victoria-bc

Best Places to Live in Canada – Why not Victoria, BC?

As many of my readers know I live in Victoria, BC.

This is one of the most beautiful cities I have seen in Canada with incredible natural beauty (proximity to hiking, water, and mountains). MoneySense released their Best Places to Live in Canada list recently. I would have thought that Victoria would have been in the top 5.

According to MoneySense, Victoria is the 34th best place to call home in Canada.

It ranked high in the categories, Walk/Bike To Work, Weather, and Culture. I agree with all these rankings.

Victoria ranked poorly in household income and one of the worst for house affordability.

I love to live in Victoria, BC and while I live in a great neighbourhood where I have access to many parks and nice walks and grocery stores I sometimes wonder if it is too expensive to start my young family at times.

I hired one of the many moving companies and moved from Thunder Bay, ON about 8 years ago and fell in love with this city and met my beautiful wife here but something tells me that I am missing great opportunities elsewhere and paying a significant price living on Vancouver Island.

Several cities that ranked high on the list like Oakville and Burlington are where I would move to.  Several places that were ranked high that I have never been before like St. Albert, AB (#12) or Brandon, MB (#6).

Do you live in one of the best places to live in Canada?

70 thoughts on “Best Places to Live in Canada – Why not Victoria, BC?”

  1. I’m facing the same kind of decision. I enjoy where I live near Vancouver, but it’s too expensive to really consider long term. I should look into that list for some other ideas. Somewhere on the island would probably be pretty nice.

  2. I was surprised by some of the answers on the list myself. I think one of the things that helps these smaller cities is the cost of living. Affordability is huge for people now, especially after this economic downturn. Place like Vancouver and Toronto are just too expensive.

  3. I agree with you Miss T. Living here is great if you can afford it!

    The lower household incomes do not make up for the weather.

    My wife and I are seriously considering looking at other options.

  4. I live in Victoria too. My boyfriend and I bought our house a year ago (after previously owning a condo) and I can definitely relate to the cost of housing vs. income. However, I don’t feel that I’m sacrificing anything by staying here. Perhaps we’re lucky in that we haven’t started a family yet and are able to put down some significant roots before that happens because it’s not something we’re considering in the foreseeable future. I can’t imagine myself living away from the coast having grown up on this island and so my bias shows at times but I do count my lucky stars every day that I get to live IMHO in the most beautiful part of Canada.

    1. Congrats on buying a house!

      You have some great points about living here. I love the climate (not too hot or cold) but the household income is less than in Ontario and we are starting to need a bigger place (condo is OK for now for us but we would enjoy living in a house).

      I think that if you were born on Vancouver Island it would be difficult to move away (can’t compare to other places in Canada).

      If you can have a good paying job on the Island and have family and a good social network you have it made!

  5. No, don’t move to Victoria BC to live from Edmonton, Calgary, Regina, Saskatoon, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City and any other cities. Victoria personifies BC, the cheap slave wages, low prosperity prospects, slow dull boring social life, slow dull boring people, and the high living costs compared to low wealth savings. The cheap wages and jobs along with too many taxes, fees, levies will squeeze you dry at both ends. It is ok to vacation in Victoria in small doses. Look up all the mostly negative comments about Victoria from other people and even some of the locals or you will be sorry (Topix.com). You will be giving up your goals and dreams, prosperity for the sake of a little beautiful environment. You can do it only if you are rich and free from work.

    1. Ray, you rock!!
      Victoria is beautiful, but that will not pay your bills. Mortgages/rent are OVER INFLATED for what you get-more than a premium I want to pay. So many people living on the island are working a low paying jobs with a skill set that would pay them much more in Toronto (for example). The island is a prison of sorts; no-one can afford to ferry to Vancouver. The cost of living is extortionate – you are paying approximately 25% more for everything just to live there, so combine the higher cost of living (incl mortage/rent) along with the low paying wages and what do you have?> A mountain of debt and a wish to leave the island and never return. Plus is boring there, full of elderly people, no excitement in the air and the weather is nothing to brag about because it rains for 10 months of the year

      1. You are full of it! I have lived in all the major cities from Newfoundland to BC. Nothing compares to Victoria where I have settled since 1995.. It is expensive but that’s how we keep out the Riff- Raff. People who disparage Victoria are just jealous. Ask any tourist who visits the #1 Tourist Destination in Canada. If you can meet the standard -DON”T COME HERE.

        1. Forgot to Mention. we have water restrictions in Victoria from April until October. So much for your 10 months of rain lie!. In fact our annual precipitation is very close to Toronto’s but its rarely snow.. Go back to your snow shovel and unbearable humidity. we don’t have either here!

  6. The weather and climate is very nice in Victoria BC and Vancouver Island and that is about all there is. The housing, living costs, taxes are insanely high compared to the cheap slave labour jobs and wages of the region. If you are independently rich then you can afford to enjoy the scenery at your leisure. Life in Victoria will impoverish you if you are not rich. Many university and college grads can’t find related worthy work at a worthy pay scale. Even if you do find a higher end job, they will always try to pay you 25-33% less pay than in cities like Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Ottawa, elsewhere. The cheap low end jobs in these other cities pay more than the cheap jobs in Victoria. You will most likely be working at cheap McJobs before, during, and after graduation. Be very careful and look at web sites like http://www.ratemyemployer.ca, http://www.topix.com, http://www.yelp.com for other peoples’ comments or get scammed.

