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Hi all


I am planning to move to Canada in 2011 on a temporary work visa initially and then go the route of making it permanent all going well. I would like to stay in British Columbia due to the milder weather conditions.


My ideal city will not have the hustle and bustle of the BIG city but still have good shopping etc, child friendly, have ALOT of outdoor activities at your doorstep along with an Art’s community and business opportunities.


Places that have caught my attention have been Victoria and Kelowna. Victoria because it is bigger and would have more opportunities/culture but Kelowna is situated in an amazing area.


Does anyone have any experience of living in either area? Negative and positive info is greatly appreciated! I understand house prices is high in both so that’s a start for me! ;)


Wayne
 

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Victoria is about twice as big as Kelowna.

Kelowna does get snow in the winter, as the average temperatures drop below freezing for December/January. Also it get's hotter in the summer than Victoria.

As far as real estate goes, Victoria is definitely more expensive.

I would recommend checking out the citystats.ca profiles, as well as the wikipedia profiles to help get some more details:

Victoria, British Columbia - Detailed City Profile
Kelowna, British Columbia - Detailed City Profile

Victoria, British Columbia - Wikipedia
Kelowna, British Columbia - Wikipedia
 

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Hi Wayne

Sounds like you've done a bit of research already! :) Both cities hold a certain appeal and have many of the attributes that you mentioned.

It's been many years since I was last in Victoria - I really enjoyed being in Victoria and did many of the tourist type things. In speaking with others that have decided to make the Island their home, I haven't come across one that thought they'd made the wrong decision. Personally, one con for me would be the cost of taking the ferry to the mainland, if needed. Spring is kind to the southern Island and you'll find flowers appearing while much of the rest of Canada is still shovelling snow! Sorry that I can't give you any more feedback on Victoria.

Kelowna is different things to different people... really depends on what's important to you. Some people love living here, while others see the city in a whole different light. If you enjoy outdoor activities, then the valley has a whole range of opportunities to "play". The weather varies, but generally you can expect hot, dry summers and cold, dry winters. We don't see the snowfalls that you may get in many parts of Canada, however, we do see more snow than the coastal areas of BC. This winter we've only had 2 days where snow lay on the ground, but that's melted away now and we're expecting a green Christmas this year. We've had a couple of cold snaps, with the temps dipping down to -18 during some nights... brrrr (although the wineries were delighted for the chance to harvest their grapes to make ice wine).

The city is the largest in the Okanagan Valley and has experienced a lot of growth in the past 20 years. The real estate boom pushed housing prices artificially high and as a result, many people couldn't afford to live here and find work to sustain the cost. The world recession has altered things somewhat, but not enough, in my opinion, to say that housing is affordable. I have noticed that the monthly rental prices have come down, but then I haven't made any comparisons to other communities in BC to say whether they are competitive.

Although I live in Kelowna, I try not to sway someone either way in their decision to relocate here. It's my hometown, so I may tolerate things that others wouldn't or visa versa. What I might not like, you might - it's all a matter of what your expectations are. :)

All the best in your research!
 
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