Why We’re Moving to Victoria

Pender0023A few people have expressed dismay about our moving to Victoria and not back to Vancouver. Somebody even told me in an email that “Victoria was lame”. Is it? Maybe a little, but we have fond memories of living there during university.

More practically, we’re returning to the West Coast to build a house on some land we have on Pender Island. There’s much better ferry access to Pender Island from the Victoria side than the Vancouver side. There are far more trips, and the trip is much shorter (45 minutes instead of a 2 hour multi-island milk run).

Assuming it’s not a total disaster, we’ll live in the house we built. For how long? That’s hard to say. We’re already talking about renting it out and living abroad again, so we might live there for 6 months or 16 years.

We do have plans to make very regular trips by ferry or seaplane to Vancouver, so Vangroovy is not getting rid of me quite that easily.


  1. Victoria is not so bad, in fact, it’s my home town. It’s chief drawback is the fact that it’s on an island, and that the ferries can sometimes be a hassle. Pender and Victoria can be wonderful, but it will take a little time to get used to the slower pace of life there. Just remember, Malahat = Sea to Sky Highway ( Its not really all that dangerous!) and don’t drink Lucky Lager unless you want to be taken for an up-islander! Eating a Nanaimo bar, however, is perfectly OK.

  2. I don’t share anything like your expertise in the area, but one of my all-time favorite vacations was to Victoria.

    So, if you’re looking for endorsements from random strangers – consider your move endorsed. 😉

  3. Gee whiz, calling a move to Victoria lame? I think it’s a wonderful decision – especially now that you explain that you met your wife in university there, and having land nearby.

    Vancouver offers a fabulous enough lifestyle but it’s just ONE city and when you’ve lived there as you have, it can be quite enough. Especially with all the cool cities your work allows you to operate out of!

  4. I moved here to Victoria from Toronto 18 months ago. Sure, Toronto is nothing like Vancouver, but still, given the choice, I’m happy to be in Victoria. I know you’ll enjoy it.

  5. Well I think Victoria is a great decision; it’s one of my favourite places to visit and I’ve considered living there to see how a year or two went. Regardless, I’ll be happy to see you living within easier visiting distance, so prepare for this freeloader to be calling on you when you settle.

  6. Hey, I’m not complaining 🙂 Ok, maybe I am a bit biased.

    Victoria is a great place, and the island is a huge and wonderful backyard to explore.

  7. Do you have a builder lined up?? Finding one on Pender will be a bitch and paying for one from Victoria or Vancouver will be expensive! The building market is crazy (as I am sure you know) here.

  8. Meg: We’re hoping it will cool down in six months, but who knows? Our architect has designed houses on Pender before, so he’s got some connections. The nice thing is that we’ve got the benefit of time. There’s no pressure on us to begin by a particular date.

  9. It hasn’t cooled down YET… Michael got THREE calls for more work yesterday alone (and he has NEVER advertised = all word of mouth). He is currently running (contracting) three jobs… one is an “environmentally friendly” apartment being gutted on the waterfront in Ambleside (the view!!).

    However, it is good you have a architect who has worked on Pender before… he should have solid contacts. Michael was looking at doing a job on Thetis last year as the clients didn’t want to wait 2 years for one of the local builders …they wanted a “mini cabin” to start with. Due to the expense they have decided to just go ahead with the house and the local builder (I think) and wait the 2 years.

  10. Typically I don’t read write-up on blogs, but I would like to say that this write-up extremely compelled me to try and do so! Your writing style has been amazed me. Thanks, really fantastic post.

  11. No, don’t move to Victoria BC to live from Edmonton, Calgary, Regina, Saskatoon, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City and any other cities. Victoria personifies BC, the cheap slave wages, low prosperity prospects, slow dull boring social life, slow dull boring people, and the high living costs compared to low wealth savings. The cheap wages and jobs along with too many taxes, fees, levies will squeeze you dry at both ends. It is ok to vacation in Victoria in small doses. Look up all the mostly negative comments about Victoria from other people and even some of the locals or you will be sorry (Topix.com). You will be giving up your goals and dreams, prosperity for the sake of a little beautiful environment. You can do it only if you are rich and free from work issues. For many people the hidden dirty truth is painful and disappointing.

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