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Tell me about Vancouver!!

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15 replies to this topic

#1 of 16 McPaul



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Posted July 18 2003 - 11:49 PM

I am in the final stages of being selected for a job. They will be making their final selections hopefully next week. *crossing fingers*. It's an internal posting, and I have a meeting with the Director on Monday. (a level above the hiring manager), I've already gone through the first interview, and the hiring manager came to Calgary for the weekend during her 2 week vacation and was supposed to meet me face to face, but her assistant gave me the wrong date and I was doing management testing all day on the correct day, and could not be reached.


This job WILL result in a transfer from Calgary to Vancouver. The main question is will this transfer be now or a year or two from now.

I believe I will be working in an office tower on 3700 block of Kingsway, in Burnaby. However, it could possibly be downtown on Robson.

Although I lived in Kamloops BC for 25 years of my life, and I definitely DO want to move back to BC. I'm single, no pets, no committments right now, the only times I've really gone down to the coast, was along the highway to the ferries to get to family in Victoria. Never to spend much time in Vancouver. At least not since I was very young, (and expo), and quite honestly, I know nothing about it, and know not a soul who lives there.

I will be looking to buy a townhouse (+/-) shortly after I arrive there, while renting for the first few months. I want to spend under $200k. 2-3 brm, 1.5 bath, 1400? sqft, single (enlarged) garage -thinking long term and resale here- can I get that for $2?

I do not drive, and will need to be located close to busses, or preferably the train. The C-train service in Calgary is excellent. Are the train stations as full of crime and drug trafficing as I have heard in rumors?

Wherever I move, it will obviously need to have transit access to work, parks/bike paths, and preferably a "busy" Save On Foods / Super Wal Mart / Restaurants / Entertainment / Mall - Metrotown?? There's gotta be someone on this forum that knows Vancouver transit like the back of his hand, like I know Calgary transit like the back of my hand...

So of course I have the usual questions of where to go, what to do, popular hangouts, etc... I have to meet a lot of people fast and easy while working my tail off at my job during my adjustment process.

I will need to get my Toshiba 50HDX82 ISF'ed as well. Posted Image

Movers? Calgary to Vancouver. Who's cheapest? Hopefully work can pay for this...

Storage? Cheapest/secure. I hope I wont have to use this, I only have a 1 bedroom apartment worth of stuff, the biggest thing would be the tv, and of course, I don't have a vehicle.

Real Estate Agents? I need a trustworthy one...

What are the bad neighborhoods to avoid in Burnaby?? Near Downtown??

Hook-ups? electric/cable (possibly sat)/gas/phone, (hint: I'm somewhat aware of this info already!)

Banks - I currently deal with TD

Newspaper - I remember reading the Province back home. Is the Sun significantly better "professional" paper?

Canucks single or season tickets deadline? cost? Best seats in GM?

Maybe we can do an HT meet there when/if I get there? I would love to meet some of you HTF Vancouverites

I will need recommendations for excellent Doctors and Dentists (I'm a chicken in the dentists chair) who are seeing new patients.

are there any websites that are as good for Vancouver as welist.com is for Calgary? I've found that site SOOOO much better than mls.ca for browsing homes. It has given me SUCH a good idea of the style of housing in each different neighborhood of Calgary, interiors, price ranges, features, and interior design...

I have searched on google for some of these things, but quite honestly, there is just SO much information, and I have been SO busy lately, I honestly don't have a ton of time to browse through everything. Phone numbers?

ummm... I've forgotten stuff, I'm sure, but if you think of anything else I will find helpful (which could be almost anything), include that too!

#2 of 16 Jeff Ulmer

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Posted July 19 2003 - 11:10 AM

I can't answer all your questions, but in either ocation you mention there should be Skytrain access. You won't find much in town for $200K, anything close to downtown will be double that or more. Metrotown is an option, I'm not sure of housing prices, but it isn't cheap. There is big shopping just about anywhere in the lower mainland, that isn't an issue.

Banks - take your pick.
Hook-ups, I'd call in advance since they are always backlogged.

#3 of 16 Markus Lidstrom

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Posted July 19 2003 - 11:31 AM

Lets see...

