Moving to Vancouver - where to live?

Old Jan 29th, 2009, 09:26 AM
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Moving to Vancouver - where to live?

Moving to Vancouver from the U.S. soon (as soon as I can figure out all the immigration stuff), and looking for good neighborhood to live in. Work will be in north Vancouver near 1200 Frances Street. Thanks much!
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Old Jan 29th, 2009, 12:18 PM
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cheezz, as a 4 year transplant from US ( to Victoria) let me congratulate you on your move to this wonderful country.

i go over to Vancouver and stay w/ friends in the west end and coal harbour. walking distance to downtown and water bus to n van and stanley park and beaches.

i like that part of town so much that i am thinking of doing a house trade in the west end sometime

good luck
AndrewDavid
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Old Jan 29th, 2009, 07:57 PM
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North Van, then you can take the seabus into town when you have free time
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Old Jan 29th, 2009, 09:17 PM
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When I first read your post I thought you were working in North Vancouver, but the address information you gave is actually in east Vancouver. Note the difference in North and east. North is capitalized because that's a different municipality from Vancouver, across the Burrard Inlet. West Vancouver is also another municipality. They along with Vancouver, Burnaby, Richmond, Surrey etc. etc. are all part of the Greater Vancouver Area. I think dar also got the impression you were in North Vancouver based on the sea bus comment.

Now, it's been many years since I lived in Vancouver, but there used to be a general difference between west and east Vancouver in terms of nicer neighbourhoods and correspondingly rental prices. East and west Vancouver is split down Main Street. Look at a map and you'll West Hastings and East Hastings. Same road but differentiated by what side of Main you're on.

If things are still the same, I'd try to find something in the west, but it won't be cheap.
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Old Jan 29th, 2009, 09:34 PM
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Well, see, I'm learning something new every day! I assumed that, looking at the map, this address was in north Vancouver. But I see that now - and I see where Main St. divides it. What are the boundaries of the 'downtown' area?

Are there any definite areas to avoid?

I was in Victoria last year and just fell in love with it - are the Vancouver people as friendly?
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Old Jan 29th, 2009, 10:28 PM
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"are the Vancouver people as friendly?"

Not not at all.

People here are polite and generally helpful but underneath a deep well of reserve lurks.

Maybe when I have more time I'll elaborate on my ideas why.
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Old Jan 30th, 2009, 03:05 AM
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cheezz, your work is close to the Commercial Drive neighborhood, which has many pros and cons. It would be great if you could walk to/from work. But I'm not sure I'd walk around in your work neighborhood much after dark, and I am fairly intrepid. But the Strathcona neighborhood, where your work is, is very much a neighborly type of neighborhood, and many people are very attached to it. It's just the druggies and criminals hanging around in the area that worry me.

Your work is also close to downtown.

There are many great neighborhoods in Vancouver. What types of neighborhoods do you like in other cities? It's hard to tell without any suggestion of your interests.
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Old Jan 30th, 2009, 05:20 AM
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Oh for heaven's sake...

Why attempt to scare someone about walking around in a Vancouver neighborhood after dark?

By U.S. standards, there are probably very few places in all of Canada which are unsuitable for walking after dark. (many of those are probably in Nunavut, and not for reasons of threats from other people)

In the area of the work address given, there just isn't that much to walk to at night (a Chevron Station, a chinese restaurant, and maybe the 210-flavors ice cream shoppe).

For that work address, one assumes that parking at work will come with zero cost, so the need/luxury of walking to work will be less important for that reason.

When whittling down the possibilities, I would first look only at places where one need not cross a significant bridge to reach work each day. Obviously the closer the better in terms of a commute.

In these economic times, there just might be some (relative) value to be found amid the uber pricy Vancouver housing/rental market so I would let that dictate a whole lot about where I would live.

With Vancouver being repeatedly touted as "the most livable city in North America", you can't go too wrong in choosing a spot. Though later it may seem a shame that you can have just one...

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Old Jan 30th, 2009, 06:47 AM
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We're seriously short on inbound info.

Are you alone, is there a family, what's the general age group, some idea of lifestyle preferences, some indication of hobbies and interests....

You could live in North Vancouver, over the bridge, and you'd havve to cope with traffic, but you'd be living on a mountain side.

Do you want to buy a house, rent a high rise apartment, rent a room in someone else's house?

Will you have a car/ (a good idea for weekends, at least)

Afterwork do you want sidewalk cafes, or just television at home?

The area to avoid, not withstanding comments about not s ccaring you, is Hastings and Main, and a few blocks east of there. It's know as the downtown east side, and is to be avoided.

