Where to live in Canada?

Discussion in 'Canada' started by Jafal, Mar 22, 2012.

  1.  
    Jafal

    Jafal New Member

    There is a high probability that my wife will get a transfer to Canada in the short to medium term future.. the options of where we could live are looking like Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton.

    so I know that there are some people on this forum who have lived, or are currently living, in Canada and I wonder if you have any vies on where is the best all year round place to live.. we have a 13yo daughter who will need to go to school, probably to do the International Bacclaureate. I will be able to transfer with my work.

    We are not only skiers, but also boating enthusiasts, so Vancouver is where we are leaning towards, but not ruleing out Calgary, her companies major center in Canada, or Edmonton.

    Any advise, information you may have most welcome.
  2.  
    Telemark Phat

    Telemark Phat Addicted Member Season Pass Holder

    I would have said West Edmonton Mall because it had more submarines than the Canadian Navy. But they got rid of them so Edmonton is rubbish now.

    Calgary is the closest to the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology, the best dinosaur museum in the world so I'd suggest Calgary. And it smells like cow shit in downtown for extra win. And it is closest to Head Smashed in Buffalo Jump.

    Vancouver has better boating and skiing, but its over rated so don't go there.
  3.  
    Jafal

    Jafal New Member

    Telemark... WHAT?
  4.  
    Summit

    Summit Addicted Member Season Pass Holder

    Best year round...unless you don't mind -30 temps Vancouver would be the choice over the other two by a mile, oops Canada.. 1.609 Kms.
  5.  
    smitty484

    smitty484 Part of the Furniture

  6.  
    andrew7

    andrew7 Active Member

    Vancouver by a country mile, beautiful lush (if wet!) city and easy access to Whistler, cant beat it.
  7.  
    Crystal

    Crystal Sand skier extraordinaire Moderator

    Vancouver
  8.  
    robbo mcs

    robbo mcs Active Member



    Van, but it is the most expensive city to live in Canada. Real estate is pricey
  9.  
    piolet

    piolet Part of the Furniture

    [​IMG]
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  10.  
    Telemark Phat

    Telemark Phat Addicted Member Season Pass Holder

    I was holding a seance and TC took over the keyboard. I didn't even know he was dead?!?
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  11.  
    sly_karma

    sly_karma Part of the Furniture Season Pass Holder

    Calgary has more resort choices for skiers, but Vancouver is close to Whistler which probably offers more skiable acres than all those Kootenay/Rockies placdes put together. Plus Mt Baker and the three North Shore ski hills. And the Salish Sea is without question one of the two or three best destinations on the planet for the recreational boater.

    FWIW, Alberta is a lot cheaper to live in than BC, not just Vancouver either. Housing costs in Van are the highest in Canada, but BC also has a steep tax regime. There's an additional 7% sales tax over and above the federal 5% GST, whereas in Alberta you pay just the GST. And provincial income tax rates are much lower in AB. There are some compensatiuons for living amongst the rednecks!

    Finally, Vancouver has a better hockey team than anything from Alberty.
  12.  
    Jafal

    Jafal New Member

    Thanks everyone for the inputs, kind of reinforced our initial thoughts that Vancouver is the better place from a livability all year around point of view, not just the skiing side of things.

    The housing prices won't be a real big issue as this will be a company expat assignment, so they cover the costs.

    As we are also boating people the waterways around Vancouver offer some great place to explore, plus proximity to Whistler for skiing in winter.
  13.  
    Alex.C

    Alex.C Dedicated Member

    Going to have to nitpick that one, Whistler/Blackcomb adds up to only marginally more than just Lake Louise and Sunshine combined in skiable area... Not even starting to include Revy, Kicking Horse etc etc...
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  14.  
    Old Hack

    Old Hack New Member

    Vancouver for sure if you have to be in the city. Any chance of a more regional gig? Cheaper houses, and easier access to recreation with a lot less people. Kelowna would be a good one. Victoria could be a very nice option too.
  15.  
    Jafal

    Jafal New Member

    Nope there are only the options of Vancouver, Calgary or Edmonton .. or possibly Sao Paulo or Santiago.. but prefer the Canada options.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  16.  
    sly_karma

    sly_karma Part of the Furniture Season Pass Holder

    OK, I got nuthin. But Whistler is still massive. It could take a couple of seasons to understand all its nuances and find all the nooks and crannies.