  7. Hi guys 1st im sorry for my weird english 1st language is french

    im trully consediring mocinv to victoria as well and im reading comments what im about to add is only and expression of what ive read so far and dont blame on any comments previously post 🙂 ( to make sure)

    1st ive notive your mostly talking about vistoria Itself or vancouver witch are the two major town its like here in quebec quebec and montreal ( sorta speak )

    but what about other little town like esquimalt or such
    ive also notice we are talking about big plan familly roots household etc but what about me and my girlfriend that dont mind live in a 700@900$ appartement

    ive also notice moneytalking regarding income/jobs im my case ive notice in here montreal i got 35k after 4 yrs of services im my domain ( forklift mecanical)

    in bc general its STARTED from35k / yrs till 65k (after ~ 8yrs of services)
    Including the fact i wont need wintercloth (like i need in montreal) money saving
    not more heater at 35degree in winter and no more air conditioning in summer thanks mother coast another money saving

    my cars except the salty environement will required way les requirment then here THE FREAKING ROAD ( for people from montreal quebec) here come the laugh ”

    in here even with a caution driving i need to reenlign my car each 5 6 month thanks to those freaking hole ….

    also if the two of us are working ( im mecanical and shes emergency call center operational) in a 700 @ 800 $ apaprtement rent i already got my car

    will it be possible ???? how should i planned correctly my moving ( furniture stays here ) my woming will look like my gf + the dogs and the personal stuff take the plane and when setup i go meet them by car ( to save plane shipping)

    sorry if its a novel but its the only forum that has mae sens so far and i help this can be sticky for people in my situation

    i got so many question i think ill stop here and follow up with your comments in any cases thanks

    1. I have lived here since 75. with your trade you will get a good paying job shortly after you arrive. You can rent a nice apartment in Esquimalt for an amount yoo can afford with an ocean views. Esquimalt is where I have a home and its the easiest place to get in and out of Greater Victoria. In Esquimalt you are only a short drive or Ocean Side walk to Down town Victoria. We victorians save a ton for al, the things you mentioned, heat, clothes, cars etc etc. Come on out and enjoy. Don’t listen to the jealous naysayers on this blog.

  8. The slave wages, out of touch with reality employers, cheap, restricted city is Victoria, the capital city of British Columbia. Vancouver BC and the rest of the province is not that much better either. All of BC is politically, economically, socially less good than Alberta and Saskatchewan. There is something very wrong and incapable about the BC culture and especially Victoria and the rest of Vancouver Island, that seems to stubbornly restrict and block prosperity and contentment. Compared to other Canadian provinces, or cities, BC and the capital Victoria seemed boring, uptight, and poor ass by comparison.

    http://www.ratemyemployer.ca, http://www.yelp.com, http://www.topix.com, http://www.thedirty.com

    1. Hmmm. I am already working on my migrating to Victoria and all these negative comments are not encouraging. Are there better opportunities for business owners?

      1. My dad has owned old nicks emporium, on Johnson street for 11 years and although sometimes its slow he does pretty well for himself. Has never talked about closing due to financial problems. Please remember Victoria is comparable to Downtown toronto…you still have boroughs like saanich and esquimalt. that are extrmely close in proximity and are probably alot cheaper

    2. R you are simply spreading untruths and should not be listened to. Must be from Trono.where I was brought up and would never return for so many reasons I haven’t got the time to relate. Stay home and don’t come back. You won’t be welcome with your attitude.””

  9. The September 28, 2013 Victoria Times Colonist newspaper and Black Press papers had stories on how the Conference Board of Canada rated Greater Victoria last place for economic growth amongst all the Canadian major city metro regions. The cities in Western Canada did better than Eastern Canada. The western metros of Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Saskatoon, Regina all did better than Victoria. Victoria has a persistent long history of being the crazy lame duck amongst all the major cities in Canada.

  10. Ray, Sam, RL, R … I was over at Topix to read up on possibly moving to Victoria. I see the exact same writing on loads of posts by obviously the same author ( with so many different screen names) in the one 35 page thread on moving to Victoria.

    I read 4 pages of that nonsense and feel whoever you are – you live a very pathetic and obviously warped life to sit there for hours on end slagging the city.

    Have you ever even seen the light of day in the last 3 years?! Doubt it.

    1. R you are simply spreading untruths and should not be listened to. Must be from Trono.where I was brought up and would never return for so many reasons I haven’t got the time to relate. Stay home and don’t come back. You won’t be welcome with your attitude.””

    2. The troll has been outed! For those interested in Victoria DO NOT LISTEN TO THIS LIER!
      I have lived here since 75 coming from many other areas of Canada, Newfoundland, Halifax, Summerside PEI, Toronto, Winnipeg and now Victoria. Victoria is my choice as the best of all.That’s why I chose it as my final retirement destination. Halifax was my second choice, but the fairer weather prevailed.

  11. I am disgusted by what I am reading. I have lived in Toronto and Victoria.

    Victoria has a much better environment. Clean air, limited pollution, pet friendly, people friendly, low crime rate, great views from anywhere. Hiking, Biking, Trailing in and out of the city. A huge accepted presence of Native American Culture-Which BY THE WAY is not this pronounced all over Canada, Lower housing costs renting/mortgage than the GTA Cheaper transit costs and shorter commutes.

    Toronto-HIGH Crime rate, Travel time to get anywhere is about 30 mins-2 hours..this city is huge we have so many boroughs its disgusting. Nasty winters, Nasty roads, Rush hour commutes are minimum of 2 hours no questions and almost always accidents on one of our 10 major highways. The cost of living is disgusting I live in Scarborough(Full of non English speaking immigrants, cockroaches and bedbugs in almost every rental, High crime and gang rate, Crappy schools and metro housing every few blocks.) I live at Markham and Lawrence-NOT the greatest area and the house i am renting for $1750/mth +utilities is worth $450000 this is at the far east side of Toronto, to get downtown can take two hours either by bus or driving. SO don’t start about high housing prices in Victoria…Scarborough is like your esquimault. We also have too many empty homes with no one who can afford to buy. The nicer areas average home 2 story 3 bedroom is around $589000-$725000 depends on location. Even the surrounding towns are skyrocketed and trying to save a few thousand isn’t even worth the commute. We also have a lot of pollution and the cockroach infested and bed bug infested apartment rentals I’m talking about well their rent is $1300 a mth++ for a3 bedroom and you’re talking in a place like galloway where the danzig street shooting happened. Trust me Toronto sucks and unless you have some amazing degree with some type of amazing experience you cannot afford to live here. I would still pay what I pay here all the way in Vic because of the low crime rate and the milder weather.

