will need to fill out a free CanadaVisa assessment form and meet all the requirements. If there are family members you wish to take with you, it’s best to specify that right away. Should you be moving to Canada with pets as a permanent resident, you will have to follow the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) guidelines.

Is it Expensive to Live in Vancouver, Canada?

One of the most challenging aspects of adjusting to a new country is getting used to the new currency. In this case, it’s the Canadian dollar (CAD,) and you will need a lot of it.

The Financial Pros and Cons of Moving Overseas to This City

Full disclosure, living in Vancouver is quite expensive. The average cost of living is higher than in the United States, including everyday expenses, gas prices, and especially real estate. However, as a permanent resident, you will have access to free emergency medical services and public health insurance. That is a life-changing difference and almost reason enough to pack your bags and head to the airport.

What Salary Do I Need to Live in Vancouver? Be Prepared When Moving Abroad

After reading this, you’re probably asking yourself how much money is enough to live comfortably. The average annual salary is approximately 32,500 Canadian dollars, so you can get by with around 3,000 CAD a month. Keep in mind that all international relocations are financially demanding. It’s a good idea to crunch some numbers in advance and schedule a free survey just to have a clearer picture of what your bank account looks like.

The Things You Need to Do in Vancouver After Shipping Overseas

One of the perks of living in Vancouver is that you always have something to do. Here are some things you could do and places you could visit for a trade-mark Canuck experience.

People Moving to Vancouver From the US Will Get To Enjoy Many Parks and Recreation

The best things in life are often free. The city is world-famous for its gorgeous parks and incredibly diverse wildlife. The largest urban park on the continent, Stanley Park is beloved by both locals and tourists for its stunning vegetation. As if being a true oasis isn’t enough, it also has the country’s biggest aquarium.

After Moving to Vancouver, BC, You Can Try Winter Sports

If you haven’t tried skiing or snowboarding, perhaps now’s the time to do it. The city is home to some of the best ski resorts in North America, such as Grouse Mountain, Cypress Mountain, and Mount Seymour. It’s a great way to meet new people, in case you are moving abroad alone.

Enjoy the Beautiful Beaches After Relocating With an Overseas Moving Company

If you’re more of a summer child, don’t worry – there are many beautiful beaches to explore. And there is the famous Wreck Beach, the largest nudist beach in North America for those of you who like to walk on the wild side.

Feeling Like a Canuck Yet? Get Ready for International Moving With the Right Overseas Shipping Company

By now, you should have fallen in love with the idea of relocating to the True North. The process of moving abroad is both exciting and terrifying. The most effective way to go about it is to hire a reliable international moving company. This can benefit you in several ways. If you loathe the very idea of packing, you can look for a company that offers packing services and can provide you with the appropriate boxes and moving supplies. If you are in between apartments and need a place to keep your belongings, enlist a company that supplies affordable storage services. By hiring professional movers, you will make sure your international relocation to Vancouver goes smoothly.


What Is the Cost of Living Like in Vancouver?

Vancouver is known for being one of the most expensive cities in Canada. The cost of living in Vancouver is higher than the national average, with housing and transportation being the most significant expenses. Rent and real estate prices are some of the highest in the country, and the cost of groceries and dining out can also be relatively high. However, the city also offers a high quality of life with excellent healthcare, a diverse culture, and plenty of outdoor recreational opportunities. While the cost of living in Vancouver can be steep, it is generally considered worth it by many who choose to call this vibrant city home.

How Do I Find a Place to Live in Vancouver?

Finding a place to live in Vancouver can be challenging, but there are several ways to begin your search. One option is to browse online rental listings on websites such as Craigslist, Padmapper, or Rentfaster. You can also work with a real estate agent who can help you find a rental or purchase a home. Another option is to check local newspapers and community bulletin boards for available rentals. Networking and asking for referrals from friends or coworkers can also be helpful. It’s important to keep in mind that Vancouver is a competitive rental market, so be prepared to act quickly and have all necessary documentation, such as references and proof of income, ready when applying for a rental property.

What Are Some Good Neighborhoods to Live in Vancouver?

