Last Updated on March 2, 2022
An energetic city on Canada’s West Coast, Vancouver is an exciting place to live! Consistently ranked as one of the best cities in the world, it’s easy to see why so many choose to call this place home; there are so many pros to living in Vancouver!
You can hike one of the many trails in the morning, explore Stanley Park in the afternoon, go shopping before dining at one of the various local restaurants, and then check out theatre in the evening.
Some of the reasons that living in Vancouver, B.C. is so popular are the natural landscapes, wildlife, and multitude of things to do. Finding a job is highly likely since the economy is wildly diverse. Vancouver is one of Canada’s biggest industrial centers, and the largest port!
While visiting Vancouver on vacation is always a good idea, is the city a good place to stay? What exactly are the pros to living in Vancouver? Let me assure you, there are SO many!
Table of Contents
12 Pros To Living In Vancouver
Access To Nature
If there is one thing that I would say is the biggest pro to living in Vancouver, it’s the easy access to nature. A city known worldwide for its natural beauty, there are over 230 parks in the city, which helps make Vancouver not feel like a concrete jungle.
Something I admire about the City of Vancouver is that it has a goal to become the greenest city in the world. Right now, over 90% of Vancouver is within a 5-minute walk to a green space or park, with the main hope that soon all Vancouver residents will be within the 5-minute walk!
With areas like Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, Grouse Mountain, Stanley Park, Pacific Spirit Regional Park, Jericho Beach, and many many more, the easy access to nature is a huge perk to living in Vancouver!
Moderate weather (unless it’s 2021)
Ahh, I remember the days before heat domes, forest fires, and floods. The days when I would cheekily send photos of the great weather to friends and family back in cold Ontario. In Vancouver we have relatively moderate weather, meaning we can spend time outside year-round!
In cities like Toronto, Montreal, or Winnipeg, you may not want to spend winter days going outside on hikes, but in Vancouver that’s fine! December may be cold compared to the heat of July and August, but it never gets as cold as other parts of Canada. If you wear a coat, you will still be comfortable enough to go outside.
We have events year-round, meaning that while living in Vancouver you won’t be bored! There is nearly as much to do in winter in Vancouver as there is in summer, such as the foodie festival Dine Out, Hot Chocolate Fest, The Vancouver Christmas Market, Burnaby Village Museum, the VanDusen Gardens Christmas Lights. This is just a small array of events!
Though the weather is mild, we do still technically have four seasons.
Springtime is just so beautiful in Vancouver! In the 1930’s, to honor the Japanese Canadians who served in WWI, the mayors of Yokohama and Kobe gifted 500 Japanese Cherry trees to Vancouver’s Park Board. Now there are around 40,000 cherry trees that bloom each spring in the city, making the streets feel magical!
Summer is hot and humid, but absolutely beautiful. From evening sunset walks to beach days, from nights spent on patios and in clubs to cycling the city, summer means outside to Vancouverites. There are several popular beaches here, including Kits Beach, nude beach Wreck beach, Spanish Banks, Jericho Beach, and Second and Third Beaches.
My favorite time of year to call Vancouver home is autumn. The air is crisp and cool, perfect for walking outside in a scarf and sweater. The humidity of summer is gone, and you can walk outside without breaking a sweat. The leaves are crunchy, the houses decorated for Halloween (walking around East Van will show you the character and charm of the well-loved homes) and rainy season isn’t in full effect just yet.
Winter, also known as Raincouver or Raincity. No, it may not get as cold as some other Canadian cities (I’m looking at you Winnipeg!), but it sure does rain a lot! With an average of 160 days of rain per year, winter may seem bleak, but don’t let that deter you from living in Vancouver, you can still ski or snowboard the snowy mountains, skate at an outdoor ice rink, and check out all the Christmas lights!
With close to 200 hiking trails, you have a LOT of options if you live in Vancouver and love hiking!
Some of the best hikes from downtown Vancouver are in North Vancouver, which has some of the lowest crime rates in Canada! Here you can hike Lynn Canyon, Bowen Lookout, Mount Seymour, Dog Mountain trail, The Grouse Grind, Capilano Canyon, and SO many more.
A personal favorite of mine is Lynn Canyon, a beautiful hike that has multiple trails, a rock pool, and a free suspension bridge!
