Moving to Vancouver from the UK
Obviously there’s no language barrier for anyone moving to Vancouver from the UK but there are some differences that should be noted.
Firstly, Vancouver’s overall crime rate is low and is generally considered safer than many UK cities. It does have its peculiarities, such as more lenient laws towards marijuana use.
Secondly, despite being a large centre of international trade and commerce, immigrants looking for skilled work can find it hard to break into the Vancouver employment market. While the tech, media and tourism industries are all growing, the city still lacks the dynamism of a large UK city. It’s recommended to allow several months for job hunting if you’re planning to move without work already lined up.
Lastly, even though Vancouver is a delight for the outdoors types, with 18 km of beaches, mountain trails, whitewater rafting and ski-slopes all within easy reach, be warned that the city is wet. It rains a whopping 169 days of the year on average, or, in other words, more than Manchester.
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Comparing Vancouver vs London
Those leaving London to start a new life in Vancouver won’t be doing it for the weather. London sees, on average, 63% less rainfall than the Canadian city. Vancouverites also, on average, pay more at the store for their groceries.
Those small gripes aside, you will generally see your money going further in Vancouver: consumer goods, eating out and rent are all cheaper than in London.You will spend less time commuting, enjoying cleaner air, less crime and better healthcare. Added to the beautiful surrounds and the excellent city planning, that’s a big tick in Vancouver’s ‘quality of life’ box.
In terms of history, art and culture, Vancouver is at a distinct disadvantage but still packs in a lot for a city of about 2.5 million residents. A gold rush settlement in the 19th century, Vancouver has few ‘old’ buildings by London standards but does have some excellent examples of Edwardian (the Beaux-Artes Sun Tower), Art Deco (the elaborately tiled Marine Building) and modern (the Colosseum-like Vancouver Library Square) architecture.
The Museum of Anthropology at UBC, with an extensive collection of Canadian aboriginal artefacts, is worth a look, as is the Inukshuk, a large stonework piece of art, at English Bay.
Of course with the Canucks, Giants, Ravens, Whitecaps and Lions among them, Vancouver has more elaborately named sports teams than London could shake an oddly-shaped stick at.