Two women hiking in a forest after a work day, an example of the Vancouver Lifestyle

Living in Vancouver

Life in Vancouver is all about balance

It’s no secret that Vancouver is regularly ranked among the most livable cities in the world. Economic and political stability, universal healthcare, diversity in culture and environment, and world-class education and infrastructure are a few reasons why – not to mention a spectacular backdrop of coastal mountains, Pacific Ocean and emerald rainforests. It’s also a great place to work, with gorgeous scenery and distinctive neighbourhoods tempering the daily grind with outdoor amusements, diverse restaurants and world-class attractions. Yes, Vancouver is a global hub – but the city has a village-like atmosphere with a compact radius that can be walked end-to-end in 20 minutes flat. It sounds too good to be true, but we’ve barely scratched the surface of why international entrepreneurs, investors and other professionals regularly choose to relocate to Vancouver.

Here's a few reasons why...

Living in Vancouver: the outdoors

If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, you’ll fall in love with Vancouver’s natural attributes. First, there’s the mountains: three local peaks – Cypress, Grouse and Seymour – offer prime hiking and biking in summer, and skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing in winter. Whistler – home to the number one ski resort in North America – is an easy 90-minute drive from downtown via the scenic Sea to Sky Highway. There’s also Stanley Park, the city’s crown jewel urban greenspace, which is circled by a 10-kilometre (six-mile) loop frequented by walkers, cyclists and rollerbladers. Seeking sun and sand? Vancouver has nine beaches, including popular Kitsilano Beach, which is home to the longest swimming pool in North America.

Living in Vancouver: a culinary adventure

Vancouver’s globally renowned food and drink scene is anchored by established and on-the-rise chefs, buzzy restaurants and refined cocktail bars coexisting harmoniously with sizzling food trucks and bustling pubs. Gourmands can sample the fruits (and vegetables, fish and meats) of Vancouver’s rich terroir at the region’s many farmers’ markets, including the bustling Granville Island Public Market. Visitors will find the “sushi capital of North America” and the birthplace of The 100-Mile Diet among a long list of culinary firsts. There’s also a healthy roster of microbreweries and distilleries, and an impressive collection of globally inspired eateries that pay homage to Vancouver’s multicultural makeup.

Living in Vancouver: a city of arts and culture

If art lifts your soul, you’ll feel right at home in Vancouver. The city’s cultural background and diverse people have helped to build an impressive range of artistic expression and a thriving creative community. The Vancouver Biennale is responsible for much of the city’s public art – think laughing Buddhas and gigantic engagement rings – which can be seen on a leisurely stroll or via self-guided biking and walking tours. The Eastside Culture Crawl in mid-November invites locals to roam artists’ studios, wine in hand. The Vancouver Mural Festival displays striking public art on city buildings and streets. And Vancouver International Film Festival (late September to mid-October) is one of the biggest film festivals on the continent, enhanced by VIFF Immersed, which invites creators, industry leaders and the public to dive into the world of XR (extended reality) storytelling (take note: Vancouver’s digital entertainment and interactive sector has a 40-year history of pioneering technological innovation). There’s also a strong presence of First Nations art, not only in galleries and museums (must-visits include the Museum of Anthropology, Coastal Peoples Fine Arts Gallery and Bill Reid Gallery), but also in venues like Vancouver International Airport and the Vancouver Aquarium.

Living in Vancouver: family-friendly fun

Vancouver is a paradise for families, with hundreds of activities, attractions and tours to entertain all ages. Think of the city as an adventure playground, where every corner promises a mind-blowing museum (H.R. MacMillan Space Centre and Science World, for starters), rainbow-coloured mini-ferry (hello, Aquabus), or rainforest exploration (think Capilano Suspension Bridge and Stanley Park). Unsure whether your kids will enjoy Vancouver? Just tell them they can be pirates for a day, and start packing your bags.

Are you considering a move to Metro Vancouver?

Our Affordability Guide collates data from reputable sources to generate a realistic snapshot of Vancouver’s affordability landscape, making it easier for you to chart your best path forward.
View the Guide

Are you new to British Columbia?

The First Peoples of these lands stewarded them since time immemorial. Are you familiar with the concept of Truth and Reconciliation, and with the First Nations of this land: the Squamish, Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh? We invite you to explore some resources to become familiar with and respectful of both historical and current contexts around reconciliation.

Learn about Reconciliation

How to prepare for a move

The Newcomer’s Guide to British Columbia: Moving to a new country can be hard and you might have a lot of questions. The BC Newcomers’ Guide will help you settle into BC quickly and easily. You’ll find information about: finding a place to live; driving in BC; finding a doctor and other medical services; registering your child in school; working in BC; opening a bank account; and getting help for those needing extra support.

View the PDF Guide Looking for another language? The guide comes in 12 other languages.

Thinking about your next career move?

Vancouver’s bustling and vibrant economy – home to thousands of homegrown startups and global companies – has captured the attention of skilled workers from all over the world.

Learn more about working in Vancouver