Vancouver : Canada


What It Is Like to Retire in Vancouver

Vancouver is the largest city in British Columbia, Canada, and one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the Americas. This exciting city is located on Canada's west coast. The setting of high rise buildings rising from the harbor creates a striking environment. Vancouver is home to 2 major universities: the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University.  It has a vibrant economy and strong cultural presence. Vancouver has public parks like giant Stanley Park, a lake, beaches, and nearby mountains for skiing and hiking. The city is frequently selected as one of the most livable cities. 

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Where to Retire in Vancouver and Home Prices

Much of Vancouver is devoted to high rise apartment buildings, particularly in the West End. These dense but livable neighborhoods include former urban industrial sites, such as North False Creek and Coal Harbour. People looking for an livable urban experience will find it in Vancouver.
Home prices are the highest in Canada, due to lack of land, a wealthy population, and its being a very desirable place to live. The average home price in Vancouver in early 2022 was about $1,500,000 (Canadian).

What Is Special about Vancouver

Vancouver is one of the most beautiful and the most livable cities in the world. It was the successful host of the 2010 Winter Olympics. The city's location near mountains and the ocean, along with its many gardens (such as Stanley Park, Queen Elizabeth Park,  and VanDusen) make it a top tourist destination. Cruise ships include Vancouver as a regular stop.

What Is Not Special about Vancouver

Like most large cities, it has problems with homelessness and property crime in parts of the city. Home prices are extremely expensive, much higher than elsewhere in Canada.

Who Will Like Retirement in Vancouver

People who want to retire in Vancouver include those who love its access to the mountains and the water, as well as those looking for a livable urban environment. Non-Canadian citizens will need to investigate immigration restrictions that might apply to living in Vancouver.

Local Economy Is Driven by

Vancouver has an enviably strong economy thanks to tourism, geographic desirability, and a diverse economic base.

Climate and Physical Environment

The climate here is milder than most of the rest of Canada. It has an oceanic or marine west coast climate. It receives 47" of rain (1200 millimeters) and it snows about 11 days per year. July and August highs are rarely above 86 F. (30 C.). It has a natural harbor, Port Metro Vancouver, which is the busiest in Canada. Vancouver is in southwestern Canada on the Pacific Ocean.

Restaurants & Cultural Scene

Vancouver is a very cosmopolitan city with a thriving cultural life.  In addition to hosting numerous theaters it has the  Vancouver International Film Festival, which runs for two weeks every September.  There are many art museums, such as the Vancouver Art Gallery, as well other types of museums. The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and Vancouver Opera are important contributors to the Vancouver cultural scene.  There is no shortage of interesting restaurants as well.


Crime in Vancouver has been falling dramatically, though property crime is still fairly high.

Medical Facilities

There are several hospitals and medical facilities in Vancouver. Canada has a universal, government-funded health care system. Expats with permanent residency in Vancouver qualify to enroll, but there is a three month waiting period from enrollment to when coverage begins.


Vancouver has a very advanced public transit system including the 2nd largest network of trolleys in North America. There is also a major airport, passenger ship terminals, and a major railroad hub.

Valuable Links

Wikipedia page for Vancouver
Vancouver travel guide

What people are saying about Vancouver

Lee commented: The article on Vancouver uses the word \"livable\" five times to describe the city. Exactly what does that mean? It sounds like one of those \"fuzzy\" words, like \"affordable [housing]\". And since it has \"...homelessness, crime and some gangs\", it doesn\'t sound too \"livable\" to me Editor commented: Fair enough, and thanks for a thoughtful comment. Livable is a buzzword that is popular. AARP defines ...\"A livable community is one that is safe and secure, has affordable and appropriate housing and transportation options, and offers supportive community features and services.\" That still feels a little nebulous, but in my mind livable means a town or city where you can walk, bike, take a bus or trolley to wherever you want to go, and don\'t have to drive. Where traffic is tolerable. Housing options are various. Where cultural and recreation opportunities and parks are plentiful. In other words, living is easy and there is plenty to do to make life enjoyable. As far as gangs and crime, you will find that in every city in certain neighborhoods. It is a question of degree.
Posted by admin on September 05, 2019

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