Vancouver is known for its quality of living, natural beauty, and welcoming culture. With endless hiking trails, public parks, and a convenient transit system, it’s an accessible, engaging metropolis. Optimally located between the mountains and the ocean, Vancouver offers a range of benefits for residents.
10 benefits of moving to Vancouver
1. The great outdoors
The mountains, ocean, and forests of Vancouver provide perfect environments for exploring, skiing, hiking, biking, snowboarding, skating, and fishing.
- Bike, dine, explore, and immerse yourself in nature in Stanley Park, which boasts 1,000 acres of protected urban forest and seawall park in the centre of the city.
- Swim in the ocean at Kitsilano Beach or eight other Vancouver beaches.
- Ski and snowboard at Grouse Mountain, Mount Seymour, or Cypress Mountain, all within a comfortable driving distance of the city.
- Watch a beautiful sunset or a firework display on Canadian holidays at English Bay.
2. A moderate, warmer Canadian climate
Compared to other Canadian cities, Vancouver has a moderate climate where you can enjoy the great outdoors year-round. Pacific Ocean currents and protective mountain ranges keep the city temperate and sheltered from the extreme weather that other Canadian cities face. The winters are dark and rainy, but you won’t have to do as much snow shovelling as you would in Ottawa, Toronto, or Calgary.
3. A multi-cultural, diverse population
Vancouver’s diverse communities highlight a broad range of cultures, languages, culinary traditions, and arts practices. Celebrate Vancouver’s diversity by discovering all it has to offer:
- Join a traditional Japanese tea ritual at Nitobe Memorial Garden.
- Visit Chinatown markets for unique shopping.
- Eat authentic Indian cuisine at Punjabi Market.
- Check out the Italian Culture Centre in Little Italy.
Discover First Nations and Indigenous History at the Museum of Anthropology.
4. Culture and arts
The city is home to Vancouver International Film Festival, Vancouver Fringe Festival, and live concerts and festivals year-round. Film productions favour Vancouver’s scenic beauty and you can often spot movie stars downtown or in cozy scenic neighbourhoods like North Vancouver’s Deep Cove.
5. Comparatively low property taxes
Buying a home in Vancouver is expensive, but property taxes here are significantly lower than most places in Canada –– including Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, Winnipeg, Halifax, and St. John’s. For example, for a $500,000 home in Vancouver you’ll pay around $1,200 in property taxes, compared to almost $3,200 for a home of the same value in Toronto. That’s almost three times the cost. In general, Vancouver has high home values, but low property taxes.
6. A booming economy
Vancouver is experiencing a boom in a variety of sectors, including tech, finance, apparel, environmental, business, medicine, and education.
7. Environmental initiatives and sustainability
As you’re walking, cycling, or traveling around Vancouver you may notice a trend; travel mugs, sustainable takeout dishes, green space within the city, and vegan restaurants are plentiful. Vancouver is known for its environmental ethos.
8. Easy navigation
The transit system in Vancouver is efficient and scenic; the above-ground Skytrain lets you explore the city while you commute. You won’t need a car to live here.
- Buy a Compass card so you don’t have to look for spare change every time you hop on the train.
- The train goes right to the airport for easy access, and the ferry to the North Island is a beautiful way to get to know the city.
- Uber, Lyft, and other ridesharing apps were recently granted the right to operate in the city.
- If you’re a cyclist, you’re also in luck. Vancouver is home to a great network of bike lanes and avid cyclists. The city also recently introduced Mobi, a bike rental service.
9. Internationally accessible
Vancouver sits close to the American border. Vancouver’s International Airport offers direct flights to many international cities; in fact, many Canadian International flights beginning in Toronto route through Vancouver.
10. World-class cuisine
Vancouver is known for its foodie culture, with renowned seafood, international cuisine, and famous restaurants for every palette. A mixed climate in Vancouver offers a long growing season for seasonal produce, and the Pacific Ocean means fresh seafood is plentiful.
Things you should know about Vancouver before moving:
- Vancouver has a higher crime rate than many other Canadian cities. It’s still known to be a safe city, but it’s important to get to know the neighbourhood.
- It’s pricey. Housing here is expensive and in high demand, and you’ll notice higher price tags on everyday expenses like breakfast, rideshare apps, and admission to events.
- Traffic can be bad in Vancouver; traffic jams are frequent, so if you’re driving a car it’s worth practicing your commute before committing to a neighbourhood that’s far from work.
- Land is limited and population is growing rapidly, so you may not have the same range of options you do when buying a home in other Canadian cities.
- Every neighbourhood is different. Neighbourhoods like Yaletown, Kitsilano, Main, Davie Village, and Gastown are coveted for their trendy shops, accessibility, and green space. But some neighbourhoods, like Downtown Eastside or East Hastings, have seen a steady rise in homelessness, which may impact the local community. Spend some time in your new neighbourhood to get to know it and decide whether it’s a good fit for you.
Start your homebuying journey in Vancouver
OJO can help you explore listings in Vancouver, including condos, homes, and properties in the area.