Regardless of your individual situation, MODE is here to make your transition a smooth one when relocating to Vancouver and Canada. We provide temporary housing ranging from nightly or monthly rentals to 1 year or longer- that meet your needs and budget. MODE Suites fully furnished suites provide a warm and welcoming place to call home.
Our up scale condos, penthouses, townhomes and houses are located throughout the Vancouver,Victoria, Burnaby, North Shore and Richmond area. Every one of our suites is carefully selected, tastefully furnished and fully equipped with lines, kitchen items and in-suite laundry to ensure you will experience all of the comforts of home. In addition to superb locations, our suites also offer a number of amenities including fitness centres, internet access and unlimited calls throughout North America. At MODE Suites, we strive to ensure that our suites provide all of the comforts of home.
Please read on for relocation tips.
Top 4 things to know for Relocating to Vancouver
1. Neigbourhoods in Metro VancouverMetro Vancouver includes the city of Vancouver as well as 21 other surrounding cities and municipalities extending from Langley to West Vancouver. Please visit the Metro Vancouver website for valuable resources on surrounding cities, statistics and other valuable information. The City of Vancouver website offers excellent information about neighbourhoods within the city of Vancouver. Follow the link below to find an interactive map of Vancouver which shows demographic information on Vancouver's 23 districts, perfect for anyone looking to relocate to Vancouver. The statistical data is based on the 2001 census. http://www.vancouver.com/real_estate/relocation_tips/neighbourhoods_and_maps/
Vancouver user's guide has a simple summary about the people and amenities in various neighbourhoods to help you find the perfect place to live when relocating to Vancouver BC. Our Vancouver short term rentals are located in central areas which with easy access to explore many of local areas while you are in transition.
If you do not know where you plan to live permanently once in Metro Vancouver we recommend arriving to a Vancouver downtown neighbourhood first, for 1-3 months while you pick a permanent home somewhere in the region. In the Vancouver downtown area you will be walking distance to amenities related to your relocation including government offices, resources for new comers and corporate offices (for work, interviews etc), while getting a great authentic feel for the Vancouver lifestyle. However keep in mind that the downtown area is expensive to live so unless your budget allows, it is best to begin your search for living in other areas soon after arrival.
The Vancouver downtown core is easily accessible by foot, bike, car and transit. Unlike many North American cities, Vancouver's downtown has a lively high density mix of office and residential use. Downtown residents tend to be young urban professionals or retirees since most residences are smaller to those outside downtown. Recommended residential areas to arrive to in downtown include the following:
West End/ English Bay: $$$This is an older area with many high rises, beaches and restaurants. This area tends to offer some of the lower rental rates among the higher end downtown areas. This neighbourhood spreads along English Bay Beaches and Stanley Park. It is home to Vancouver's gay parade and to eclectic Davie street eateries, cafes and shops.
Yaletown: $$$$ Originating from Vancouver's industrial heritage Yaletown is now a young and vibrant glassy neighbourhood full of high rises and high end boutiques. The sea wall and Canada Line are within easy reach as is downtown.
Cross Town/ China Town: $$$ Surrounded by E. Hastings, Gastown, Yaletown and Downtown core, this neighbourhood offers easy access to many downtown locations. There are some interesting lofts and art studios in this area. Please read safety note below since this area borders the downtown East Side.
Coal Harbour: $$$$ This area extends across the Vancouver waterfront facing the North Shore mountains and neighbours Stanley Park. Condos tend to be slightly larger than Yaletown but also a bit more expensive. The sea walk, downtown and harbour air are walking distance.
