Moving from Montreal, Quebec to British Columbia?
Thread poster: Annie Estéphan

Annie Estéphan  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 09:21
Member (2010)
English to French
+ ...
Feb 4, 2014

Hello,

I would like to know if it's a good idea to move from Montreal, Quebec to British Columbia because of the weather, I heard that it is much better there than in Montreal, and I am tired of -30 C and -40 C...

Also, I would like to know what is the cost of living in Bc compared to Montreal, not neccessarily in Vancouver but let's say Richmond, Burnaby, Surrey, Victoria or even Langley....you name it!

My husband and I would still work as freelance translators with the clients we already have, so the employment is not an issue....but the cost of living is....

However, our children are young (6 and 7 years old), how is the education system in bc compared to qc? Can we find French schools there? Or is French also taught in English elementary schools?

Thank you!


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Anne Grimes
United States
Local time: 09:21
Member (2005)
French to English
+ ...
It depends.. Feb 4, 2014

...on where you want to live. The cost of living in Vancouver is a bit higher than in Montreal, but I live in Abbotsford now (about 45 minutes from Vancouver) and the cost of living is much lower than Montreal or Vancouver. I moved here from Toronto. Richmond, Surrey, Langley, etc. are still quite expensive. You have to be quite far from the big cities for a better cost of living. The weather here in the Fraser Valley is much more temperate than in Quebec or Ontario; we rarely get much colder than -5, and even that is not usual. It usually hangs around 0 degrees most of the winter, and doesn't snow much. Schools are good here, French is taught in the schools, but it's only once a week, and just the basics. Many schools have French immersion, and there are many French schools as well in which everything is taught in French.
It is also very beautiful here, with many lakes, mountains etc., for people who love the outdoors. Most people I've talked to who have moved here from out east love it here and wouldn't move back.

Good luck!


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Annie Estéphan  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 09:21
Member (2010)
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
thanks Feb 4, 2014

Thank you Anne, your comments are priceless!;) I really appreciate it!

Is it true that in Abbotsford the criminality rate is very high or is it just another myth?


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Marinus Vesseur  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 06:21
English to Dutch
+ ...
Victoria is very nice.. Feb 5, 2014

..but expensive. It's the town I would like to retire to (should that ever happen), but house prices and rent are ridiculous there. We are an hour up-island in the Cowichan Valley where it's more affordable, but still no house for rent below 1200 CAD.

We have no children, but I know that there is quite a diverse school landscape here, from the best to the most eccentric, including French immersion and Waldorf. I taught German at Waldorf for a bit.

Vancouver Island is ideal if you like wildlife, boating, fishing, hiking - it's all at your doorstep. It's very 'west coast' in that just about everyone you meet has some alternative viewpoints and/or lifestyle. If you're into Esoteric, living off the grid, or veganism this is your island.

Come pay us a visit.


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Annie Estéphan  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 09:21
Member (2010)
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
thank you Feb 5, 2014

Thank you Marinus! 1200 CAD per month for renting a house in Victoria is not expensive, it's like in Montreal I was told that very ugly and small houses costed at least 2M$, while in Montreal we can buy a very big and beautiful, and maybe recent house for 400 000$...I guess it depends where (maybe Vancouver)...
I didn't know it was open-minded like that, I really love that

Is it true that in bc if you are not a home owner, you are seen differently and people tend to avoid you or is it another myth?


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Michael Barnett
Local time: 09:21
English
+ ...
I made the same move Feb 6, 2014

Hi Annie,

I moved from upper Westmount to the British Properties of West Vancouver 22 years ago. You could say it was a lateral move in terms of home expense and location quality. There isn't a house on my street worth less than three million dollars and a new one just sold, diagonally across from me for ten million. (See http://www.vopenhouse.ca/video/13296_Millstream/ to see what $10 million will buy you.)

Now, it is true that you can buy some pretty dumpy houses for two million, but they are in pretty good locations. Usually the new owner just tears down the dump and builds something nice.

However, there are plenty of homes in Greater Vancouver that you can get for $400K.

Don't consider Abbottsford. With apologies to Anne, it's yucky. Also there are some places in Surrey that I strongly do NOT recommend.

On the other hand, have you considered Coquitlam? That is a suburb of Vancouver, not too far from the city and it is the closest thing to a French quarter. It's a lovely place.

As for people looking down on renters, that it preposterous.

One tip about the English spoken here; there is a west coast dialect you must master immediately or you will be branded an "Easterner"! Here, a fisherman is a "fisher", a lumberjack is a "logger", a large shrimp is a "prawn". The little shrimp like Matane shrimp are called "shrimp". When you order salmon, specify your species - "coho", "spring", "sockeye" etc.

Today it was -2C and everyone was complaining about how cold it is. Most winter days are between 0 and +5. We get about one week of snow.

You really must visit BC to get a feel for the place. One word of warning - you won't want to return home.

Michael


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