You have made the decision or perhaps you are in the process of making your decision of moving to Vancouver either way, we are here to provide some great information.
Regardless of what your reason or reasons for moving to Vancouver may be, we know that your move to Vancouver is sure to be one of the greatest decisions you make in your life.
However, that being said, we know that moving is a major life change regardless of your destination. To make it just a bit easier for you, we have put together the Definitive Guide to Moving To and Living in Vancouver, BC.
Things to Know About Vancouver
Vancouver is very unique in its location. As a resident of Vancouver, you get the most spectacular landscapes! A luxury really with both fabulous beaches and glorious majestic mountains at your back door.
With its gorgeous scenic views, Vancouver has not only been called a city like no other but actually ranks as one of the most beautiful cities in the world. No matter what season it is, Vancouver’s picturesque views are sure to take your breath away!
Culturally, Vancouver also stands out. Known to be one of the greatest multicultural places to live, moving to Vancouver offers every individual a richly divergent living experience. Living in Vancouver provides so much more than just a great place to live.
If you are a history buff, you will certainly enjoy exploring and getting to know the rich and diverse history that has created this beautiful large exceptional urban area that Vancouver is known for today.
Vancouver takes great pride in the many innovative ways they are known for being conscientious and intentional about living environmentally friendly. Ranking also as one of the top sustainable cities of the world, these two factors alone are a great reason to consider moving to Vancouver. All of which ties into the healthy and active lifestyle that is associated with Vancouver’s reputation.
Moving to Vancouver For Work
Ranking quite high in livability, moving to Vancouver for work provides lots of opportunities if your current job isn’t the reason for your move.
Vancouver’s economy has been growing steadily for the past several years and shows no signs of slowing down for many years to come. This is largely due to the fact that many large international companies have chosen Vancouver as their headquarters.
Career options seem to be plentiful no matter what your area of expertise happens to be from finances, the arts, education, healthcare, or even entrepreneurship.
When moving to Vancouver, you do not need to be concerned about education if that is one of your priorities. Both public and private schools in Vancouver rank high in quality of education. This includes preschool right up to and including post-secondary.
Vancouver has 92 public elementary schools, 1 middle school, and 18 secondary schools within the Vancouver School System, and a good number of private and independent school options.
Be assured that no matter which neighbourhood of Vancouver you end up calling home, Vancouver prides itself in having quality education available to all students.
There are too many schools to mention but we will name a few of the elementary and secondary schools that Vancouver has to offer in some of its more highly sought out suburbs.
595 Burley Drive, West Vancouver, BC V7T 1Z3
Located in the very affluent suburb of West Vancouver, École Cedardale is a French immersion elementary school committed to providing its students with the best possible multilingual education.
École Cedardale aspires to create a caring, inclusive and engaging collaborative community of multilingual lifelong learners. Through knowledge, creativity, and inquiry we are inspired to think critically and take action both locally and globally in an environment of mutual respect.
West Bay Elementary School
3175 Thompson Place, West Vancouver, BC V7V 3E3
Another one of West Vancouver’s highly rated elementary schools is West Bay Elementary School. Being located in a widespread forested area, this elementary school offers lots when it comes to nurturing the students’ environmental and nature creativity.
In an Atmosphere of mutual respect, West Bay inspires, encourages, and challenges students to
become active, compassionate lifelong learners within their local and global communities.
Rockridge Secondary School
5350 Headland Drive, West Vancouver, BC V7W 3H2
Rockridge Secondary School, servicing the suburb of West Vancouver is committed to providing a diverse and well balanced quality education in all areas of academics, performing arts, and athletics.
Rockridge Secondary School strives to graduate responsible and creative global citizens in a respectful and diverse environment where relevant learning fosters excellence in personal achievement, compassion, curiosity, and critical thinking.
Lord Byng Secondary School
3939 W 16th Ave. Vancouver, BC V6R 2C9
Located in the suburb of West Point Grey, Lord Byng Secondary School is known for its renowned Byng Mini Arts program that allows students to specialise in the arts. Visual arts, theatre, band, strings, choir, literary arts, and media arts are just a few of the arts Lord Byng Secondary School brings to the forefront.
Rest assured that academics and competitive varsity athletics are just as highly ranked at Lord Byng Secondary School. This is a secondary school providing options as unique as each individual student.
At Lord Byng Secondary School we provide a safe learning community that enables students to challenge their intellectual and creative abilities and allows them to meet their full potential as citizens.
