or Connect
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › General Skiing Discussion › Moving to Canada. Recomendations?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Moving to Canada. Recomendations?

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
Hi fellow bears!

my wife and I are planing to move from Central Europe to an English speaking country for some time (5-10yrs). Main motivativation for us are life, culture and work experiences + language. Of course I'd like to use this opportunity to get close to some great resorts with plenty of snow and great skiing :. Currently, I'm considering Canada as the best candidate based on various preferencies. That would give me a better chances to meet at least some of you in person !

Could anyone of Canadian bears give me a hint for a good locations and also regarding chances to find a decent job? My wife is working as a Management Consultant and I'm able to work in the Electronics/Software Development/IT areas (R&D experiences).

Thanks very much and hope to see you next or overnext season!
post #2 of 33
Big topic!

Start here:
http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/index.asp

PM me with any specific questions.

I was able to get permanent Canadian residence as a skilled worker in two years, at a cost of about 1500 in government fees and 1500 in agents fees. It can be done without an agent, but it helps, and was worth the cost to me.

I would go straight to Calgary. Good skiing, lots of jobs.
post #3 of 33
Thread Starter 
Thanks newfydog, will check this website out. Actually was thinking about British Columbia, Alberta seems to be very interesting too.
post #4 of 33
Lots of people like Vancouver... good tech industry too. Intrawest's Tech Centre is based there, so you could get a tech job with them and free skiing @ Whistler.
post #5 of 33
My sister has lived in Vancouver since 1985. It's a great place to live. You have everything you'd expect in a city. You have the ocean right there. You have fairly decent skiing right across the bridge and one of the best in the world at Whistler less than 2 hours away.

The big issue in Vancouver is real estate prices. Prices are extremely high relative to regional income levels. Some might be put off by the 300 cloudy days per year and a wardrobe that's mostly Gore-Tex but that creates huge amounts of snow all winter and there are usually a solid 2 or 3 months of very nice sunny summer weather.
post #6 of 33
Real estate prices are high in Calgary, too. Both Vancouver and Calgary are wonderful cities with world class skiing within a reasonable drive. Both cities have solid IT and business sectors. If you are not living right in the city, commuting in Vancouver is problematic - it can get extremely congested with commuters from the suburbs. Calgary has a much harsher climate.

If you can travel to BC and Alberta to visit and scope out the differences, it would be worth it. Both BC and Alberta have tons to offer, but the pace and lifestyles are very different between Vancouver and Calgary (and numerous smaller cities in between).
post #7 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alberto View Post
If you can travel to BC and Alberta to visit and scope out the differences, it would be worth it. Both BC and Alberta have tons to offer, but the pace and lifestyles are very different between Vancouver and Calgary (and numerous smaller cities in between).
I'd say Kelowna (between Vancouver and Calgary is your best bet. I lived there for 8 years and might be moving back. You've got Big White and Silver Star within an hour's drive, and Revelstoke (now with almost 6000 feet - or 1800 metres vertical drop) about 2 1/2 hrs away. Great high tech business sector known as the "silicon vineyard" in that town - thanks to the over 30 wineries nearby. The climate there is second to none as far as cities in Canada with over 100,000 population is concerned. Great airline connections from there too.
post #8 of 33
I live in Canada and you always hear about the labour shortages in Alberta, though there has been recent news about the booming economy in Saskatchewan, so I'd look into both.
post #9 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by exothermic99 View Post
I live in Canada and you always hear about the labour shortages in Alberta, though there has been recent news about the booming economy in Saskatchewan, so I'd look into both.
However if you're looking for a place to ski, Saskatchewan doesn't top most lists. In fact it isn't on any I'm aware of.
post #10 of 33
The inclusion of Saskatchewan has me laughing so hard I nearly fell off my chair! Beric's recommendation of Kelowna has some merit though.
post #11 of 33
OK, if I actually am looking for a job for real, where do I begin? ;-)

(I've been to Vancouver and Calgary. Both are nice but somehow Calgary strikes my heart more)
post #12 of 33
I like southern BC, say within a few hours of the border. Calgary is a little more "redkneck", and BC a little more layed back. The stereotype became a stereotype for a reason. Vancouver Island is nice too.