In Vancouver and surrounding area, you can hike Pacific Spirit Regional Park, Deer Lake, Burnaby Mountain, or even Iona Beach. There are plenty of opportunities to go hiking in the city, but even more if you’re willing to venture out a bit further in B.C.
A model for urban planning and architecture, Vancouverism is a term that was coined to describe the planning of Vancouver.
Something unique about this city is that even though it is a concrete jungle, it doesn’t feel that way. There are so many green spaces that I always feel a connection to nature, even if it’s only a small one.
To keep the views of the blue ocean and mountains, Vancouver was built by separating low rise buildings and high rise buildings.
I always know which way is North because I see the North Shore Mountains. The high rise buildings don’t block too much. And it is beautiful.
Personally, I think that Vancouverism is brilliant. It makes living in Vancouver, which is Canada’s third largest city, feel smaller and closer to nature. For me, it is a huge pro of living in Vancouver.
From large shopping centers to small boutiques, second-hand stores to jewelry stores, chain stores to independent shops, Vancouver is a shopping lovers paradise!
Vancouver has several neighborhoods well known for the shopping. The best shopping areas are on Granville Island, The Drive (Commercial drive) for funky gifts and European food, Lonsdale Quay on the North shore for the market, Gastown for souvenir shops and one-of-a-kind jewelry, and downtown for everything you could possibly hope to find, there’s everything from Sephora, Tiffany’s, Coach, Lululemon, Holt Renfrew, Canadian brand Roots, and a few local boutiques.
If larger shopping centers are more your style, then you are in luck! Vancouver has several, including Park Royal, International Village, Pacific Center, Oakridge, Metrotown, Kingsgate mall and more. There are even outlet stores
and countless flagship stores!
Food Centered City (Food trucks, Dine Out, High end dining, hole in the wall hidden gems)
Being such a culturally diverse city, it’s really no surprise that Vancouver has such a fantastic food scene. Conde Nast Traveler has named Vancouver one of the world’s best foodie cities, which is well deserved!
With the water bordering the city (you have the Burrard Inlet, Georgia Strait, English Bay, and the Fraser River!), there is plenty of fresh, high-quality seafood for the local restaurants to serve up, while the local farms provide the produce for the menus that change seasonally.
Vancouver is said to have the best sushi outside of Japan if you’re a sushi lover. Or maybe you could try Japadog, a local Japanese style hot dog cart by Japanese immigrants that now have multiple stand locations and even a food truck!
Go to any festival, farmers market, or busy street, and chances are you’ll find a food truck. They are hugely popular in Vancouver!
The variety of cuisines that food trucks offer is vast; you can fine hot dogs, healthy food options, Mexican, Indian,
Asian, Latin American, breakfast foods, and even dessert trucks!
You can try an assortment of food trucks at events such as the Greater Vancouver Food Truck Festival and Dine Out Vancouver, by checking the Street Food app, and often in busy parts of the city and parks.
With the ever-increasing number of plant-based options, vegans and vegetarians need fear not! There are quite a few popular vegan/vegetarian restaurants in Vancouver, such as Heirloom, MeeT on Main, Chickpea, The Acorn, BeetBox, Planetary Burger, and majority of restaurants have plant based options.
There are delicious options for any type of budget and all types of eaters.
One of the biggest pros of living in Vancouver for me is that YVR airport is close by. Vancouver International Airport has been voted the best airport in North America by the Skytrax World Airport Awards for the last 12 years. That’s
You can feel safe in YVR airport as they are extremely Covid friendly. In fact, the airport just received the first ever Covid-19 Airport Excellence Award!
I love how YVR Airport is only 12 kms from downtown, meaning getting to and from the airport is easy. This is so convenient when you have multiple luggage bags! The SkyTrain has routes that take you either downtown or to Richmond directly from the airport, but of course you could always choose to take a taxi, which run on average around $40, depending on which neighborhood you’re headed to.
There are even two aquariums for you to check out while you wait! The Jellyfish Exhibit has 12 jellyfish and is located on Level 4 of the International Terminal, while Level 3 houses the 5000 creatures that live in the Main Aquarium.
During landing or take off you are treated to incredible views of the city, mountains, and Pacific Ocean.