Upper Lynn Elementary School
1540 Coleman St., North Vancouver, BC V7K 1W8
Moving over to the neighbourhood of Upper Lynn Valley in North Vancouver, you will find a superior school in Upper Lynn Elementary School. Not only does Upper Lynn Elementary provide an English language learning centre, and exceptional Fine Arts Programming, it also has an Outdoor School to encourage learning and exploring of the great outdoors that surround them.
The Upper Lynn School Community supports all students in realizing their full potential in an environment that promotes healthy, intellectual, emotional, social, and physical growth.
Seycove Secondary Community
1204 Caledonia Ave., North Vancouver, BC V7G 2A6
Located in the charming neighbourhood of Deep Cove in North Vancouver, you will find Seycove Secondary Community School. Seycove Secondary Community School earns its high ranking for its well-known uncompromising academics and very intense focus on athletics.
The Seycove Community strives to engage its members in opportunities for collaborative innovation and learning, to build and maintain purposeful connections and relationships, and to create a safe environment in which to develop citizens of integrity.
Sir Sandford Fleming Elementary School
6363 Lanark St., Vancouver, BC V5P 2Y8
Located in the Kensington-Cedar Cottage neighbourhood which is one of the most ethnically diverse neighbourhoods in east Vancouver, it is quite understandable why Sir Sandford Fleming Elementary is known for being a most caring and inclusive school community.
Sir Sandford Fleming Elementary offers a very diverse range of excellent educational programs and services.
At Sir Sandford Fleming Elementary School, students, parents, and staff work together to foster a climate of trust, respect, and cooperation, while developing the emotional, physical, aesthetic, and academic skills and attitudes necessary for success.
Shaughnessy Elementary School
4250 Marguerite St., Vancouver, BC V6J 4G3
Shaughnessy Elementary School is located in the heart of Shaughnessy, one of the most sought out suburbs in Vancouver, BC. Shaughnessy Elementary School ranks high for its exemplary academic, social, sports and music programs.
The Shaughnessy Community is committed to providing a safe, respectful learning environment where students are challenged academically and are encouraged to be responsible learners and productive global citizens.
University of British Columbia
2329 West Mall Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4
If it is post-secondary education you are in need of, then the opportunities hold just as high a standard as those in the elementary and secondary education level.
The University of British Columbia ranks among the top three universities in Canada and holds top recognition with the universities of the world being recognized for its superior teaching and excellence in research as well as its strong global impact.
Inspiring people, ideas, and actions for a better world.
Pursuing excellence in research, learning, and engagement to foster global citizenship and advance a sustainable and just society across British Columbia, Canada, and the world.
As already mentioned earlier, it would be impossible to list all the schools and educational options available to those moving to Vancouver, BC. Just know that whether you choose public or private, the high educational standards across all of Vancouver ensure that your child or children are getting a world-class education.
You’ve decided that you are making the move to Vancouver, BC and really that was the easy part. The hard part is deciding exactly where you want to live in Vancouver, BC.
Living in Vancouver, BC has become the desire of many. Its exceptionally diverse, multicultural reputation for providing a living experience like none other is only part of the appealing draw to call Vancouver home.
Vancouver is full of incredible suburbs and neighbourhoods! Really, wherever you find yourself living in Vancouver, it will be great. Each and every suburb has much to offer its residents with no two being the same.
Again, it would be impossible to mention every suburb in Vancouver as there are just too many. However, we have provided information on some of the most sought out suburbs in each of the four above-mentioned regions to assist you in finding that perfect suburb that is calling out to you.
If you are looking for action, lots to do, and all that living in the heart of a city has to offer, then the neighbourhoods found in the region of Central Vancouver will be most appealing to you.
The neighbourhoods in Central Vancouver tend to be the most diverse and vibrant and this is largely because you will find everything in this vicinity of Vancouver from business, to residential, arts, culture and entertainment, and all available within just a few steps from your door.
One of the most diverse suburbs in the region of Central Vancouver is the neighbourhood of West End. West End tends to be the area most visitors to Vancouver insist on spending time as this is the area known for being able to best experience how those who reside in Vancouver truly live.
Location is indeed what makes West End highly sought after. Residents have access to everything that living in downtown Vancouver has to offer - right outside their door.
The English Bay means that the Pacific Ocean is available to everyone no matter what season it is and Stanley Park with its famous seawall is right in your backyard.
