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Vancouver vs. Victoria: Which City Is Best for Living?

May 3, 2021BY Faisal Mustafa

As an immigrant, one of the hardest things to do is find you’re forever home. To find a city or place where you feel like you belong and can fit in. Many immigrants leave their homeland to find and make a new home in a foreign land. Similarly, many of you might have immigrated to Canada a while ago and are still looking for your perfect place.

Two of the most popular cities in Canada for immigrants are Vancouver and Victoria in British Columbia. Many of you might not be able to decide between Vancouver and Victoria as they both are perfectly good options with slight differences.

If that’s the case, you should read this article to find out more about living in Victoria vs. Vancouver and which place would be more suitable for you. Perhaps, you will be able to find your perfect place in one of these cities in British Columbia.

Victoria and Vancouver are both close to each other, but there are a lot of differences between them. This post will cover the cost of living in Victoria, transport, access to the outdoors, food, and nightlife, and other criteria to assess whether to move to or live in Victoria vs Vancouver.

Cost of Living: Vancouver vs Victoria

Cost of Living Vancouver vs Victoria

When you move and settle in a new place, you must research the Cost of Living. You must make sure you can afford the cost of living in the new city. Otherwise, life will become hard.

Vancouver is known to be one of the most expensive cities in British Columbia, Canada. Thus, the lifestyle and the cost of living there are inevitably a little bit more on the expensive side. To give a rough estimation and an idea, the average cost of living for one person is around $1180 per month. This amount does not include rent.

If you are hoping to relocate to Vancouver with your family and let’s say you are a family of four, then the average cost of living will be around $ 4 350 per month, excluding the rent.

On the other hand, the cost of living in Victoria, BC, is only slightly cheaper than in Vancouver. To give you an idea, the average cost of living in Victoria, BC, for one person is around $1 142.12, excluding rent. If you are moving with a family, again for a family of four, then the average cost of living is around $4, 194.29.

Other expenses that you should consider to live in both cities are health insurance, groceries, transportation, education, utility bills, entertainment, and leisure.

Is Victoria smaller than Vancouver?

Yes, Victoria is smaller than Vancouver in terms of both population and land area. According to the 2021 census, the population of Victoria, which is the capital city of British Columbia, is approximately 97,050 people, while Vancouver, the largest city in British Columbia, has a population of about 688,000 people. In terms of land area, Victoria covers approximately 19.47 square kilometers, while Vancouver covers approximately 115 square kilometers.

Victoria and Vancouver are both cities located in the Canadian province of British Columbia, but they differ in terms of their population and land area. Victoria is the capital city of British Columbia, located on the southern tip of Vancouver Island. It has a population of approximately 97,050 people, making it the 7th largest city in the province. Victoria is known for its charming downtown area, historic buildings, and stunning natural surroundings, including parks, beaches, and gardens.

Vancouver, on the other hand, is the largest city in British Columbia, located on the mainland of the province. It has a population of approximately 688,000 people, making it the 3rd largest city in Canada. Vancouver is a vibrant city known for its cultural diversity, scenic beauty, and bustling urban center. It is home to many famous attractions, including Stanley Park, Granville Island, and the Capilano Suspension Bridge.

In terms of land area, Victoria covers approximately 19.47 square kilometers, while Vancouver covers approximately 115 square kilometers. This means that Vancouver is significantly larger than Victoria in terms of its physical size. However, Victoria’s smaller size makes it a more compact and walkable city, with many of its attractions and amenities located within easy reach of each other.

Rent Difference Between Victoria and Vancouver

One place you will end up spending a good portion of your income if you live in Vancouver is your rent. The rent price in Vancouver is exceptionally high. For instance, if you rent a one-bedroom apartment in the city center, the average cost will be around $2000. If you rent a one-bedroom apartment outside of the city center, the average cost will be around $1600.

Rent in Victoria is only slightly less expensive than in Vancouver. If you rent a one-bedroom apartment in the city center, the average cost will be around $1 632.66. If you rent a one-bedroom apartment outside of the city center, the average cost will be around $1 349.03.

The cost of rent in Victoria and Vancouver can vary depending on several factors such as location, size of the property, and type of accommodation. However, in general, Vancouver tends to be more expensive than Victoria when it comes to rental costs.

