Moving to Vancouver, BC home neighbourhoods, realtors, and movers



Coal Harbour Panorama from Stanley Park, in Vancouver

WHY Move to Vancouver?

This is the business centre of British Columbia, and is the shipping gateway to (and from) the Pacific nations. With its influz of Asian immigrants, the Vancouver area has three dominant languages: English, Pujabi, and Chinese/Cantonese/Mandarin. With North Shore mountains on one side, and surrounded by water on many sides, this city feels "squeezed in" and its already-dense downtown has no way to go but UP. Greater Vancouver is made up of many municipalities, each with its own charm worth investigating.
West  Vancouver beachfront homes

Vancouver is nestled around the eastern end of Burrard Inlet, a natural deepwater harbour, and the mouth of the huge Fraser River. Vancouver became the base for exploration into BC's interior, and became the head office for companies that exploited the province's timber and mineral resources. The city's British heritage still pervades the downtown area, as well as the holder established neighbourhoods.

Vancouver forms the core for the 1.6 million people that live in the "Lower Mainland" of British Columbia. Because of the constraints of mountains to the north, water to the west and the US border on the south, the city has experienced growth in the only two directions left: east and up!

Vancouver Yaletown Condos

The core communities in the Vancouver area are Vancouver, with Burnaby and New Westminster to the immediate east, Surrey and White Rock to the southeast, and Richmond, and Delta (with the communities of Ladner and Tsawwassen) to the south. The city has, over the last decade experienced phenomenal population growth and expansion into its eastern suburbs including Surrey, Langley and Pitt Meadows, for which commuters use the Trans-Canada Highway (#1) south of the Fraser and the Lougheed Highway (#7)north of the Fraser. Vancouver has a several scenic North Shore comunities including North Vancouver, West Vancouver, Horseshoe Bay (the BC Ferries terminus) and Lion's Bay. These have access to the waterfront and to the North Shore Mountains, with ski hills, summer & winter recreational trails, and of course faster access to Whistler and various venues of the 2010 Winter Olymic Games.

SkyTrain was built prior to the Expo 86 world's fair, connecting downtown to Burnaby and New Westminster. A recently added SkyTrain Light Rail Transit system through northern Burnaby to Surrey has eased commuter traffic. The Canada Line is a new southern route (opened fall 2009) into Richmond and to Vancouver International Airport, and further routes are planned east to Port Moody and Coquitlam. Commuters as far east as Mission have access to the West Coast Express, which connects to the Waterfront Station, with transfers to bus, SkyTrain and SeaBus service.

White Rock: Crescent Beach home

Vancouver is an ethnically and culturally diverse community. About 50% of Greater Vancouver residents do not speak English as their first language. The two largest enthic/lingustic groups (other than English-speakers) are the Chinese and the East Indians. Vancouver is also a very gay-friendly city.

Vancouver combines the cultural sophistication of Los Angeles with the rainy-foggy charm of San Fransisco, with the added plus of having mountains RIGHT THERE! Its the only city in Canada where you can snow-ski and go sailing on the same day, almost year-round. The city's moist climate gives the city its year-round green color. The fine weather has also attracted several new audiences: the leisurely and recreation-oriented youth, those of retirement age who no longer want to deal with harsh Canadian winters, and Asians looking for a North American base. In fact half of Vancouver's population is now non-white and very Asian. It has Canada's biggest Chinatown, and very strong communities of those of Korean, Vietnamese, Philipine or Japanese descent.

History of Vancouver

In 1778 James Cook, the famous British captain, first landed at Friendly Cove in Nootka Sound on the western side of Vancouver Island. He was followed by Alexander Mackenzie, working for the fur-trading Northwest Company, who in 1793 managed to reach the Pacific from the eastern side of the Rockies. He first traveled up the Peace River and then down 400 kilometres of the Fraser River, portaging, and used the lower stretch of the Bella Coola River arriving about halfway between Vancouver and the southern tip of Alaska. In 1808, Simon Fraser, also with the North West Company, navigated 35 days to the Pacific all the way down the river since named after him, passing through many uncharted rapids. Fur trading posts were established along all of these rivers and began a period of white settlement in the interior of BC. When the North West and Hudson's Bay companies merged in 1821, the province already had significant agricultural interests centred around the forts, supplying the travelers, traders and the Royal Navy.

