Are you considering moving to the British Columbia province?
There could be a number of reasons for your move — new employment opportunities, education, a change of scenery, the landscape beauty (Pacific ocean and the rocky mountains), et al. However, whatever your reason, you’ll need to be prepared.
Moving to any new city or province is a pretty stressful endeavor, especially if you aren’t caught up on what to expect.
In this article, we’ll give you a detailed checklist of everything you should know about British Columbia before moving. From transportation and accommodation to electricity and basic amenities, we cover everything in this exhaustive guide on moving to British Columbia.
As soon as you arrive in British Columbia, you need to handle all your administrative tasks. These include:
The Province is globally deemed to have an exceptionally high standard of living. Some of the best places to live in British Columbia include the following.
British Columbia is widely considered to be Canada’s most expensive province to live in. For example, a 1-bedroom apartment is $1708 in Toronto versus $1869 in Vancouver.
$1869 / Month
for a 1-bedroom apartment
$1641 / Month
For a 1-bedroom apartment
Housing Utilities and Insurance
$149 / Month
$130 / Month
$98 / Month (Translink)
$85 / Month (BC Transit)
$1832 / Year
$1832 / Year
$211 / Month
Grocery Cost for 1 Person
$227.35 / Month
Communication (Phone and Internet)
Unlimited talk, text, and data included
Unlimited talk, text, and data included
Health and Fitness
$55 for the membership
$55 for the membership
There are three types of sales taxes in Canada. In the province of British Columbia, they have PST and GST that are set at about 7% and 5% respectively, coming to a total of 12%. Applicable tax on the taxable income includes.
One may argue that the taxes in some provinces are higher in comparison to others, but due to the additional services that are offered to the residents by the provincial government.
What is the Cost of Living in BC?
The average monthly cost of living in BC is $1780.
You can find apartments for rent using a number of different online platforms such as , , , , and various others. All of these platforms come with their unique metrics to help you select an apartment within your budget rate.
ApartmentLove, in particular, is a pretty great platform to narrow down your choices based on the type of property you want to rent. The categories include options like Townhouse, Condo, Studio Apartment, Duplex, Loft, Shared Accommodations, Basement, etc. As such, they cater to everyone’s individual needs.
You should find an apartment that is in close proximity to your work, school, and public transportation. You should also note that the rental costs will vary widely depending on the neighborhood. Once you have signed your lease, don’t forget to take out a home insurance policy. Renter’s insurance covers your belongings (your TV, clothes, jewelry, etc.) and it is affordable. Take the time to get home insurance quotes and compare coverage and prices available in British Columbia.
The common term for leases in British Columbia is “fixed-term tenancy”. However, for convenience sake, we shall continue referring to them as lease.
In British Columbia, leases are available for periods of 6 months to 1 year. The landlord must provide a written agreement of tenancy, and the potential tenant is required to make a security deposit. The leases must include the period of tenancy, the rental agreements including the provided utilities, electricity bill, etc, and information regarding all refundable and non-refundable fees.
All tenancy agreements have to comply with the .
There are various options for public transportation in British Columbia. These include Bus, Trolley, Community Shuttle, SkyTrain (a full-automated rapid-transit system), SeaBus (a passenger-only ferry service), and West Coast Express (a commuter rail service).
If you move to Metro Vancouver or the Lower Mainland, you can refer to TransLink for a public transportation schedule. For the rest of British Columbia, you can refer to BCTransit for details. Low-income senior citizens and individuals with disabilities can also apply for a yearly BC Bus Pass at a discounted rate.
Electricity in British Columbia has not been deregulated. As such, all of the electricity system in British Columbia is provided by a publicly owned company called BC Hydro. All residential customers are charged a certain rate for electricity till a specific limit. Beyond that, the rate of electricity increases with increased usage.
Provision of natural gas in British Columbia was deregulated in 2002. As such, you can choose your own natural gas retailer. The most popular and reputable residential natural gas providers in the province are Access Gas Services, Direct Energy, Just Energy, Planet Energy, and Summitt Energy.
There are dozens of you can approach regarding your internet needs. Two of the most popular internet service providers in the province are
You also have no dearth of options regarding cell phone carriers in the province. You can refer to to select a cell phone plan that suits your needs.
After you are done settling into your new home in British Columbia, you will probably want to familiarize yourself with the province and all of its attractions. Some of the most popular activities and locations in British Columbia include:
The aforementioned activities merely scratch the surface of things you can do in British Columbia. You can find additional recommendations in local blogs such as Canadian Sky.
That’s the end of our guide on things to know when moving to British Columbia. I hope this article has alleviated some of your stress and given you a clear blueprint on how to go about moving to British Columbia!
As of June 1, 2021, the minimum wage in BC is $15.20 per hour.
The career opportunities in BC are great. Canada’s population is aging, which means that the demand for workers continues to increase as the years go by. British Columbia is not immune to this labour shortage, which means that the province is in high demand for skilled workers.
British Columbia is the first province in Canada to provide students with a globally recognized seal of quality for post-secondary education. With this seal of quality known as the Education Quality Assurance (EQA), you can be sure that the quality of education is there.
The province also has several universities. British Columbia has a total of 25 public post-secondary institutions. The University of British Columbia is the second best university in the country and the twenty-sixth best university in the world.
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