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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys,

My fiance and I have decided that the UK is not for us anymore and have been looking up Canada as a possible place to start our new life. According to the research I have done Vancouver seems like the one for us but I want a bit of local advice.

Can any of you lovely Canadian's or any other expats who have lived/are living in Vancouver give me your advice/information/pros & cons of living here :eek:
 

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Hi there i'm from Vancouver originally but have moved to Australia 3 years ago. I'm terribly homesick for Vancouver and have just flown home from my holiday there. Vancouver is a beautiful city and there a lot of pro's and con's.

Pro's: The ocean and mountains are on your doorstep so if you are outdoorsy you can go boating or hiking through the woods or have a walk on the beach in the day and go snowboarding up the mountain at night if you like! I used to do this all the time. The cultural diversity is extensive which means the food is amazing!! I've travelled ALOT over my lifetime and have never encountered a city where the food/wine aspect is so fufilling, and affordable! Even the little 'hole=in the wall' takeaways are unreal. The fresh air is dizzying and the scenery is magic. Being on the west coast is also a great location as warm weather holiday's aren't too far beyond reach such as Hawaii, Arizona, California etc etc, no deadly insects or snakes, very freindly people in general (sometimes you would wonder if they are being serious lol).

Con's: Extremley high housing prices (completly inflated!!), low wages, hi tax, not a lot of sunshine per year, very bad health care (no option for private so you have to wait in the public system), 2 weeks off a year, no sick pay, car insurance is quite pricey, A LOT of rain (vancouver=raincouver) very bad traffic and bike lanes everywhere (the pedestrians have right of way basically so you better have eyes in the back of your head!).

All in all, if you are a high income earner you would love living there. You would have the option of taking your holiday's every year, vacationing in warmer climates to get your sun fix, and the option of crossing the border (Bellingham/Seattle is 1 hour away from Vancouver) for your medical care if urgent and paying $$$$$$ for it if you needed to. A lot of Canadians die on the wait list if you know what I mean. (this happened to some people in my family). If you could afford to go to Whistler and have skii holiday's and enjoy some amazing fine dining and head home a couple times a year then it would be the most wonderful place :)

Hope that helped :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi there i'm from Vancouver originally but have moved to Australia 3 years ago. I'm terribly homesick for Vancouver and have just flown home from my holiday there. Vancouver is a beautiful city and there a lot of pro's and con's.

Pro's: The ocean and mountains are on your doorstep so if you are outdoorsy you can go boating or hiking through the woods or have a walk on the beach in the day and go snowboarding up the mountain at night if you like! I used to do this all the time. The cultural diversity is extensive which means the food is amazing!! I've travelled ALOT over my lifetime and have never encountered a city where the food/wine aspect is so fufilling, and affordable! Even the little 'hole=in the wall' takeaways are unreal. The fresh air is dizzying and the scenery is magic. Being on the west coast is also a great location as warm weather holiday's aren't too far beyond reach such as Hawaii, Arizona, California etc etc, no deadly insects or snakes, very freindly people in general (sometimes you would wonder if they are being serious lol).

Con's: Extremley high housing prices (completly inflated!!), low wages, hi tax, not a lot of sunshine per year, very bad health care (no option for private so you have to wait in the public system), 2 weeks off a year, no sick pay, car insurance is quite pricey, A LOT of rain (vancouver=raincouver) very bad traffic and bike lanes everywhere (the pedestrians have right of way basically so you better have eyes in the back of your head!).

All in all, if you are a high income earner you would love living there. You would have the option of taking your holiday's every year, vacationing in warmer climates to get your sun fix, and the option of crossing the border (Bellingham/Seattle is 1 hour away from Vancouver) for your medical care if urgent and paying $$$$$$ for it if you needed to. A lot of Canadians die on the wait list if you know what I mean. (this happened to some people in my family). If you could afford to go to Whistler and have skii holiday's and enjoy some amazing fine dining and head home a couple times a year then it would be the most wonderful place :)

Hope that helped :)
Thanks Lexy, here in the UK we have I think by the sounds of it similar health care but I've been getting a lot of people saying Canada has like the best health care and then some people are agreeing with you! For it being like in the top 10 cities to live in the only thing so far putting me of is how expensive supposidly it is to buy a home!! Thank you for your input
 

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We moved to Vancouver from south London nearly a year ago and I agree with the previous pros and cons. We rented out our uk house and are renting here. Wouldn't dream of buying in Vancouver yet as I think property is overpriced and we would want to settle on an area. It's a big place even if we sold our uk home prices to buy here are very expensive.
 

