Get ready, here’s 15 reasons why I think you should definitely, absolutely, totally live in and move to Vancouver.
I have written previously about why I love Vancouver and why it will always be home, no matter what the future has in store for me. I have also compiled a post to help you when you move to Vancouver. But why should you move here in the first place? What makes this city perfect for you?
I did a similar post on Melbourne and it seems to have helped a lot of people. So hopefully this list helps you decide whether Vancouver is the right Canadian city for you – whether you’re moving here on a working holiday or not.
You should move to Vancouver if..
1. You like nature
Vancouver is a perfect city to live in if you love nature. The Pacific Northwest region in general is known for its natural beauty and hikes. Some of the area’s most well-known hikes include Grouse Grind (workout of the century), Quarry Rock, Lighthouse Park and The Chief. Plus, there is Stanley Park, one of the largest urban parks in North America, on your doorstep.
2. You are vegan/vegetarian
I don’t know if it just me, but I have met a lot of vegans in Vancouver. Like, more than anywhere else I have lived. This means that there are a lot of options for vegans and vegetarians when it comes to dining out. There are quite a few restaurants and food trucks that focus solely on vegetarian and/or vegan cuisine, including Culver City Salads, Meet and Virtuous Pie.
3. You will rely on public transport
This was also a point I made in my Melbourne post, but it is an important fact to consider, especially when you are an expat. I have relied on public transport both times I have lived in Vancouver, and although I do feel like I spend a lot of my life waiting for buses/sitting on buses, it is a good system. The Skytrain is very fast and efficient, but buses are also pretty frequent, just not as quick. Don’t forget to get your Compass Card when you arrive.
4. You like to be by the coast
I don’t know about you, but I basically can’t live in a city that isn’t on the coast. I need to be by the sea. Even if I don’t see the sea (ha!) every day, it is just nice to know it is there when I need a waterside walk or a summer day at the beach.
5. You want to be close to the United States
It can be handy being so close to the border. Seattle is the closest major city and only about four hours away via bus. But the border is actually only about an hour outside the city, which is handy when the dollar is good. I also recommend spending a long weekend in Portland, a true favourite.
6. You have savings
Vancouver is expensive. I honestly wouldn’t move here unless you either have quite a bit of money saved or you have a job already. When I moved here last year, I found my savings seemed to quickly evaporate. I also struggled with the lower wage, but I’m making it work. I just want you to be aware that city rent and groceries are similar to Australia (a.k.a. HIGH). Plus, the minimum wage is $10.85.
7. You don’t live for icy winters
Don’t get me wrong, it does get cold in winter. We have seen -10 degree days and we have so far had about five snow days already this season. But this is very unusual for the city. It didn’t snow once last winter. So if you actually enjoy spending your winters trudging through snow, then you may want to head to the east coast. But if you don’t mind not seeing snow every winter, move to Vancouver.
Check out the best places to photograph the Vancouver skyline
8. You are a beer connoisseur
This is a very important point to make, especially from an Aussie perspective. Beer is part of our culture. There are a lot of excellent breweries in, and around, Vancouver. Some of my favourites are Main Street Brewing, 33 Acres and Parkside Brewery. But if you enjoy drinking craft beer, there are many places to fill your growler (cheaply) in Vancouver.
9. You want to be famous!
Okay, this may or may not happen. But Vancouver is called, and you may be surprised just how many shows and movies are filmed here. I am a TV addict and I didn’t realise Vancouver was the setting of so many shows I’ve binge-watched. Currently, many The CW productions are being filmed in the city. I have also seen many extra ads on Craigslist, so if you want to break into the industry, Vancouver could be your in.
10. You like going to gigs
One of the best parts about being so close to the American border is that musicians are much more likely to take the short detour to play a show here. We miss out on a lot of awesome acts in Australia, so I definitely take advantage and see a lot more gigs here than at home. I also find that I see more Australian musicians here, as their tickets prices are seriously half of what you’d have to pay in Australia. BONUS!
11. You are a foodie
Vancouver has so many excellent restaurants and foodie neighbourhoods. My favourites are Gastown, Commercial Drive and Olympic Village. I am also a big fan of the city’s food truck scene; probably because I work on one. But the food truck community here is so friendly and encouraging, and the food will blow your mind. Don’t ask me for my favourite, because I can’t choose.
12. You only wear vintage clothes
Another serious point to make. But you should definitely move to Vancouver if you are a vintage clothing lover. Main Street in particular is a thrift store (op shop) hub. I didn’t realise just how many were located on this street until my friend and I walked down it one day. Honestly, I don’t know how they all make money. But if this is your thing, then look no further. I think only Brooklyn could give you a run for your money.
13. You are a day tripper
I LOVE taking day trips. It’s like a mini holiday, exploring somewhere else near your home. Vancouver is an excellent spot for day trips. I think I saw the best the first time I lived here (evidence), but this summer I will definitely try and fit in some more. I have already plotted some other options on this bucket list too. So between these two posts, you will be busy once you move to Vancouver.
Click here for my Whistler guide (You have to go)
14. You enjoy a festival or fifty
Summer in Vancouver is like nothing I have seen before. Locals really do come out of hibernation like bears. The city comes alive with many free celebrations and events, which regularly close the city’s main thoroughfare. There are busking festivals, there is Pride Week, there is Bard on the Beach, there is Latincouver, there are food truck festivals, there is the Celebration of Lights. Summer in this city is the BEST, and is one of the top reasons you should live in Vancouver.
15. You enjoy hitting the slopes
Just because the winters aren’t as Arctic as other places in Canada, doesn’t mean you can’t ski and snowboard everyday. There are three ski mountains close to Vancouver: Cypress, Seymour and Grouse. Cypress seems to be the most popular for snowboarders. Whistler’s two mountains are also less than a two hour drive away.
So there you have it, 15 reasons to move to Vancouver on your working holiday. It truly is a remarkable city with a lot to offer its residents. The question is, will you move here? For more Vancouver goodness, check out these posts: everything you need to know about moving to Vancouver, 24 hours in Vancouver, where to stay (on any budget), the best free and cheap things to do in Vancouver and where to photograph the Vancouver skyline.