Vancouver is a diverse city with many great neighborhoods to choose from, each with its own unique character and amenities. Some popular neighborhoods for living in Vancouver include Kitsilano, known for its beachside vibe and trendy shopping and dining options, Downtown, with its bustling city center and access to public transit, and Mount Pleasant, a hip and up-and-coming area with plenty of independent boutiques, cafes, and breweries. Other neighborhoods worth considering include West End, Coal Harbour, and Yaletown, which all offer a mix of urban living and natural beauty. When choosing a neighborhood, it’s important to consider your budget, proximity to work or school, and the type of lifestyle you want to lead.

What Is the Job Market Like in Vancouver?

Vancouver has a diverse economy and job market with opportunities in many different fields. Some of the city’s largest industries include technology, film and television production, tourism, and natural resources. The city also has a thriving startup scene, with many new companies being founded each year. However, competition for jobs can be stiff, and it’s important to have the right skills and experience to be successful in the job market. Networking and making connections can also be beneficial in finding job opportunities in Vancouver. Overall, while the job market in Vancouver can be competitive, there are many opportunities for those with the right qualifications and determination.

What Is the Healthcare System Like in Vancouver?

Vancouver has a high-quality healthcare system with a range of public and private healthcare providers. The public healthcare system is provided by the British Columbia Ministry of Health and covers many medical services, including doctor’s visits, hospital care, and prescription drugs. Residents can also choose to purchase private health insurance to supplement their coverage.

Vancouver is home to several world-class hospitals and medical facilities, including Vancouver General Hospital and St. Paul’s Hospital, which provide specialized care and services. The healthcare system in Vancouver is generally considered to be efficient and of a high standard, and many people choose to move to the city because of its reputation for quality healthcare.

How Do I Get a Visa to Move to Vancouver?

The process for obtaining a visa to move to Vancouver will depend on your country of origin and the reason for your move. If you are planning to move to Vancouver for work, you may be able to apply for a work permit through the Canadian government’s online portal. If you are planning to study in Vancouver, you will need to apply for a study permit through the same portal.

If you are planning to move to Vancouver permanently, you may be eligible to apply for permanent residency through one of several immigration programs, such as the Express Entry program or the Provincial Nominee Program. It’s important to research the specific requirements for your situation and to ensure that you have all the necessary documentation and information before submitting your visa application.

What Is the Education System Like in Vancouver?

The education system in Vancouver is generally considered to be of a high standard, with a range of public and private schools available for students of all ages. The public education system is run by the Vancouver School Board and includes elementary, middle, and high schools, as well as adult education programs. There are also several private schools in Vancouver, including international schools and Montessori programs. The city is also home to several well-regarded post-secondary institutions, including the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, and Emily Carr University of Art and Design. Overall, Vancouver’s education system is diverse and offers a range of options for students at all levels.

What Is the Transportation System Like in Vancouver?

Vancouver has an extensive transportation system that includes buses, trains, ferries, and cycling paths. The city’s public transportation system, run by TransLink, offers a range of options, including buses, the SkyTrain rapid transit system, and the SeaBus ferry. The SkyTrain and SeaBus are particularly popular for commuters, as they provide a fast and efficient way to travel around the city.

Cycling is also a popular mode of transportation in Vancouver, with many dedicated bike paths and lanes throughout the city. Additionally, Vancouver is a pedestrian-friendly city, with many neighborhoods offering easy walking access to amenities such as shopping, dining, and entertainment. While traffic congestion can be an issue during peak hours, overall, the transportation system in Vancouver is reliable and efficient.

How Do I Transfer My Belongings to Vancouver?

If you are planning to move to Vancouver and need to transfer your belongings, there are several options available. One option is to hire a professional overseas moving company that specializes in overseas shipping. This can be expensive, but it offers a convenient way to ensure that your belongings arrive safely and on time.

Another option is to rent a shipping container and transport your belongings by sea or air freight. This option can be more affordable, but it requires more planning and organization on your part. You will need to pack your belongings securely, complete customs paperwork, and arrange for transportation to and from the shipping terminal. Your best bet that will also ensure a stress-free relocation is to hire a reliable international moving company.

