Rated the “Third most liveable city in the world for 2015”, Vancouver needs very little introduction. The famous city tops many travellers’ lists every year, boasting mild weather and a cosmopolitan lifestyle that tourists and residents cannot resist. A population of just over 600 000 people reside within the 115km2 city, making this one of the busiest corners of Canada.
Nestled in the mountains of British Columbia in the west of Canada, Vancouver city is unique in that residents can enjoy hot summer days on the beach and only experience 11 days of snow a year in winter. Take a short 45-minute drive south and you will cross the border into the U.S. Only 30 minutes outside of the city, lies the famous mountains of Blackcomb and the town of Whistler (every outdoor enthusiasts dream).
As a vibrant and exciting city, Vancouver has become world-famous and worthy of its many accolades and global ratings.
When wandering through the streets of Vancouver, you can expect to experience a distinct character and ethnic mix of cultures within each neighbourhood. Meeting a diverse mix of people from all over the world, you will be interested to know that 52% of residents speak a first language other than English in Vancouver.
The largest groups of immigrants who live and work in Vancouver are Chinese (27.7%) with Filipino and South Asian following behind at 6%. These groups of people have immigrated to Vancouver to look for a better life and exciting job opportunities in a booming economy.
Generally, newcomers to Vancouver find that the city’s residents are welcoming and rather friendly.
All Canadian residents are able to enjoy government-funded healthcare, a system that is managed primarily on a provincial level. One of the first things you must do when arriving in Canada is to apply for your British Columbia Medical Service Plan (MSP). From the time of your application, you will need to wait for up to 3 months to receive your health insurance card, so it is recommended that you apply for private health insurance to tide you over.
To apply for MSP, you will need to submit the following:
- Record of Landing
- Permanent Resident Card (front and back)
- Confirmation of Permanent Residence document
As a culturally diverse city that is constantly welcoming newcomers from around the world, it has become essential to provide a safe, community space. In each neighbourhood across the city, you will find a full-equipped community centre. Men, women and children from all backgrounds can get involved in activities that include fitness, arts and crafts, culture, dance, swimming, skating, child care, and more. Meet new people, learn new things and stay healthy and fit with a trip to your local centre.
Getting around Vancouver
Travelling around the city of Vancouver and its surrounds is simple on the state-of-the-art transportation system. Purchasing a monthly train ticket can set you back by CAD$99 per month while catching a taxi on a business day and driving 5 miles is approximately CAD$23.
If you want to save money, why not try cycling? Vancouver is equipped for cyclists, with safe bike-only lanes and pathways to encourage residents to get some exercise while travelling to work or appointments.
Driving in Vancouver is not essential as there are so many more affordable public transport options. If you do choose to purchase a car, a Volkswagen Golf 2.0 TDI will cost you C$25,514.
Join us on our journey through Vancouver. We will be looking at job opportunities, education, best neighbourhoods and the cost of living in this beautiful city.