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Healthcare is basically free in Canada! Wouldn't it be great though to have the option of paying a bit and getting seen too? lol
Not too sure on the Canadian governments laws on foreign house purchases (looking at the population though there seems to be none!), but they have in place a percentage of your income towards mortgage and it's quite low, for good reason I think. I wouldn't get approved for a home in Vancouver, and I make $60,000 a year. Why would i pay 1.2 mil for an average 3 bed family home?!
 

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I'm assessing thee possibility of taking a job offer in BC outside of Van. I am an American but I've been to Canada & LOVE IT!!!!!! I want to take the job and move but I'm also a sickly, (tho young & pretty, LOL). I have no healthcare here, were middle class but both myself & my partner are college graduates. We have the chance to get our foot in the door, with some Canadian free lance employers we already have & possible sponsorship, and hope to find better employment as the years go by. Is the healthcare system so bad there that it is WORSE than being sick and uninsured here? I'm really concerned. I want to go for it but i dont know how ANYTHING REALLY works.... everyone's opinion on the CHCS differ greatly. THANKS 4 ANY REPLY! Honestly, I think waiting 6months to get treatment is better than NO TREATMENT, RIGHT?
 

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I'm assessing thee possibility of taking a job offer in BC outside of Van. I am an American but I've been to Canada & LOVE IT!!!!!! I want to take the job and move but I'm also a sickly, (tho young & pretty, LOL). I have no healthcare here, were middle class but both myself & my partner are college graduates. We have the chance to get our foot in the door, with some Canadian free lance employers we already have & possible sponsorship, and hope to find better employment as the years go by. Is the healthcare system so bad there that it is WORSE than being sick and uninsured here? I'm really concerned. I want to go for it but i dont know how ANYTHING REALLY works.... everyone's opinion on the CHCS differ greatly. THANKS 4 ANY REPLY! Honestly, I think waiting 6months to get treatment is better than NO TREATMENT, RIGHT?
I wouldn't let the healthcare system put you off as there are so many other good things about Canada, especially BC. We live in the interior or BC and there is a shortage of family doctors, What this means is you'll have difficulty registering with one but this doesn't mean you can't see one - you have to go along to a walk-in clinic and wait for an appointment. There are waiting times for certain treatments and you have to pay some extras, plus you pay the monthly fee for the medical services plan in the first place. Some provinces - Alberta and Ontario I believe - have free health care, but I can't speak from experience as to how good the service is.

Basically you will be treated if you're sick but you may have to wait longer, and as you say, that's better than nothing!

Be aware that you have to wait 90 days before you can get healthcare coverage when entering BC, so you have to have some kind of private medical coverage for those first 3 months anyway.

Hope this has helped!
 

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Thanks Lexy, here in the UK we have I think by the sounds of it similar health care but I've been getting a lot of people saying Canada has like the best health care and then some people are agreeing with you! For it being like in the top 10 cities to live in the only thing so far putting me of is how expensive supposidly it is to buy a home!! Thank you for your input
Vancouver is the most expensive city to buy a home in in Canada so if you're hoping to come here and get a great home for less than in the UK, you'll be disappointed. I would recommend the interior of BC, cities like Kamloops and Kelowna give you far more house for your money and still offer a great lifestyle. BC in general is probaby the most expensive province in the country in many ways, so make sure you do research into all the other costs too, such as buying and running a car, insurance, health care etc,.

Hope this has helped, but happy to answer any more questions you might have.
 

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moving from the UK

Hi , my family and i moved to Canada from the UK 4 years ago. Houses are very expensive in Vancouver, but it is a beautiful city and clean in comparison to the UK cities. Driving is a nightmare as there are never enough road signs and some disappear all together making you lost but the city is on a grid system so is easy (when you get used to it) to follow on a map.
We live 45 minutes away towards Whistler and i can say the move was the best thing we could have done for our family. Canada is very different to the UK and takes some getting used to with tight regulations in almost every area until you are settled, car insurance is also expensive with only one company to provide it.
The Health care system is slightly behind (i work in healthcare) but catching up fast and if you work then all health care is paid for through insurance paid through work. It has a seniority system for staff which takes some getting used to to, basically the longer you have worked somewhere the more benefits (including holiday choices) you get regardless of experience and skills (this is in healthcare and teaching anyway)
I think the biggest positive change we have had coming here is the Canadian people, so much kinder, well mannered, polite, warmer. It is a completely different feel. The weather is the same, lots of rain.
Salaries in general are a lot higher than those in the Uk but again whatever the job you do requires an examination most of the time regardless of how many years you did it in the UK. Though Canada now accepts UK driving licenses so you will not be required to do that exam again.
Lots of weird things like electrical wires everywhere as non of them are buried like the Uk, though the buses are also electrical which is why the city is much cleaner, you have mountain views everywhere, you have ski resorts on your doorstep, climbing, every water sport you can imagine, hundreds of good trails to bike and walk. Canada is seen to be very fit and healthy for both body and mind.
Canadians are also obsessed with coffee! Teeth are taken seriously too but the dentists are so much better and very thorough.
So Yes Vancouver and BC is expensive but i think you pay for what you get, its wonderful !!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thank you so much for all your replies, I have booked to visit Canada later on this year purely for research purposes and I'm taking all of these places recommended into account! I just hope I go and find my home
 