The gorgeous landscapes of the neighbourhoods of West End are perfect for cycling, walking, getting out, and enjoying all that being in luscious green spaces has to offer.
West End tends to offer almost any kind of housing that one might be searching for from luxury high-rise condominiums to heritage houses, contemporary homes, or even lots of rental options.
Another suburb of Central Vancouver located right downtown is Coal Harbour. Although Coal Harbour is also located downtown, it is a much quieter suburb than West End. Those who reside in the suburb of Coal Harbour are very fortunate to live right along the water’s edge.
An attractive, delightful little neighbourhood Coal Harbour is a great mix of business and residential. Coal Harbour is home to the Vancouver Convention Centre while also housing many fabulous condominium towers.
This fantastic popular Vancouver Marina area is famous for its quaint cafes and excellent restaurants and boutiques of which you will find both locals and visitors fully enjoying.
West Side Vancouver
Vancouver’s West Side region is known to have a considerable number of older, well-established suburbs.
In the neighbourhoods of West Side, you will find beautiful houses, classic architecture, and tree-lined streets as a result of being older and more established but be assured that if you are looking for fun, contemporary, new things to try and do you will also have lots of selection for that as well from chic cooking studios to high-end fitness centres, beaches and so much more.
If you are a beach lover, Kitsilano is where you want to put your roots down. Two of Vancouver’s most loved beaches, Kits Beach and Jericho Beach are right outside your door when you call Kitsilano home.
A very trendy suburb, Kitsilano is known for its healthy and active living. You will find yoga studios, high-end health food stores, dance studios, gyms and fitness centres, and beach activities to help you live out / manage your healthy lifestyle.
When the seasons change the mountains are right close and with all the snowboarding or skiing options, you won’t have time to miss the summer beach vibes.
The amazing Vancouver suburb of Shaughnessy ranks quite high in livability of all Vancouver suburbs. With its prime location for transportation options for both vehicle and transit and nearby airport, Shaughnessy provides convenient access to everything you could want just moments away.
Shaughnessy should be a suburb on the top of your list for consideration when moving to Vancouver, BC with its tranquil and laid-back lifestyle. When you want city living and all that it has to offer, downtown Vancouver is easily accessible.
East Side Vancouver
East Side Vancouver is considered to be the historic heart of Vancouver. This is an area of Vancouver that is made up of many unique and multicultural neighbourhoods. In fact, no two neighbourhoods are alike in East Side Vancouver.
If you are considering living in this area of Vancouver you must research the neighbourhoods individually to be sure that you find the neighbourhood best suited to meet your needs and desires.
Mount Pleasant lives up to the multicultural and eclectic lifestyle that Vancouver is well known for.
From very unique stores, arts, and a dynamic cultural lifestyle, residents of Mount Pleasant are fully immersed in all that living in Vancouver is all about. Mount Pleasant businesses and residents have gone to great efforts to embrace the many unique cultures of Vancouver to ensure that everyone is accepted and feels at home.
The transportation options available to residents of Mount Pleasant including the Skytrain and the Canada Line make Mount Pleasant very favourable when considering moving to Vancouver.
It is easy to fall in love with the suburb of Grandview in East Side Vancouver with its many beautiful parks and lush green spaces, especially if an active and healthy lifestyle is important to you. Or, if you are more of a gym person, the community centres, pools, and local gyms will be sure to meet your needs.
The hub of Grandview is the famous Commercial Drive or ‘The Drive’ as the locals refer to it. Commercial Drive has lots to offer with its charming cafes, ethnic restaurants, and hip organic food stores that support the organic lifestyle that Grandview tends to encourage.
South Side Vancouver
If you are looking for a neighbourhood that does an amazing job of blending commercial and residential with an exotic flair, then South Side Vancouver is the area for you.
No matter what your age demographic, the suburb of Kerrisdale offers something of interest to all. The prime location of Kerrisdale makes it a quick commute to the University of British Columbia or the beautiful beach area of Kitsilano or a short transit ride to the downtown core.
Residents love the main shopping area of Kerrisdale with over 200 stores to meet all your shopping needs plus cafes and restaurants.
Looking for the arts, enjoy some of the amazing galleries that Kerrisdale has to offer.
With impeccable tree-lined streets and park areas, the mature suburb of Dunbar-Southlands offers a quieter, more serene neighbourhood. Residents of Dunbar-Southlands enjoy green spaces, golf courses, diverse shops, and restaurants.
Living in Dunbar-Southlands offers the best of both worlds with the thriving downtown city just moments away for those times when you want that bustling heart of the city activity.
