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Moving to Vancouver? Here is what you should know before leaving

What I wish I knew before moving to Vancouver

It’ll be almost 4 months that I moved to Vancouver with Cian. 4 months without finding the time to write about this beautiful city. FOUR MONTHS. It’s mad how the time flies!

Before leaving for this beautiful city, Cian and I read a lot about Vancouver and what to do when arriving here. We thought we were ready, we planned to stay with Cian’s friend to give us some time to find a place to live in. Nothing went like we had planned. A few days before leaving, Cian’s friend told us that she had to move and she had visitors so we couldn’t stay with her anymore. We had to find accommodation and we had no choice but to book an AirBnb. Even though the room was lovely, there are a lot of things I wish I knew before moving to Vancouver.


Here, if you want to find an apartment, you have to know that every rental starts on the 1st or 15th day of each month. We arrived on September 17th. We were fucked and spent 2 weeks in the AirBnB. The cost of this killed our savings, we spent at least $900 for the room and a lot for food because we couldn’t cook at the AirBnb.

Rent is so expensive here. We wanted to live in downtown to avoid paying $2.80 for the bus every time. The best apartment that we found cost $2850 for 3 bedrooms and 2 bath rooms and located on the 18th floor in Yaletown. Thank god we found roommates and we are sharing the cost of our rent with 2 other Irish lads.

There are a lot of possibilities to rent on Craigslist. You will see a lot of basement suites. I found this very weird at the beginning, but here basement suites are very common, so if you don’t mind living under someone else, you can find a good deal because basements are very affordable.

Another terrible thing here is the phone data. It’s ridiculously expensive. You have to expect to spend at least $40 (before tax) for only 1 GB of data. I chose Virgin Mobile and I am paying $46.60 per month, tax included, for only 1 gigabyte.

It was so easy to get all papers done on the same day. We got our SIN (Social Insurance Number) and opened a bank account thanks to the SIN. Without SIN you won’t be able to rent, open a bank account or buy phone data. I recommend to go there in the morning and avoid going there on Monday. We waited 1 hour in the queue before getting inside then it took 10 minutes to get this paper.

Something I hate here is that everything is taxed additionally to the price even in restaurants!

The weather can change a lot. At the beginning, it was very annoying. I was walking with Cian and from street to street it was hot then cold because the building hid the sun then an hour later it was raining!

The Happy Hours became our best friend. We never go out to eat or drink if there’s no happy hour. For example, the restaurant Distillery offers $10 for all pastas after 3 on a Sunday. It’s great because normally the pasta bolognese is $17 before tax.

People wear lululemon gear. You cannot go anywhere without seeing the logo. I even worked 3months at lululemon because they hire all the time so if you want to find a quick job, I recommend you to give them a call.


It’s okay to feel alone and homesick. But that doesn’t last. People are very friendly and if you are open-minded and say yes to everything you won’t feel lonely!

If you are moving there with your boyfriend/girlfriend, have roommates. It helps to have a big group to go out and do some activities. I wanted to live alone with Cian at first, but I am finally very happy to have roommates even though I wish have another girl with us because it’s tough to be around guys only; I’ll talk about it soon!

I hope you enjoyed reading this article. I will write more about this crazy adventure J See you soon for the next update.

Read it in French

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One Comment

  • kagould17

    Yes, Vancouver is definitely expensive. Our son keeps wanting us to move there, but the cost of living is nearly double that in our home in Alberta. We will have to settle with visiting.

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