Cost of living - Vancouver

Moving to Vancouver from the US: Is it right for you?

Moving to Vancouver offers numerous benefits, including a mild climate, multicultural diversity, a strong job market, and plenty of outdoor recreation opportunities. It is located on the mainland of southwestern British Columbia, Canada, and has a population of 662,248. 

Moving to a new place may pose challenges, but with preparation and an open mind, it can be highly rewarding. Imagine waking up to stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and majestic mountains, similar to Seattle, while embracing the vibrant urban atmosphere reminiscent of San Francisco. 

Read this article to find out some interesting facts about Vancouver and to know if it’s right for you to move there from the US.

Statistics Canada (2021)

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Vancouver has some of the most stunning mountainous tree landscapes in the world

Vancouver boasts some of the world’s most stunning mountainous landscapes, nestled within the breathtaking Coast Mountains. These rugged peaks, such as Grouse Mountain, Mount Seymour, and Cypress Mountain, offer a variety of outdoor activities year-round. Additionally, iconic destinations like Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains, though just north of the city, are easily accessible and offer world-class skiing and snowboarding along with scenic summer activities. 

From skiing and snowboarding in the winter to hiking and mountain biking in the summer, these mountains provide limitless options for adventure and exploration. These towering peaks and lush forests make Vancouver a haven for outdoor enthusiasts.


Homes are stunning and conveniently located but quite expensive 

In Vancouver, stunning homes are conveniently located but come with a hefty price tag. Most residences consist of detached houses, alongside high-rise condos and apartments, with relatively few medium-density options like townhouses. Despite the cost, the city offers a wealth of nearby amenities catering to diverse interests. 

Vancouver offers a vibrant urban lifestyle, with attractions like Stanley Park, Granville Island, Gastown, Yaletown, and cultural sites such as the Vancouver Art Gallery and Science World. Efficient public transportation connects these amenities, highlighting Vancouver’s livability and convenience. However, as of March 2024, the average cost of buying a property such as residential houses in Metro Vancouver sits at $1,196,800, marking a 4.5% increase from the previous year.

CREA (March 2024)


Vancouver is the technology and film industry hub of Canada

Vancouver is a global leader in the film and technology industries, serving as a prominent hub in Canada. Renowned for its top-notch crews, picturesque locations, and competitive production environment, Vancouver ranks third in North America for film and TV production, trailing only Los Angeles and New York City. It hosts over 400 productions yearly and boasts the world’s largest VFX and animation cluster, plus the second-largest VR-AR ecosystem. 

The city attracts major sci-fi and fantasy productions like Riverdale, Supernatural, and The Flash, along with the “Twilight” series’ last two films, “Eclipse” and “New Moon.” Additionally, Vancouver’s tech sector thrives in clean technology, renewable energy, and environmental solutions, leveraging its proximity to the Pacific Rim for expansion into Asian markets. With a focus on green innovation and a skilled workforce, Vancouver shapes Canada’s dynamic tech landscape.


You’ll be just a flight away to many Asian countries

Not only that it is the largest city but living in Vancouver offers the advantage of being just a flight away from many Asian countries due to its strategic West Coast location. Vancouver is one of North America’s closest major cities to Asia, serving as an ideal gateway for travel to countries like China, Japan, and South Korea. Vancouver International Airport (YVR) provides numerous direct flights to various Asian destinations, offering convenient access for both business and leisure travelers. 

This proximity allows locals and immigrants in Vancouver to visit their family or to explore diverse cultures, cuisines, and experiences in Asia with ease, enriching their cultural experiences and facilitating connections with their home countries.


Winters are not as cold as the rest of Canada

Winters are not as cold as the rest of Canada in Vancouver due to several factors. Firstly, the city’s proximity to the Pacific Ocean moderates its climate, resulting in relatively mild temperatures year-round. The ocean acts as a heat reservoir, preventing extreme temperature fluctuations. Secondly, Vancouver benefits from warm Pacific Ocean currents like the North Pacific and Alaska Currents, which help maintain higher temperatures in winter. 

Additionally, the Coast Mountains protect Vancouver from severe Arctic air, leading to milder winters with less snow and moderate temperatures compared to other Canadian regions. December, the coldest month, typically brings lows of 36°F and highs of 43°F to the city.


It rains quite a bit in Vancouver

It rains quite a bit in Vancouver due to its location on the west coast of Canada facing the Pacific Ocean. Moisture-laden air collides with the Coast Mountains, causing cooling and precipitation. Vancouver’s maritime climate brings mild, wet winters and relatively dry summers, with frequent precipitation from Pacific weather systems, particularly in winter when the jet stream directs storms towards the region. 

Occasional heavy rainfall from the “Pineapple Express,” originating near Hawaii, affects Vancouver, amplified by its varied topography and proximity to bodies of water like the Strait of Georgia and the Fraser River. Vancouver receives an estimated annual rainfall of 146 cm.

Coastal BC Rainfall (April 2024)


It is one of the most bike-friendly cities in Canada

Vancouver stands out as one of Canada’s most bike-friendly cities, with cycling rapidly gaining popularity. The municipal government is committed to increasing the number of cyclists, evident in the city’s extensive network of around 400 km of bike lanes, many of which are protected from motor traffic. 

Vancouver’s dedication to active travel is reflected in its low greenhouse gas emissions per person compared to other cities. Year after year, the downtown cycling network continues to expand, now stretching over 1,287 kilometers (800 miles), making Vancouver an excellent destination for exploring by bike.



Moving to Vancouver from the USA presents a variety of enticing opportunities and advantages. Vancouver’s vibrant urban lifestyle, booming technology and film industries add to its appeal as a destination for newcomers. However, prospective residents should be aware of the high cost of living in Vancouver, particularly in the housing market, and the city’s rainy climate.

Despite these challenges, Vancouver’s commitment to sustainability, bike friendliness, and convenient access to Asian countries make it an appealing option for those seeking a cosmopolitan city on the West Coast. With exceptional planning, moving to Vancouver can lead to a fulfilling and rewarding experience. To learn more about the paperwork required, check out 7 Things to know and do before moving from the U.S. to Canada.

Are you planning to move, soon? Check the best long-distance movers in Vancouver.


Widgets Magazine


Widgets Magazine

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Selina Cifelli

The author

Selina is a motivated marketing intern with a keen interest in developing engaging content related to moving experiences and city life. With a passion for fashion and traveling, she brings a fresh perspective to our readers. Her talent for crafting innovative written material effectively positions MovingWaldo as a trusted resource for hassle-free and efficient moves.

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