Safety: While Vancouver is a relatively safe city to visit, street smarts matter here as much as anywhere else in the world. Crimes that are common in Vancouver are car break-ins, even in the most secure garages. For this reason never leaves valuables in your car, or if you must ensure they are hidden. If your car is broken into report it to the police immediately @ 604-717-3535. It is unlikely that you will get your belongings back, however it is important for police to have record of the crime and you may need it for insurance purposes. If your wallet is stolen cancel credit cards immediately for it is very easy to use stolen cards at any convenience store.
he areas near the intersection of East Hastings and Main Street have a rougher urban feel which makes most visitors and locals feel quite uneasy. While you are not in danger, it is best to avoid this area unless you are open to viewing some of Vancouver’s major social urban issues first hand. Heavy open drug use, prostitution, mental illness and homelessness are most prevalent in this downtown eastside area. You may be asked for money or food, however pick-pocketing or mugging is very rare in Vancouver, even in these tougher neighbourhoods.
If someone off the street offers to sell you their old, but valid parking or bus tickets be weary, and if you have any doubt always decline the offer. From time-to-time there may be someone from the streets offering to help you buy a parking ticket; they may tell you the payment did not go through and keep your valid ticket in an attempt to sell it to someone else.
The downtown area has a large homeless population which often pan-handles for a few coins. Giving the homeless food rather than money, or donating to a charity is often a better option than giving coins.
Squeegee kids typically work at major intersections by offering to clean car windows while a driver waits for a green light. If you accept such an offer .25 -.50 cents or some food is sufficient as payment. If you prefer to decline the offer, politely shake your head and avoid further eye contact to ensure your decline has been properly communicated. If your window is cleaned without your consent, do not feel obligated to pay. Politely tell the Squeegee kid that you did not need your window cleaned – they are normally understanding of this so do not feel intimidated.
2. Finding a Home in Vancouver
Purchasing real estate: If you plan to buy a home the two most thorough websites for listing information are www.realtylink.org and www.mls.ca. any property listed for sale by a realtor can be found in these two websites. They both offer the same listings so pick the one that you like best. Typically it helps contacting a realtor to arrange showings. The realtor will charge you no fees, they are paid by the seller upon completion of sale.
Even if you have not found a home it is good to apply for a mortgage as early as possible. The mortgage interest rate you are given will be granted for 3 months, and if rates drop you will get the lowest rate during that period. It is best to use a broker rather than going directly to banks. Brokers have better rates and will not charge you for their services, they are paid by the bank.
Renting: Short term furnished rentals are a great way to arrive directly to a home. However the ideal length of time to stay in a furnished rental is between 1-12 months due to the premium paid. The most common places to find unfurnished rentals include www.craigslist.org and kijiji.ca. You can also hire a property manager to help you with your search, however they may only offer units in their portfolios. You will normally have to do a 12 month lease and pay a 50% deposit, charging more than this is not legal. Please be aware of your rights as a tenant by visiting http://www.rto.gov.bc.ca/
3. Getting to know Vancouver
Please visit our resources page for more valuable links.
4. The Admin Stuff
BC Care Card: Apply as soon as you land to ensure your health coverage
Social Insurance Number (SIN Card): You will need this number when applying for jobs or opening bank accounts. Some landlords and credit card application forms may also request it but be aware that this is voluntary. Make sure you keep this number confidential.
Daycare: Daycares can be in homes, schools or community centers and typically are run all day, 9:00am - 6:00 pm.
Preschool: Preschools run for 2-3 hours 2 or 3 times per week for children aged 3 and 4
School: Kids start kindergarten on the calendar year they turn five. Most kindergarten classes are only offered for half a day. Vancouver has the option of school in English or French emmersion.
**Bonus little insider tips**
Smoking: Vancouver has a ban against smoking in all public buildings, including entry ways and will soon ban smoking in parks. Vancouverites do not like the smell of smoke so for smokers, be prepared to be given dirty looks if you smoke in public.
Nudity: it is now legal for women to go topless in Vancouver: http://www.exchangezones.com/page152.htm.
Alcohol: Drinking alcohol in public parks and streets is not legal and you could be ticketed. Alcohol is not sold in regular stores and must be bought in specific Government or Beer and Wine stores.
Tipping: 10-20% at restaurants, $5-25 at beauty salons, $3-10 for taxi and valet parking
Average Household Expense: http://www40.statcan.gc.ca/l01/cst01/famil10g-eng.htm