According to recent data from the Canadian Rental Housing Index, the average rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Victoria is around CAD 1,450 per month, while the average rent for a similar apartment in Vancouver is around CAD 1,850 per month. This means that Vancouver’s rental prices are about 27% higher than Victoria’s rental prices.

It’s worth noting that the cost of living in both cities can also vary depending on other factors such as transportation costs, food prices, and entertainment expenses. Overall, while Victoria may be slightly more affordable than Vancouver when it comes to rental prices, both cities can still be quite expensive to live in compared to other parts of Canada.

Read more, Toronto vs Montreal: Which is the Best City for Immigrants?

Employment Difference Between Victoria and Vancouver

As mentioned above, the lifestyle in Vancouver is quite expensive, however, do not worry because the overall wages and salary tend to be higher in Vancouver. Thus, even if you live in that city, you can easily earn enough to compensate for your cost of Living. Victoria and Vancouver both have diverse economies, but there are some differences in terms of the types of industries and job opportunities available in each city.

The minimum wage is set at $14.60. However, it will increase to $15.20 in June 2021. You are bound to get the minimum wage despite your income method, i.e., hourly, salary, incentive basis, etc. The good news is the employment rate in Vancouver is steadily increasing by 0.28% per year.

Victoria is said to have the lowest employment rate In Canada. The average monthly net salary – after tax – is estimated to be around $3 952.63. The employment rate is growing steadily at 0.27% per year.

Victoria’s economy is primarily driven by the public sector, while Vancouver’s economy is more diverse, with finance, real estate, technology, film and television, and natural resources. The unemployment rate in Victoria was 4.8% in March 2022, lower than the national unemployment rate of 6.1%. Both cities offer a range of employment opportunities, but the industries and job markets can differ. The cost of living in both cities can be high, which may impact the affordability of employment opportunities.

The Weather in Victoria vs Vancouver Is Better

Both Victoria and Vancouver have mild, temperate climates, but there are some differences in terms of their weather patterns and seasonal variations.

Victoria has a reputation for being one of the warmest cities in Canada, thanks to its location on the southern tip of Vancouver Island. The city experiences relatively mild winters with average temperatures around 6°C (43°F) and relatively warm summers with average temperatures around 20°C (68°F). Victoria also receives less rainfall than many other cities on the west coast of Canada, with an average annual rainfall of around 60 centimeters (24 inches). The city also experiences more sunny days than many other parts of Canada.

Vancouver also has a mild, temperate climate, but it tends to be slightly cooler and rainier than Victoria. The city experiences mild winters with average temperatures around 3°C (37°F) and mild summers with average temperatures around 18°C (64°F). Vancouver receives a higher amount of rainfall than Victoria, with an average annual rainfall of around 115 centimeters (45 inches). However, the city does experience more mild and sunny days than many other cities in Canada, particularly in the summer months.

Overall, both Victoria and Vancouver have mild, pleasant climates, but Victoria tends to be slightly warmer and sunnier, while Vancouver tends to be slightly cooler and rainier.

Population and Immigrants

If you wonder how many people live in Victoria, BC, and Vancouver and whether these cities are overly populated, let’s get into details about the population.

The population of Vancouver in 2021 has increased by 0.98%, giving a total of 2, 606 351 people. According to a study done in 2016, around 40.8% of the population in Vancouver were immigrants.

The population of Victoria in 2020 was around 389 910, an increase of 1.01% approximately. According to the study mentioned above, done in 2016, around 18.3% of the population in Victoria were immigrants.

Over the past four years, the number of immigrants in both cities has drastically increased. Statistics show that British Columbia welcomes more than 40 000 immigrants annually from all around the world.

Read more traveling guide, Pros and Cons of Living in Quebec

Crime Rate in Victoria and Vancouver

Victoria and Vancouver are generally safe cities, but like any urban area, they do experience some crime. Here is an overview of the crime rates in both cities:

In Victoria, the overall crime rate has been decreasing in recent years. According to data from the Victoria Police Department, the city’s crime rate decreased by 12% in 2020 compared to the previous year. The most common types of crimes in Victoria are property crimes such as theft, break, and mischief. Violent crimes such as assault, sexual assault, and homicide are less common in Victoria. The city also has a relatively low rate of gang-related crime compared to other cities in British Columbia.