View from Burnaby Mountain to the North Shore In 1849 the settlement around Victoria officially became a British Colony, the same year as the California Gold Rush. In 1858, gold was discovered in the lower Fraser River, bringing more than 25,000 prospectors (including many who gave up after the California Gold Rush of '49) who managed to find over $500,000 in gold. Those diggings were then in 1859 and then worked by Chinese immigrants. Gold in the Caribou attracted many to that area, but was too deep and expensive to recover. In 1865 more gold was found on the Columbia River's Big Bend, near Revelstoke, but this gold rush fizzled out in a year.

By 1866, the BC and the Vancouver Island colonies were united, but an economy based on just fur trading and mining was not stable enough to grow a colony. In 1871, four years after Canada was given its independence by Britain, BC joined Canadian confederation. The BC provincial government began encouraging the agriculture and forestry industries, to begin economic diversification.

To entice it to join Canada, BC was promised a railroad linking it to the eastern part of the country. While one crew was building from the east, across the Prairies and then through the Roger's Pass. Another crew was laying track from the West, up the Fraser River canyon and into the Thompson River valley. On November 7, 1885 the Canadian Pacific Railway set the last spike in its construction at Craigellachie, just east of Shushwap Lake. The first trans-continental railway train arrived in Port Moody on July 4, 1886. The following year, the railway was extended the last 20 kilometres into Vancouver. Since then, BC has shipped much of its natural resources east to the rest of Canada, and become the country’s gateway to the Pacific nations. In 1904, the Great Northern Railway connects the city to Seattle. The 1914 opening of the Panama Canal makes Vancouver an important west coast port. Chinatown Side Stree tStores View In 1908 the University of British Columbia is founded. In 1909 Ferry service begins to West Vancouver. In 1912, the "Vancouver Sun" begins publication. In 1915, a fishing sandbar used by the Squamish becomes Granville Island, built up with silt dredged from False Creek. In 1922, Vancouver switches to driving on the right-hand side from the British left-hand side. In 1925 the first Second Narrows Bridge is built, connecting the North Shore for the first time. In 1937, the Guiness Family begins construction of the Lions Gate Bridge, which opened as a toll bridge until the city bought it in 1963. In 1939, the present-day Hotel Vancouver opens up. In 1958, the current Second Narrow Bridge is built, though nineteen workers died in its construction.

Vancouver began as a little log cabin city amongst the tall trees (when the whole city looked like Stanley Park’s forest). In 1886 a fire destroyed much of Vancouver, helped along with a strong westerly squall, razing over 1,000 buildings in 20 minutes and left 3,000 people homeless. From this initial setback, Vancouver rebuilt itself and prospered. The city grew as the western endpoint of the railways, either for Canadian resources being shipped to the US or to Asia, or goods from around the Pacfic being landed there and transferred to the railway for shipment to the rest of Canada.

Vancouver is on the lee (downwind) side of Vancouver Island, providing both wide deep harbors and a sheltered location. Its first export shipment of wooden pickets to Australia in 1864. Vancouver's harbors now have 25 specialized terminals for goods like cars, coal, forest products, minerals and petroleum. More than 3,000 ships trading with over 90 nations visit Vancouver's harbors every year. View of Port of Vancouver container cranes

Vancouver has grown over the years, and the metro area has over 1.5 million people. Many Canadians have moved here from other parts of the country because of its mild climate and lush, green vegetation. The ability to windsurf in the morning and ski on Grouse Mountain the same afternoon attracts the recreation and leisure crowd.