    Please don’t judge until you have experienced this city. I don’t want to get started on public safety. Sometimes you’re in the mall and you see a large group of people and you walk around them just to feel safe. You never know ina large city who’s got a gun or who’s got beef with who. With two young kids I am dying to raise them somewhere else. I loved victoria and will return with my family for the safety and the huge Canadian experience. Because here in Toronto you don’t know if you’re in China, India or Sri Lanka sometimes. Some partsof the city I swear on my life don’t even have english signs. They will not serve anyone who’s not of their race..Ask anyone

    1. Wow, racist much? Please remember that Canada is a land built on the hard work and labour of skilled immigrants and newcomers. White people think they own this country, but remember, your ancestors showed up UNinvited, brought diseases and bugs, and spoke foreign languages (english & french) that were, in fact, forcibly imposed on First Nations people. They didn’t have the option to have signs in their own language because the colonizers didn’t allow it. I hope you don’t raise your kids to become as entitled, arrogant, and prejudiced as you.

  12. my family (with two young kids) is also in the process (early stages) of migrating from montreal to victoria. the main reason is the weather. we have lived 9 yrs now here and love it, except for winters and all they entail, from being indoors most of the time, skin issues due to dry air (yes, we have humidifiers and all), heavy gear and so much snow and so cold…. for so long.
    anyway, we decided to sell our nice south-shore close to downtown montreal house and are aware we<ll never afford anything even remotely similar in victoria or vic capital region. we,ll only afford renting in the beginning, 1 brd appt. in victoria. i feel there is more chance of getting a job (in administration, office jobs or customer service) there. plus be close to everything, like daycare, schools, hospitals, groceries.
    not sure of the cost of living though. it seems to vary widely. i have been reading a lot online on both official forums and diverse forums.
    also, i do hope we are not trading 5-6 months of snow and cold for 5-6 months of rain and somber-looking skies, as some of the comments imply.
    how is the transit from langford or esquimalt to victoria? any buses? long wait for the bridge on rush hours? i can only imagine the bridge is tiny, not like the huge ones in montreal we use for daily commute. maybe i am wrong? is it a long commute? how is public transport?what about commuting from saanich?
    gosh, so many questions….

    1. We live in Victoria, a city my parents chose to move to in the 1980’s. My husband and I moved away in the 90’s and moved back to raise children. The kids are now 12 and 14.
      We are fortunate enough to afford a nice house in Oak Bay, a sweet sheltered part of the city which we anticipated would be a great place to hunker down and raise the kids. We have also lived in other parts of the city which were OK too. We are near recreation, shopping, natural beauty, low crime, good housing, schools and transportation, and a 15 minute bike ride from downtown. There are more affordable houses close by that still see all the benefits of the heart of Oak Bay, i.e. west of Cadboro Bay Rd. (housing is $600-800K in this area)
      Victoria’s winter weather is cool and sometimes rainy (but not constant rain and clouds like parts of Vancouver) from October to March. A “cold” day for us is under 6 C. We just add more layers. I cycle to work at a government office all year and am usually hot by the end of the ride. Only twice have I thought it’s too cold, when the temperature is below -5. In the summer we don’t see burning hot days, usually from 16 to 24 C. Hot days happen a few times a year (over 26 C)
      There are only a few roads into the city for commuters, so if there’s construction it’s a pain. We are still working on better transit or rail. The buses are good, but get stuck in traffic. From Esquimalt in rush hour, you could be on the bus for 30 minutes, but most likely 10-20. If you are driving from Langford, you might be in the car for 50-60 minutes at the worst time of the day, waiting in traffic. At the best times of the day, it is 20 minutes from Langford to downtown Victoria.
      Note about bridges – for Esquimalt – there is a plan to build a new Blue Bridge next to downtown but horribly, the plan is to decommission the old one first, making the commute a living hell for maybe 2 years, across the Bay St bridge, which is currently bad enough. Better to live to the north and east of downtown, not west for a couple of years. All bridges are one lane . (Current in January 2014)
      The best kept secrets on how to live comfortably in a starter house are Fernwood (a bit run-down, lots of new age thinkers, young families, great inner village core, lower housing prices – can be under 400 or 500K), Saanich in the Carey/Glanford area, Camosun, Sears, Cedar Hill Rd and Hillside area, all housing built in the post-WW2 housing boom, to be affordable for families. Very close to the city, good schools and OK neighborhoods. Much better commuting and bussing from there, and good services like shopping etc.
      GREAT idea to rent first, in what is affordable (I do recommend Fernwood), then research what is a good fit for you to settle down. Rents are screamingly low in ratio to property value (We have been landlords for 15 years as well as homeowners). According to some, buying a house is no bargain right now compared to renting.
      Note about hospitals, the Royal Jubilee Hospital specializes in seniors. Pregnancy, births, and pediatric care all happen out at Vic General (outside the city), and if your child needs emerg, they will be sent out to Vic General, about a 25 minute drive from the Jubilee (central Victoria).
      I lived in Alberta until I was 17. I have visited the east, but not lived there, but I honestly love living on the west coast, particularly Victoria. I have lived in the burbs of Vancouver and it was crowded, wet and busy. We spent hours a day in the car, and now we don’t drive for some days a week.
      Areas your teens can get into trouble: it’s everywhere, so the area of the city doesn’t affect what they get up to as much as your own family culture does. The high schools that seem to have less problems are in Gordon Head, Oak Bay and Saanich.
      Best of luck.

      1. What a great personal story – thanks for the great summary of our lovely city (I live in Saanich now and we love it).

      2. Hi Margaret,

        I just came across your 2014 online comment about living in Victoria.

