In addition to its stable economy, the Canadian city of Vancouver provides real estate buyers with an urban setting that features amazing scenery and plenty of recreational opportunities. Vancouver is a city for outdoor enthusiasts, art buffs, families, and everyone in between.
Buyers flock to Vancouver from all over the world because of the area’s beauty and mild climate. Yes, it does rain a lot here, but most residents agree that occasional rain is better than having to endure the freezing temperatures that most areas of Canada are privy to in the winter months–or the high humidity and scorching heat that other provinces experience during the summer. Vancouver’s weather can be grey at times, but it is almost always gentle.
Residents and visitors alike can take to Vancouver’s slopes for some of the best skiing and snowboarding in the country. Nearby peaks include Cypress Mountain, which is just 30 minutes from Downtown Vancouver, and the world-class Whistler-Blackcomb Ski Resort, which has the largest ski area on the continent.
There’s also a tube park on Blackcomb Mountain for the truly fun-loving, and during the summer months, hiking and mountain biking trails are opened on the local mountains, treating visitors to breathtaking views. Close by there are also several golf courses, lakes, and beaches.
For those who appreciate a challenge, there’s the Grouse Grind, which is a 1.8 mile (approximately 2.9 km) stretch of trail that heads straight up Grouse Mountain. There’s also the Capilano Suspension Bridge to test your fear of heights, jogging trails and ocean frontage along Stanley Park, and the Vancouver Aquarium.
Art lovers will find no shortage of sights at places like the Vancouver Art Gallery, or on Granville Island, which is a marketplace under the Granville Street Bridge. Here, there are street performers, locally-owned shops that contain artwork and handicrafts, art galleries, and a large food market. There’s also the Granville Island Brewery, which offers tours and tasting over the summer months.
In the summertime, Vancouver hosts Bard on the Beach, which is an annual production of Shakespearean plays that are performed at Vanier Park. There’s also the much-loved HSBC Celebration of Light (formerly known as the Symphony of Fire). Over four weekends in the summer, four countries put on spectacular fireworks shows set to music in a competition set at English Bay. This family-friendly event is one of Vancouver’s most popular.
If you’re wondering about how to get from your new home in Vancouver to all these fabulous attractions, don’t worry because the Metro Vancouver area has an excellent transit system. City buses and the SkyTrain bring travellers all over the city–from Horseshoe Bay to the Vancouver International Airport, and from Maple Ridge to the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal.
Buses in the downtown core run frequently, and are accessible to those with mobility issues. Riders can also lock their bicycles to the front of the bus for easy commuting, and SkyTrain runs every 2 to 8 minutes, depending on the time of day.
The SeaBus brings people from North Vancouver to Downtown, giving commuters a quick and stress-free way to get to work, while the Aquabus Ferries are small ferryboats that travel back and forth across False Creek.
Residents living in the outskirts of the Metro Vancouver area can also commute to the downtown core in style via the West Coast Express commuter train.
The city of Vancouver is great for buyers looking to live in a posh downtown condominium, or in a single family home in the suburbs. There are events happening in this great city all year round, and the shopping and restaurants can’t be beat. With a strong economy and housing prices becoming more affordable, this is a great community to invest in. And remember, with the Olympics fast approaching, owning Vancouver real estate that you can rent out to visitors makes this the right time to relocate to Vancouver.
To learn about the Vancouver real estate market, see “Relocating to Vancouver: A Guide to Vancouver’s Economy & Real Estate Market.”