So you’re thinking about moving to Victoria?
Let’s just say we’re in favour of that decision. With some of the best weather in Canada, scenic architecture, a buzzing local economy, and a community you’ll be proud to be a part of, it’s no secret that moving to Victoria is a good idea.
Whether you’re moving for a university education, a job, or moving to retire in BC, there can be a lot of questions about Victoria. Some of these questions can be answered easily with a few Google searches (probably how you got here), and others may take reaching out to a local expert to talk about what it’s really like to live in Victoria.
We’ll try to answer a few common questions we get all of the time:
- What is it like to live in Victoria?
- What’s different about living in British Columbia?
- What is the local economy like in Victoria?
- What should you know about moving to Victoria?
Living in Victoria
When you first get to town you’ll immediately notice the pace of life in Vic (as the locals call it) is a bit calmer than the city’s counterpart across the straight, Vancouver. And if you’re moving from Toronto to Vancouver Island, get ready for a big adjustment.
Victoria is a small, big city. It’s a place where you get all the amenities of a world-class city like universities, a downtown core, entertainment and great outdoor activities with the friendliness of a small-town vibe. If you’re making a long distance move in Canada, you’ll be glad to kick your feet up in Victoria.
Victoria is called the City of Gardens, and for good reason. The city is very progressive and environmentally friendly, which sprouts (pun intended) amateur professional gardens alike.
The Butchart Gardens, which boast over 55 acres of gardens, is a place tourists and locals love to visit. It’s open all year and is only 20km from downtown Victoria. The great thing about being on the Island is that you’re never more than a few kilometres from some spectacular greenery.
Victoria has two major post-secondary institutions: The University of Victoria, and Camosun College–both of which have great distinction within the province, and country.
The University of Victoria is internationally recognized for many programs and has a decent-sized enrollment (21,500 students). A large amount of the graduates do head back to the mainland after they walk across the stage, but more and more people are deciding to stay put on the island after school.
What’s different from the rest of Canada?
If you’re moving to Victoria from another province, get ready to adjust to a few minor changes. Your car insurance will now fall under ICBC (provincially managed car insurance), so you’ll need to register your car with them.
Also, hydro/gas can be a bit tricky in British Columbia. As this Huffington Post article points out, you’ll have to be proactive when it comes to setting up/paying your gas bill with Fortis. This will cause you grief making the switch, then you’ll be good to go!
One of the biggest things you’ll have to adjust to is the weather. You won’t be updating your snow pants every year or buying winter boots on the regular, because it just doesn’t get that cold in Victoria. One obvious bonus of this is not having to spend a serious amount of time warming up the car in the morning like in other provinces.
Victorians are into hockey like the rest of Canada, but they’re also quite into Rugby and Football. So if you’re an athlete, you’re in luck, there’s plenty to play/do here. Not to mention, if you’re into surfing you’re only a few hours away from Tofino, which probably has the best surfing in Canada.
What’s the economy/job market like in Victoria?
With a budding tech scene, the provincial government, constant tourism, and a lower cost of living than the mainland, Victoria is attracting top employers to the island.
The provincial government building is located in the heart of Victoria and generates a buzz around the area–attracting local businesses, students, and political staffers. Victoria recently made the top 10 cities to find a job in Canada list.
Aside from the jobs in the usual industries, if you walk down the streets of Victoria you will see an abundance of coffee shops and bars/breweries alike. Some of the best spots for coffee and beer will be right around the corner from your new home.
What do you need to know about moving to Victoria?
If you’re moving long-distance to Victoria, you’re going to want to make sure you contact a reputable long distance moving company to handle your belongings. You will want the company to specialize in long-distance moves and have a great rating with the BBB. You will also want to make sure they have other important accreditations.
Aside from finding a company that specializes in moving long-distance, you’ll also want to coordinate your own transportation to Vancouver Island. You will have to take a ferry from the mainland of British Columbia, and you may encounter sailing wait times. So if you’ve got little ones or pets, make sure to take this into account before you take off for the ferry terminal–we’d recommend bringing some snacks in case of a multiple sail wait.
Other than that, we just want to say welcome and our staff members who live in Victoria will be excited to welcome you to the city. If you need any help getting your belongings to your new home, be sure hit that “get an estimate” button below and we’ll see what we can do to help you out.