OVer where you are, my recollection is small blue collar homes, nicely kept. Gentrification has taken place is pockets, but it's still not full of life in the evenings.

BAK
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Old Jan 30th, 2009, 08:29 AM
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cheezz, i have found folks as friendly in van as in vic: think berkeley in the early 70's or current day australia. while canadians have a reputation of being more reserved than americans from the us, i believe that the canadians are just somewhat more private and polite but at the same time willing to respond to any friendly overture. at least that has been my experience here and in van and actually travelling cross country: last summer in Wawa ( don't ask) a friend and i were in the local pub for lunch, the older women behind us were speaking french, i asked for the hp sauce in my fractured french and they were so friendly they bought us a pint!
cheers
AndrewDavid
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Old Jan 30th, 2009, 08:46 AM
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NorthwestMale, it's not like I haven't known people to get mugged in Strathcona and the downtown east side (and elsewhere for that matter). I think it's a bit ridiculous to say Vancouver is safe everywhere all the time.
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Old Jan 30th, 2009, 07:39 PM
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OK, six years ago the OP was a "California Girl", so what say we caution her that, no matter the compelling reason, she is NEVER to be caught out after dark near her workplace in Vancouver without armed guard(s).

Then we won't remind her that it gets dark at 4:00pm in December in the Vancouver area.


BAK is totally on-target about the Hastings & Main intersection being the worst but so far the only person on this thread to have said "Vancouver is safe everywhere all the time" has been WillTravel.

The fact remains, were that area (of her expected workplace) not safe at night, the 210-flavor ice cream place would never be able to do such a booming business all year long.

And about Vancouver in general, cheezz would be hard-pressed to find a single city in North America where more "decent" people are walking the streets at various times all night long. (mind you, NOT the SAME people walking all night, just various people darting about without too much cause for fear RELATIVE TO CALIFORNIA CITIES).

To cheezz, I may as well add, that since Vancouver isn't really "on the way to anywhere" road-wise, the highway/freeway system there is far less effective than for most cities of comparable size. (as most cities have ways to bypass the central core enroute to points beyond, and don't have as many water and mountain barriers)

Use a "short commute to work" as a huge factor in your search for housing.

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Old Jan 31st, 2009, 01:10 AM
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I don't actually see Hastings and Main as the worst. It's so well-populated day and night. The dark alleys around there are likely to be worse.

Someone who is young and male and healthy is going to have a different view of safety than people who aren't in those categories. E.g.
http://www.nationalpost.com/related/...tml?id=1095040
I do walk around Vancouver day and night, all over the place, but not in Strathcona nor the downtown east side.
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Old Jan 31st, 2009, 07:45 PM
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I guess I was a bit 'vague' on details. The new Vancouver resident will be my daughter - late twenties - and coming from L.A., she's already a tough cookie and shouldn't have any trouble with the 'rampant crime' in Vancouver

The apartment is being provided - as part of the job - and is located about where Woodland hits Commissioner St. The plus is, the apartment is free. If the neighborhood just isn't safe, she will look for something new once she gets settled up there. She will also sell her car here and buy something for transportation when she gets there.

She's very athletic - skiing, boarding, skating, hockey... etc. Lived on the east coast for 6 years so got well used to all the winter sports. Definitely a social person.
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Old Jan 31st, 2009, 09:08 PM
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"located about where Woodland hits Commissioner St."

Bad neighbourhood-not LA bad but no where near anything that makes living in a city worthwile.

That being said Vancouver is a small place relief is a 10 minute drive away.
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Old Feb 2nd, 2009, 06:21 PM
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Hi,

(doing what I can for the OP, with as much detail as possible just to help)

I KNOW that general area quite well, and was just there to bring someone home late on a Saturday night 9 days ago.

(the person lives near Venables and McLean Drive, by the way) McLean is ONE BLOCK from Woodland.

Small point/question of clarity:

I see "Commissioner" street, but it looks as if it becomes "Stewart" street before it intersects Woodland.

Nowthen, East Hastings Street is perhaps the most prominent arterial leading east out of downtown, through chinatown, and into the eastern suburbs. It has its high points and low points, but myyyyyyyyyyy feeling is that the area between Clark Drive and Victoria Drive ON Hastings is safe within reason for a woman walking alone at night.

"POWELL street" is an arterial with plenty of cars on it, and little aside from a Chevron gas station in the way of retail businesses until you get east as far as Victoria Drive. (I do believe that this added arterial (Powell) is better than to not have an arterial there in terms of safety for those walking on the sidewalks).

