British Columbia is the most romantic province
Picturesque mountains, the Pacific coast, skyscrapers and a sea of opportunity. British Columbia attracts Canadians and immigrants from all over the world.
The capital city is Victoria, and the largest city in the province is Vancouver. It is also, by the way, the third largest metropolis in all of Canada.
British Columbia is a fairly attractive province for Canadians and immigrants alike. More than 5,145,000 people are estimated to live here in 2020.
Romance in everything
British Columbia, among other things, is a very romantic province! To the east are the Rocky Mountains, the main range in the North American mountain system, and to the west is the Pacific Ocean. There you can also find coastal ranges which are constantly being photographed by tourists. In general, mountains cover 70% of B.C. and forests 60%.
A provincial fixture! British Columbia has a very beautiful motto that sounds like "Splendour to Sunset".
British Columbia is one of Canada's warmest provinces. In coastal areas, the climate is mild but rainy, and in central areas, it is arid.
The most populated areas of B.C., which are closer to the south, have an average annual temperature of 10 degrees. Winters are short and cold winters are rare. In general, most cities and towns in B.C. do not have winter temperatures below -10 degrees Celsius. The exception is in the north, but it is almost unpopulated. Summers are usually hot: about 20 degrees, but temperatures can rise above 30 degrees.
On the coast, on the other hand, the winter is not the most pleasant, though you wouldn't call it cold. Cities are often under heavy clouds and there is a low fog over the land. What's worse is frequent heavy rain, which can freeze you to death even when the temperature is above zero. When the temperature, incidentally, drops below freezing, coastal areas are littered with snowfalls instead of rain.
Summer drought in the central parts of the province creates conditions for forest fires.
Where to live?
Although it is not the provincial capital, it has a much larger population. Vancouver is a warm city, drawing people from all over the country and attracting immigrants. More than 2.6 million people live in Greater Vancouver, the regional district whose centre is Vancouver City. The city itself has a population of just over 600,000 people.
Interesting fact: British publication The Economist ranked Vancouver as "the best city on earth" three times.
What makes Vancouver so special? For example, Vancouver has the fourth mildest winter in Canada. It also has excellent transport accessibility, comfortable living conditions, and the city itself is Canada's largest industrial centre.
It is home to logging and mining operations, aerospace, biotechnology, and in recent years, Vancouver has become a hub for the film, software, and video game industries. In short, the city is a great place for career development for professionals in any field.
Of course, this is a great option for moving with children. Vancouver has many kindergartens, public and private schools, as well as 5 universities (in and around the city) and a fair number of colleges. International students are an important part of the study system in the city. For example, in 2008, colleges in Vancouver had 52 percent of their students whose first language was not English.
Vancouver has plenty of entertainment for everyone: children, adults, young people and older adults. There are movies, theatres, museums, sports venues, ski resorts, outdoor activities and a vibrant nightlife.
The climate is warm with hot summers and mild (but rainy) winters. Average January lows are just above freezing. The average daytime temperature stays below freezing only 4-5 days a year, and snow falls 11 days a year. Summer temperatures reach 20-25 degrees and sometimes 30 degrees.
There is an international airport 15 km away from the city.
B.C.'s capital city is on the far west side of the province, on Vancouver Island (the city of Vancouver is not there, oddly enough). The population of the Capital Regional District, which includes Victoria and some other municipalities, is about 390,000, and Victoria itself has about 80,000 residents — very small compared to Vancouver.
Victoria is Canada's most "British" city: red double-decker buses run in the centre, there are several typically English shops, and at the Empress Hotel, which sits on the waterfront, tourists can enjoy traditional English tea at 5pm sharp. There are many retired Englishmen living in the city who move here because of the climate.
Victoria is considered the warmest city in Canada. Average temperatures are about 3 degrees Celsius in winter and about 20 to 25 degrees Celsius in summer. But like other coastal cities in B.C., Victoria has rainy winters.
The city mainly lives on services and tourism. Pharmacology, medicine, microelectronics and architecture are also developed. Victoria port serves yachts and cruise ships.
When it comes to the prospects of moving with children, there are plenty of primary and secondary schools in the city. In addition, there are two universities, one state college and several private colleges. The educational institutions offer English language programmes for foreigners, among others.
Despite its small size, Salmon Arm made it to the top 10 best Canadian cities to live in 2019, where it ranked sixth. The city is home to about 20,000 people, and in recent years, the population has been slowly growing, with a nearly 9% increase in the number of residents in 5 years.
In summer, Salmon Armé attracts many tourists because the town has beaches and places for outdoor recreation. Especially in demand among travelers is the rental of floating houses — boats that are designed so that you can live in them. And the weather is pleasant: often the air is heated to 25-26 degrees above zero. In winter it is not cold either: on the average -6.
Many inhabitants of the town are employed in the forestry industry or in related businesses. The tourism sector, the hotel business, and rowing instructor jobs are also popular here.
