Thinking of moving to Victoria or Vancouver Island? You are not alone. Our province, region and city are high on the list of favourable locations with Canadians who are looking for their next home.
Moving to British Columbia
TheTopTensdotcom ranked the provinces by online voting and B.C came out on top, largely due to the abundance of natural surroundings, accessibility, and plethora of potential activities. As one voter commented, “…You can swim in the ocean, visit the continent’s largest Chinatown, hang out with some hipsters, and go snowboarding all in the same day.”
Indeed, B.C. shared top spot with New Brunswick for one-way truck rentals during the pandemic.
Moving to Vancouver Island
A survey led by Ratesdotca found 51 per cent of Canadians who moved in 2020 due to COVID-19 did so to “live in an area with more nature” and 36 per cent “felt financial pressure” to find a cheaper home.
This explains why people are fleeing the Lower Mainland to move to Victoria and Vancouver Island. They want to enjoy the relaxed lifestyle our Island has to offer. Who wouldn’t want to trade in rush hour traffic and sky-high housing prices for the slower, more peaceful, and more affordable Island lifestyle?
Compare home prices between Vancouver and Victoria: Current MLS® stats peg the average home price in Vancouver at $1,357,830, and the average home price in Victoria proper is $1,180,000. While the price gap between Vancouver and Victoria homes has narrowed this past year, Lower Mainlanders can still sell their home and find something comparable for a lower price on Vancouver Island and pocket a sizable difference.
A recent survey by Rates.ca of Canada’s Most Livable Places 2021 evaluated more than 150 cities and towns outside the country’s biggest metropolitan areas and ranked them. They factored in metrics like affordability, low mortgage costs and population growth along with lifestyle-oriented criteria such as scenic beauty, nightlife, outdoor activities, and accessibility.
Vancouver Island’s communities placed well. Top communities included Langford in first place with a population growth of 5.2 per cent, average home price (2020) of $725,300, with a scenery rating of four stars. Cowichan Bay came in 7th place also had a four-star scenery rating an average home price of $561,900. Courtenay, ranked 11th place, had a population growth of 1.3 per cent and an average 2020 home price of $550,800. The city was also given a scenery rating of four stars, a nightlife rating of three, an outdoor activity rating of four, and a climate rating of five.
Other Island communities that made the list include Victoria at the 30, Campbell River at 37, Nanaimo at 54, Parksville at 66, Port Alberni at 82, Ucluelet at 97 and Tofino at 155.
The survey was conducted online with 1,514 Canadians from Jan. 22 to 24, 2021
Moving to Victoria
Our beautiful city ranked as the fifth best small city in the world to live in according to the global media company Monocole. Their second annual small cities index list 25 ‘compact civic spots’ based on “rich culture, varied careers and progressive planning” with plenty of room to breathe.
“Victoria is clearly seen globally as a city of economic opportunity, diversity and a very high quality of life. With Victoria,” stated Lisa Helps, the Mayor of Victoria who was obviously pleased with the survey results. “(With) our 20-year action plan to build an inclusive and prosperous economy, with a continued commitment to investing in quality-of-life infrastructure, we hope to maintain our position in the top 10 in the years to come.”
Four Reasons to Move to Victoria and Vancouver Island
Tourists to Victoria and Vancouver Island often end up rethinking their lifestyle choices in favour of the Island Life. If you are among those smitten by Island desire, we’d like to “push you “over the edge” with these four reasons to move here:
Business & Employment Opportunities
B.C.’s unemployment rate in June 2021 was 6.6-percent according to Stats Canada – significantly below the national average of 7.8-percent. B.C. also boasts one of the most prosperous economies in Canada with business and employment opportunities in manufacturing, construction, education, health care, agriculture, entertainment, retail, and forestry.
Small businesses tend to do well on Vancouver Island. This is due in part to the variety of factors including the willing support of local customers to support local business to substantially lower start up costs and business overhead compared to the Lower Mainland.
Living on the Island means Island time and Island living. There is less traffic, shorter commutes, and more affordable living. Islanders can work a little less and enjoy the amazing environment a little more. The rat-race is not as pronounced here. Island culture affects every activity, from going to business mixers without a tie, to breaking away from work a little early to get outdoors.
Victoria can’t claim there isn’t traffic. We still endure the “Colwood Crawl” between 2 and 5 pm on workdays, even though it has been relieved by major road improvements. However, it is not nearly as arduous as traffic on the Lower Mainland.
What’s your favourite outdoor activity? You will find it here. There are dedicated rock climbers, long distance cyclists, a sports training centre, caving, scuba diving, surfing, hunting, fishing, river tubing, salmon fishing and more. Family activities and businesses that serve them abound ranging from Wild Play Adventures with forest canopy zip lines to mini golf courses to Flying Fish’s indoor trampolines.
There is a plethora of amazing natural features to find on Vancouver Island such as incredible waterfalls, unusual potholes, caves, tide pools and old growth forests to explore. Wildlife abounds; deer and bears on land, killer whales, sea lions and salmon at sea and bald eagles and blue herons in the air. All commonly spotted throughout the islands.
Delightful hiking and biking thread throughout the region which attract people all around the world. In fact, Victoria has the highest numbers of bikers per capita in the country. You can find yourself cycling through magical greenery on the Galloping Goose or Lochside trail and not even know you are traversing urban areas.
There is nothing quite like the local charm of Vancouver Island. Each community is a little bit different in its own way and has their own draws. Nanaimo, “The Harbour City” or Campbell River, “The Salmon Capital of the World”. Arts and culture abound with everything from totem poles and wood carvings everywhere you look.
Local farmers are overflowing with artisan goods and handcrafted ornaments you can find in every community. You will typically find local produce such as eggs, meats, cheese, micro breweries, and distilleries. If you are a fan of local, fresh produce, Island living will suit you. You can even purchase locally caught seafood on the docks of most harbour cities.
So, what are you waiting for? A more relaxed and enjoyable lifestyle await! We dare you to come for a visit, try on Island Living and see why so many Canadians feel compelled to move here.
If you decide to move to Victoria or anywhere on Vancouver Island, give us a call or request a quote so we can help you arrange you move.