        My husband and I may be moving to Victoria in the next few months. My husband is eager, I’m reluctant.

        If you wouldn’t mind contacting me directly, I’d be forever in your debt.

        Suzanne

      3. Margaret, Thank you for taking the time to write in such detail and we really appreciate your insight. We’re looking forward to our move to Victoria.

    2. Unfortunately you will be trading snow for somber looking skies for 5+ months a year.
      transit is alright but doesn’t run as often as what you would be use to in Montreal.
      alot of the time the buses show up too early or 5 or 10 minutes late. we ended up buying a vehicle because we were getting irritated with the inconsistency. daycares are a luxury out here and if you do not qualify for subsidy be prepared to pay 800 -1300 a month per child.
      if you don’t make at least 60k a year do yourself a favor and stay put.
      it’s a beautiful place but it’ll wear you out in a hurry

      1. Thanks, J. By now I was aware of these details. Thank you for being objective and realistic. We know what we are facing, but the decision has been made now and we are facing this callange with courage and optimism. And no problem with the rain. A milder shorter winter works just fine for us. Thanks everyone for your time and effort — for your answers.

    3. Esquimalt is where you should live. Less Expensive than other areas and on the “warmer ” side of the peninsula. Best ocean Walkways and you can walk along the ocean to Victoria in 23 minutes, drive in about 6 mins. The Navy selected Esquimalt when they first came here because of the sheltered harbour and protected shore line. Langford is farther out to the west and the traffic to and from Victoria is bad at times. Esquimalt has the best access in and out of Victoria.

  13. @ Margaret
    I am very grateful for the time and effort you put into answering my inquiries and worries. you view, after the cascade of negative comments, shines some hope onto our perspective.
    As it is so important to start right, you pieces of advice are pure gold. Your experience there, especially as a family with kids, is invaluable. No matter how much one reads online, there is nothing like the actual experience of someone who lives there. And I do trust your objectivity.
    Basically, I just wanted to make sure we are doing the right thing.
    Our greatest concern is finding decent jobs. As Victoria a capital city, I assumed there would be a lot of governmental jobs/federal admin, provincial admin and even municipal. There must be a good job out there for someone with lots of office experience, great references (9 yrs with one of Canada’s largest employers), and fully bilingual. I know though there will be a time of long adjustments when we arrive, moving from a two-story house to a two-room apartment, from being an owner to being a renter.
    Fernwood sounds great, as it is so close to downtown and all commodities, important when you are new in town and with two young kids with you all the time. We shall look for a small apartment for rent there.
    See, the comment on commuting from W vs N, the development plans, the hospitals,that is some GREAT advice, Margaret, thank you. This puts things into a totally different perspective. Nevertheless, since distances are a lot shorter than say in the greater Montreal area where we live now, being stuck in traffic for anything under an hour sounds good lol
    I was also wondering, since the city is not that big, one could actually walk in every direction, for going to work etc. Can you walk over the bridges? Google maps says it only takes under an hour from Esquimalt to downtown Victoria, 4 km. And in Victoria as such it seems even less. Am I wrong? From E side to downtown, 5km, one hour. I mean it is always an option, right? Biking sounds great too; I understood it is quite popular. It would be amazing to not have to go by car or even public transit.
    One last question, Margaret, if you allow. You mentioned working for the government. I do not want to be indiscreet, but is it difficult to get a government job in Victoria? I assume there is a lot of competition. Do their often require bilingualism? For me, a job like this would be ideal.
    Again, thank you, and I wish you all the best.

    1. Delia, come on out and live in Esquimalt. No time at all to Walk , Bike or Drive to Victoria Central. A lot of people bike and many walk to avoid parking fees if you work in Victoria. About 23 minutes walk on the West Bay Walkway from Esquimalt. With your experience and bilingual quals you are a shoo-in for a well paid Govt job. Just do it and pay no attention to the troll naysayers. They are liars!

  14. One more thing. I am wondering, for young kids, are there a lot of playgrounds in parks or neighbourhoods and activities in the community?
    I have seen the official sites and reports, but as far you know, is it easy to find good group daycare ? I have noticed that prices vary wildly, from 600 to 1,500. Is it really that expensive or there is chance of finding good decently priced daycare within reasonable time ?

    1. Delia, I wish to ear form you. Are you moved yet?
      If so, what’s your thought vs the bad comments here?
      We’re planning to move from Quebec with 2 young kids as well and those comments are so discouraging.
      Thank you 🙂

      1. Genevieve, we decided last year to no longer leave Montreal for Victoria. It would have been to risky (without jobs, with the kids) and the job market is just too limited versus here. There was a significant risk of ending very poor there. The cost of rent of a 2 bedroom apartment was more than our house mortgage here. And so on……
        So we reevaluated how much we dislike winter versus everything else and we decided…..we love Montreal despite winter.
        I hope you have at least one job for sure there, before you leave here. There are a lot of overqualified people there, hungry for good jobs. It’s tough.
        Good luck!!

        1. All those negative comments about Victoria Canada saved you and your family from making a big mistake moving to Victoria to live. The comments about Victoria all over the various Internet sites are saying something valuable. The climate and physical environment in Greater Victoria are wonderful, however, the people culture, economy, job market, savings rates, living expenses, social life, everything that makes life worth living, is not wonderful. Don’t be fooled by the superficial surface. As some of the others have said, moving to Victoria to enjoy the environment is good if you happen to bring your family wealth and friends with you. Your experience would be quite different otherwise.

