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British Family moving to BC

British Family moving to BC

Old Apr 10th 2018, 9:25 am
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Default British Family moving to BC

Hi all,

We are a British family with 2 children (age 3 and 9) considering emigrating to Canada. The main reason is quality of life. We’re both originally South African and want our children to experience life in a country with predictable seasons :0D

I have narrowed our search down to 4 areas in BC - 2 near Vancouver (Abbotsford & Chilliwack) and 2 in the Okanagan Valley (Vernon & Kelowna).

Does anyone have experience of living here? I’m particularly interested in quality of life, community (with no family I feel it is important to have a strong sense of community around you), schooling (private & state), property?

I’d be grateful for any information you are able to share. Thanks.

Julia
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Old Apr 10th 2018, 5:40 pm
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Default Re: British Family moving to BC

I don't personally live in Chilliwack or Abbotsford but have a couple of colleagues who live in Chillwack who both have young children. They live in the Sardis area and said the area is very family orientated with a lot of young families around. Their one piece of advise they told me is that you wouldn't want to live on the North side of Highway 1 in Chilliwack and stick to the south side communities. It gets quite cold in the Fraser Valley in winter and although its not far from Langley both experience much colder winters, with more snow and freezing rain (especially the last couple of years). Langley is a little closer to Vancouver and both Willoughby and Walnut Grove areas are growing in popularity with young families moving out of the city due to more affordable housing.

I'm happy to help if you have any questions about the lower mainland
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Old Apr 10th 2018, 7:49 pm
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Default Re: British Family moving to BC

Hi Julia

Within the last few years I have lived in both Vancouver and the UK. I recommend thinking very carefully about what you actually want, as well as doing LOTS of very in-depth research re employment prospects and likely income.

In my opinion, a better QoL is far from certain in 2018 Canada, especially BC's Lower Mainland.

Best of luck!
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Old Apr 10th 2018, 7:55 pm
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Default Re: British Family moving to BC

Originally Posted by BritBC View Post
Their one piece of advise they told me is that you wouldn't want to live on the North side of Highway 1 in Chilliwack and stick to the south side communities.
Too general a statement. It depends where you go in Chilliwack proper, or Sardis. Bothe have less desirable areas.

North of the freeway, East Chilliwack, Popkum, Fairfield Island, Rosedale, all nice areas, some large expensive properties and desirable, lots of acreages, also some older and newer sub divisions. Sardis is more developed in sub divisions, housing closer together, lots of people. Some parts of Sardis are on hillsides, some slid off the hillside a few years back. Some parts of Sardis quite run down.

Abbotsford is too developed and congested for me now. Still has some rural acreages. Culturally, some parts of Abbottsford seem to attract certain groups of specific ethnicity that seem to live close to each other.

Last edited by Aviator; Apr 10th 2018 at 7:57 pm.
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Old Apr 10th 2018, 8:03 pm
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Default Re: British Family moving to BC

You also need to think about employment ...... ie, are there opportunities in those communities or would one or both of you have to commute

Abbotsford has long been commuter suburb for Vancouver, largely because of the desire for a more rural life than the big city. Chilliwack is now rapidly becoming another commuter suburb as hosuing prices have risen so dramatically in Vancouver and extending up the Valley.

Travel time form Abbotsford to Vancouver varies from just over 1 hour to about 1½ hrs each way, depending on the route taken.

From Chilliwack to Vancouver, it is about 1¼ hr to about 1¾ hrs each way, depending on the route.

There are limited roads connecting the towns along the Valley ...... basically 2 or 3 major roads with the associated heavy traffic, and possible back roads.

As BritBC said, it gets cold in the Fraser Valley, with more snow and freezing rain, plus there can be whiteouts when snow is falling which stops all traffic.


The communities are generally good, with lots of young families. I had a relative who lived in Abbotsford and they found the schools were pretty good.
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Old Apr 10th 2018, 8:49 pm
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Default Re: British Family moving to BC

Some good information on Chilliwack here.

Out of those 4 areas, my vote would be Kelowna unless you are aged 55+ then you'll love Vernon.
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Old Apr 10th 2018, 8:51 pm
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Default Re: British Family moving to BC

Originally Posted by scilly View Post
there can be whiteouts when snow is falling which stops all traffic.
The last time this happened was in 1996 when the freeway was closed for a week. The outflow winds can be cold, two or three a winter. The FV can be dry when Vancouver is wet, when the prevailing weather influence is an interior anticyclone. FV get hit with high outflow winds, Vancouver get high onshore winds.

Sardis part of Chilliwack area gets hit hardest with the high outflow winds.

Abbotsford get off a little lighter.
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Old Apr 10th 2018, 11:04 pm
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Default Re: British Family moving to BC

On what basis would you be emigrating?
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Old Apr 12th 2018, 2:44 am
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Default Re: British Family moving to BC

As with most of the previous people who responded, I would rule out Abbotsford and choose Chilliwack for a Fraser Valley community. My parents lived in the 'wack for about 10 years and really enjoyed their time there. The city has a strong sense of community.

Between Kelowna and Vernon, I prefer Vernon. Nothing really against Kelowna, but it can be overrun with tourists in the summer. A compromise could be Lake Country, located between the towns.

In terms of seasons, Kelowna and Vernon are colder than the Fraser Valley in the winter, but much warmer in the summer.

This being said, your biggest consideration should be employment prospects.
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Old Apr 12th 2018, 10:59 am
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Default Re: British Family moving to BC

Originally Posted by Aviator View Post

Abbotsford is too developed and congested for me now. Still has some rural acreages. Culturally, some parts of Abbottsford seem to attract certain groups of specific ethnicity that seem to live close to each other.
Does Canada have segregation problems? Its portrayed as a multicultural paradise and I've wondered what the reality is. I don't feel things are going particularly well in that respect over here in the UK.
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Old Apr 12th 2018, 11:16 am
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Default Re: British Family moving to BC

Thanks so much for that.
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Old Apr 12th 2018, 11:18 am
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Default Re: British Family moving to BC

Thank you. We're not going to jump in without numerous visits and certainty of income. I'm starting to lean toward a more rural move, otherwise it'd just be swopping one rt race for another (albeit with better weather). Appreciate your feedback.
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Old Apr 12th 2018, 11:19 am
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Default Re: British Family moving to BC

Thanks very much!
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Old Apr 12th 2018, 11:31 am
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Default Re: British Family moving to BC

Originally Posted by madeupname3 View Post
Does Canada have segregation problems?
No.
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Old Apr 12th 2018, 3:10 pm
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Default Re: British Family moving to BC

Thanks everyone for your feedback. Hope I'm posting this correctly - have tried to thank each response individually, but not sure that's worked ... so apologies if you're feeling bombarded! :0D

We're not going to jump in without numerous visits to potential areas and certainty of income, which we’re working on. So, for the purposes of this post, my focus is on where, as opposed to how we move over. :0D

However, whatever direction we take will need to be able to support the main objective, which is a good, healthy, outdoor lifestyle change for our family … in a place where there are very definite seasons (a cold winter is not a problem, as long as we know the there’ll be a summer … not a luxury we have on the Isle of Man). To that end I’m starting to lean toward the Kelowna area, otherwise it'd just be swopping one rat race for another (albeit with better weather!).

If there are any other areas you think we should consider (not further than 4/5 hours from VC) I’m happy to take any suggestions. We’re planning a trip to the Okanagan in July, so we should be able to get a good idea of what the area is like when flooded with tourists and at its’ most ‘uncomfortable’.

Again, thanks everyone for your feedback, every bit is very helpful.
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