What Are the Cultural Differences I Should Be Aware of When Moving to Vancouver?

Vancouver is a diverse and multicultural city, with residents from many different backgrounds and ethnicities. While there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, it’s important to be aware of and respectful of cultural differences. For example, Canadians tend to be polite and reserved, and it’s important to be mindful of personal space and privacy.

Additionally, Vancouver has a large East Asian population, and there are many cultural practices and customs that may be unfamiliar to newcomers. It’s important to be open-minded and willing to learn about and respect different cultural traditions and practices. Overall, Vancouver is a welcoming and inclusive city, and by being respectful and mindful of cultural differences, newcomers can quickly integrate into the city’s diverse and vibrant community.

What Is the Weather Like in Vancouver?

Vancouver has a temperate coastal climate, with mild temperatures and high levels of rainfall throughout the year. Winters are generally mild, with average temperatures hovering around freezing, and an occasional snowfall. Spring and fall are typically cool and rainy, with occasional sunny days. Summers are warm and sunny, with temperatures averaging around 20-25°C (68-77°F), and low humidity. However, it’s important to note that Vancouver’s weather can be unpredictable and can change quickly, even within a single day. Additionally, the city is known for its foggy and cloudy days, particularly during the fall and winter months. It’s important to be prepared for rainy weather and to dress in layers to adapt to changing conditions.

How Do I Meet New People and Make Friends in Vancouver?

Meeting new people and making friends in Vancouver can be challenging, especially if you are new to the city. One of the best ways to meet people is to get involved in local community groups or clubs, such as sports teams, volunteer organizations, or interest-based groups. This can provide an opportunity to meet people with similar interests and hobbies. Another option is to attend local events and festivals, such as music concerts or food festivals, which can be a great way to meet people and experience the city’s culture.

Joining social media groups or online forums can also be a good way to connect with people and get advice on the best places to go and things to do in the city. Overall, it’s important to be open-minded, friendly, and proactive when it comes to meeting new people and making friends in Vancouver.

How Do I Find a Job in Vancouver Before I Move There?

Finding a job in Vancouver before you move can be challenging, but there are several ways to begin your job search. One option is to use online job search websites such as Indeed, Monster, or LinkedIn, to find job postings in your field. You can also reach out to local recruitment agencies or headhunters that specialize in your industry, as they may be able to help you find job openings and connect you with potential employers. Networking and reaching out to contacts in your field can also be helpful, as they may be able to provide you with job leads or referrals. It’s important to have a strong resume and cover letter, as well as to be prepared for remote job interviews, as many employers may choose to conduct interviews via video conferencing.

Can I Bring My Pets With Me When I Move to Vancouver?

Yes, it is possible to bring your pets with you when you move to Vancouver. However, the process of doing so can be complex and requires careful planning. If you are bringing a cat or dog, you will need to ensure that they have up-to-date vaccinations and a certificate of good health from a licensed veterinarian. You will also need to obtain an import permit from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and pay any applicable fees. If you are bringing a more exotic pet, such as a bird or reptile, you will need to follow additional regulations and obtain any necessary permits. It’s important to research the specific requirements for your pet’s species and to begin the process well in advance of your move date to ensure a smooth and stress-free transition.

What Are Some Popular Activities to Do in Vancouver?

Vancouver offers a wide variety of activities and attractions to suit every interest and lifestyle. Some popular activities in the city include visiting Stanley Park, a sprawling urban park with walking and biking trails, gardens, and beaches; exploring Granville Island, a vibrant community with artisan markets, shops, and restaurants; and taking a stroll through the historic Gastown neighborhood, known for its Victorian architecture and trendy boutiques.

Vancouver is also home to many art galleries and museums, such as the Vancouver Art Gallery and the Museum of Anthropology. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy hiking or skiing in the nearby mountains or kayaking in the waters of False Creek. Additionally, the city hosts many festivals and events throughout the year, such as the Vancouver International Film Festival and the Celebration of Light fireworks competition.

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