  15. There are not many different ways of saying Greater Victoria is dull, restricted, uptight, cliquey in its social life, economy, politics. There is not much material to work with. Of course all the anti Victoria comments all over the net begins to look the same. The various people are all saying similar things. Greater Victoria has a $1000000 view and a $1 life in terms of jobs, contentment, wages, promotions, wealth, prosperity, and social life. It is a good thing metro Victoria is warmer as you can be more comfortable living in the tent in some park to be closer to nature. You certainly will never afford your own home or rent, with the slave jobs, wages, and low savings along with high expenses. This is assuming you will even find a low paid job. All those negative Victoria BC Canada comments on http://www.ratemyemployer.ca, http://www.topix.com, http://www.yelp.com, http://www.thedirty.com, Yahoo Answers, and others are all true. Ignore them at your own peril. Those who came to Victoria before you have experienced all that was described.

  16. I lived for 10 years in Victoria before moving to Vancouver. I had a well paid management job in Provincial Government. I moved from Vancouver to NYC then to Florida. I go back to Victoria each year to see family. The question I get asked over and over is how to get a Green Card to escape to the USA. Victoria, just like Vancouver is slowly turning Asian. They have crime but brush it under the rug. It is very much who you know and that is how you are judged by the locals. It is expensive, the water is much to cold to swim in so the beaches are a waste of time even if you could tolerate all the dog mess. If you think about a boat, try getting mooring, it wont happen unless you are well connected. Anything worth doing that makes Victoria desireable is expensive and restricted. This place is very much overrated and is now becoming over built and the climate is also overrated. If you have children, they will have very limited opportunities for a career. It is a well kept secret that it is an awful place.

  17. I moved there from Calgary without a job or apartment. Went there with an open mind. Met open minded people. Found job. Found apartment. Was happy because that’s what I was looking for and that’s what was found in Victoria. It was a great place with loads to do. Have moved since but thinking of coming back.

    Point being that if you are looking for dog shit on the beaches , then that’s likely all you’re going to find. It’s funny how people are already limiting their hypothetical children’s “limited opportunities for a career”…I mean, surely somebody must be employed in Victoria, right? People are so critical, hope you can be happy somewhere!

  18. Why bother to settle in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada? Beneath the shiny marketing propaganda, the metro region is a horrible place to live long term. The social culture, job market, economy is cliquey, limited, and limiting. Besides the weather, everything else is bad. Unfortunately, nice weather alone does not pay the bills or achieve your financial goals. You can apply to 500-1000 jobs and not get hired for years. College and university educated are forced to work high school jobs just to survive. Read the comments on http://www.topix.com (on victoria, is victoria a nice place to live?), http://www.ratemyemployer.ca, Yahoo Answers, Why Some Immigrants Leave Canada, etc.

  19. Sure some Greater Victoria people are employed. However, there is a big difference between working at a career you trained for in college and university and being forced by the Victoria, BC system to work high school jobs to just survive. There are not enough to go around. The system propaganda is churning out poop to attract money milking cows under false pretenses. Greater Victoria will pay you a pittance while sucking you dry at the same time. All of Canada seems to be declining social economically, but Victoria is much farther gone than the rest. While many other major cities celebrate New Year eve with enthusiastic public parties, Greater Victoria goes to sleep with very little street activity. Nobody is in the mood to socialize anymore because people are unemployed, underemployed, and soulless, or financially broke. Greater Victoria is like a funeral home all quiet and moody.

  20. One thing I forget is that Greater Victoria employers public and private have a tendency to job advertise, ignore, and re-advertise endlessly the same jobs over short and long terms. They probably do this to make the HR department look like they are actually doing work for their pay. They maybe trying to create the illusion of worker shortages to force down wages and conning the government out of funding money for immigration or temporary foreign workers? Both public and private employers are involved hand in hand. The education system is also involved in this money sucking Ponzie Scheme too. The return on investment is not there. This is happening across Canada, except Victoria is even more so.

  21. I was born in Victoria and unfortunately moved to Edmonton many years ago. In 2 years when my husband retires I am going back. I don’t know if we will live in Victoria but I just want on that Island again. Been thinking of Parksville or Ladysmith which is still a reasonable drive to Victoria. If people want to talk expensive, Edmonton is a perfect example. Winter for 7 months of the year and $300 heating bill each month are not uncommon. food prices are skyrocketing and the province is hurting due to low oil prices so of course they raise taxes on EVERYTHING! 13 cents a liter on fuel alone. This will soon be a have-bot province because it has nothing but oil. Besides that, the city is probably one of the ugliest in the country. Dirty, grimy and dull. Give me Victoria anytime!

  22. I have a job offer in BC starting $40,000 +. Considering moving from Sask. Married, no kids. I’m just wondering if 40k is an okay starting wage out there.. There is plenty room for me to move up.

  23. Hello,
    I’m trying to decide on schooling for my children and stumbled upon this forum while googling.
    Does anyone have any experience with Claremont Secondary and Oak Bay High School ? I’ve gone through their website and seen the programs offered but am unable to decide as both seem equally good.

    Any suggestions/advise from people who are living there or have been to either of those schools , would be very helpful.

    Thanks.

    1. Oak Bay High is a great school that my daughter goes to..in fall 2015 they are opening their brand new school with an amazing theatre. We moved here from the Gulf Islands which is very cheap for housing if you can work online from home or are a carpenter. We love Victoria and the many parks are great for dogs. People are nice as can be.

  24. Oh sure, Greater Victoria has nicer weather and environment. So what? The Victoria culture and people are very cliquey, closed minded, small. fake, and uptight. It is like trying to join a secret society with their secret handshakes. They won’t see you or give you the time of day without belonging to the same group. The social life, job market, living expenses, economy is really crappy compared to its physical environment. Victoria is good if you bring your family fortune and friends with you. Definitely go read the other people’s comments on Topix (On Victoria, Is Victoria a nice place to live?), Ratemyemployer, Yahoo Answers, Canadian Immigrant (Why some immigrants leave Canada). Ignorance is not bliss.

  25. Victoria bc will suck the life out of you. I long to move away, but have to put in another 5 years or so to get my pension. Trust me, you hear the locals, like me, talk about it all the time, boring, souless and people are not friendly.