Other industries of the economy have also shown good growth recently. For example, agriculture, service sector. The level of unemployment in the city is decreasing rapidly.
Salmon Arm is not a bad option for moving with children. There are kindergartens, schools and colleges here.
This city was ranked 12th on the list of the best cities to live in Canada, so it's worth a look too. It is home to about 35,000 people.
West Kelowna's economy is largely made up of agriculture, construction, financial services, retail services, technology and the wine industry. Many new businesses are launched in the city: more than 2,000 licenses are issued each year, so there is no shortage of jobs.
There are several shopping districts with many shops, cafes and restaurants and business centres. West Kelowna has plenty of schools, but no colleges or universities; higher education is available in nearby Kelowna.
Fort St. John
The city is located in the northeastern part of the province and is a kind of "mix" of urban and rural environment. Fort St. John is very small — its area is only 22.69 square kilometres. It has a population of just over 20,000 people, but most importantly, the people are friendly and always ready to help immigrants.
The city mostly lives off the gas and oil industries, as well as forestry. So it's no surprise that Fort St. John has high wages. Many people earn up to $100,000 CAD or more a year, while the unemployment rate is only 5%.
The downside may seem to be that Fort St. John has a cool climate. In winter the temperature stays around -17 degrees. Summers, however, are warm, averaging 20-22 degrees.
Fort St. John has several schools and one college.
British Columbia has a high crime rate compared to other Canadian provinces. There are approximately 9,646 crimes per 100,000 people in the province. The severity index is 104.41.
University of British Columbia
University of British Columbia is one of the most famous universities in Canada. It is among the top three in the ranking of Canadian educational institutions. Campuses of the university are located in Vancouver and Kelowna. There are more than 66,000 students studying at the university, but the number of international students — more than 16,000 — is especially impressive. However, the cost of education at the University of British Columbia, in comparison with other educational institutions in Canada, is very high. International students will have to pay between $39,500 and $51,000 CAD per year, depending on the department. On-campus accommodation costs between $9,000 and $11,000 Canadian dollars per year.
Simon Fraser University
Simon Fraser University has three campuses, the main one in Burnaby and two others in Vancouver and Surrey. The university is consistently ranked in the top ranks of the best universities in Canada. It has more than 30,000 students, about 5,000 of whom come from abroad. International students pay from $29,000 Canadian dollars for a year of study and from $6,000 per year for on-campus accommodation.
University of Victoria
University of Victoria is located in the provincial capital. It was originally affiliated with McGill University, then with the University of British Columbia, but later became an independent research university. The university has more than 22,000 students, including more than 3,000 international students. In 2019, the University of Victoria was ranked first among Canadian universities for the quality of student preparation for employment and careers. The cost of tuition at the university is relatively high, but lower than at the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University: for international students, a year of study will cost $25,000 Canadian dollars, and another $7,000 to $12,000 Canadian dollars will have to be paid for a year of accommodation in the university's dormitory.
The province has a B.C. Medical Care Plan of B.C. MEDICAL CARE PLAN OF B.C. (MSP). It covers doctor visits, medical care, and diagnostic services (such as X-rays). It also covers some dental and eye care when it is medically necessary.
There are also some PharmaCare plans in B.C. that cover drugs. The most popular one is called Fair PharmaCare. Under this plan, the less a provincial resident earns, the more benefits they get for buying prescription drugs.
Health plans are available to Canadian citizens or permanent residents who live in B.C. for more than 6 months a year. You must file a online application and get a medical card.
Where to work and how much do they pay?
So many people want to live and work in B.C. Surprisingly, there is no shortage of jobs in the province. There are especially many open jobs in Vancouver, Surrey, Burnaby, Victoria, Richmond, Kelowna and Abbotsford.
The minimum wage in B.C. is higher than in many Canadian provinces, at $14.60 CAD per hour. The median wage, on the other hand, is about $33 an hour, which is also quite high. When looking at average wages by industry, forestry, mining, and oil and gas workers earn the most — an average of $40 an hour. Workers in the hospitality and catering industries can expect to earn $21 Canadian dollars per hour, while agricultural workers earn $22. Workers in retail trade make slightly more — the average wage is $28.5 per hour. Doctors and nurses earn $31, and education professionals earn $38.
Annual wages in B.C. can range from $33,100 to $584,000 CAD, depending on occupation, skills and experience. Earning the minimum wage and working a 40-hour week, a B.C. resident would earn $2,336 per month. Looking at the average wage per hour, under the same conditions a worker would earn $5,280 CAD for the month.
The income prospects in the province are indeed impressive. But that doesn't mean B.C. is a perfect place to make money. You'll probably spend a big chunk of your income on housing. But we'll talk about prices later.
Specialties in demand
As of January 2021, the most sought after workers in the Province of British Columbia are:
- head of catering;
- administrative assistant;
- office administrator;
The province is also in need of handymen, healthcare professionals, catering staff and agricultural workers.
