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Adele*

Vancouver Island vs Okanagan/small towns surrounding Calgary

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Adele*

We are trying to decide where to stay in Canada as we do not have anywhere we must go and think we narrowed it down to Okanagan area or Vancouver Island (also included on our list was Braggs Creek and Canmore).

Can anyone provide some pros/cons for both areas if you’ve maybe moved to the Island from Okanagan (or other way around) and say why?

We’re flying over towards end of March and wanted to drive from Calgary to Vancouver Island but seems with the snow that time of year in the Rockies it might be risky given we have to get used to driving in CA and have 3 small kids. 

 

Any info or advice welcome!! Thanx 😃

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LidiaS77

We haven't lived anywhere else in Canada, but I can say that we absolutely love living in Victoria. The weather is generally great. It is more rainy in the winter (around 7C-10C) during the day but there are some sunny days in between. If it rains it's usually just a light drizzle. I personally prefer this to the extreme cold (e.g. Canmore and Banff, we were there over Christmas last year and it went down to -34C). The summer and fall were amazing (roughly May to November), sunny and warm enough in summer to wear short sleeves, swim in lakes, lie on the beach etc. but generally not too hot to be uncomfortable and not really any rain. The scenery and natural beauty on the Island and surrounding areas are also stunning with plenty of outdoor activities. We've made wonderful friends through our church within a few weeks of arriving. I find it easier to meet people here than I did in SA and I experience Victoria as a very friendly city in general. The buses are good enough to get us close to where we want to be and it is safe to walk around even at night. One thing to be aware of is that property is expensive. Getting off the Island can be expensive and/or time-consuming depending on how you do it, but should generally not be necessary as you will find everything you need on the Island (there might be some exceptions depending on specific needs etc). Depending on the field you're in there might be fewer work opportunities than in larger cities or other areas, but it is also worth noting that Victoria has the lowest unemployment rate in Canada meaning that workers are needed. The big industries are tourism and technology.

Edited by LidiaS77
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Cathy K

In the end it all depends on your career and if there are jobs available in your field of expertise.

Vancouver Island is an awesome place to live. We have been here for sixteen years and will never move. (at least not voluntary).

The Northern part of Vancouver Island is more challenging. It's colder than the rest of the Island and it's rainier. It is also fairly isolated.

The western part of Vancouver Island is a tourist paradise, but unfortunately thinly populated with only a few small towns. Weather can be pretty stormy, especially in winter.

I believe that the southern and middle part of Vancouver Island are the best places to live. Victoria, Sidney, Ladysmith, Nanaimo, Courtney Comox, Parksville are all middle sized towns and cities. Chemainus and Cowichen are beautiful. Lantzville is rural but next to the best amenities on the Island. I won't go further north than Campbell River.

http://www.sacanada.org/forum/87-vancouver-island-bc/

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