From its exciting film and television industry to the charm of English Bay Beach, Vancouver has so much to offer as a destination to purchase a property in. As well as the city’s natural and cultural assets, we look into job opportunities in Vancouver, so that you can see if a move there could work for you.
Vancouver is a major city in western Canada, on the Lower Mainland of British Columbia.
Historically, Vancouver found prosperity from its port, which is the largest and most diversified in Canada. The port is still a crucial to the soul of Vancouver, but as we will go into later, industries such as local food and video game design also thrive there. Vancouver has earned the nickname “North Hollywood” as has its own vivacious film and television industry, at least in part, due to its astonishing scenic beauty.
A diverse city
Vancouver is a cosmopolitan and diverse city, with a strong immigrant population. According to UNESCO, none of the city’s main ethnic groups (Chinese, English, French, Filipino, German, Indian, Irish, Scottish) make up more than 25% of the population. Although the main language spoken is English, it is a multilingual city.
Things to see and do
From a simple stroll around Stanley Park to weekends away skiing in Whistler, your life in Vancouver will be full and merry. Here are just some of the natural and cultural highlights that will make your free time fantastic.
On the edge of downtown Vancouver, Stanley Park attracts a whooping 8 million visitors each year. Although it is about half the size of Richmond Park in London, Stanley Park packs in a visual treat: it is home to 500,000 cedar, fir, and hemlock trees. Inside, you can find a combination of kid-friendly areas (a pool, park, and miniature railway), dirt trails and well-maintained paved routes. Stanley Park is the perfect place for a breather during your lunch break, dog walks, or picnics with the family at weekends.
English Bay Beach
Vancouver’s most popular beach is English Bay. Its boardwalk, Seawall, is a hit among walkers, skaters, and cyclists. It offers fantastic options for dining out with views of the sea. Plus, its right by Stanley Park.
For a couple of nights away from home, Bowen Island is a twenty-minute ferry ride from Horseshoe Bay, West Vancouver. Surrounded by mountain and water views, Bowen Island is home to artisan shops, bites to eat, ecological tours, and guided hikes. It is an alcove of preserved natural beauty, a short ride away from the buzz of the city.
Richmond Night Market
From May through to October, this large night market offers you tastes from across the globe, from gyozas to nitrogen ice cream.
Home to the longest outdoor saltwater swimming pool in Canada, volleyball nets, and basketball courts, this beach has a fun, hippie atmosphere.
Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden
This is the first classical Chinese garden to be built outside of China. It is located in Vancouver’s Chinatown. It is a registered museum and is a unique venue that hosts concerts, exhibitions, and festivals. Living in Vancouver, you’ll likely find yourself drawn there time and time again.
Fun weekends away skiing
Just two hours from Vancouver, the legendary Whistler lies. Worldwide, Whistler has put Canada on the map with its incredible options for skiing for a range of abilities. Whistler Mountain boasts of an impressive 4,757 acres of skiing terrain while Blackcomb Mountain has 3,414 acres, with over 200 trails between them. Additionally, it is home to the record-breaking PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola, which, upon completion, was the longest continuous lift system and the highest of its kind, at 436 metres above the valley floor. From winter through to summer, Whistler is an activity-packed place.
More than just skiing
You can fly through the mountainous forests on a zipwire; you can go on a literal bear hunt (though don’t harm the bears, just bring your camera); play golf; go white water rafting – the list is long, and if you’re thinking of moving to Canada with family and not everyone is a super keen skier, there will be plenty of other ways for them to enjoy their time.
Job opportunities in Vancouver
From film to finance, here are some of the most prosperous industries in Vancouver. The average yearly income is $52,6000. In order to work in Vancouver, you will need a visa, and these are different kinds based on whether you are seeking temporary work, business, or even an agricultural worker visa. The Canadian government website will provide more guidance.
On average, Vancouver is home to 65+ films and 55+ television series annually, as well as hundreds of commercials, pilots, and other features.
For example, film and television flourishes in Vancouver, with a $4.8 billion industry production spend and 25k+ jobs. It is the third largest film and television production centre in North America. On average, the city is home to 65+ films and 55+ television series annually, as well as hundreds of commercials, pilots, and other features. Recent productions include Deadpool, Superman: Man of Steel, Riverdale, and X-Files.
If you are passionate about saving the planet through innovative design, then a move to Canada could mean a move into their clean tech industries. Vancouver is the third greenest city in the world. With their Renewable Energy Strategy, they intend to remove all carbon-based energy from the city by 2050. As a result, there are 200+ clean tech companies in Metro Vancouver, with focuses on fuel cell solutions, power electronics, and waste/wastewater treatment.
Plus, Vancouver has a strong local food movement, with a $15 million benefit to the local economy.
There’s also plenty of opportunity for green construction if that’s your forte.
Vancouver’s finance sector employs over 60,000 people.
Video game design
Video game design is a lively $152 global industry, with 170 video game development studios in the world.
Here are a few of the other sectors that are successful in Vancouver. Vancouver is the home to more than 200 apparel companies, many of them specialist, such as Lululemon Athlethica (yoga wear). Life sciences generates more than $800 million per year in revenue and employs over 11,000 people. While the finance sector employs over 60,000 people. Art and culture are lauded by the city, with the average citizen spending $1,000 per year on the sector; Vancouver has bred many famous faces, including Carly Rae Jepsen, Ryan Reynolds, and Seth Rogen.
According to Wowa, Canada’s personal finance encyclopaedia, the first half of 2022 was busy time for real estate in Vancouver. However, since then, higher mortgage and interest rates have slowed movement in the property market down.
As of January 2023, the average property price for Metro Vancouver was $1,111,400, a 0.6% decrease and a 6.6% decrease year-on-year. Moreover, Metro Vancouver and Toronto are the most expensive places to buy housing in Canada.
Meanwhile, the average home price for Greater Vancover is $1,163,092, with a 1.7% monthly decline and an 8.7% annual decline.
Partial two-year ban on foreign investors
It is important to note that Canada have put a partial two-year ban on foreign investors purchasing property over there. However, if you plan to move to Canada and become a permanent resident there, then this should not be a problem. The ban is aimed at investors rather than those aiming to start a life there. For more information on how to obtain residency in Canada, please click here.
Cost of living
Vancouver is a little less expoensive to live in than London, but there isn’t a great deal in it – around 5% according to Numbeo. However, when you start comparing it to simiarly sized Manchester, Vancouver is significantly more expensive. Especially for rental properties, which are 74% higher in Vancouver.
Additionally, on average, rent is 20.5% less expensive than London. So, if trips to Bowen Island and amazing job opportunities in green technology weren’t enough to allure you, there’s the bonus of Vancouver being a more affordable choice than London.