Why do Canadians move to British Columbia? And what kind of jobs are we landing?
Many move here for the work-life balance, others just for work opportunities that have dried up in their home provinces.
BC’s economy is expected to grow by 2.7% this year and that outpaces all other provinces.
The Conference Board of Canada says B.C.’s goods and service industries will grow strongly this year.
But why exactly are people moving here, is it because there are more jobs, or is it something else?
For those workers from Ontario who have come to Vancouver for that work / life balance that so many envy, is it a reality?
Brandon Zarzycki moved to Vancouver from Ontario three years ago.
“I became a realtor so that I could network and get established in the city.”
He has now launched several successful online businesses that are digital first.
“All of our advertising dollars are spent in Vancouver, but our physical products are made in China, because its more cost effective to get things made there.”
Zarzycki’s companies use what are called fulfillment companies that store and ship his products, think Amazon.
“Along with fulfilling our online orders, they even provide customer service for us.”
He says not having a physical workplace allows him to live in the city and keep costs low.
“I work in a coffee shop, and my hours are whenever I make them, but it’s tough dealing with China and the time change.”
Zarzycki does this for the freedom it gives him.
“It gives me the freedom to work anywhere in the world because it’s a global market and I’m a mobile workforce.”
So why does he stay in Vancouver then?
“I love the mountains, ocean, seawall and the city.”
Despite what some people say about Vancouver being a No Fun City, the Vancouver lifestyle appeals to many.
A 2015 video titled No Fun City pokes fun at the idea that Vancouver is no fun by highlighting everything the city does have to offer.
WATCH it here:
Jake, who wanted to only use his first name, has been in Vancouver for a decade now and has seen many like himself move here from Ontario.
Striking that balance can be challenging, but not impossible.
“I’d never been to Vancouver when I came out here, I just packed up my life and came out here. I just stayed with friends at first and then settled into an apartment and found a job.”
He started off working in the hospitality industry because that’s where his experience lay, but it didn’t take long for him to switch gears.
“This is actually my third career since moving from Ontario 10 years ago, after starting in hospitality I transitioned into energy conservation and building sciences, and now I’m a commercial realtor.”
Jake credits his college degree in Business Marketing, which allowed him to transfer his skills from one career to the next. s
Advice for potential newcomers to B.C.
He says its importance for people to think about what they really out of life before making any big moves.
“Prioritize, figure out what’s important to you as far as lifestyle goes, you are probably not going to be able to afford as much space as you’re accustomed to in Ontario, but you get a whole lot more for it. Parks, the outdoor lifestyle and my favourite, the seawall.”
The latest census showed that Ontario is still by far the most populous province, but Ontario’s rate of growth continues to slow as immigrants and locals set their sights elsewhere.
For Ontario transplants Jake and Brandon, it seems lifestyle is the reason.