Are you thinking of moving out West?
British Columbia is a unique province that has a lot to offer. With its beautiful landscape, including the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, as well as a prosperous economy, this province is the perfect mix of metropolitan cities and breathtaking nature.
In this article we will give you an idea of what to consider and what to expect when moving to B.C.
1. Your Immediate Considerations
The first steps to take care of when you arrive in BC are all the administrative errands. Below is a checklist of the most important things to take care of as soon as you arrive.
- Apply for the British Columbia Medical Services Plan (MSP) from the government website. The application is available online and will take around 15 minutes to fill.
- Apply online with the ICBC (Insurance Corporation of British Columbia) for a British Columbia driver’s license.
- Update your new contact with all your necessary administrations (including banks, credit cards, employers, etc.)
- Get a local BC phone number.
2. Consider the best places to work and live in B.C.
B.C. is known for its high standard of living, a flourishing economy, and beautiful landscapes. Below is a list of the key cities to consider if you are moving to B.C.
B.C’s most populated and thriving metropolitan city. Its booming business sector makes it an ideal place to seek employment or open a business, It also has a well developed transportation sector, and is the perfect mix of nature and city, with beautiful surrounding mountains, vast forested parks, the ocean coastline, highrise towers and city lights.
A thriving coastal city found in the Greater Victoria area. It has the lowest rate of unemployment in all of Canada.
- Fort St. John
One of the wealthiest cities in Canada, with the average household income at about $108 000. This luxurious and exclusive city has a small and quiet population of approximately 20,000 people.
Known as the “Little California” of Canada, this attractive little city features a unique landscape of mountains, vineyards, and surrounds the Okanagan Lake. It also offers the best year-round climate in all of Canada. Every point of this city offers incredible views. With over 120 wineries it has a luxurious appeal to many of Canada’s wealthy population.
The capital of B.C., located on the southern point of Vancouver Island. It is paved with charming cobble-stone streets, and 19th century stone buildings. The city is named after Queen Victoria, and is reminiscent of the Victorian-era in England.
3. Consider the Cost of Living
BC is known as the most expensive province in Canada to live in. Its high cost of living is something to consider when buying or renting a home. A 1-bedroom apartment in Toronto is approximately $2600 a month, versus $3000 a month to rent in Vancouver.
The minimum wage is B.C. is $15.65 per hour as of June 01, 2022.
The tax system in B.C. uses a PST of 7% and GST of 5% system for a total of 12%. Income is taxes based on what income bracket you fall in, with higher taxation on higher income earners. As of 2022 the income taxation system is as follows:
4. Education in B.C.
A very important consideration when moving is the education sector. B.C. offers a globally recognized quality assurance seal for its post-secondary education, called the Education Quality Assurance (EQA). It has 25 post secondary institutions, including the prominent University of British Columbia (UBC), which is ranked in the top 20 best public universities globally, and the second best university in Canada.
5. Public Transportation
British Columbia offers many options for transportation, including public transportation by bus, ferry, railway, subway, and the SkyTrain. Unique to Vancouver, the SkyTrain is a fully automated rapid-transit system that runs both underground and on elevated tracks.
6. Dining and Alcohol
- B.C. is known for its locally produced seafood, including oysters, salmon, and sablefish. It also locally produced berries, cherries, and many other seasonal fruits. Farmers markets and coastal markets are very popular in B.C., as well as fruit picking and winemaking at local farms and wineries.
- The legal drinking age is 19 in B.C. Alcohol is sold in a wide range of privately owned shops as well as in the BC LiquorStores. B.C. is also known for its many wineries, and produced many local wines. Many of these wineries can be found in the city of Kelowna.
7. Popular Sites to Visit
The province is known for its large range of National Parks and outdoor activities for every season. One thing is certain, you will never be bored in B.C.!
- Visit one of the many ski resorts in British Columbia, including: Whistler Blackcomb, Revelstoke Mountain, Kicking Horse, Cyprus Mountain, Big White, Sun Peaks, and more!
- In the summer, almost all the popular ski resorts offer exhilirating mountain biking.
- Enjoy the watersports, including: kayaking, sailing, whale watching, diving, rafting, swimming, rent seadoo’s, surging, go tubing or water-skiing… the options are endless!
- Explore B.C. by foot by hiking in one of the many national parks. There are endless trails throughout B.C., and you will never need to repeat the same trail twice. Be sure to hike along the Wild Pacific Trail and Tofino.
- Have fun with the entire family at Capilano Bridge, The Butchart Gardens, and Granville Island. Also spend the day at Vancouver’s Stanley Park.
8. Interesting Facts
- British-Columbia features:
- eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites
- seven national parks
- Migratory bird sanctuary
- Contains 25% of the world’s temperate rainforest.
- The city of Vancouver contains over 50% of B.C’s total population.
- British Columbia makes up 10% of Canada’s landscape.
- They are the leading producer of cranberries and blueberries globally.
- Whistler B.C. features the world’s longest unsupported cable car, which connects two peaks of the Whistler/Blackcomb Ski Resort.
We hope this guide has given you some useful information for your upcoming move to British Columbia! Be sure to hire reliable movers to move you to your destination. High Level Movers has been operating throughout Canada for over 15 years, offering both local moving services and long distance moving services. Visit our website highlevelmovers.ca, and ask for a free quote today!