This is the last post of a 3-part series where I rank cities we considered before deciding to move to Calgary. Today I will be doing two cities, so let’s get straight to it.
Vancouver, British Columbia
- Urban Location: 4 out of 5
- Jobs & Economy: 3 out of 5
The GDP per capita in Vancouver is $44,337 USD, which sounds OK until you compare that to Calgary’s $69,826. However, they do have a low unemployment rate, and in general the economy is growing.
- Affordability: 0 out of 5
Here is where the problem with Vancouver lies. So far I have been unable to find a single apartment in downtown Vancouver for $1,000 CAD. Instead of affordable apartments Craigslist is filled with overpriced basements an hour outside the city. Buying a home is even more out of reach — the average price of a home in Vancouver is $1 million.
- Beauty: 5 out of 5
The ocean, mountains and forest nearby make this a truly beautiful city! It is so beautiful that many times, despite our better judgment, we have been in the “fuck it — let’s just move to Vancouver!” camp. We are not even 100% sure we won’t just make a left instead of a right at the last minute and move to Vancouver instead of Calgary.
- Je ne sais quoi : 5 out of 5
Again, it is beautiful. We also like that it would open the door to exploring Asia, since it is on the west coast. That is assuming we still have money after paying rent, though.
- Weather: 4 out of 5
Vancouver has some of the mildest weather in all of Canada. However, it does get a lot of rain, so it is not all sunshine.
To be honest we never really considered moving to Toronto. The reason for this is that it’s just about as expensive as Vancouver, and if we were going to move to an expensive place we would rather just move to Vancouver. So, Toronto was marked off the list quite quickly.
I won’t rank Toronto because I feel like I did not do enough research on this city to rank it. But to do it a bit of justice I will mention that it is the largest city in Canada and most diverse city in the world! Which probably explains why Toronto is one of the top destination for immigrants. Toronto does have decent job growth (2.4% as of September 2017, according to the Bank of Montreal) and a low unemployment rate (6.1%), and together with city of Kitchener, a tech hub just outside of Toronto, the area is a great option when looking for a job. However, for us the cost of living just seemed too high.
Well, that is all for today. I’ll leave you with this fun graph from the Huffington Post. If you are struggling with the blurry picture you can also see it here: