- Purchase the complete Expat Arrivals Vancouver Guide (PDF)
Founded in 1860, Vancouver has since become one of the world's fastest-growing cities. This is largely due to its strategic ties to the booming economies of East Asia. Despite all the hustle that typically comes attached to commercial centres the coastal metropolis, like the Canadian persona, is quiet and polite.
Locals often comment that it is the snow-capped mountains, lush forests and mild climate that make Vancouver so enjoyable. The city fills out a large peninsula which is surrounded by water on three sides. The green beltways and urban parks provide Vancouver residents with plenty of outdoor space while the epic views of the surrounding North Shore Mountain Range will take expats' breath away.
Expats moving to Vancouver will find a city bustling with a myriad of cultures. While English speakers account for the largest language group, there are also some French, Chinese, Vietnamese, German, Taiwanese and Punjabi speakers. The impact of Chinese expats is clearly visible in the colourful Chinese New Year celebrations, the Dragon Boat festival and Chinatown Night, all of which are well attended annual events.
Still, not everything is picture-perfect in Vancouver. The city’s cost of living is incredibly high and is particularly inflated by the exorbitant cost of accommodation. Average rental costs remain expensive and demand is increasingly overshadowing supply in the Metro Vancouver area. This all makes the house-hunting search more challenging than ever before.
That said, once expats find a home in Vancouver, they can begin to enjoy the outdoor lifestyle that residents regularly prioritise. They are able to spend the summer boating, kayaking, swimming and surfing along the beaches and waterways of Vancouver Island and Burrard Inlet. Hiking and mountain biking are also popular activities in the countless city parks, forests and local mountains.
Furthermore, Vancouver is one of the world’s food capitals, boasting many high-quality dining experiences. With so many culinary traditions to draw upon, eating out in Vancouver is a varied affair. The city is obsessed with its restaurants and locals make a habit out of trying new venues to wine and dine. The Granville area is famous for its eateries, art galleries and markets. Burn off the calories by taking a walk down 10th Avenue or Broadway to find shopping options that match any world-class destination. All this is also within a stone's throw of the city's best beaches.
Vancouver has an efficient transport system consisting of buses, ferries and the SkyTrain. Vancouverites take a relaxed attitude to life and Canadians often comment that the city makes a welcome change from the hustle and bustle of Toronto life.
The crime rate in Vancouver is low by global standards. A possible downside is the decidedly low-key nightlife, which party-goers might find a little dull. All in all, most expats report that living in Vancouver is a treat, with many taking the plunge and settling on a permanent basis.
Living in Vancouver?
Are you living in Vancouver? We are always looking for local "expat experts" to contribute to our Vancouver guide and to answer forum questions for people moving or planning to move to Vancouver. Please contact us if you would like to contribute.
Are you an expat living in Vancouver?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Vancouver. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
Expat Health Insurance
With 86 million customer relationships in over 200 countries, Cigna Global has unrivalled experience in dealing with varied and unique medical situations and delivering high standards of service wherever you live in the world.
Sirelo has a network of more than 500 international removal companies that can move your furniture and possessions to your new home. By filling in a form, you’ll get up to 5 quotes from recommended movers. This service is free of charge and will help you select an international moving company that suits your needs and budget.