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I wouldn't let the healthcare system put you off as there are so many other good things about Canada, especially BC. We live in the interior or BC and there is a shortage of family doctors, What this means is you'll have difficulty registering with one but this doesn't mean you can't see one - you have to go along to a walk-in clinic and wait for an appointment. There are waiting times for certain treatments and you have to pay some extras, plus you pay the monthly fee for the medical services plan in the first place. Some provinces - Alberta and Ontario I believe - have free health care, but I can't speak from experience as to how good the service is.

Basically you will be treated if you're sick but you may have to wait longer, and as you say, that's better than nothing!

Be aware that you have to wait 90 days before you can get healthcare coverage when entering BC, so you have to have some kind of private medical coverage for those first 3 months anyway.

Hope this has helped!
thank you so much for responding. we are seriously looking forward to the move
 

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Emigrated to Vancouver in 2008 and loving every bit of it. Vancouver is rated one of the best cities to live in the world. Yes house prices are very high in Vancouver. But you know what...there is more to Vancouver than just Vancouver.

Look beyond Vancouver, to places like Port Coquitlam, and Maple Ridge which are both next to the mountains. These are great suburbs and prices are a lot more affordable. They way I look at it is...Vancouver is pretty much the capital of BC (Victoria is the legislative capital). Once you have done all of the sight seeing etc do you really need to live there (unless you work there)????????????
 

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Hi
We live just north of Kamloops near Sun Peaks ski resort. We emigrated in 2006 and love it here. Kamloops is very hot in the summer and the wints aren't too severe. We live out of town as the summers are cooler and, although we get more snow I haven't failed to get into work in 6 years as we live on a school bus route. Houses are way cheaper than Vancouver. Health care is not as bad as quoted. We got a GP within 3months and, although there are wait lists my GP visited me every day of my hospital stay.

Hope that helps
 

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I emigrated to Canada and Vancouver in 1989 from NYC. It's changed a lot, but it's still, for me, a magical place.

And I have to defend BC's health system which, while not perfect, is one of the best in the world--particularly around Vancouver proper. We top the league tables in access to cancer, HIV, and many genetic conditions globally. Visits to your GP are 100% covered and you pay nothing upfront. Finding a GP can be a challenge; there's lots of drop in clinics where you merely show your "care card" wait for a bit and you're in.

I have a few chronic health conditions and have found the care OUTSTANDING. I have waited 3-15 weeks for a referral, but again the care's been excellent and no out of pocket expenses. I had minor outpatient surgery and waited 8 weeks. I've broken two arms and cleaned my clock snowboarding: wait times in emerge were less than an hour to be seen.

Prescription drugs are NOT part of our health scheme, but most employers offer coverage with little or no cost to the employer. Also covers dental and travel insurance. No pre-existing condition clauses. My husband and I both have plans, so we can "double dip" on the prescriptions and dental coverage: having a crown last year coast me $65 in total, using an endodentist.

BC Med is about $60 per person (double it for family), but again our employers pay that on our behalf.

If you have kids, higher education here is exceedingly good value: a year at UBC, one of the worlds top 40 unis, is less than $7000.00 for most undergraduate programs. SFU, U Vic are also very good schools. There's a university transfer system that alllows students to attend community college for 1-2 years, then transfer to UBC/SFU etc. The colleges cost a lot less. Your degree still says UBC or SFU.

Most importantly, my silver pass for Cypress allows boarding or cross country skiing after work for about $450 a year. I can be on the slopes 30 minutes after changing my gear at home in downtown. Rather remarkable.

But the housing prices are stoopid: unless you've got a big downpayment don't torture yourself to buy in Vancouver, West Van or North Van. ;)
 
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