EDIT: Forget about Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
post #13 of 33
I'll second the Kelowna idea. Or, if you are flexible in your work preferences, Nelson. To live in Nelson you would have to pick up some, ah, horticultural skills.
post #14 of 33
I don't really like Kelowna. Housing is expensive and the economy isn't spectacular. There are thousands of retirees from calgary and vancouver enjoying the weather and in the summer you get drunken frat boys. The skiing in area isn;t that great (unless you want to drive to revy or red).
post #15 of 33
Thread Starter 
Thanks to everyone for the input! Got some homework to do now ;-).
post #16 of 33
Calgary's nice, the climate really isn't that harsh. We only have a few weeks of really icy cold winter weather where it dips down to -20 C and the rest is usually hovering around freezing. We have Chinook winds that come in from the coast and warm everything up every few weeks, and the weather is known for it's schizophrenic nature. For example, this morning I was mowing my lawn in shorts and working a serious sweat, and now it's pouring rain, and just started hailing. It definitely keeps you guessing.

Skiing's pretty decent within an hour's drive, you have Sunshine, Norquay, Louise,and Nakiska (not a great choice, but closest) and within the 3 hour drive you have Castle, Fernie, Kicking Horse and Panorama. Lots of options.

House prices and rents are slowly starting to fall, but will continue to stay high until midway through the Boomer's retirement, at which point the market may flood, forcing prices down.

Oh, and the rain's stopped now.
post #17 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by guest1 View Post
I'll second the Kelowna idea. Or, if you are flexible in your work preferences, Nelson. To live in Nelson you would have to pick up some, ah, horticultural skills.
Work in Nelson can be problematic. I'm a civil engineer, and I do OK, but I could get paid more in Calgary or Vancouver (or Colorado). IT options are limited. You both might have to telecommute to a larger population center if you find what's available locally unacceptable.

Real estate has escalated sharply in the last few years, as it has in many places in North America. $300,000 buys a "starter" home in Nelson, and it may be an older home requiring repair. The market has begun to flatten out, but it's not dropping like it is in many places in the U.S.

Nelson has neither the population density nor the variety of services available in Kelowna. It also doesn't have the traffic. It has more lakes with fewer people. It has more rain than Kelowna, but Whitewater has less fog than Big White(out). The landscape is predominantly a lush green. Kelowna looks drier to the casual eye. On the other hand, when the sun finally does appear in Nelson (it usually manages to come out at least briefly in late April, after an absence of several months), some of the local residents start screaming that the End is near and the sky is falling.

Whitewater also has less traffic than Big White, and the snow can remain soft for days. It only snowed once in January of this year. It started around the first and kept snowing lightly but steadily most of the month.

Backcountry skiing on tele or alpine touring gear is extremely popular. Many people only ride the Whitewater lift once or twice a day, if they come to the ski area at all.

A healthy income helps, not only because of the real estate prices, but because of the numerous expensive skiing temptations. If you live in Nelson, Whitewater is 20 minutes away, Red Mountain about an hour. Revelstoke is 3.5 in one direction; Fernie is 3.5 in another, and Schweitzer, down in Idaho, is about 3.5 in yet another direction. If you don't like resort areas (not that I would accuse Whitewater of being a "resort"), but you also don't like to hike, ride a cat into the backcountry with Wild Horse, Valhalla Powder Cats, Big Red, Baldface, etc. There are several in Meadow Creek, too. You can always up the ante a bit more and go helicopter skiing with Snowwater Heli Skiing. Again, there are additional heli ski operators in Meadow Creek, Revelstoke and Fernie, among other places.

So, what was that about wanting to live in a big city and have a fancy job?
post #18 of 33
Question?
Quote:
So, what was that about wanting to live in a big city and have a fancy job?
Answer:
Quote:
A healthy income helps, not only because of the real estate prices, but because of the numerous expensive skiing temptations.
post #19 of 33
I'm doing an internship in Invermere, BC this summer, and as far as skiing goes, it seems like it would make a for a pretty good base. Panorama is 20 minutes away, and Kicking Horse, Fernie, Lake Louise, and Sunshine are all within 90 minutes. Allegedly it also doesn't snow much in town and doesn't get too cold, so that isn't too big an issue, and the summers are warm and dry. There's also 16 golf course in the area, if you enjoy that, and a beautiful lake to swim in during the summer. The downside is all the Calgary meat heads that swarm the place on weekends.

Real estate here is expensive, though from what I understand prices have leveled off recently. I'm also not sure what the market is like for tech jobs. Generally, if you can do IT work you should be able to get a job anywhere, but in a smaller town there are far less options, and they probably don't pay as well because there's probably some other IT guys who have the same idea of living and working in a small ski town.
post #20 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by at_nyc View Post
Question?
Quote:
So, what was that about wanting to live in a big city and have a fancy job?
Answer:
Quote:
A healthy income helps, not only because of the real estate prices, but because of the numerous expensive skiing temptations.
Valhalla Powder Cats and Snowwater Heli Skiing collect their clients about 10 minutes from my house. That's somewhat more difficult to arrange in Vancouver, Calgary or Kelowna.
post #21 of 33
Well, I can understand the "big city" part. But I would think the "fancy job" part is pretty neccessary for the heli trips, unless you got a bunch of money left over to your by some rich relatives.
post #22 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by at_nyc View Post
Well, I can understand the "big city" part. But I would think the "fancy job" part is pretty neccessary for the heli trips, unless you got a bunch of money left over to your by some rich relatives.