Moving to Vancouver

Vancouver's recent real estate boom (its home prices run neck-in-neck with Toronto's) was fueled substantially (though not exclusively) by the influx of Asian immigrants. Those from Vietnam left their homeland in the 70s after the communist victory after the war in Vietnam. The Japanese continue to move to Vancouver because the cost of living is so much lower here than in Japan. Those from Hong Kong have moved here in anticipation of China taking over the British colony in 1997.

The recent "Asian Flu" has reduced Asian economic prosperity, reducing its ability to import BC’s resources for its manufacturing, reducing the income levels of those to regularly visit British Columbia, and finally their ability to emigrate to BC.

Because of high real estate prices in Vancouver, the surrounding municipalities have had extensive development and growth. This, however, is constrained by the protection of agricultural land in the Lower Mainland area (expecially in Richmond and Delta south of Vancouver, and Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge and Langley to the east), not just to protect the farmers but to preserve the quality of life, maintaining access to fresh & locally-grown produce, and the favourable impact of open green spaces have on the area's ecology.

Vancouver Neighbourhoods Vancouver.FoundLocally.com Vancouver Photos

Greater Vancouver Neighbourhoods & Communities Map

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Greater Vancouver Realtors, Home Builders, Mortgages & Movers

Here are a featured SAMPLING of home builders, realtors, mortgagee lenders, as well as moving & storage companies. For a complete (and searchable listing) use the red SEARCH feature at right.

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Builder Listings

Here are some of the Greater Vancouver Home & Condo builders listed in the Moving In Canada directory:

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More info on VictorEric Design Greater Vancouver BuildersVictorEric Design

VictorEric Group is an awarding-winning residential and commercial design firm. Our Design Group and Premium Homes department allow us to provide a complete and holistic approach to the design and build of your home.

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More info on Mountain Creations Greater Vancouver BuildersMountain Creations

Custom Home Builders North Vancouver

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More info on 1335 Howe Vancouver luxury condos Greater Vancouver Builders1335 Howe Vancouver luxury condos

Sophisticated 40-story building offers a limited collection of 120 refined residences.Nestled in the heart of Vancouver's Beach District.

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More info on Shakespeare Homes Greater Vancouver BuildersShakespeare Homes

Shakespeare Homes and Renovations is a full service Vancouver construction and renovation company offering high quality service for both residential and commercial buildings.

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More info on British Pacific Properties Ltd. Greater Vancouver BuildersBritish Pacific Properties Ltd.

As homebuilders, we specialize in creating luxury custom homes for clients in West Vancouver, North Vancouver and Vancouver's West Side.

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Realtors Listings

Here are some of the Greater Vancouver realtors with knowledge of suitable homes available in the neighbourhood you want, listed in the Moving In Canada directory:

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More info on Krista Lapp Greater Vancouver RealtorsKrista Lapp

Feel at home with Coquitlam Real Estate Agent Krista Lapp. Making your buying or selling experience exceptional. Providing personalized, high touch service to every client.

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More info on Bratch Realty - Real Estate Canada Greater Vancouver RealtorsBratch Realty - Real Estate Canada

Bratch Realty will give a perfect solution to Landlords, Homeowners for property investment concerns and problems. Here we have perfect marketing system, tool and support that help you to reach your financial goals.

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More info on CondoPlace -  Cam Foster Greater Vancouver RealtorsCondoPlace - Cam Foster

Vancouver condominiums, townhomes, apartments, real estate for sale

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More info on Team Phil Haig Greater Vancouver RealtorsTeam Phil Haig

Realtor Coquitlam, Realtor Port Moody, Real Estate Coquitlam

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More info on Condo Leo Greater Vancouver RealtorsCondo Leo

Vancouver real estate agent, Leo Wilk, "Condo Leo" is your condo expert. He is professional and trustworthy and can help you find your next condo in Vancouver and Yaletown.

