Pros and Cons of Living in British Columbia

Living in British Columbia

If you’re planning to move to Canada, British Columbia (BC) is a popular destination. However, if living in British Columbia is your goal, you need to know what to expect.

In this article, we’ll take a look at life in BC, the pros and cons, and whether it’s worth moving to BC.

Summary of the Pros and Cons of Living in British Columbia

Pros of Living in British ColumbiaCons of Living in British Columbia
Warm climateCost of living
Diverse economyExpensive healthcare
Good quality of lifeRain and more rain
Beautiful sceneryPotential for natural disaster
Many outdoor activitiesExpensive Housing
Low to moderate crime rateTraffic

How It’s Like to Live in British Columbia?

British Columbia is a province in Canada. BC is often regarded as the province with the best quality of life. Mountains, beaches, and a warm climate. BC has it all.

It also has a lot of beautiful scenery and cities. BC is also culturally diverse. You get to meet people from all races.

While these are true, there are also some cons of living in this province as we shall soon see.

What are the Benefits of Living in British Columbia?

1.   Warm Climate

Canada has a reputation for being extremely cold. However, BC is different. It is the warmest province in Canada. During winter, temperatures stay within normal winter levels.

If having warmer climates is a  big determinant for you, you’ll love BC. Here’s a link that explains what you can expect from BC during the winter.

2.   Diverse Economy

BC’s economy is booming. This is mainly because of diversification. In this province, you can become whatever you want. It is truly living the Canadian dream.

According to the provincial government, some of the main industries in BC include

  • Technology and innovation
  • Tourism
  • Mining
  • Manufacturing
  • Film and television
  • Aquaculture
  • Forestry

Because the economy is diverse, it also provides jobs for other sectors such as hospitality, retail and legal sectors.

You have some really good options if you ask me.

3.   Beautiful Scenery

British Columbia is beautiful. It has beautiful mountains that sparkle in the spring. If you love nature, this is the place to live.

Want to live close to the beach? You can choose to live in Victoria. Some ferries ride every week. It’s just a double dose of nature.

4.   Victoria and Vancouver

BC is blessed with two really big cities. While Victoria is the capital of BC, Vancouver is more popular.

The quality of life in these cities is great. When it comes to the cost of living, Vancouver just tops Victoria.

Here’s an article that talks about living in victoria. You might find that interesting.

5.   Efficient Public Transport System

BC’s public transport system is not the best in the world. However, it is efficient. You’ll especially love the skyline train that runs above the city.

Other means of transportation include buses and taxis. While there are question marks over the punctuality of the buses, you should get to your destination on time.

6.   Tertiary Institutions

BC is blessed with some of the best tertiary institutions in Canada. Top of the list is the University of British Columbia. The University of Victoria and Simon Fraser University are also very popular institutions.

Other educational institutions include

  • Thompson River University
  • Langara college
  • University Canada West
  • Columbia college
  • Vancouver Island University
  • North Lights College

Here’s a complete list of all universities in BC

7.   Quality of Life

BC is in the first spot when it comes to quality of life. The environment is just blissful and serene. Education is excellent. So if living in British Columbia appeals to you, this is surely a bonus point.

8.   Rich Cultural Heritage

British Columbia also has a lot of culture. First inhabited by the indigenous people in Canada, a lot of their art and culture are evident.

BC is also a hotspot for British people. So, it’s normal to find a lot of Europeans settled in this province. The top immigrants are Asians.

9.   Low Crime Rate

Crime in BC is relatively low. BC is currently ranked 7th in crime severity rate by Statista. So, you can expect most neighborhoods to be safe.

A low crime rate naturally translates to a secure environment. Keep out of trouble and you should be fine.

10.                Outdoor Activities

BC is agog with outdoor activities. During spring and summer, people take the time to explore BC’s amazing scenery.

Outdoor activities such as biking, hiking, camping, horse riding, and kayaking are very popular in this province.

During winter, activities such as skiing and skating are great for individuals and families alike.

11.                Nightlife is Amazing

If you are a night person, prepare for the time of your life. BC’s nightlife is alive and vibrant. There are multiple clubs, bars, and wine restaurants.

If you are moving to Vancouver, some great places to check out include

  • Rocky creek winery
  • Celebrities night club
  • The Roxy Cabaret

12.                Appealing Places to Visit

Depending on where you want to settle down, there’s a lot to see. Tourism in BC is truly alive in every aspect.

Here are some tourist sites that you must see if you find yourself in BC.

  • Whistler
  • Vancouver Island
  • Yoho National Park
  • Tofino and Pacific Rim National Park Reserve
  • Stanley Park

What are the Downsides of British Columbia?

1.   Cost of Living

The biggest con is the cost of living. British Columbia has the highest cost of living in Canada. This affects everything in the province.

So, if you want to live in BC, be prepared to spend some extra bucks. Taking into account the other perks, it might be worth it.

2.   Housing is Expensive

Housing is expensive. Vancouver is arguably the city with the most expensive housing costs.

You can expect to get a house in BC for C$750,000+ on average. In some areas, it is significantly higher.

Rental properties are also really high. The average rent in BC is currently above C$2000 monthly. However, this amount largely depends on where you live.

3.   Rain and More Rain

BC experiences a lot of rain throughout the year. For some, this is incredibly frustrating. For others, they don’t mind at all.

If you hate getting wet or love sunshine, then BC might not be the right fit.

4.   Healthcare Can Be Expensive

While healthcare is free to some extent, it can also very expensive. Dental care is one of the main reasons for this.

If you don’t have insurance for dental care, you might spend a fortune.

5.   Natural Disasters are a Real Threat

BC’s position on the map attracts natural disasters. In the next half a decade, this province might experience some of its worst natural disasters.

Have this in mind when deciding to move to British Columbia.

6.   Traffic

Traffic can be a big problem in BC’s major cities. Cities like Vancouver have it worse, especially during rush hour. While the public transport system is great, it still does not prevent long traffic hours.

Is Living in British Columbia Worth It?

The quality of life, diverse economy and excellent educational standards make living in British Columbia worth it.

Just like any other place, it has its downsides. Ultimately, it’s a decision you have to make.

Frequently Asked Questions About Living in British Columbia

What is the Safest City in BC?

The safest city in BC is Oak Bay. Its crime rate is twice as low as the national average. The excellent security in this city makes it a great place to live.

What is the Best Small Town to Live in BC?

Currently, Kimberley stands out as the best small town to live in BC. Other good options include Lillooet, Bella Coola, and Salt Spring Island.

Where is the Cheapest Place to Live in BC?

Castlegar is the cheapest place to live in BC. Other affordable areas include Smithers, Vernon, Valemount, and Prince George.

Where Should I avoid in BC?

Downtown Eastside is an area you should avoid completely. Other suspicious areas include

  • Molehill
  • Westbrook village
  • Chinatown

Where is the Best Place to Live for Seniors in BC?

Vancouver Island is the best place for seniors in BC. It has a growing population of retirees. So, seniors will fit in perfectly.

Other great areas include the Sunshine Coast and Okanagan.