Life in Vancouver
Thinking of making the move to Canada?
Vancouver in British Columbia, is the first city we’re covering in our exciting exploration into what it’s like moving to Canada. Canada is a popular moving destination for UK nationals as Canada is a member of the Commonwealth and offers British resident’s very attractive working and holiday visas.
Joining the Community
Neighbourhoods in Vancouver
With a population of over 2.4 million in the city and surrounding suburbs, Vancouver is Canada’s eighth largest city and spans across 114 square kilometres. With such a vast city it’s hard to know where to live if you’ve haven’t spent a lot of time exploring, so here’s some food for thought when it comes to finding your dream home in Vancouver.
Great neighbourhoods in Vancouver
- University of British Columbia (UBC)
- South Vancouver (Marpole)
- Downtown (West End, Yaletown, Gastown, Coal Harbour)
- City of Burnaby
- East Vancouver (Main Street, Commercial Drive)
- South Granville
- North Vancouver
Find out more about where where you should be living in Vancouver.
Known for it’s diverse multiculturalism, Vancouver offer’s people moving to the city numerous programs to become involved in, to integrate with the existing communities within the city. From Aboriginal community and Neighbourhood programs to childcare and development, Vancouver’s government has a hands on approach when it comes to their city.
Canadian visas and residency
Canada offers expats a variety of working and holiday visas to UK citizens. Whether you’re looking to stay short term or longer you can find out more about Canadian visas on our Removals to Canada advice page.
Remember Vancouver is a majority French speaking city, with 52% of its residents having a language other than English as their first language. However, don’t panic if you don’t speak French, a lot of people speak both French and English and Vancouver is a wonderful place to learn French in the comfort of being surrounded by English speakers.
Cost of living
The cost of living in Vancouver and Canada is generally quite high. However, in comparison to Western Europe it’s relatively cheap. Much like the UK, rural parts of Canada are cheaper than the cities so if you’re on the hunt for cheaper rent, head to the outskirts, as Vancouver is one of Canada’s most expensive cities (but it has nothing on London – don’t worry!).
If you’re not a fan of harsh winters then maybe Canada shouldn’t be your number one location. Although Vancouver is slightly warmer than the rest of the country, Canada can see temperatures sink to as low as -50C, so be sure to pack your finest snow suit and shovel.
Find out more about what life is going to be like once you make the move to Vancouver.
City attractions and things to do in Vancouver
Like most big cities, Vancouver is bursting with art and culture and is a huge draw for domestic and international tourists. From the Vancouver Art Gallery who has displayed pieces from the likes of Geoffrey Farmer and Emily Carr, to beaches and green spaces, there’s a lot of to discover when you move to Vancouver.
Kitsilano Beach is one of Vancouver’s most popular beaches. Situated in the North edge of the city in the Kitsilano neighbourhood, it’s a great place to head to during the warmer summers. As Vancouver is a coastal city, there are plenty of city beaches to visit when you’ve finished unpacking, including the likes of English Bay Beach, Jericho Beach and Spanish Banks.
Parks and green spaces in and around Vancouver
Stanley Park is Vancouver’s biggest green space and is almost fully surrounded by water from English Bay and Vancouver Harbour. Situated in the North-West of Vancouver, Stanley Park is the city’s number one tourist attraction as almost 8 million people a year pay a visit to this expansive park. With acres of well-maintained green space, the city’s much-loved aquarium, beaches, a water park and mini-railway, Stanley Park is a great place to head to during the summer months for lengthy weekends chilling out under the mild Canadian sunshine. Go on your very own Stanley Park adventure.
Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
Take a tree top adventure and explore the Capilano Forest Park, with a unique view of forest life, walking the labyrinth that is Vancouver’s Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. With a number of treetop and on-ground walks to enjoy, forest conservation workshops and nature talks for all the family, you can’t live in Vancouver without taking a look at this truly unique addition to the wilder side of the city. Find out more.
Queen Elizabeth Park
Situated on top of the highest point of Vancouver, grab a taste of home at the Queen Elizabeth Park. Popular with floral and art enthusiasts, Vancouver’s Queen Elizabeth Park has numerous floral displays and sculptures and is often used as a backdrop for wedding photos. Find out more about Vancouver’s Queen Elizabeth Park.
Granville Island is a lively and unique shopping district which spans across the False Creek in downtown Vancouver. Famous for its public market, buskers, arts and cultural scene, Granville is a superb Sunday destination for new Vancouver residents on the hunt for a trendy city vibe. Discover more about Granville Island.