Alternatives to Vancouver?

I’m finding myself less interested in living in Vancouver and I’m curious about the options – are any of you reading this site from outside Vancouver? I’d be interested in opinions, both pro and con of other cities and towns.

I’ve lived in Vancouver for my whole life. I’m in my early 30s and have a young family. I have a reasonable income that is portable. I currently rent in Point Grey, I like the proximity to shops and beaches here but would love to find a place that was brighter in the winter, even if it’s a bit colder. I’m just not a big fan of the rainshadow and I don’t care about the mountains that bring the rainshadow so proximity to mountains is unimportant.

I would also love to find somewhere that has less of a junky/ homeless problem. Even here on the westside it seems like the homeless population has doubled in the last couple of years.

Any ideas of good places for a young family to live?

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registered
Member
registered

….would love to find a place that was brighter in the winter, even if it’s a bit colder."

If 'a bit colder' is your limit, that pretty much leaves the Fraser Valley where Canada is concerned.

patriotz
Member

I would also love to find somewhere that has less of a junky/ homeless problem.

That's the easy part. Really easy.

Lance
Guest
Lance

@patriotz: I hear Victoria has a growing problem with addicts and homeless as well- is it as bad as Vancouver?

Peter
Guest
Peter

Ottawa. It has cold winters and hot summers, but it's beautiful, clean and safe. There are lots of government jobs, the residents tend to be highly educated and friendly, and it's very close to Montreal. It's also driving distance from Toronto and New York City. Like Vancouver, it has two universities, but a ton more arts and cultural institutions. There is good hiking in Gatineau Park.

Oh yeah. The median family income is among the highest in the country and housing is about 50% cheaper than in Vancouver.

Keeping An Eye On Th
Guest
Keeping An Eye On Th

Sorry, you are asking for too tall of an order.

There are no alternatives to Vancouver; it is unique, and happens to be the best place on earth.

Of course there is a persistent and growing homeless population because we have ran out of land since Expo 86, or the Olympics, (I can’t remember which).

The rain? What rain? Are you sure you don’t have us confused with Seattle, we don’t get too much rain here.

Patiently Waiting
Member
Patiently Waiting

Halifax.

Patiently Waiting
Member
Patiently Waiting
OT "The impending wave of aging baby boomers, as well as an explosion of those over age 80, has municipalities reviewing official community plans to ensure there’s enough affordable condos, seniors’ residences, rental units, granny flats and secondary suites to accommodate the changing demographics. “We are definitely short of [seniors’ housing] and it runs across the spectrum,” said North Vancouver District Coun. Alan Nixon, noting half a duplex costs $800,000 on the North Shore. “This is the real problem we face.” … “A lot of people tend to be asset rich and income poor,” he said. “That can be a challenge.”Given the high cost of housing and rising demands for home support, various levels of government know they must do something. … "Nixon said he would love to see co-op housing, but this isn’t viable with rising land costs." Read… Read more »
cgh
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cgh

1. Victoria. 50% less rain (or so I heard when I lived there – much less rain, anyway), really a nice city, bit of a junky/homeless problem however.

2. The Okanagan. This doesn't necessarily mean Kelowna – Summerland and Penticton are excellent options too, if your work allows it. Obviously way less rain, safe and great for families.

Generally speaking, in Canada the sunniest cities tend to be cold in winter. The above are two exceptions. Here's a list of the sunniest major cities in Canada from http://www.currentresults.com/Weather-Extremes/Ca

City Days

Calgary, Alberta 333

Edmonton, Alberta 321

Regina, Saskatchewan 321

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan 320

Winnipeg, Manitoba 318

Victoria, British Columbia 317

Windsor, Ontario 307

Kelowna, British Columbia 306

Montréal, Quebec 304

Barrie, Ontario 303

Ottawa, Ontario 303

Toronto, Ontario 303

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Sunnier with fewer "junkies"? Anywhere away from the coast. Seriously… are those your only criteria? Then it sounds like you want Ottawa, Calgary, or any smallish town outside the GTA.

What about culture? What about family? What about your own personally desirable demographics?

Sorry… but this post sounds like it was made by someone who is suffering from SAD (caused by grey days) and just spent an unusual (for them) amount of time at Pain and Wastings.

bubba
Guest
bubba

Depends on your job…..and need for urban amenities.

small town feel?

We were at Blind Bay, a little community near Shuswap. It seems built on a slope, in terraced fashion over looking the lake. Mix of ages of homes,1960's 1970 etc., no monster houses. One hour drive from Kamloops, 1/2 hour drive to Salmon Arm. Like a mini North Vancouver

Anything East of Hope you can expect 4 seasons, Okanagan can look very dreary.

vreaa
Member

When A Speculative Mania Ends, Wealth Simply Disappears –

"Poof! Gone in a flash of aggregated neurons."

http://wp.me/pcq1o-2XE

vreaa
Member

On the topic of this thread:

Many readers here will already know that VREAA has an archive category of stories about people either leaving Vancouver for elsewhere, or not coming here in the first place. This includes posts debating the merits of Vancouver. There are 223 related stories thus far, many first posted here at VCI.

