Moving to Vancouver
Are you moving to Vancouver, Canada?
Let us help you plan your relocation and discover everything Vancouver has to offer. Crown are an international relocations company, specialising in international removals, storage, overseas moving, movers insurance, relocation services and much more. We will even relocate your vehicle and pets!
Read more about Canada in our latest blog ‘Work & Play in Canada’.
Vancouver, the largest city in the province of British Columbia, is surrounded by water on three sides and is nestled at the foot of the Coast Mountain Range. The city’s spectacular natural scenery belies a bustling metropolitan core; with one of the mildest climates in Canada, Vancouver is consistently ranked one of the three most liveable cities in the world. Greater Vancouver region is home to more than two million people in 21 municipalities, making it the third largest metropolitan area in Canada.
The city’s breathtaking backdrop of ocean views and snow-capped mountains, topped off by arrestingly beautiful parkland, provides an agreeable environment in which to work and live. By night, the city comes alive – its bars and clubs, particularly in a seven-block stretch known as the Granville Entertainment District, stay open until the small hours. On the weekends night revellers throng to the area in such numbers that the streets are closed off to traffic.
Vancouver has birthed some brilliant musicians, among them household names such as Bryan Adams and Sarah McLachlan, through to pioneering hardcore punk and electro bands. A fantastic network of venues supports Vancouver’s eclectic music scene, while a host of galleries support the city’s vibrant visual arts community.
If this young city’s urban, artsy, edge begins to pall, grab a kayak and paddle out for some white water; or find refuge in the powder snow of a nearby mountain resort. The city’s outskirts give way to a mountain biking mecca and a sport climber’s paradise – perfect for decompressing after an intense day in the office.
Visa / Permits
New Zealanders need an Immigrant Visa to live in Canada, and details of how to obtain one can be found on the Canadian Government’s Visa and Immigration website.
The official currency of Canada is the CAD Dollar, and shops and service providers will only accept the CAD Dollar. Coins come in denominations of 1¢, 5¢, 10¢, 25¢, 50¢, $1 and $2 and notes in $5, $10, $20, $25, $50 and $100 bills.
Many migrants who have relocated to Vancouver have found it helpful to set up a Canadian bank account before moving to the country. This makes it easy for converted money to be transferred straight in to your account, as well as minimising the need to carry cash while travelling. There are many banks in Vancouver who offer an on-line sign-up service.
The best way to convert large sums of money is through online transfer companies, who provide a much cheaper rate. Crown has entered into a partnership with OFX to provide an easy, reliable and cost effective solution for clients who are moving their funds internationally. The deals offered by OFX are at super competitive exchange rates and in most cases there’s no fee. The cost structure is so good that the saving you make may even pay for the entire cost of your relocation. To register and for more information visit OFX
Transportation in Vancouver, British Columbia has many of the features of modern cities worldwide. Unlike many large metropolises, Vancouver has no freeways into or through the downtown area. A proposed freeway through the downtown was rejected in the 1960s by a coalition of citizens, community leaders and planners. This event “signalled the emergence of a new concept of the urban landscape” and has been a consistent element of the city’s planning ever since.
As the city is surrounded by water on three sides, it has several bridges to the north and south. Although similar to most other cities in that the automobile serves as the primary mode of transportation, it has alternatives such as the SkyTrain system, which is the longest fully automated light metro system in the world, and an extensive network of bicycle paths.
Vancouver is one of only a few major cities in North America without ride-sharing services (such as Uber), due to a provincial law banning their operation.
You can drive in Canada on a NZ drivers licence for up to three months, but it is recommended that you apply for an International Driver Permit and if staying in Canada, you should apply for a Canadian driving licence.
Vancouver is served by Vancouver International Airport (YVR), located on Sea Island in the city of Richmond, Canada’s second-busiest airport, and the second-largest gateway on the west coast of North America for international passengers.
British Columbia has one of the top-rated school systems in Canada and the standards of education in Vancouver are generally excellent. This makes Vancouver a great place for expats moving there with children.
There are many well-established public and private schools in the area. According to the Vancouver school board, there are approximately:
- Seventy-five public elementary schools
- Sixteen elementary annexes and
- Eighteen Secondary Schools
Crown Relocations can arrange an appointment with a Specialist Education consultant who can provide an in-depth explanation of local education systems, the curricula available and arranging interviews, as well as assist with enrolment requirements. Please contact us for information and rates.
Canada has an extensive public health-care system, called Medicare, but most people take out private insurance as well. If the insurance company you were with in New Zealand is a member of the International Federation of Health Funds, you may be able to transfer your policy to Canada without penalty – at a similar level of cover. Check with your insurance provider for details, or visit www.ifhp.com
The most desirable neighborhoods for expatriates in Vancouver are Kerrisdale, Southlands and the West End. The latter is particularly attractive because it’s a high-rise neighborhood in the downtown area and close to entertainment, shopping and the beach. There are even suburb-style houses which make a great escape from the feeling of living downtown. Southlands has huge mansions boasting the highest costs in the area and Kerrisdale has more of a British feel.
In the downtown area, are three new residential neighbourhoods: Coal Harbour, Yaletown, and Concord Pacific Place. All three were once old industrial areas with factories and warehouses. Now apartments and condominiums dominate the landscape. Concord Pacific Place was the host site of the World Exposition in 1986.
When you first arrive in Vancouver you may choose to rent. Looking for a home in Vancouver can quite often be a daunting task, Crown can offer advice on rental accommodation and/or purchasing properties and we can also arrange for temporary accommodation.
Vancouver’s diverse, multi-cultural population means that you are bound to meet people from all walks of life. Expatriates commonly assimilate into the community through the sports and hobbies they are interested in.
A good way to get involved and meet people is to participate in some of the local neighborhood groups and committees, including international clubs (if available) such as the French Club, German Club or American Club. Also, the community in which you choose to reside in may have its own community social club that gathers on a regular basis for meetings, events, outings and even neighborhood festivals. You and your partner can also contribute to the decision-making process in your community by sending Vancouver City Hall/Council comments on projects, attend public meetings, participate in public events and join community programs.
Charity and non-profit organisations are always on the lookout for volunteers and this is a wonderful way to meet people. You will quickly learn that most locals in Vancouver are very easy going and friendly.
Crown Relocations has 50 years of international moving experience relocating individuals and families to Vancouver and throughout Canada. To arrange a quotation call our office for an obligation FREE quote on: 0508 227 696 or you can use our online quote forms: Instant Quote, Quick Quote, Home Visit Request
To convert your money to CAD dollars the cheapest and most reliable way, check out our guide for Moving Your Money.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your local Crown representative.