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20 Pros And Cons Of Living In Vancouver (Expat Advice)

20 Pros And Cons Of Living In Vancouver (Expat Advice)

Vancouver is one of the world’s premier tourist destinations.

If you are looking to move abroad to Canada then it might be time to focus on Vancouver. This is one of those major cities that has it all.

Having said that, it’s important to look deeper into living in Vancouver and what it entails.

We find Vancouver to have exceptional natural beauty, calm weather, beautiful summers, and a diverse community that’s ideal for those who want to settle into a pleasant city.

Of course, just like any other major city, you will have to realize Vancouver is going to have issues too.

We will take a look at those problems while discussing the benefits and disadvantages of moving to Vancouver whether you are coming from another Canadian city or country.

Pros Of Living In Vancouver

Incredible Natural Beauty

When you live in Vancouver, you are going to be impressed by the natural beauty as the weather changes.

Different seasons bring different experiences.

Yes, it rains a lot but this also means there’s ample greenery wherever you look. Whether it’s the major parks or sights, there is so much natural beauty that you are going to be blown away.

Friendly People

The people are great in Vancouver.

This is common in almost any major Canadian city as you are going to have a great time dealing with a diverse community.

When you are walking around, you are going to enjoy your time in Vancouver and it gets even better as you settle into the city.

Beautiful Summer

Whether you are a tourist or a person moving to Vancouver, it’s essential to understand the pleasant nature of Vancouver’s summers.

It does not get better than this.

The summers are pleasant, calm, and simply outstanding due to the number of things you can do around the city.

Everywhere you look, there is natural beauty in the summer.


The diverse nature of Vancouver adds to its character as a major city.

People admire spending time here because there is so much to do and it’s a lot of fun. This is ideal when it comes to being able to settle in and just enjoy various cultures while you are living in Vancouver.

Depending on where you move to in Vancouver, you will be immersed in this culture right away.

Close To The US

It is close to the US, which is ideal when it comes to having a bit of fun.

People adore being close to another country because you can drive over and just explore. We also found it in the right spot as you can drive over to Seattle for a bit of shopping if you want to.

This is ideal when you are looking to see what the US has to offer too.

Great Food

There is no doubt the food is excellent in Vancouver.

When you live in Vancouver, you are going to get a good chance to see what the city has to offer in terms of high-quality restaurants.

This is important for those who want good food over the long haul.

You will adore the food and how it all comes together over time.

Great For Cyclists

Do you love going for a bike ride from time to time?

If you do, Vancouver has some of the best bike routes on the planet. This is once again due to the natural beauty as the scenic bike routes are going to impress right away.

Get on your bike and get biking because there is a lot of exploring to do here.

Good Sporting Culture

The people here love their sports.

It starts with their hockey team as catching a game is going to be a good thing to do when you want to see what the local team is doing.

Otherwise, there is ample focus on winter sports and you will see people talking about them all the time.

Lots Of Entertainment Options

Entertainment is not an issue as this is just like any other major city.

You are going to have bands coming to town all the time and this makes it easy to entertain yourself. You can also explore the nightlife in the city and have a great time if that is what you wish to do.

You are not going to be limited in this regard.

Great For Shopping

Shopping is a blast here.

You are going to have so many options to choose from and this adds to your experience while looking for the best places to do a bit of shopping.

If you miss out on anything, you can always drive over to Seattle and pick up items too.

Delicious Food Trucks

This is one of those underrated benefits you are not going to think about at first.

The food trucks are everywhere and it is quite a bit of fun for those who want to enjoy them.

You will adore these food trucks and there are so many options to go through one by one.

Cons Of Living In Vancouver

Rains A Lot

Now this is a reality of living in Vancouver and it’s something you are going to realize right away.

It rains a lot!

It is going to be raining almost every week you are in the region. The only time it stops raining is when it’s snowing.

This is why you do need to keep an umbrella handy if you are in the city.

Expensive Housing

This is one of the most expensive major cities on the planet when it comes to housing.

Even small houses are expensive.

This is due to the number of people moving to Vancouver each year including foreign investors. You are going to be paying a premium to get a property here.

High Cost Of Living

Just like the expensive housing, the cost of living is high here.

Everything is pricey.

This is difficult for those who are looking to live on a tighter budget.

You have to be diligent about where you are moving and how much it’s going to cost. If your budget is an issue then Vancouver is going to be costly.

Average Nightlife

The nightlife is good but it is still not up to par with some of the other major cities in Canada.

This is not a big deal for those who just want to do the simple things around town, enjoy the culture, and have a good time.

If that is you, Vancouver is more than good enough.

Lots Of Traffic

Most people will be driving their cars around the city.

This means you are going to be dealing with ample traffic throughout the day. This is not ideal when you want to get from point A to point B quickly.

You are going to be stuck in traffic, especially when it starts raining.

Poor Driving Conditions

The driving conditions are not always ideal.

You are going to be dealing with snow in the winter and rain in the summer. This means you do need to have good tires and make sure your driving skills are up to par.

A lot of people also complain about driving habits in Vancouver.

Limited Major Neighborhoods

Let’s assume you are thinking about moving to Vancouver and it’s time to find a decent neighborhood to stay in.

You will want to focus on amenities, safety, and overall quality.

If so, you are not going to have too many options. Some regions in Vancouver are less developed. This is also another reason why Vancouver is expensive as a housing market.


Wildfires do happen in British Columbia.

When you are moving to British Columbia as a whole, you are going to have to consider this risk. Wildfires do pollute the air, which leads to major health issues for some people.

If this is something you are afraid of, it’s essential to account for the wildfires in and around Vancouver.

Expensive Fuel

It is common for people to drive around in the city but that does not mean it’s affordable.

You are going to be paying a pretty penny to drive around in Vancouver and that does start to add up as time goes on.

It is often 30-40 cents more expensive in Vancouver compared to other major cities in Canada.

Potential Earthquakes

The fault lines in Vancouver are something you are going to want to consider too.

Earthquakes can happen here.

While the city has been developed with this in mind, you still do need to account for earthquakes and how they unfold.

Final Thoughts

These are the main details to consider before you move to Vancouver.

Moving to Vancouver is a wonderful idea as long as you can afford it. This is an expensive major city but it offers mild weather, exceptional natural beauty, and friendly people.

For the most part, it’s a lot of fun living here.

We also recommend reading our guides on living in Texas, living in Puerto Rico, and living in New Zealand.