  26. I have lived in Victoria all my life and in general what the majority of comments say about it are generally true.
    The pros are:
    its walkable and bikable.
    The weather is mild and the scenery is beautiful.
    Beacon Hill park is nice and very close to town.
    There are nice small neighbourhoods like Oak Bay, James Bay Fairfield and Fernwood that have their own sort of feel while being close to the walkable city center.
    There is a decent amount of small cafes and restaurants.

    The cons:
    There is a large population of older wealthy retired folks who want Victoria to never develope. Extreme NIMBYism, Who complain about anything and everything including harbour traffic, building heights, dogs, their neighbours(if they actually like to have fun), beach fires, parking(although enforcement does seem excessive), deer, and just about anything. Or how about new people who buy condos above clubs then complain about noise! This leads to the next con…
    No fun, Victoria has a University and thi is the only reason there is any sign of life in downtown but even then the clubs are pretty much the same. Very few big acts come here and the music scene is greatly hampered by the lack of venues. Most pubs cater to an upper middle class.
    Its very hard to establish a social life and I am from here! Most people choose to leave because of the COL and between the old grumpy no fun NIMBYs calling the bylaw enforcement on anyone doing anything fun its a bit pathetic.
    Canada day here is a joke. Its a celebration of Canada yet its the closest thing to a police state that I have ever witnessed. Its just insane and probably due to the same hoity toity retirees who either get scared or plain dislike young people letting loose who write to city hall(they have all the time in the world apparently to write the city, write local papers and call law enforcement on a dog urinating.) Canada day is marked with unconstitutional arbitrary searches and seizures by police on anyone with a bag who get on a bus or is on foot. The, at the nd of the fireworks is something out of movie as a wall of police march forward squeezing people out of the area. Disgusting.
    Even successful music festivals are pressured to turn down the volume by these zealots. Its just a few days and masses of these people bitch and whine.
    The job scene is like the social scene, non existant. except for health care and government but there are only so many of them and no one leaves them, otherwise its endless minimum wage part time slave jobs in the retail and food industry.
    The cost of living is enourmous.
    Homes are divied up into closets that rent for $450 per month starting.

    So the stereo types are accurate. It is very insular and boring but its due to a wealthy established group of people who want Victoria to be small and boring. There is no social life because the younger people are transient as they simply cannot live here post university while the ones who do become a bit jaded and bored ith the status quo.
    I suppose Victoria can be fun and somewhat livable but you have to really pursuit things like join clubs or groups otherwise its quite boring.

  27. I need advise about relocating from Edmonton to Saanich. Im a single 54yo female, i hate Edmonton and hate the friken winters. I have a gov job offer out there, but it pays 30% less than what i make in Edmonton, plus i lose my pension time in (over 10 years), my seniority, 6 weeks vacation and will have to start over at the new job. I have money for house down payment. I don’t care about night-life and shit cuz im old, so a nice, quiet environment with no snow is like heaven. My hobby is gardening, i could do that all year. I lived in YVR for 10 years and loved it! But the decrease in pay is what scares me. I do not know what to do…

    1. Many people on this and other web sites have said Greater Victoria nice weather and physical environment does not pay the bills or achieve your financial ambitions. If you happen to be independently rich millionaire or billionaire, than the poor restricted job market, wages, and uptight cliquey attitudes do not matter. Are you millionaire plus? All the various levels of government jobs in Victoria are only term contract work. You could be on term contracts for the rest of your working life. They don’t want to pay benefits and be able to let people go at end of terms. Go to http://www.topix.com (On Victoria, Is Victoria a nice place to live?). Read the Victoria BC comments.

  28. Some immigrants, temporary foreign workers, citizens on the Canadian Immigrant (Why Some Immigrants Leave Canada) web site made Greater Victoria comments are are almost identical to the other anti Victoria comments on Topix, Yahoo Answers, and others. That many people all over the Internet saying Victoria sucks, can not be wrong. The nice weather, land, birds, trees, oceans do not achieve financial goals, buy homes, increase your social circles, pay bills, or achieve your dreams. Those people who insist that Victoria is so nice despite all the overwhelming negative testimony about the restrictive, uptight, lethargic culture are not really seeking advice, but are seeking other people to just rubber stamp their preconceptions about Greater Victoria. Don’t say we did not warn you if you insist on learning about Victoria the hard way.

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  30. As a know-it-all European , who intends to relocate to Victoria from the utterly, utterly ghastly , discriminatory, Montreal, I’m finding this thread fascinating. As a vague consensus, it seems that the entirety of Canada ( along with America ) is a total shit hole , and Victoria is the ultimate middle-class, insidious black hole into which the rest of the world will be flushed down, if it decides to move there. Wow. How such a big portion of land be filled with total pricks ? ! Oh, and the bone fide English – speakers on this thread really display to me the general standard of Canadians. Not to mention the Yanks. I’ve seen it elsewhere in this country, and Australia, of course. You all seem to be complaining and griping about how unbearable it all is, in such poor English , that I’m quite blanching at the prospect of spending the rest of my sorry little existence putting up with the illiterate inbreds that populate this and other sites should I decide to move to Victoria. What an irony : Victoria, the place where no-one can speak English properly. And I’m not talking about the obvious second-language posters, but the totally shameful first-language speakers, who cannot seem to grasp their own bloody culture, and even misspell the slang ! You have no right to criticize anything , until you get your own house in order, um, bozos. In fact, I’m now seriously considering moving to Syria now: far more civilized, and closer to the UK.

    So, fellow, posters, shoot me down and crucify me for being a total, arrogant pig, but when you seek to explain something, at least give me the answer in a coherent manner. You bloody Canadians are really up your own anal tracts, frankly, and are about 50 years off the pace. Ugh. Rool Britanikka . Like, wahteva, doods.