    The BC coast is boater paradise, I wasnt exaggerating on that. And if you like scuba... OMFG. Incredible.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  17.  
    cqen2l

    cqen2l Addicted Member

    At least they had a win today sly, been a rough patch of late!
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  18.  
    Crystal

    Crystal Sand skier extraordinaire Moderator

    If company is paying expat conditions...Vancouver hands down
  19.  
    zhenjie

    zhenjie Active Member

    Vancouver for me. Enjoy the best mix of city, real nature and access to Whistler
  20.  
    Jafal

    Jafal New Member

    Thanks one and all, all of this reinforces what we thought.. for all year living on a company expat assignment Vancouver wins.

    Now to figure out where.. wifes work will be in Burnaby.. so looking along the Kitsilano, Westside areas me thinks...
  21.  
    sly_karma

    sly_karma Part of the Furniture Season Pass Holder

    heh heh... West End vs Kits. Reminds me of the old joke - what separates the fruits from the veges? The Burrard St bridge.
  22.  
    Jafal

    Jafal New Member

    ?????? pardon my ignorance but what are you talking about? I am sure it is some in joke for locals, but if there is a hidden message the as Pauline once said "Please explain?"
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  23.  
    main street

    main street Sun Peaks Resident Season Pass Holder

    Kits is more the Latte set mixed with new/old money..... west end is just weird.

    If the +1 is working in Burnaby, resist the temptation to live anywhere near Hastings St (East Hastings to be specific),..... Not for the faint hearted [​IMG] .

    A nice downtown condo could be the go though if you want inner city living.

    It's nice enough where I am in East Van (King Edward Village) & not too far from Burnaby.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013
  24.  
    sly_karma

    sly_karma Part of the Furniture Season Pass Holder

    West End was well known for large gay population, Kits had the hippies. Those distinctions have blurred over the past decade or two, but they are still linked by the Burrard St bridge over False Creek. These days Kits is trendy and expensive.
  25.  
    Jafal

    Jafal New Member

    Got it thanks .. we will probably be looking for a free standing house as we have 2 german shepherd dogs, so need a bit of room, plus I will be working from a home office, so not keen on a condo.

    I am thinking the Kits, West Point Grey, Shaughnessy sort of areas (I know up market but when on company expenses) .. and also the St Johns or Stratford Hall schools for our 13yo daughter .. want her to do the International Bacclaureate because if we need to move again it will make it easier.
  26.  
    sly_karma

    sly_karma Part of the Furniture Season Pass Holder

    Point Grey is closer to Wreck Beach than the others. Daughter will love it.
  27.  
    sly_karma

    sly_karma Part of the Furniture Season Pass Holder

    Google is a parent's friend
  28.  
    Jafal

    Jafal New Member

    Google certainly is ... been able ot find out all sort of info about school, housing etc .. now to see if this comes off or not, will know in about 2 months I think, and if it does would need to be there before the start of the next school year in early Sept. .. so I would say our skiing would be in Canada next Jan.
  29.  
    Crystal

    Crystal Sand skier extraordinaire Moderator

    Check rules on bringing the dogs back to Aus.... I think you will find it costs a bucket load. Expat contract will pay transport and shots but proabably not the boarding fees when they hit back in Aus for the 3 months (or what ever it is). This can be very expensive.
  30.  
    Jafal

    Jafal New Member

    Thanks Crystal, yep it will be expensive but not likely to get to leave them behind, we expect we would be away for 4 years, so by that time the older dog may not be with us, she will be 8 by the time we leave here.

    also no gurantee that the next step would be back to Aust. ... who know where they would send us next.
  31.  
    The Plowking

    The Plowking Addicted Member

    Just to throw a spanner in your works, have you thought about living Nth Van?
    Much better access for after school/work skiing on the local hills.
  32.  
    Jafal

    Jafal New Member

    Was thinking of this more of the case that we would not be skiing every day of the year, so need to make sure that the commute to Burnaby is bearable for wife, not too bad to get to downtown etc... can put up with the little extra drive when headed skiing, but be more of a burden coming the other way across the bridges.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  33.  
    main street

    main street Sun Peaks Resident Season Pass Holder

    The morning/evening commute across the Lions gate bridge is insane.
  34.  
    cqen2l

    cqen2l Addicted Member

    They needed an injection of Bradfield thinking before they built Lions Gate. It was only two lanes originally.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  35.  
    main street

    main street Sun Peaks Resident Season Pass Holder

    & whilst the bridge trip itself is nuts,..... it's often the road through Stanley Park leading to it that is the real traffic nightmare.
  36.  
    Jafal

    Jafal New Member

    yeah having driven in Jan 2011 in Vancouver, and only on about the 2nd Jan so still covered by people on holidays, we drove up to Whistler and back in the day just to check it out, not ski. The trip back across the bridge around 5pm was an absolute nightmare, and we were told this was nothing compared to normal...