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Mortgage Listings

Here are some of the Greater Vancouver mortgage lending and mortgage broker companies listed in the Moving In Canada directory:

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More info on Alternative Mortgage Financing Greater Vancouver MortgagesAlternative Mortgage Financing

With the vision of making the construction process easier for the consumers, Grant Powell, a seasoned mortgage professional in Vancouver established Alternate Mortgage Financing.

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More info on Alex Khalil Greater Vancouver MortgagesAlex Khalil

Top mortgage broker offering best rates, unbiased and honest advice to home buyers and individuals seeking to refinance their existing mortgage. Fast, friendly & expert advice

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More info on 4Front Mortgages Greater Vancouver Mortgages4Front Mortgages

With access to over 50 of Canada's Top Lending institutions, we can place all types of mortgages including purchases, refinances, debt consolidations, and renewals.

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More info on Michelle Kelly Mortgage Specialist Greater Vancouver MortgagesMichelle Kelly Mortgage Specialist

Looking to buy a home in Squamish, BC? For the best mortgage broker advice in the Sea-to-Sky Corridor, call Michelle Kelly today at 778-987-1062!

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More info on Ronin Mortgage Ltd Greater Vancouver MortgagesRonin Mortgage Ltd

Ronin Mortgage Company are mortgage brokers in Vancouver who will get you the best mortgage rates for your new mortgage, mortgage renewal, mortgage refinance or second mortgage.

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Movers Listings

Here are some of the Greater Vancouver moving & storage companies listed in the Moving In Canada directory:

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More info on OO movers Vancouver Greater Vancouver MoversOO movers Vancouver

Owner Operator movers share in the profits and the responsibility for your move. They have a financial and emotional commitment to your satisfaction that an employee mover will never share.!SAVE MONEY

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More info on Red Carpet Moving & Storage Greater Vancouver MoversRed Carpet Moving & Storage

Serving the Lower Mainland and beyond!! Red Carpet Moving offers a top quality, full service household moving and relocations in British Columbia.

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More info on The Vancouver Movers | Priority 1 Moving Company Greater Vancouver MoversThe Vancouver Movers | Priority 1 Moving Company

Priority 1 Moving is a Vancouver moving company that provides affordable and professional commercial moving and residential moving services in the Greater Vancouver area.

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More info on Burnaby Movers Corporation Greater Vancouver MoversBurnaby Movers Corporation

Burnaby Movers Corporation company has been one of the moving companies that have hard working professional movers.

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More info on Vancouver Piano Movers Greater Vancouver MoversVancouver Piano Movers

Vancouver Piano Movers understands the delicacy of each instrument; we guarantee the care of your piano from pick up to delivery. Our professional piano movers have over 24 yrs experience moving every type of piano, we will make your move worry free.

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Greater Vancouver
Neighbourhoods

Here are some of the great neighbourhoods you can move to in & around Greater Vancouver

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Deep Cove (North Vancouver neighbourhood)Deep Cove (North Vancouver neighbourhood)

BC: Deep Cove is the easternmost part of the North Shore, on a fjord located at the entrance to Indian Arm and surrounded by lush rain forest on the slopes of Mount Seymour Provincial Park.

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VancouverNeighbourhoods-WestVancouver.htmVancouverNeighbourhoods-WestVancouver.htm

BC: West Vancouver extends from the Lions Gate Bridge to Horseshoe Bay.

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Yaletown (Vancovuer Neighbourhood)Yaletown (Vancovuer Neighbourhood)

BC: Yaletown is a heritage warehouse district, revitalized since Expo 86 with shops, restaurants and high-rise condominiums; located on the edge of Downtown

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Ladner / Delta (Vancouver Neighbourhood)Ladner / Delta (Vancouver Neighbourhood)

BC: adner is Delta^s oldest village, and retains much of its historic fishing-industry-hub charm

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City of Coquitlam (Vancouver Neighbourhoods)City of Coquitlam (Vancouver Neighbourhoods)

BC: Coquitlam is nestled between Burnaby to the west and the Pitt River to the east, and north of the Fraser River.

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More Greater Vancouver Neighbourhoods

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