    1. William Anderson, I can not criticize you when you speak the truth like an honest straight shooter. It is all true. North America is descended from European, Asian, and other settlers mixed with the indigenous populations. The parent societies in Europe and Asia seems a lot more competent and prosperous than their bastardized loser societies in the “New World”. The joke is that Europe, Asia, and anywhere else got rid of their lowest ranking members and sent them all to North America. Now, after 200, 300 years of breeding, The USA, Canada, Mexico, and other places have societies made up of retards.

  31. My wife and I have been living in Victoria part time for the past five years–transitioning from the US– to retirement and living there full time. So yes we’re fortunate we can trade a house in DC area for an apartment in Victoria walking distance to the coast.
    But I don’t recognize the Victoria described by many of the posters. We found a community of people who opened their arms to us–we love the small city vibe that also has varied musicians and other artists who pass through. And a large artistic community that lives on the Island full time.
    At this point in our lives, living in an environment of great natural beauty trumps most other needs. Victoria delivers!

  32. @Ishorr, you comments and others like yours, once again proved what Greater Victoria really is. Besides Topix, Yahoo Answers, Ratemyemployer, also look up the comments on Numbeo, Canadian Immigrant (why some immigrants leave Canada). Victoria is a good place to live, not visit, if you happen to be one of the newly wed or nearly dead (0-20, 65+). If you are 21-64, university/college educated, ambitious, it is not so good for you. The cheap pay, limited everything else, high school level low jobs and pay, high costs will not achieve your dreams. Bored, broke, and underemployed is not a sign of a good society.

  33. Of course Greater Victoria is a good culture and place to live, if you happen to be 0-18, 65+ in age. Why do you think the metro region is called the Newly Wed and Nearly Dead? Too many people are over educated and under employed in the Victoria area. The place is also culturally boring, anti everything new, uptight, and mentally slow. Victoria will not offer you the opportunities to be as much as you can be. The area is very limited and limiting beyond the 1-2 weeks of vacation time.

  34. Ishorr, your comment just proved one of the Greater Victoria criticisms on this web site and many others, especially Topix on Victoria. This just reinforce Victoria as a place for the “Newly Wed and the Nearly Dead”. This is not much culture, excitement, and opportunities for people between 20-64. 65 to 67 is the retirement age and below 20 is all high school and community college time.

  35. The vast majority of the repetitive negative comments are obviously the same person. I have seen the exact same quotes on topix. Ray/Rey/Raymond… come on, it’s obvious. What I wonder is what happened to him to make him so bitter to spend so much time convincing people not to come? Why not just leave Vic and move on with your life? Victoria has it’s pros and cons like anywhere, and you just have to know what your priorities are and see where fits best.

    I have several friends who have moved there from elsewhere and love it there, who were in their 20s when they came and have stuck around into their late 30s – no newly weds or nearly deads amongst them. most of them are entrepreneurial types so they carved their own niche and hang out with like minded people. there is no perfect place to live, everybody has their own tastes and deal breakers.
    I would like to live in Victoria if housing were more affordable but instead I am looking into other areas on the west coast that are just as beautiful but affordable and still close to larger cities if I should need them.

    1. Oh of course all the negative Victoria BC comments on every Internet forum are just from one of a few people. Victoria is so perfect that nobody else on this planet would ever dare to challenge its “perfection”. You sound just like the Brexx poster on Topix Victoria BC. You types are exactly the same, precisely how your critics on the other side are portraying you to be. How “Victorian” of you.

  36. I’m considering a move to Victoria from Vancouver. I’m Alberta originally and I can totally relate to the hate about the West Coast.

    There are some startling pros and cons to West Coast living.

    If you live in James bay, Oak bay or slightly north of downtown, you will be in for a treat. You’ll have great food and entertainment with a minimal commute. That is the key, to live and work within those quarters to avoid any issues.

    The other thing to avoid is the local job market. I’m a stock trader and Im slowly taking off. I’m not reliant on the BC economy. It’s a socialist paradise here. Most are on government assistance or rely on income derived from the government in some way.

    These negatives that lead to a depressed economy, high unemployment and other issues open the door to some benefits.

    If you have money or can earn a living outside of the local economy, you will love it (or at least I think you will). Prices for the top teir homes or condos in Victoria are at least 30-40% below Vancouver’s. The traffic isn’t as bad and the weather is better.

    I’ve lived in Vancouver for years and the ppl are much colder than the weather. So if you are new, most of your friends will be outsiders as well which is fine.

    I don’t trust the locals either in Vancouver or Victoria. They re typically lazy, money hungry liars that will say and do whatever it takes to get what they want. Because of the over inflated house prices that has paid for a lot of their lifestyles, they believe it makes them just that much smarter and better than the rest of Canada or elsewhere.

    That’s why I much prefer Americans or ppl from Alberta or the east to the locals.

    That being said, the ppl in Courtney, Port Alberni and Ucluelet are lovely. Total Canadian, loving vibe.

    Be careful of those from Victoria. Or at least be watchful if they say or do something that is too good to be true, because it really is.

    I rambled, sorry. Lol.

    1. No you don’t ramble, but say it like it is. You do the world a service by exposing Victoria. Vancouver and Victoria are pretty much the same species expect different size. The west coast Canada culture is faker than massive plastic cosmetic surgeries compared to the central areas and east coast Canada.

