When thinking of where to settle down in Canada, British Columbia is one of the best provinces to consider. It’s one of the most populous in Canada, situated in between the Pacific Ocean and the Rocky Mountains. There are several great cities here, but some are considered to be the best. So which cities are the best in British Columbia?
Certain cities in British Columbia rank highly in terms of livability. These cities include Oak Bay, Comox, Richmond, Langford, Vancouver, Delta, Colwood, and Victoria. What all these cities have in common is their high standard of living, high average income, and serene environment, among others.
Although British Columbia is the westernmost province in the country, it has established a reputation for livability. So you can choose easily, in this article, we discuss the best cities to live in British Columbia.
Here are some of the best cities to live in British Columbia:
1. Oak Bay
This is a coastal city close to Vancouver Island with a population of about 20,000. The cost of living is relatively high but still 1% below the provincial average. The environment is serene. It also boasts of high average income, quality education, and healthcare.
The crime level is also low at 63% below the British Columbia average, and so are the taxes. It has a livability score of 77%, which is incredible for a city of its nature. The unemployment level is low too, and it’s very close to Victoria. So you have access to the capital easily.
Here is another city that you might want to consider when thinking of residing in British Columbia. It has a livability rating of 82%, which is one of the highest in British Columbia. This city is amazing in many aspects.
The crime rate is 50% below the province average, the cost of living is 23% below the British Columbia average, and the real estate prices are still 49% lower than the province average. So, we’re talking about a safe, cheap, and very livable city. The only issue with living here is that it a remote, and the population is not diversified.
The climate here is incredible, with some calling it the best in Canada. The city is a great place to live in with a growing population and low unemployment. It has a population of about 40,000 and a livability rating of 81%.
The cost of living is also 21% lower than the province average. If you’re thinking of owning a home here, it’s a safe city with crime rates 28% below British Columbia’s average. Even better, its real estate prices are 44% lower than the province average.
4. Port Moody
This city is close to Vancouver, making it a good place for those working in the metro area to live. With only a population of over 30,000, you can enjoy the benefits of living in a smaller community here. In addition, the environment is excellent, with natural scenery that makes spending time outdoor an exciting experience.
The livability rating is 83%, and it ranks highly in every other area. The crime rate is 63% below that of British Columbia, and the cost of living is 6% lower. However, real estate is more expensive here. That is no surprise, given it has one of the best waterfronts in Vancouver.
This city of 17,000 people is considered one of the best cities in British Columbia. It’s only 10 kilometres away from Victoria and boasts of a unique natural environment. It’s a seaside location, giving residents breathtaking views of the ocean, and the population is diverse and still growing.
Colwood has a livability rating of 81%, and it’s safe too, with a 40% lower crime rate than the province average. The cost of living further makes it a better option than many other places as it’s 19% below the average of British Columbia, and real estate prices are equally 37% lower. With all these, Colwood is an ideal city to live in.
This city has a population of 110,000 and quite close to Vancouver. It’s a residential city boasting a natural environment and a crime rate below the province average. The weather is great too for those who don’t like cold.
7. West Kelowna
This city livability score is an exceptional 79%, making it one of the best places to live in the province. Its crime rate, real estate prices, and cost of living are all lower than the province average with 28%, 39%, and 20%, respectively.
The city of 34,000 offers residents a quality living in all aspects. Its transportation system, healthcare facility, educational institutions, and security are top-notch. In addition, the peaceful and calm environment further complements the standard of living in this city.
It’s one of the most populated cities in the province, with over 200,000 people. But its large size does not affect the standard of living as it still has a livability rating of 75%. In addition, the crime rate is 18% below the province average, and the cost of living is also 3% below the average.
The city has access to the best life in many areas such as education, healthcare, transportation, etc. It also houses the Vancouver International Airport, which means it’s very close to the city. Richmond is a family-friendly city with many homes suitable for raising kids numerous. The only challenge here is the cost of real estate, which is 12% above the province average even though it still lower than what applies in Vancouver.
This is the capital city of British Columbia, and like all capital cities, it offers residents unrivaled access to amenities. It’s a smaller city than Vancouver, with a livability rating of 65%. But this does not tell the whole story. The city is magnificent, and if you’re someone who enjoys a temperate climate, you will like Victoria. It’s pretty warm, even in the winter. In terms of taxes too, its property taxes are of the lowest in the country.
This city encapsulates what British Columbia is all about. It has a scenic and beautiful setting, no matter which side you turn. On the west is the Pacific Ocean, to the east are fertile valleys, there are mountains on the northern part, and you will find the Fraser River. So, if you’re someone who enjoys the outdoor, Vancouver can be your playground.
But it’s much more than that. It’s also a cultural hotspot, especially when you head downtown. There are various art galleries, museums, and shopping spots in this part. While the city is quite expensive to live in, the average income is also high, balancing it out. It has a livability rating of 66%, which is okay for a metropolitan area.
The amenities here are sufficient in every area. In terms of jobs, its unemployment rate is 3.6%, below the province average and 45% below the national average. So, it’s the kind of place where you’re more likely to find a job.
The Bottom Line
British Columbia is a beautiful province, and it boasts of several amazing cities. The best of them boasts of a high standard of living, access to amenities, and in most cases, low crimes. However, the high cost of living is an issue in the province generally. There are also other small towns in the province that are very livable.