Going stand-by probably helps.
post #23 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex C View Post
I'm doing an internship in Invermere, BC this summer, and as far as skiing goes, it seems like it would make a for a pretty good base. Panorama is 20 minutes away, and Kicking Horse, Fernie, Lake Louise, and Sunshine are all within 90 minutes.
Ah but in Golden you would have Lake Louise, Revy, and Sunshine all within 90 minutes, and wouldn't have to put up with the sketchy conditions that all too often are Panorama's lot.

Calgary is a good choice, particularly if you live on the west side (my garage to the Sunshine gondola--75 minutes) and can do a one day up and back (the in-town commute to a job is often that). Castle, Fernie, Kimberley, Panorama, Sunshine, Lake Louise, Kicking Horse, Nakiska, Norquay (Marmot and Revy as well depending on your driving tolerance) are all within commute distance for a weekend skiing.

Vancouver has Whistler, the three North Shore Resorts, a couple of Fraser Valley resorts, Mount Washington on the Island, and Mount Baker within easy commuting.

Both are a long day's drive (or a short commuter flight) from Big White, Silver Star, and Sun Peaks in the interior. The smaller South Okanagan resorts, Whitewater, and Red Mountain are also a long day's drive away.

Both Vancouver and Calgary are good for employment. Both are fairly pricey for housing ($500k for a house in Calgary, the same for a Condo in Vancouver as entry level). Vancouver has culture and rain, Calgary has cowboys and sunshine.

I'm happy skiing in Calgary, but looking to retire to Vancouver within a couple of years. I had 58 ski days this last year, so with the right job, you're probably going to be able to get your fix.
post #24 of 33
What's the typical rent for a small townhouse/apartment in Calgary?
post #25 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by at_nyc View Post
What's the typical rent for a small townhouse/apartment in Calgary?
The average price for a two bedroom apartment is 1,096/month. I guess it is the highest of the major centers in canada
post #26 of 33
$1100 per month would be considered a bargain in Vancouver - so no, I wouldn't say that Calgary is the highest.
Also, as much as their economy kicks ass, it's still funny how the Calgary folks are in total denial about their climate. It's rare that it doesn't snow in that city in May. And the wind...
More sun than the rain you get in Vancouver, that's why Kelowna is still the cat's ass for climate - it was recognized statistically as the "calmest" place for lack of wind in the country.
There's more virtual offices per capita in the Kelowna area than anywhere else in Canada that I know of, so being dependent upon the local economy is something that many people have figured out how to avoid.
post #27 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jhcooley View Post
So, what was that about wanting to live in a big city and have a fancy job?
Idealy - avoid a big city, experience local life & culcural & work differencies, enjoy sport (!! skiing !! and hiking) and nature, improve our language skills (especially for kids) and have a decent job(s) to finance this whole story.

Of course, there should be much more jobs in a big city. So, in the end it will be kind of a compromise, most likely.
post #28 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beric in Whistler View Post
$1100 per month would be considered a bargain in Vancouver - so no, I wouldn't say that Calgary is the highest.
1071 is the average in vancouver. I would guess an equally priced apartment would likely be smaller in vancouver and require a longer commute to work though.

http://www.canada.com/calgaryherald/...0-b438bcdfe5a3
post #29 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by manchester81 View Post
1071 is the average in vancouver. I would guess an equally priced apartment would likely be smaller in vancouver and require a longer commute to work though.

http://www.canada.com/calgaryherald/...0-b438bcdfe5a3
That report has to be including all of the outlying areas, including those with a 1 hour commute to downtown.
Here's a sample of what the prices are like for a two bedroom in the city itself:
http://vancouver.en.craigslist.ca/se...x&bedrooms =2
post #30 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beric in Whistler View Post
That report has to be including all of the outlying areas, including those with a 1 hour commute to downtown.
Here's a sample of what the prices are like for a two bedroom in the city itself:
http://vancouver.en.craigslist.ca/se...x&bedrooms =2
But that would be average rent for the same 1 hour radius for Calgary too.

So what's the rent of downtown Calgary? In other words, would the rent of downtown Calgary be any different than downtown Vancouver?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Skiing Discussion
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › General Skiing Discussion › Moving to Canada. Recomendations?