When moving to Vancouver it is important to understand the best methods for getting around. Vancouver prides itself in being on the cutting edge of being environmentally friendly and this also includes the area of transportation.
Vancouver scores high in walkability. In fact, Vancouver has been ranked as one of the most walkable cities in the world. Does this mean you must walk everywhere? No, Vancouver’s walkability score does not mean that you must walk everywhere.
Those who love to bike will find that Vancouver very much encourages biking.
Vancouver has invested in great public transportation so as to discourage travelling by car as much as possible so as to promote best environmental practices.
Public transportation options include buses, SkyTrain, SeaBus Ferry, Canada Line rail system as well as taxis and shuttles. All of these options are intended to be ecologically friendly, reliable, and cost-effective.
Vancouver is known for its fabulous diverse multicultural food experiences. It certainly would be impossible for one to sample all the goodness and cultural offerings of Vancouver even if one spent their entire life living in Vancouver.
When moving to Vancouver though, to appreciate the food offerings, one must be willing to try new things. To assist you with this we have put together a must-try list of restaurants.
If you are looking to celebrate something special, Hawkswork should be top on your list of fine dining eating establishments.
Having won numerous awards, Hawksworth will not disappoint with its elegant contemporary cuisine and a full range of culinary offerings. Fine dining at its best!
One of Vancouver’s most popular vegan and gluten-free restaurants is the Acorn. Proud of its ability to satisfy even the greatest diehard meat-eaters, The Acorn is a must-try for those seeking a food experience that boasts of fresh, locally sourced ingredients. This award-winning restaurant and bar will have you looking at vegetables in a whole new way!
If you love seafood, then be sure to visit Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar. Known to be one of Vancouver’s finest seafood restaurants because of its delicious fresh seafood showcased with a West Coast flair infused with international influences dished up with an uncompromising standard of excellence.
Gotham Steakhouse and Bar is a simple and classic steakhouse serving only the best of the best from prime grade beef to the freshest of fish and seafood enhanced by the excellent quality of only the finest ingredients making the cut.
Delectable food, an elegant atmosphere, and exceptional customer service are the reasons that Gotham is Vancouver’s most awarded steakhouse.
Tojo is not just a restaurant, it is an experience. Elegant and modern Japanese fine dining, Tojo is recognized internationally for not only its exquisite food but for creating and serving this exquisite food as art.
Having won many awards both locally and internationally, Cioppino’s Mediterranean Grill & Enoteca is not your everyday classic Italian restaurant. Anchored to tradition, Cioppino’s Mediterranean Grill & Enoteca makes every effort to steep their dishes in all that makes them true to their classic heritage while contemporising them with innovative techniques that fuse their heritage-rich dishes with all that today’s modern culinary has to offer. Old and new are beautifully intertwined.
If you are looking for Vancouver’s best breakfast, lunch and weekend brunch spot, look no further than Café Medina. Known for its diverse bistro fare, aficionado-savvy coffee and the best waffles the city of Vancouver has to offer, Café Medina is everything and more that one could want in a breakfast, lunch or brunch venue.
The above suggestions are only a tiny sampling of the amazing food that Vancouver has to offer with its diverse cultural influences.
If you're looking for a city that has it all, Vancouver is the place to be. From its world-famous scenery to its endless array of activities and amenities, this coastal metropolis has something for everyone. When it comes to shopping, Vancouver doesn't disappoint either. Whether you're in the market for luxury brands or unique local finds, the city's myriad of shopping districts will have you covered.
Here are a few of the top shopping options in Vancouver, BC:
Metropolis at Metrotown is BC's largest shopping centre, with three storys and over 450 shops and services. You'll find everything from high-end fashion to budget-friendly basics, as well as a wide range of restaurants and entertainment options. Some of the most popular stores include Old Navy, H&M, and the Real Canadian Superstore. In addition to great shopping, Metropolis also offers a food court with a variety of options, as well as a cinema complex. Whether you're looking for a new outfit or just want to browse, Metropolis at Metrotown is the perfect place to spend a day.
For those who love to shop, Vancouver's Pacific Centre is a must-visit destination. Located in the heart of the downtown core, the mall is connected to the Hudson's Bay department store and features over 100 retailers. Shoppers can find everything from high-end fashion to budget-friendly items, making it the perfect place to find something for everyone.