    Hence the idea of living south of the city.
  37.  
    Jafal

    Jafal New Member

    OK so everybody seems to point towards Vancouver ... but if we need to end up in Calgary, what is that like and where is the best suburbs? or doesn't that matter much there?
  38.  
    sly_karma

    sly_karma Part of the Furniture Season Pass Holder

    The further you are from the Nth Shore mtns, the less rain and the more sun. White Rock gets half the annual precip that N Van gets. Sun won't be the only issue of course, but the difference is real. Richmond has measurably more sun than the nth shore.

    Calgary, great selection for the weekend skier. Lake Louise, Sunshine, Norquay, Castle, Fortress, Nakiska all within an hour and a half (depending where you are in the city). Fernie, Pano and Kicking Horse all around the 3 hr mark. Some pretty serious hitters there, can't think of another Canadian city with that much choice of real mountains. The economy is still thriving and tax levels are low. The city itself is flat but mountains are in view and the Bow River (no, not Mossy's Bow River) flowing through makes a great green belt. Suburban sprawl is the order of the day, though, the city has oozed out all over the countryside and continues to do so. Not current enough on the city to comment on best areas to live, but their hockey team sucks this season.
  39.  
    main street

    main street Sun Peaks Resident Season Pass Holder

    Can you play the banjo ?? [​IMG]
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  40.  
    Telemark Phat

    Telemark Phat Addicted Member Season Pass Holder

    Do you like the smell of cow poo!!!
  41.  
    main street

    main street Sun Peaks Resident Season Pass Holder

  42.  
    Jafal

    Jafal New Member

    Play Banjo - bugger NO
    Like smell of Cow Poo - bugger NO.
    Hockey team that sucks - can get use to that I follow Cronulla in the NRL

    so any good point for Calgary beside proximity to great skiing?
  43.  
    main street

    main street Sun Peaks Resident Season Pass Holder

    It gets seriously ****ing cold in winter ??

    (not as cold as where I work mind you,..... but close enough ! )
  44.  
    Telemark Phat

    Telemark Phat Addicted Member Season Pass Holder

    Calgary has powerpoints for the downtown parking spots so you can plug you engine in and keep it warm. Otherwise it's too cold for petrol to vaporise and you can't start your car.
  45.  
    Jafal

    Jafal New Member

    so go with diesel vehicles then I guess.
  46.  
    Alex.C

    Alex.C Dedicated Member

    Didn't know about the petrol vaporisation issue, but mainly you notice that the oil in the engine and elsewhere becomes really thick and hard to turn over when its cold, even if it is a lower temperature grade such as 0W-30.

    Also diesel can be worse if it is not the right formution in the cold, it tends to gel up and crystalize.

    Either way the winter past there was only about one week that a block heater really mattered, it has been somewhat mild.
  47.  
    Telemark Phat

    Telemark Phat Addicted Member Season Pass Holder

    I've never lived in Calgary, but its what I remember the Canuks telling me.
  48.  
    dawooduck

    dawooduck Old And Crusty

    There is downhill skiing right in Calgary with terrain park, massive bump course, bob sled and flying fox.
  49.  
    sly_karma

    sly_karma Part of the Furniture Season Pass Holder

    That's Calgary Olympic Park, lots of events in the 1988 Games were there. The spiritual home of the Jamaican bobsled team.

    Upsides for Calgary: humming economy with a lot of oil and resource corporations headquartered there. The Canadian economy has many parallels with the Aussie one, a surging resource sector that has mostly displaced manufacturing and agriculture as the nation's engine room. Real estate isn't as expensive as Vancouver. Roads are better and there aren't the bridges that plague the traffic flow in BC's lower mainland region. You are close to the justly world famous Canadian Rockies; there are mountains everywhere in BC too, but the heartland lies in the four mountain National Parks: Yoho, Banff, Jasper, Kootenay.
  50.  
    sly_karma

    sly_karma Part of the Furniture Season Pass Holder

    Oh, and Alex is right, plugging in a car or truck is done to power a block heater, keeping the engine oil from getting so thick that (a) the engine can't turn over fast enough to start, and/or (b) damage done due to thick oil not flowing properly through top end oil passages. In the really cold areas like northern Alberta's oil sands, petrol engines are preferred over diesels because there are fewer cold start issues. It's common for diesel owners to leave their engines idling overnight rather than risk a no start in the morning. Most new vehicles made for the Canadian market come with an engine block heater as standard equipment.