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

May 3, 2021BY Dale Carroll

As an immigrant, one of the hardest things to do is to find you  forever home. To find a city or place where you feel like you really belong and can fit in. Many immigrants leave their homeland to find and make a new home on 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 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.

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 the cities are health insurance, groceries, transportation, education, utility bills, entertainment, and leisure.

Rent

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.

Employment

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.

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.

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.

Crime Rate

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 to be 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 has 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 definitely the City for you. This is because, in Vancouver, you will experience snow nearly twice the amount that of 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.

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 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, 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 the cities will be exciting, and the lifestyles will be both comforting and adventurous.

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