In addition, the mall is also home to Vancouver Centre Mall, one of the city's largest and most popular shopping centres. Whether you're looking for a new outfit or just want to window shop, Pacific Centre is sure to have what you're looking for.
Park Royal Shopping Centre is Vancouver's premier shopping destination, with 280 stores and services to explore. It's also Canada's first covered shopping mall, so you can shop in comfort no matter what the weather is like outside. Park Royal is home to many of your favourite retailers, as well as some unique boutiques that you'll love discovering as well as a food court, movie theatre, and ice rink.
The mall is anchored by major retailers such as Hudson's Bay and Walmart. Park Royal is accessible by public transit, and there is also a free shuttle bus that runs between the mall and Vancouver's downtown core. With its convenient location and wide range of amenities, Park Royal Shopping Centre is a popular destination for both locals and tourists alike.. There's something for everyone at Park Royal Shopping Centre.
McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Vancouver Airport is a popular shopping destination for both locals and visitors. The outdoor centre offers 80 retailers over 340,000 square feet, making it one of the largest in the area. Discounts on luxury brands like Coach and Cole Haan can be found year-round, along with stores for all ages like J. Crew and Carters.
Whether you're looking for a new outfit or just some souvenirs, McArthurGlen Designer Outlet is sure to have what you're looking for. With the added bonus of being located near the airport, it's the perfect place to pick up any last-minute items before your next trip.
The upscale Robson Street is home to a number of high-end stores, as well as a variety of restaurants and cafes. Visitors can find everything from designer clothes to home decor along this spectacular strip, making it the perfect place to do some serious shopping. And because the street is located in the heart of downtown Vancouver, it's easy to get to no matter where you're staying.
There is also a wide variety of entertainment options, from live music to street performers. Whether you're looking for a new outfit or just a place to people-watch, Robson Street is the perfect place to spend an afternoon.
Events and Attractions in Vancouver, BC
Vancouver is a city that has something for everyone. If you're looking for adventure, you can go hiking or skiing in the nearby mountains. Or if you're looking for a more relaxed experience, you can stroll through one of the many parks or visit one of the city's many museums. Vancouver is also home to a variety of events and festivals throughout the year, so there's always something to do.
Some of the city's most popular events include the Vancouver International Jazz Festival, which takes place every summer, and the Vancouver Fringe Festival, which is a celebration of independent theatre. There's also the Vancouver Pride Parade, which is one of the largest in North America. No matter what your interests are, you're sure to find something to do in Vancouver.
Things to do in Vancouver, BC
When it comes to keeping entertained in Vancouver, there's something to suit all interests and age groups! The city has a wide variety of activities to keep you busy, whether you're looking for something active or more low-key.
Here's just a taste of what you can do in this colourful city:
Parks and Recreation
Stanley Park is Vancouver's most famous park, and for good reason. This spacious green space is a massive urban park that features almost 1000 acres of forest, gardens, and beaches. Visitors can enjoy the splash pad and playgrounds, or take a walk or bike ride along the seawall.
Stanley Park is just one of Vancouver's many parks; in total, Vancouver has almost 300 parks! Whether you're looking for a place to relax, play sports, or take your dog for a walk, Vancouver has a park for you. And if you're visiting during the winter months, don't worry; many of Vancouver's parks also offer tobogganing and skating facilities. So come out and enjoy everything that Vancouver's parks have to offer!
For the Kiddos
Vancouver is a great place to bring your family, and there are plenty of activities to keep the kids entertained. The Vancouver Aquarium is a popular destination, where kids can learn about all sorts of marine life. There's also Science World, which has interactive exhibits on everything from space exploration to the human body. And if your kids are looking for some outdoor fun, they can visit one of Vancouver's many parks or take a walk along the seawall.
If you're looking for a good time, Vancouver's nightlife won't disappoint. The Granville Entertainment District is home to a variety of bars, pubs, and clubs, as well as some of the city's best restaurants. Gastown is also filled with a number of trendy lounges and bars. For something a little different, check out one of the city's many rooftop bars or dance the night away at one of the clubs. No matter what your taste, Vancouver has a nightspot that will suit you.
The Bottom Line
If you're looking for a new place to call home, Vancouver is definitely worth considering. This vibrant city has something for everyone, from parks and recreation to nightlife and culture. The coveted real estate and trendy neighbourhoods are just icing on the cake. And with its gorgeous coastal location on the western edge of Canada, Vancouver is truly a one-of-a-kind city. So what are you waiting for? Start packing your bags and get ready to move to Vancouver!