In Vancouver, the overall crime rate has also been decreasing in recent years. According to data from the Vancouver Police Department, the city’s crime rate decreased by 7% in 2020 compared to the previous year. The most common types of crimes in Vancouver are property crimes such as theft and break. Violent crimes such as assault, sexual assault, and homicide are also relatively common in Vancouver, but the city has a lower rate of gang-related crime compared to other cities in British Columbia.

It’s worth noting that crime rates can vary depending on the neighborhood, time of day, and other factors. It’s always a good idea to take precautions such as locking doors and windows, avoiding walking alone at night, and being aware of your surroundings to help prevent crime.

One of the primary criteria you should always research while relocating or moving is the crime rate of the place.

As of 2020, Victoria BC’s crime rate has increased by 14%, accounting for approximately 6 601 incidents. According to a study done in 2018, Victoria was ranked as the 30th most dangerous place in Canada. On the contrary, a study done in 2020 ranked Victoria as the third safest city in Canada.

On the other hand, if you are wondering, “Is Vancouver a good place to live in?” then let me get you up to speed regarding the crime rate. Vancouver is stated to be one of the safest cities in Canada, even though the petty crime rate increased slightly as of last year.

Despite that, Vancouver residents have claimed that it felt safe to walk about at night in the City. Major or violent crime incidents are extremely low and rare.

Victoria vs Vancouver Weather

If you like to have a colder and white winter, Vancouver is the City for you. This is because, in Vancouver, you will experience snow nearly twice the amount in Victoria. It has been observed that in Vancouver, the snow reaches at least 37cm, while in Victoria, the snow reaches around 20 cm. If you enjoy sunny days, then you will enjoy your days more in Victoria.

Tourism

Vancouver is a hotspot for tourists, and the City attracted more than 10.3 million tourists in 2017, breaking a record. Each year the record of tourists falls in the range of millions.

Both mountains and oceans surround Vancouver. Thus, people who love outdoor activities will have plenty of outdoor sports to experience. The most favorite sports are water sports, kayaking, snow sports, fishing, mountain zip-lining skiing, camping, hiking, biking year-round, and so much more.

The number of tourists in Victoria falls in the range of millions too. You can enjoy the ocean in Victoria and the famous Great Ocean Road, with the most incredible coastline, enchanting towns, national parks, and beautiful nature persevered areas.

Tourism in Vancouver vs victoria

Best Places to Live in Vancouver

If you have decided to live in Vancouver after the Vancouver vs. Victoria living quandary, then here is a list of some of the best places to live in Vancouver.

  • Kitsilano
  • West Point Grey
  • Central
  • Grandview
  • The West End
  • South Granville
  • South Vancouver
  • Mount Pleasant

Best Places to Live in Vancouver

Best Places to Live in Victoria

Best Places to Live in Victoria

If you have decided to live in Victoria after the Vancouver vs. Victoria living quandary, then here is a list of some of the best places to live in Victoria.

  • Burnside
  • North Jubilee
  • South Jubilee
  • Fernwood
  • Downtown
  • Oaklands
  • North Park
  • Hillside-Quadra
  • Fairfield
  • Saanich Core

Moving Cost

If you live in Vancouver and have decided to move to Victoria, it will cost you around $1000. On the other hand, if you decide to relocate from Victoria to Vancouver, it will cost you around $1200 – $1395.

Conclusion

Both Victoria and Vancouver are two of the most favorable cities in British Columbia, Canada. As immigrants, you will enjoy life in either city, and I can assure you that with utmost certainty. If you are in the dilemma of whether you should relocate to one of the cities or not, hopefully, this article will aid you in making a decision.

Of course, do further and more in-depth research, apply for jobs, and look up potential apartments you could rent. If you make a proper plan regarding your relocation, then the whole process and journey will become easier.

Remember, whether you decide to move to Vancouver or Victoria, you will have new yet similar experiences in both at the end of the day. The cultural diversity in both cities will be exciting, and the lifestyles will be both comforting and adventurous.

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