Table of contents

    Moving to Vancouver

    Our guide to moving abroad to Vancouver. Useful information about living in Vancouver to find out before your international house move to Canada.

    Moving to Vancouver

    According to the “Quality of Living Rankings” released by Mercer, Vancouver is the best city in North America in which to live.

    If you are moving to Vancouver, you can quickly see why. The Pacific on your doorstep, the mountains on the horizon and the many parks and green areas in the city provide you with plenty to do in your spare time. A prosperous local economy supports jobs, with the industrial, aerospace and film industries all creating plenty of opportunities.

    With the quality of life high and the pace of life laid back, many residents comment that Vancouver is very different to the cosmopolitan busyness of Toronto, making moving to Vancouver a thoroughly “West Coast” experience.

    Port Metro Vancouver is the largest port in Canada, making it easy to obtain your belongings once they have been shipped. To get your items safely to your new life in Toronto, we can put you in contact with expert international removal companies.

    Moving to Vancouver

    One thing ex-pats will notice about moving to Vancouver is the price of housing. Accommodation is among the most expensive in Canada, whether you are renting or buying.
    Working with a local realtor (estate agent) can help you navigate this hot and competitive market. Vancouver also has aspirations to become the “greenest” city in the world by 2020, and there are initiatives in place to improve sustainability and reduce waste.


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    Local language

    English is the official language, but due to high rates of Asian immigration, it’s not uncommon to hear Chinese languages used as well. Following this, high levels of Punjabi, German, Italian and French are also spoken.

    Weather in Vancouver

    Unlike the rest of Canada, Vancouver enjoys a mild climate year round. Unaffected by the cold harsh winters found elsewhere, the city does experience higher than average rainfall – in fact, the yearly rainfall in London is just half that of Vancouver.

    Driving in Vancouver

    The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) issues driving licenses, and you must apply to obtain one within 90 days of being in Vancouver. You can take your British license to a Driver Services center, and if valid for two years or more, you can simply exchange your license, and pay a fee to do so.

    Healthcare in Vancouver

    Unlike in Ontario, there is no minimum time to wait to enrol in the provincial health care plan. You can apply for the British Columbia Medical Service Plan (MSP) as soon as you arrive, however, there is a three-month grace period between receiving your card, and the coverage actually taking effect.

    Education in Vancouver

    There are many public and private schools, along with day care providers, offering tuition in a number of different languages. There are also world-class universities in Vancouver as well. 


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    page last updated May 2015

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