1. If you can manage it, working on Robson St would be 100x better than working in Burnaby if just for the prestige and downtown atmosphere.

2. 200k will not be nearly enough, seeing as how the market is going extremely strong. Im no realtor so thats all I can say.

3. I dont know much about Vancouver transit other than it's pretty damned good, and after a few weeks you should have it down pat.

4. Just hit up the bars to meet people, and of course take part in anything that 99.3 (The Fox radio station) puts on. Hit up any concerts and Canucks games too.

5. Real Estate Agents? Judy Jeffs

6. TD should be fine in Van, however CIBC and RBC have a pretty good stranglehold

7. Newspaper - Read the Globe and Mail

8. I like sitting 45 degrees behind the net about 10-15 rows up, but if you should have a sweet spot. www.Canucks.com for info.

#4 of 16 Cary_H


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Posted July 19 2003 - 12:49 PM

Paul.....I was born and raised in Kamloops and have been in Vancouver for just over 20 years now.
I can offer up some pretty good answers to the kinds of questions you have.
Any chance you can put up a hotmail addy so I can try and help you out?
Just a guess.......Telus?

#5 of 16 McPaul



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Posted July 19 2003 - 02:43 PM

Wow, thanks for the replies so far gang!!

Cary... pmcgowan@hotmail.com


#6 of 16 PatrickM



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Posted July 20 2003 - 06:19 AM

3700 Kingsway hey? Sounds like the GVRD offices right near Eaton Centre/Metrotown.

Anyway, $200K for a townhouse will get you something in Surrey or Langley. Its not cheap here in Vancouver as we still have the most expensive housing as a relation to our income in the country. You could also buy in Port Coquitlam, Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge which is located right along the West Coast express which is a train that brings you downtown and back.

If you do buy in Surrey you can try to make sure your near a Skytrain line.

As for banks, stick with the TD. Just make sure you find a good branch. If you're going to work downtown, definitely go to a downtown branch as it seems their advisors have more leeway on things like mortgages than the suburban branches.

For real estate websites, I've always used www.realtylink.org even though it is the MLS listings. It gives you a good idea of prices in certain neighbourhoods. I would post back or ask one of us about areas though since its tough to tell from a picture.

Good luck,


#7 of 16 Jeff Ulmer

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Posted July 20 2003 - 07:00 AM

As PatrickM says, it is hard to judge neighborhoods from the pictures alone, as there is a LOT of diversity in the housing and quality of neighborhood. You are much better off renting for a while then looking at places first hand. Greater Vancouver is pretty sprawled out, so travel time will be a big factor if you are going out to Langley, Pitt Meadows or Maple Ridge.

Also, you should be aware that not that long ago the city was embroiled in a huge condo crisis due to shoddy architecture/inspections, leaving thousands of people facing massive expenses to fix "leaky condos". Be sure to ask about that when looking for a place to buy. I don't know that I wuld be considering a townhouse/condo for investment purposes.

#8 of 16 McPaul



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Posted July 20 2003 - 05:03 PM

Patrick... nope, probably the other side of the street. Posted Image I'll check out this West Coast Express and see if it will be of use. I take it it's on the transit website? I've been browsing through the mls listings and MAN what you get for $200k is TRASH in greater vancouver.. wow... Might have to widen my search. Still looking.

Yes I'm aware of the leaky roof issue with some condos and townhouses, it does concern me, one of the reasons I will rent first.

One friend who used to live there suggested south of SFU near Lougheed Mall. Thoughts?

Cary, hope to hear from you soon

btw, where's Yaletown?

#9 of 16 Chad Ferguson

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Posted July 20 2003 - 07:20 PM

I recently had just gone to film school in Vancouver and I lived in the heart of Downtown for a year. Amazing city but I do believe the transit could use some work, buses mainly. Perhaps this is of no interest too you but it was huge for me. On sports radio they have Jim Rome with whom I just loved ever since I first heard him. Now that I have moved back I can not get him anymore but really, huge plus for me. As for shopping, the skytrain takes you straight to the etrotown mall which is really nice. On Robson street I had some of the best food of my life!! Just some of my personal things, hope it helps in some way.
THank you

#10 of 16 PatrickM



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Posted July 22 2003 - 08:55 AM

Paul, the are around SFU and Lougheed mall is usually pretty good. They have apartments and condos and of course houses all around there and it is close to the Skytrain line that brings you downtown.

