Fly Fishing Pei

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Fly Fishing Pei

Moving to Canada — need help figuring out which province?

Me and my fiance (he is from Britain and I’m from the US) have decided to move to Canada, almost as a sort of “compromise” between our two countries.

I’m looking to you Canadians to please help us out with picking a final destination. We’ve narrowed it down to two places, and we’re wondering things like: which one is more like America, which one is more like Britain, which one has friendlier people, and any other relevant information.

The two (and ONLY) choices we’ve narrowed it to are:

— Vancouver Island
— Prince Edward Island

We both *love* islands, so we definitely want to move to one of these. Thanks for your input.
Tammy 🙁

I need REASONS and details, please

Both are very nice places to live in Canada, and whatever the decision, I’m sure you will enjoy it there.

Here are a few pros and cons for each one that may help make up your mind.

Cost of Living
Vancouver area has a much higher cost of living than PEI. Housing is expensive and can run you well into six-digit figures in CAD$. Victoria has a lot of luxury homes, and tends to get a higher number of retirees looking for mild climates and quiet living that is not far from a big city.

PEI’s housing is much more affordable, even within some of the larger cities and towns on the island. You can still get a very nice home with a large lot that is around CAD$100,000.

More jobs have traditionally been available in Vancouver area than in PEI for the past few years. Vancouver is cosmopolitain and there are jobs in many industries, while jobs in PEI have been more available in the tourism and agriculture (fishing, farming, etc).

That is not to say that there are not other jobs available in PEI. just saying they are harder to come by because PEI has a much smaller population. The metropolitain Vancouver area had 2.1 million people as of the 2006 census. There were only 140,402 people in PEI as of 2009.

The March 2010 unemployment rates for each province:
– Prince Edward Island 10.8%
– British Columbia 7.9%

If you work on the island of Vancouver, then you are in luck. Getting a job in Victoria or Nanaimo means easy access back and forth between job and home. However, many job opportunities are actually in the city of Vancouver. That would mean having to take the ferry daily to get to your job, as there is no bridge to Vancouver Island. The ferries are very reliable, but you are dependent on their schedule, and there are fees to use the service.

If you live in PEI, again it is fortunate if you can find a job on the island. This makes your commute time to work a lot easier. However, unlike Vancouver Island, Confederation Bridge was built to connect the island to the mainland. So you can actually take your car to New Brunswick and back to PEI, and do this on your schedule. Naturally there is a toll for that bridge, so there are fees there too, just like for the BC ferries.

Southern British Columbia has the mildest climate of any province, and rarely gets snow. The weather in Victoria is very similar to southern UK. Many rainy and cold days in the winter. Lower temperatures in summer. Average January temperature is 4C (39F). Average July temperature is 15C (60F).

Charlottetown, PEI has a bit more of an extreme. They get snow (sometimes several inches at once) and temperatures vary from averages of -8C (17F) in winter to 19C (67F) in summer.

Proximity to US/UK
I guess another factor you should weigh is whether either of you will be going back to see any family/friends or if anyone will be coming to visit you.

Living in PEI, if you have to take a flight to UK, you would either have to fly “backwards” (so to speak) to Montreal or Toronto (or down to Boston or New York) to connect to an international flight that flies to UK. I did not see any flights leaving on a regular basis from PEI to Heathrow or elsewhere.

Living in Vancouver area, you would likely fly into Toronto and then connect to a flight heading to UK from there. That adds 3-4 hrs to the flight since you literally have to cross Canada from west to east coast.

For heading south to the US, going down from Vancouver into Washington state and elsewhere by car is rather easy. And Vancouver is an international airport with destinations to many US cities. PEI on the other hand has mainly Detroit, Boston, and New York as it’s US city destinations, and you would transfer onto a domestic flight from there.

Deciding to live on one coast or the other could have significant implications if anyone wants to visit. It’s a short trip from LA to Vancouver (or vice versa) if that is where you lived before, but LA to Charlottetown can be expensive and takes hours.

Just a few things for you to think about…Good luck with your choice.

Prince Edward Island fly-fishing

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One Comment

  1. j
    Posted October 9, 2014 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    There’s no truth to the flight having to go back to Toronto. I have flown many times from halifax to the UK. Don’t base your decision on this.

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