see:
http://vreaa.wordpress.com/category/07-avoiding-v

Absinthe
Member
Absinthe

Waterloo. A two University town with a therefore surprising amount of culture & activity for relative size of city. Good range of activity options for kids. Plus, even with RIM on the edge, a great area for tech sector. Snow belt, so you do see snow, but it's bright all winter long.

regina
Guest
regina
I moved from Kerrisdale to Regina and you could imagine the shock in my first year of living in the prairies. Pro: sunny in the winter Cold, but it is very dry so really it is not that bad. After my move I went back to Vancouver few times during the winter and I felt it is way colder on the west coast. Absolutely no traffic. Disposable income is higher: travelled a lot around the world throughout the year, bough concert piano, just examples of how much my dollars can stretch here School system is less crowded: my daughter did not have problem joining French immersion program and it is small class size (less then 20 kids) Easy and affordable after school activities. There is a cultural life. Con: Limited choice of nightlife although I am at stage in my… Read more »
Curious
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Curious

@Anonymous: "What about culture? What about family? What about your own personally desirable demographics?"

Some culture would be nice, but I dont really need opera houses or concert stadiums. I'm more likely to peruse a small art gallery or take in some live music at a cafe.

Family is the big one- with many friends and family here in town thats probably the strongest tie to Vancouver.

As for demographics it would be nice to find a place with families in our age range and family friendly activities.

I may just be suffering from SAD, but I haven't been near the DTES much, really don't like it (except unfortunately that's where the best architecture in town is).

scullboy
Member
Actually I second Halifax. It's probably warmer then any other regional city owing to the Gulfstream. I find the people more friendly then anywhere else in the country. People think the median income is low here, but the fact is the cost of living is a WHOLE lot lower. I've lived in Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver and Halifax is by far the best city in terms of value for the dollar. Because of the military, hospitals and the large university community there's a large atable population. If you know where to eat, the food is FANTASTIC! Google "Chef Aldo" , he worked in the world's top restaurants (including one ownerd by the manager of the Stones). The head of the French Culinary Institute of America owns a place here. The latest culinary trend in NYC (Forchu Lobster) comes… Read more »
Vansanity
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Vansanity

I lived in Calgary for a couple of years… the people were great there, has a small town feel in a big city. Has its own set of issues, but generally its a great town.

The economy in Alberta is all about oil, and everything else feeds off it. You make more, spend less and it's far easier to get ahead there… I've actually been considering going back but I have a great job here, hard to give up.

Bruce
Guest
Bruce
If you can put up with the wind, Lethbridge, Alberta is is a small town (pop. 100000) with a University, much cheaper cost of living as compared to Calgary, housing especially, within 2 hours of alpine skiing, one hour of the US border, well developed public and separate school systems, and a rush hour that is measured in minutes not hours. We are subject to the same chinooks that Calgary gets so winters are not as severe as the northern areas. The Cultural Events are limited but do exist. There is public transit but it is limited in its service times and routes. DSL and Cable internet is available in most areas and Cell phone coverage is not bad. The local airport provides daily flights and is serviced by air canada, and Integra air. I moved here about 6 years… Read more »
whydoItry
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whydoItry

Leamington, Ontario.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

@Curious:

you may want to look up the meaning of 'rainshadow'…a rainshadow is actually a dry area. Vancouver is not in a rainshadow. You have to go East of the mountains for that.

VMD
Guest
VMD
several dentist/physician acquaintances already relocated to Alberta (Edmonton/Calgary) to establish themselves. Having lived in both cities, I prefer Calgary for the Chinooks.. In other news: Mish published an interesting article today [Misleading Indicators – China's Growth Won't Last; Chanos on Chinese Property Bubble and Growth] Fund manager Jim Chanos spoke to Bloomberg TV’s Carol Massar about China's economy, debt and real estate market. Chanos said that growth in China may be zero and that China has “European kind of numbers” when it comes to debt. On how a Chinese property bubble will play out: "I think that will be the surprise going into this year, and into 2012 – that it is not so strong. The property market is hitting the wall right now and things are decelerating. The CEO of Komatsu said last week that he is having trouble… Read more »
Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Kamloops for me. Three hours on the Coca-cola and you're back to Vancouver. Great place for families, but big enough to have what you need. Forty five minutes to Sun Peaks is a great bonus.

Cam Good
Guest
Cam Good

RE? Any butt hole is good enough for me.

Sikorsky helicopters will be para-HAMing lots of buyers soon..sorry for the delay, the demand is overwhelming.

victoria
Member
victoria
Victoria is nice but then again housing is crazy priced, it is an Island and you have to get off it and too many junkies/homeless. Also often I am the youngest person in a restaurant or at the store or ON MY STREET and I am pushing 45 so that is not saying much. There seems to be many young university people and old people but not many of us middle guys. I grew up in Winnipeg and many of my friends still live there or moved back. Lets see – super nice people, culture, great restaurants. They all own their own homes and many have cottages. Many take holidays to sunny places every year because they are not up their ears in home debt. Downside – winters (I probably forget how bad they are) and bugs.
reasonfirst
Guest
reasonfirst

If a study was done, I would think you would find a strong correlation between weather and homeless – hence the high homeless popn in Victoria.

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