The attractiveness of British Columbia provokes a high demand for rental housing. And demand, in turn, generates high prices. Rent a one-bedroom apartment here will cost $ 2,000 Canadian dollars, two-bedroom — $ 3,800. House in the province can be bought for an average of $ 400-800 thousand Canadian dollars. The price can go up to several tens of millions.
Other expenses per month:
- food — $300-400 per person;
- the bus pass is $98 a month;
- utilities — $86.5 (water, electricity, heating, garbage disposal) per 85 square meters;
- the Internet is $77.5;
- Lunch at a cheap cafe — $18, at a mid-range restaurant — $80;
- Kindergarten is $1,200 a month, private school is $21,000 a year.
In general, it's only housing costs that are too high here. For example, while B.C. residents spend about $100 more on food than residents of Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador, the opposite is true for B.C. utilities, with about $100 less. The difference in housing prices is much more noticeable. And, for example, the rent in Vancouver will be even more expensive than in other cities in the province.
Income taxes in B.C. are low. They are based on how much you earn in a year:
- first $42,184 CAD per year — 5.06%
- from $42,184 to $84,369 CAD per year — 7.7%;
- from $84,369 to $96,866 CAD per year — 10.5%;
- from $96,866 to $117,623 CAD per year — 12.29%;
- from $117,623 to $159,483 CAD per year — 14.7%;
- from $159,483 to $222,420 CAD per year — 16.8%;
- over $222,420 CAD per year — 20.5%.
So if a person earns $95,000 CAD per year, they will pay 5.06% tax on the first $42,184, 7.7% on the next $42,185 and 10.5% on the remaining $10,631.
The tax that provincial residents pay for the purchase of goods and services consists of a federal Goods and Services Tax (GST) of 5% and a provincial sales tax (PST) of 7%. The final tax is 12%.
Population of British Columbia
As you can guess from the name, the province is quite "British". There are even more people of English descent here than there are Canadians. The population can be called fairly homogeneous. In addition to Englishmen and Canadians, there are more Scots and Irish. This, of course, is changing over time, as more and more immigrants from all over the world come to the province.
If we talk about people from the CIS, 5% of the population of British Columbia are Ukrainians. Russians make up about 3% of the population. There are many Russian-speaking communities online for people who live in B.C., many of which are about life in Vancouver.
What is there to see in British Columbia?
Life in the countryside is very varied and active. There is something for everyone to see, go to and relax in, to suit all tastes.
The province's finest! British Columbia is home to 3 UNESCO heritage sites, 6 national parks and 400 provincial parks and reserves.
It's a town just north of Vancouver, just two hours away. It is home to one of the largest ski resorts in North America. Whistler hosted the Winter Olympics in 2010. In winter you can ski and snowboard, and in summer you can hike, mountain bike, golf and just enjoy the scenery.
There's a 4.4-kilometre cable car between Whistler and Blackcomb. The journey time is only 11 minutes, but the views from the cabin are breathtaking from over 400 metres above the ground.
Yoho National Park
This park has one of the most picturesque mountain landscapes in the entire province. In addition to mountains, there are waterfalls, rivers and crystal clear lakes. The most popular places in the park are Lake O'Hara, which attracts especially many tourists during the summer, and Takakkou Falls, one of the highest in North America.
Pacific Rim National Park Reservation
The reserve is located in the western islands of British Columbia. You can stay in the small town of Tofino, which is just on the edge of this reservation on the Pacific coast. Wilderness campers camp right on the shore, and couples come here for romantic getaways.
It is an ideal place not only for beach lovers, but also for surfers and those who are keen on kayaking, an extreme water sport on paddle boats. There are also boat tours where you can watch whales.
Immigration to British Columbia
British Columbia's provincial immigration program has many destinations.
Immigration for professionals in different fields (Skills Immigration)
- skilled Worker;
- healthcare professionals (Healthcare Professional);
- Canadian Graduates (International Graduate);
- B.C. graduates with at least a master's or doctoral degree (International Post-Graduate);
- low to medium-skilled professionals in industries such as tourism, hospitality, food processing, and long-distance trucking (Entry Level and Semi-Skilled).
Immigration for qualified technology industry professionals (BC PNP Tech Pilot)
The direction BC PNP Tech Pilot is created for qualified professionals working in in-demand professions. The pilot is valid until June 2021.
Immigration for those in one of the federal programs (Express Entry BC)
- skilled Worker;
- healthcare professionals (Healthcare Professional);
- Canadian Graduates (International Graduate);
- B.C. graduates who have earned at least a master's or doctoral degree (International Post-Graduate).
- entrepreneurs who wish to purchase a ready-made or create a new business in British Columbia (Base Category);
- investors who plan to invest in setting up a new business in British Columbia (Regional Pilot);
- foreign companies that plan to open a branch or subsidiary in Canada (Strategic Projects).
The province regularly conducts immigration screenings in which it invites dozens and hundreds of applicants.