Pros and cons of living in Richmond, BC

Richmond, British Columbia is one of 21 municipalities that make up the Greater Vancouver Area. While most people know Vancouver as the main attraction to this region, Richmond is also a highly desirable place to live. 

Like any city, there are both pros and cons to living in Richmond. It’s a beautiful city with beautiful nature and outdoor spaces, excellent food and restaurants, and a lot of fun cultural and entertainment activities. However, the traffic can be challenging, the cost of living is high, and there are is significant traffic to contend with.

Let’s look at these pros and cons a little further in-depth.

Pros of living in Richmond, BC

1. Beautiful nature and view from around the city

It is undeniable that the whole Greater Vancouver Area is simply beautiful. With the Pacific Ocean to the west, mountains to the east and north, and lakes, forests, and rivers all the way through – it’s a great place to be!

Richmond is no exception to this rule and is a beautiful city with lots of great natural beauty. In particular, Richmond has the Steveston area and West Dyke Trail, which is a great public space for walking, running, and biking. Richmond is also home to 145 different parks! There are lots of great spaces for outdoor recreation. 

2. Excellent food and restaurants

Richmond is a world-class food destination. It is a diverse city with people from all over the world, so you can try a variety of different cuisine. There is a large Chinese population, and so Richmond is the place to get authentic and delicious Chinese food. 

One of the best places to try some delicious food is the popular Richmond Night Market, which is a summer event that hosts thousands of people at an outdoor market event. There are hundreds of food stalls to try new and interesting “street food” or snacks, drinks, and desserts!

3. Fun cultural activities and entertainment venues

There is always something to do in Richmond! Steveston is a beautiful area of Richmond that has a rich culture. Visitors can walk along the pier at the historic Steveston Village, which has been preserved as a historic fishing village with heritage buildings and interactive learning areas. It’s a great way to learn more about the history of the region. 

In addition to this great cultural attraction, Richmond always seems like it has something new to check out! Some popular and unique activities to check out include the many escape rooms, such as the popular EXIT, an interactive game where you need to solve clues to get out of a room. Another popular activity is the trampoline park, Extreme Air Richmond, which is Canada’s largest trampoline park, and a great place to embrace your inner child!

4. Good location with excellent transit options

Richmond is located south of Vancouver, near the Vancouver International Airport, therefore making it a great location to travel internationally from. It is quick to also get into downtown Vancouver, either by driving or the SkyTrain.

Along with the SkyTrain, there are many transit options in Richmond and the city has a transit score of 82 and a walk score of 92. This means that it is easy to get around without a car and complete your daily activities. If you do choose to drive, Richmond is connected by multiple highways, so it is easy to commute to New Westminster, Burnaby, Delta, and Surrey as well as other surrounding cities. Richmond is also very close to the border with the United States, so cross-border shopping is easy to do.

5. Shopping 

If you like to shop, Richmond is the place to be! They have a few malls, including Richmond Centre Mall and Landsdowne Centre. The big draw, however, is the McArthurGlen Designer Outlet, which is a very large outlet mall near the airport with tons of designer brands and stores with heavy discounts. It’s definitely a shop-until-you-drop kind of place!

Cons of living in Richmond, BC

1. High cost of living

Like anywhere in the Greater Vancouver Area, Richmond has a high cost of living. The main driver of the high cost of living is housing, which is particularly hot in the Greater Vancouver market. Current statistics show that the average price of a house in Richmond is over $1.1 million.

While other expenses like food, entertainment, or utilities are also more expensive in Richmond than other parts of BC or Canada, it is still on the whole cheaper than living in Vancouver, according to this comparison tool. It is important that anyone considering moving to Richmond to do their research and adequately budget for the high cost of living.

2. Excessive traffic

Again, this is similar to anywhere in the Greater Vancouver Area, but car traffic in and around Richmond can be significant. There can be accidents that cause major delays for drivers. Because of this, many people opt to use public transportation to get around to their daily activities.

3. Located on a flood plain

Richmond is located just one meter above sea level, on a flood plain. Though the city has an extensive flood protection program with miles of dykes and drainage pumps, some people still have concerns about possible future flooding. 

The knowledge that Richmond is more susceptible to flooding can cause some anxiety for some people, so knowing this in advance of moving there is a good thing! Ultimately, though, the city is well equipped to handle the unique challenges of being situated on a flood plain, and there is no real cause for concern.

Conclusion

If you are considering moving to Richmond, there are some pros and cons to consider. The cons include excessive traffic, a high cost of living, and the fact that it is located on a flood plain. 

The pros seem to far outweigh these cons, though. Richmond is a beautiful city, with great outdoor recreation, awesome restaurants, world-class shopping, and has an excellent public transit system! Richmond is a great city to visit, and many people enjoy calling it their hometown. 

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Thais R

I moved to Canada in 2016. This was the best decision that I ever made. I created this website to share what I’ve learned with anyone who’s thinking of moving or travelling to Canada.

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