Things one must know before moving to Vancouver
Vancouver frequently ranks highly as one of the world’s most livable cities in the world. The city in beautiful British Columbia is known for its breathtaking coastline views and has great beaches and spectacular mountains. In winter, it boasts of its warm weather as compared to other parts of Canada, which makes it an outstanding destination for travellers across the world. Every year thousands of international students come to Vancouver to pursue their higher education.
Thanks to the cultural diversity and top-rated educational institutions making it the first choice of everyone. The only challenging part of the city for newcomers is the cost of living.
Well, if you are also planning to move to Vancouver for studies or for work, then here are a few things you must know!
1. Finding Accommodation maybe a challenge
Finding your perfect apartment may be a challenge in and around the city. This is because Vancouver is expensive which makes it less affordable as compared to other provinces in Canada. It is advised to start hunting for your accommodation even before landing here. Students can live on sharing which can ease their cost of living here.
Useful Tools for Searching
There are various online platforms where students can hunt for apartments that fit their budgets. There are many examples such as the following:
- Craigslist is a classified advertisement website where students can find various listings and rental accommodations based on their preferred location.
- Facebook Marketplace is a very convenient platform where students can find listings, contact the owner of the listing, and go for a viewing.
- Kijiji is also like Craigslist as it provides online classified advertising services, where you can find houses and condos for rent.
- PadMapper is a quick, concise apartment finder. Students can filter by their requirements and can view the end number of listings.
- Rentals.ca is Canada’s premier website for apartment rental searches. You can find apartments, basements, townhouses, or condos for rent here.
Vancouver, often known as Raincouver, is famous for its never stopping rains, however, it doesn’t stop Vancouverites from performing their daily tasks or going to work or study. Don’t forget to carry an umbrella and waterproof shoes at all points in time! Be prepared for unexpected rainy days especially between October to mid-May. Also, note the fact that it rains more in Vancouver than it snows in winter! It is advised to check the weather on your phone apps before leaving home.
Apps that can provide accurate weather forecasts are:
3. Public Transit System
Vancouver is known for its clean, efficient, and convenient public transport. The public transportation system is made up of a network of buses, SkyTrain, Sea buses, and the West Coast Express commuter train service. Overall, the transportation system is known to be efficient, reliable, and safe. Avoid renting a car especially if you go to areas like Downtown as finding parking spots may be difficult.
A Compass card is a card dedicated to transit for all frequent travelers which are common for buses and SkyTrain. You can buy the card through many methods, such as online, from the Compass Vending Machines installed at the SkyTrain station, or through a phone call or in-person as well. Blue Compass cards are for adults, while orange cards are for senior citizens and children. These cards can be easily loaded by credit or debit cards, but how you reload your card depends upon how frequently one needs to travel. There are three fare zones across Metro Vancouver, so the exact number of bus or train boundaries you cross during your trip determines your actual fare.
Paper tickets VS. Compass card single fare
If you travel occasionally, paper fares are cheaper as compared to single fares from the Compass card. Single paper tickets are valid for 90 minutes of unlimited travel and transfer irrespective of all the zones.
SkyTrain operates in three lines:
- Expo Line which connects Downtown Vancouver with the cities of Burnaby, New Westminster, and Surrey.
- Millennium Line connects East Vancouver through Burnaby, and into Port Moody and Coquitlam.
- Canada Line travels between Downtown Vancouver, the Vancouver International Airport (YVR), and Richmond.
Plan your trip ahead
It is always good to plan your trip ahead to avoid any last-minute hassles, especially when going to College. For the bus route and time, just Short Message Service (SMS) 33333 with the 5-digit bus stop number, and the bus you want to ride on. By doing this, you will get the timings of the bus.
4. Biker’s paradise
Because of amazing biking tracks spread almost throughout the city, Vancouver is rightly known as a biker’s heaven. One can even rent a bike to commute. So, what’s better than biking to live a healthy lifestyle and save the cost of fuel!
Vancouver is one of the most bike-friendly cities in the world. People love to roam around the city on bikes and enjoy the breathtaking view of the city. Vancouver’s public bike-sharing is very convenient, economical, and environmentally friendly. Students are often seen taking a bike to various places such as their college, or workplace. Who wouldn’t want to enjoy bike rides in the beautiful city? If you also feel that you are in the same boat, then this article is perfect for you.
Vancouver Bike Share
Bicycles are located across the city at various docking stations. It is user-friendly, convenient, comfortable, and above all, the most affordable way to get around in the city. These are public bicycles that are available for shared use on a short-term basis. You can easily unlock the bike from one station and return to any other station. This makes it useful for one-way trips, and safe for people since the bike paths are suitable for individuals.
Why bike sharing
Bike-sharing is not only a better and a healthy transportation option, but public bike share systems can also help riders in many other ways:
- It adds value to the public transit
- Encourage people to walk to their nearest bike station
- Increases cycling ridership
Click here, to learn more about Vancouver bike share.
Apart from this here are a few more tips!
- Always dress comfortably and wear shoes as you may have to walk a lot especially when visiting Downtown or Stanley Park.
- Even if you don’t have a Canadian SIM or a local phone number, you don’t have to worry at all as there is free Wi-Fi almost everywhere like in Walmart, SkyTrain, malls etc.
- Tip the servers in dine-in restaurants, if possible. It means a lot to them!
- Don’t hesitate to talk to people or ask them questions if you have. People here are friendly. Socialize as much as you can!