Yaletown is a district in downtown Vancouver. Its basically part of the old Expo 86 grounds along False Creek and what used to be a warehouse district. Now its higher end condos, restaurants and lots of places for the young and upwardly mobile.

Like I said, $200K does not buy a lot here. There's a steep price to be paid to live in paradise.


#11 of 16 Kevin-M



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Posted July 22 2003 - 07:46 PM

I just moved back to Vancouver after 2.5 years in Asstown, aka Toronto.

For places to purchase, check listing for the Tri-Cities(Port Moody, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam). These places suddenly realized they had no rental or condo lots in the last few years and construction has been booming lately, and prices are relatively sheap to draw in new owners.

Skytrain extends from downtown out to Surrey and now to Lougheed Mall. West Coast Express runs from Mission to Downtown. The total trip time for that is 79 minutes from the farthest stop to downtown, with several stops along the way. Check out Translink's website for very detailed info on fares and schedules.

For movers, I've used BA Mover's for many trips and have been very happy with their work and prices.

For Hookups, Shaw Cable Services is the local cable giant. They offer Digital Cable, HDTV, and High-Speed Internet service.

For an ISF calibration, I can't recommend anyone specific in the area, but you can use this Search Form to search for ISF certified dealers in Canada, listed by region.

#12 of 16 McPaul



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Posted July 23 2003 - 07:07 PM

So good news, I got the job!!!


it was made official today. I start August 18.

We haven't discussed a move as yet, so I'm still in Calgary for the time being. I've perused info about others on the team, everyone except myself and one person from Edmonton, is from Vancouver. I know where this is headed eventually.

I plan on scouting out locations while on my first business trip out there.

Patrick, thanks for the info. What about renting? Can a guy rent a 1brm apt for around $700? or is it all double that?

If I move, I will be renting for the first while, for sure.

I can't believe the housing is so expensive out there, and it's only going to get worse with the Olympics. Where do people get the MONEY for all these expensive homes?

I've looked at the WCE and it looks too expensive and too much travel time for me. I'll stick with skytrain.

Chad - thanks for the info, I've never hung out on Robson st. or Metrotown. I look forward to it!

Thanks for the links and info Kevin, they've proved helpful, I'm going to check out those movers. It also has good maps of transit on the Translink page.

#13 of 16 Michael Silla

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Posted July 24 2003 - 03:29 PM

Prices upwards of $300,000 for a small townhome? Some that look like carbon copies of others produced in many other large cities.....

Is this place for real? Posted Image


#14 of 16 Cary_H


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Posted July 24 2003 - 04:03 PM

Remember Michael that $300k here is about $220-ish USD.
Inside a 10 mile radius of the downtown core your basic home can range anywhere from $300ish to in excess of $600 depending on the location.
If you want a real shock, search the web for real estate at Whistler. I recall developers putting huge spec homes on the market for multiple million dollar asking prices.
One place sold for something like $12+ million within the past year.
Since then they've been awarded the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Paul...e-mail has gone out.

#15 of 16 Jeff Ulmer

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Posted July 24 2003 - 04:14 PM

A half million bucks doesn't get you much in Vancouver anymore, hell, in Kits people are paying that much for lots and ripping the existing houses down. Even the burbs are pretty expensive. $200K will get you an 80 year old home on a standard lot in Surrey or Delta, add another hundred for something more recent. The pricing is insane.

#16 of 16 PatrickM



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Posted July 25 2003 - 04:45 AM

Paul, congratulations. You'll love Vancouver even though its not cheap to live here. You should be able to rent a place for $700 without a problem. Amazingly, even though our housing prices are extremely high, the monthly rental rates are not proportionally as high.

Prices upwards of $300,000 for a small townhome? Some that look like carbon copies of others produced in many other large cities.....
Is this place for real?

Like I said before, there's a heavy price to be paid when you live in paradise Posted Image

You'd know what I mean if you would have been here for the last two weeks.