There are 11 school districts in Metro Vancouver, and the residents here are highly educated. Vancouver students can feel proud of their high scores, having earned some of the top grades in Canada.
With both public and private schools here, parents have the choice of where they want their children to be educated.
For public schools, placement goes by neighborhood. The neighborhood you live in determines where your child will go to school, so many parents choose to live where they’d like their children to be educated, if they can afford it.
For higher education there is UBC, the University of British Columbia. Only a half hour bus ride from downtown, the campus is easy to get to, while also being stunning!
There’s also Vancouver Film School, Capilano University, Simon Fraser University, Columbia College, British Columbia Institute of Technology, Langara College, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, and there’s still more!
Granville Island is a piece of Vancouver history. What started as a mud flat, it next became a man-made industrial island by turning 2 sandbars into a 36 acre island, and is now a home to artists, shops, festivals, buskers, and food for all tastes and budgets. This is a popular year-round destination for both locals and visitors!
Opening in the late 1970’s, here you can find a vast assortment of shops! There’s fresh produce, fresh seafood, fresh bread (lots of fresh food!), food stalls, unique gifts, hand crafted products, and more!
Having Grandville Island in the middle of the city is fantastic! There’s always something to do there, such as seeing The Raptors; a group of Biologists and Falconers who aim to educate the public about birds of prey by bringing these birds out to meet people. Seeing these birds is a fun, free, and educational thing to do on Granville Island.
Personally, I love to just wander around the shops, people watching, and snacking on delicious treats from the food stalls.
Probably the most popular Vancouver activity, a visit to Stanley Park is a must for those visiting the city, so imagine how often you’ll head there if you live in Vancouver! There’s often something going in the park, so chances are you’ll get very familiar with the area.
Picture this: a forest; deep green with blue skies peeking out at you from over the tops of densely packed trees, some of these trees are centuries old and over 50 meters tall! There are trails to walk, beaches to swim at, and wildlife to see. The forest is surrounded by the Pacific Ocean, and you can see mountains just across the water.
This is the beautiful Stanley Park, Vancouver’s best loved park!
Stanley Park is home to The Vancouver Aquarium, an important space for marine animal education, conservation, marine research, and animal rehabilitation. Tourists and locals alike love to visit the aquarium and see the beauty of marine life.
There are also several restaurants to eat at, Totem Poles to admire, and gardens to wander, making Stanley Park a great place to meet friends on the weekend or to cycle after work!
One of the best parts for me about living in Vancouver is that when a friend visits for the first time, I get to take them to Stanley Park and play the role of tour guide, which I think I play quite well! I always insist on a stop at the aquarium, but to be honest my favorite thing to do in the park is simply walk the trails while admiring the tall trees.
Are you a sports fan? If you are, then you want to be living in Vancouver! There are always plenty of sporting events going on in the city, so being a sports fan living in Vancouver is very advantageous!
Being home to BC Place and Rogers Arena, here you can find hockey, football, soccer, basketball, and lacrosse, among others.
Easy to Navigate
It is very easy to get around Vancouver. There are busses, trains, water taxis, the Seabus, ferries, Uber, Lyft, and regular taxis. There are also Shaw E-bikes to rent if you are in the mood to ride a bike!
The most popular way to get around is the Skytrain, which is the longest driverless train system in North America. Giving you glorious views of the mountains, the harbor, and metro Vancouver, this train is mostly above ground.
Originally built when Vancouver hosted the World Expo in 1986, this train is fun to ride!
There are 3 different lines that connects all of Vancouver. There is
The Expo Line, which connects downtown Vancouver to surrounding cities Surrey, Burnaby and New Westminster.
The Canada Line, which runs between YVR Airport and downtown Vancouver, as well as one train turning to Richmond.
The Millennium Line, which connects East Vancouver to Burnaby, Port Moody, and Coquitlam.
You can find schedules on Translink, on which you can find pricing, maps, and Compass Card (our rider card which we use for bus, train, and Seabus) info!
As you can clearly tell, there are quite a few pros to living in Vancouver. Every day there’s something new to do, and you can eat at a different restaurant everyday for a year and still not try them all! You’re forever close to nature, and a green space in the city is only minutes away.
Would you live in Vancouver?
Which would be the biggest pro for you?
Interested in the CONS to living in Vancouver? Here they are!