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  38. Let me start off by saying that people have delusions of granger. I, born and raised French Canadian, have never been so disappointed with the people of Canada. All you guys do is bitch and moan about something or someone, never looking at the glass half full, and forever turning a simple conversation into a competition to make your worthless selfs feel better. Now, I’ve travelled to many places within Canada and outside to the US and Europe aswell and I can say that Canadians have no culture or respect for anything but themselves, Canadians aren’t the friendliest of people infact they are unfriendly, rude, arrogant and self obsessed. So you want to talk about a bad place to live I’ll give you a thing or two to consider. I’ve never been to Victoria myself to compare but here’s some food for thought. I currently live in Moncton NB, from money sense it’s one of the best places to live. I wouldn’t trust everything you read in money sense and heres what they don’t tell you. People here are as I’ve mentioned above and more, they mostly come from acadian backgrounds, which means they cannot formulate proper English sentences and the lesser French language is a joke that cannot be understood by normal French Canadians or foreigners. People are so stuck in the change is bad mentality that half the population of the whole east coast is related to one another, and yes as disgusting as it may seem people have children and relationships with their own family members, fathers, cousins, uncles, you name it, a bunch of inbreds, and the further east you go the worse it gets. This leads to, in many cases, severely defective people both physically and mentally. Having a half decent conversation with anyone in the area in a royal pain in the arse and when you do come across a decent person to talk to, they usually aren’t locals. And yes they may seem super nice and friendly upon first glance but ultimately they just want to know your business and stab you in the back afterwards or break into your house to steal whatever valuables you may mention having, jealously is huge here, and have extremely short attention spans. I could go on about the people alone but I’d be writing a novel that’s how terrible it is. Now about the actual city itself. Well, to start off, taxes are at 15% the highest in the country, wages are at one of the lowest in the country and unemployment rates are pretty high. Sure you can get a house under $100k outside the city limits if you’re willing to commute at least 30min to an hour each way to work. In city house prices are typically around $200k+. Rented accommodations average $800+ utilities, and it’s not uncommon to see $1300+ for a 2 bedroom apartment, considering the average monthly wage is less then $1200. Finding employment is difficult if you only speak English, and even myself have difficulties even though I’m bilingual because I am not acadian French, so hypocritical. it’s definitely a who you know know not what you know type of place. Weather is a disaster here, you get maybe 2 weeks of enjoyable summer otherwise it’s 40c and up plus humidity if it’s sunny out which you have to stay inside anyway or it rains like a pig for the rest of the summer, not to mention the summer is totally ruined by road works. They literally refix the same roads every year, and it’s not just fix one road here and there, they rip up half the city roads all at the same time, then I swear workers go on vacation for 2 months before doing anything to it again… Asides from that, when it is nice, yes parley beach is said to be one of the best beaches in Canada but it costs an arm and a leg just to park there for one day and it’s actually not that spectacular tbh, I’ve seen nicer beaches elsewhere. As for winter… Well if summer didn’t put you off I’m sure this will. Our winter vary from year to year but on average we get 10 feet of snow that actually stays, last year it was above the roof tops, on top of that, there are many days where it’s -35c and below I’ve recorded -45c last year for at least 2 days. Winter usually starts in October and ends in May. If you have young school children, they usually don’t close schools at those temperatures unless it’s unsafe on the roads. And expect a 1.5 hour bus pick up delay when those days come with the little ones freezing instantly having to wait outside like that. Schools are also a joke, kids from k-3 only go to school from 8:15am-1:45pm every day and actually come home an hour earlier on Wednesdays, talk about having possible future for well educated children well think again. They barely have time to teach children anything here between that, the many holidays and snow days, I’m not surprised children turn out the way they do here… Daycare is also pricey, expect to pay at least 700$ for one child and getting any help or subsidies with that is more hassle then it’s worth. As for everything else, be expected to pay at least 500$ a month on electric bills in the winter and on average 100$ minimum in the summer. You’ll get major wear and tear on your vehicles due to salt and weather conditions or because of the many moronic egotistical drivers. Let’s not forget to add all the winter cost every year on cars and homes and our dress wear etc which in effect is extremely expensive not to mention having to start your vehicle at least 20-30 mins before you leave for work every morning and same at night, fuel prices and quite high in the province so that gets pricey too. As for crime, it’s low because it’s not talked about a lot, many break ins, I’ve lost count of how many time I’ve seen police cars in the neighbourhood at night this summer alone. Plenty of armed robberies especially due to the tax rise, and for some reason people here are obsessed with burning other peoples homes down with them alive inside. Have I missed something out? Oh yes, the social life well there isn’t one, if all you like to do is drink your face off and dance yeah you might be alright but for the rest of us, there’s nothing to do here, nothing fun for children or mature past the party stage adults, you have to drive to the ends of town to go for a nice walk in a nature park which is very unpleasant because of the many mosquitoes that swarm the area, and biking is not much better they have developed speed to catch up :$ As you can see, the island has a lot more things to offer in comparison, variety, culture, entertainment, and the best part is you can make something of it. The thing that gets to me is people say it’s expensive, we’ll it’s expensive to live everywhere yet people still live where they are. Also the only place people mention on here is Victoria, it’s a city of course housing is going to be pricey, that’s normal for every large city. Try affording a house in London UK when the minimum wage is £6.50 an hour and house prices are above £1 million. no one mentions anything about the other cities and towns.. What about Nanaimo or comox valley or cowichan area or sooke etc. When there’s a will there’s a way, for crying out loud the weather is perfect almost year round to grow your own food so grocery bills could be dismal in comparison, no heating bills or excessive vehicle repairs, lower tax bracket, healthier lifestyle, less chances of dying from a heart attack due to lack of exercise as you could bike or walk practically all the time, the list goes on. Anyway, I just wanted to put my 2 cents in from my perspective. No matter how expensive a place may seem or how difficult you may think it’s going to be to achieve success, that if you really want something badly enoigh, everything will fall into place eventually. I’ve packed up and moved many times with nothing but a few dollars and what ever I could physically carry and it always worked out in the end. the only reason I’m presently where I am now is due to personal family matters only and I too plan on moving on the island within the coming year.

    1. All of you should definitely take a look at the Victoria, Vancouver, Halifax, or whatever city comments on the Topix web site. There are some very informative comments from locals and former locals all over the world. You have nobody to blame if you insist on not doing your research when moving to any city.

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