Moooooooooost of the area immediately surrounding the locations the OP has offered is FLAT, making for easy walking.

COMMERCIAL DRIVE is a bustling retail neighborhood (www.thedrive.ca)

(OMG - that reminds me... on HALLOWEEN (hmmmmm, is it the friday or the saturday night beFORE Halloween - which one?) ... there is the most amazing neighborhood Halloween festival in the area between Venables and First Avenue near to McLean Drive. Definitely see that!!)

Anyway, once east of Commercial Drive there is a hill to the east, but a walk to the hustle and bustle of Commercial Drive might be about 10 flat blocks to a spot south of Venables on Commercial Drive.


THE DRAWBACK/cause for concern to this picture is that there will very likely be "working girls" (and not the sorts who merely helped the U.S. war effort at factories in the 1940's) scattered about the area bordered by Powell Street, Venables (lets say), Victoria Drive and downtown Vancouver.

With the Winter Olympics approaching about a year from now, the Police are tryyyyyyying to reduce the presence of the urban blight on the area and on the city.

If it is any tiny consolation, it seems that the more heavily into drugs "working girls" are nearer to the downtown area and the intersection of "East Hastings" and "Main".


All in all, Vancouver (even in this area) remains a considerably safe {relative to the U.S. norm} city whose high points far out-weigh its low points.

Bus service along Hastings is quite adequate and it is a short walk from downtown if weather or other factors render the buses late.

Regardless of what you eventually think or don't think about Vancouver or the surroundings in that specific area, I hope that you can glean as detailed and clear a picture of what your daughter will actually see and sense upon arrival in that specific area.

The plan to send her there and have her look for a new place IF the offered one doesn't meet her standards, is quite suitable.

I really hope that the full detail is helping to paint a picture where perhaps none exists already.

(we've not even mentioned the awesome views of the "North Shore Mountains" and wonderful waterways in her new city)

Keep asking questions if you want even more specifics.

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Old Mar 2nd, 2009, 09:14 PM
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NWMale - thank you for your wonderful detailed report! She's a walker, so hills are no problem, but sounds like she may definitely use this apartment as a launch point to look for something more suitable. For a girl born/raised in L.A., I know Vancouver will pose no problem - it's a lovely city. She is going up to check it all out the end of this month, so there may be more questions then.

Thank you so much!
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Old Mar 8th, 2009, 03:00 PM
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Hi, good to know that she is GOING there to check it out.

It really is a convenient location. (it dawns on me now that L.A. people might not get the full effect of the appeal to living quite near to downtown in case SNOW paralyzes the city)

Everything is pretty flat between the areas mentioned for living and working, and the entire downtown core. A walking trip to Commercial Drive isn't completely flat, but there are no 'hills' of significance along that path.

I think it might be quite fun for your daughter to be arriving in Vancouver for the first time, and find **her spot** in such a convenient neighborhood.

When she goes, even though it is early spring in the great white north, don't let her miss www.lacasagelato.com , right there in her own little neighborhood.

If there is time, and the weather permits, even a walk right down Hastings from her area into the middle of downtown (during daylight hours) would be a healthy exercise both physically and for the clearest picture of the area.

Oh, and no matter what you've been reading about 'gang violence' in the Vancouver area this year, it has almost always been gang-on-gang stuff in small-potatoes fashion (by L.A. standards), and concentrated mostly in one or two particular suburbs nowhere near to the area of which you've been speaking.
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Old Mar 8th, 2009, 04:54 PM
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I have a number of friends who live in the general area your daughter's place is and they like it but they are in either nice buildings or houses. In some cases they do have unsavoury neighbours. Commercial Drive is really handy. I guess it depends on the type of person she is - if she's more of an "uptown" type then she might not appreciate the vibe of the Drive, but it's a pretty funky street and there are some great restaurants and interesting shops.

But personally I would never recommend a walk along Hastings St. to downtown Vancouver, during daylight hours or not. Hastings and Main is the pits. Really, it's hard to find a worse place.

Also, the gang shootings in the Metro Vancouver area are happening in ALL areas - one of the gangs is centred in south Vancouver. It's still safe overall of course, but the violence is more than what we are used to and innocent people have been killed in the crossfire.
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Old May 18th, 2009, 09:22 PM
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Well, dear daughter is up in Vancouver and finding her way around - really appreciates all the comments from this board! She is going to look for an apartment to share and locate a bicycle (hopes not to have to use her car a lot). She's an active sort.

Any hints on finding a good roomie - local papers, bulletin boards, etc.? I think she's going to Craigs list for the bike.
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