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Oct 07, 2022
Moving to Vancouver from Toronto: Everything you need to know

Tips for relocating to Vancouver

Thinking about making the big move and turning your back on Toronto in favor of a relaxing new life in Vancouver? The only problem is making up your mind whether you’ve made the right choice and what your new way of life is going to look like. While we’re a little biased (Vancouver is our home after all) we want to lend a helping hand that will point you in the right direction. 

To make things a little easier, we’ve thought long and hard about how these two great cities compare and put our thoughts down on paper. This isn’t about trying to convince you that one is better than the other; it’s about guiding you through everything you need to consider to make the best possible decision for you and your family. We hope it helps and that you make a great life for yourself! 


Why professionals move to Vancouver from Toronto

If you have a high flying career that you don’t want to give up, the chances are that when you move to Vancouver you can find just as many employment options as you had back in Vancouver. The city is in a real growth phase with the likes of AWS, major telecoms companies and aviation authorities all basing themselves here. 


Climate in Vancouver 

While Toronto is a city of freezing, snowbound winters and scorching hot summers, Vancouver is very much in the middle. Now, some will think that this is something of a downside because when you look at the seasonal high temperatures Vancouver always trails Toronto, but this really only tells half a story. 

Because of its location, and the weather patterns it tends to enjoy, Vancouver actually has more hours of sunlight and daylight than Toronto throughout the year. Not only is this great for your mental health and wellbeing, it’s also a great counter argument to the old idea that it always rains in Vancouver when it shines in Toronto. 

Not having feet of snow down in the city during the winter also makes things a lot easier to manage. As does the fact that the summer heat doesn’t come with the same stifling humidity that so often graces summer days in Toronto. All in all, we think you’ll love the milder, gentler climate here. Take a look at the rest of our blog and you’ll find a great breakdown of the weather you can expect too! 


Housing options in Vancouver 

While housing in Vancouver has long been more expensive than in Toronto, this trend has actually been reversed since the pandemic. The difference isn’t great and can translate to as little as 3-4% on comparable properties, depending on when and where you get your figures from. 

One of the problems with these types of comparisons is that when the difference is small, as it is at time of writing, the trends can quickly change. For this reason we suggest having a careful look at like-for-like properties when you’re doing budgeting. That way you’ll be able to make the most meaningful form of comparison based on the very latest real estate prices and market rates. 


Employment opportunities  

As two major cities that are both on something of an economic up, Vancouver and Toronto both offer a wealth of employment opportunities. Whether one city or the other is better for employment very much depends on your choice of profession, because the overall economic outlook in both cities is markedly similar. 

A good example is IT — an industry in which Toronto has long held a size advantage over Vancouver. This may well be set to change soon with the large investment by AWS in their Vancouver workforce. The other argument can also be made that if you have the skills and experience already, you’ll be moving into a market with less competition for top jobs by making the move to Vancouver. 


Travel infrastructure differences between Vancouver and Toronto

Both cities have a long track record of heavy investment in infrastructure and travel is no different. Major airports, clean streets, public bus and rail networks are well-kept and constantly being upgraded in both cities. The cost of use is comparable in each city, with both offering weekly and monthly discount tickets for regular users of public transport. 

If you’re using a car, you’ll find that in both cities driving around the very center of the city is probably a little more stress than it’s worth. This isn’t really anything specific to Toronto or Vancouver, it’s something virtually every major city has in common. That said, the connections you have to the rest of the country, and to the US, via road, air and rail far outweigh this small bit of inconvenience. 


Future prospects in Toronto vs Vancouver 

Making these types of predictions is always difficult, particularly as the global economy continues to rebound from the COVID-19 lockdowns. While many will talk of Toronto as the more economically vibrant city, this is something of a dated reference. 

Vancouver has experienced steady and sustainable growth in terms of jobs, investment and its overall local economy for some time now. This means that it’s a city very much on the up, and one that was far from starting anywhere near the bottom to begin with. Combine this favorable economic outlook with the fantastic travel connections it has to offer and it’s no secret why multinationals continue to move into Vancouver. 

While some will see the rise of the giant chains and tech titans something to be wary of, we take a different view. On the one hand we love independent traders and family businesses, and on the other we also love the opportunities and room for new investment that such major players bring to Vancouver. Don’t get us wrong, Toronto is growing all the time too, but Vancouver now very much holds its weight in economic terms. 

This should go some way to showing you that if you do make the switch, you’re likely to enjoy solid employment options and a housing market that rewards buyers. Two good things for anyone looking to make a life for themselves in a city that’s always sure to extend a warm welcome to people from all walks of life. 


Final thoughts 

The great thing about reading an article like this is that it opens your eyes to a whole host of other plus points you probably never even thought of. What you do with the information, ideas and insights we’ve provided is up to you, and we hope it’s all useful stuff. If in doubt, spend a little more time rereading it and thinking about where the balance lies for you. Then you can decide whether to stay put, make the move, or make the move to Vancouver in a slightly different way. Maybe you’ll look to arrive at a different time of year and live in a different area. There really are so many options that you’re bound to find the right one for you and your loved ones with a little extra thought and reflections.

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