U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > World Forums > Canada
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
Old 09-03-2010, 11:30 AM
Location: Rocky River, OH
12 posts, read 35,886 times
Reputation: 17


Quick background - my husband and I have been living in Texas for the past 9 years (aside from a year in The Netherlands). We grew up in BC/AB, and are considering where to relocate that would be best for our family. We have 3 young children (6, 4, & 1) and want to do what will be best for all of us. We miss the seasons (yes, even winter!), the outdoor recreation, etc. My husband is a Chiropractor, so wherever we relocate, he would either work with someone initially or jump right into private practice. We're considering OR, WA, ID, CO, and BC (because they may consider reciprocity for his license). I currently stay home with the younger kids, but have a background in accounting.
My biggest concern is the cost of living. Things have increased exponentially since we left Edmonton in 2001. It's difficult to move from one of the most affordable regions of the country, but it can't all be about money. We don't enjoy life here. We don't go outside anymore...too hot, too humid! Has anyone moved from the South to the Northwest fairly recently? We're mainly looking at the Okanogan, or Victoria. Is it financial suicide to even consider moving back to Canada right now? Sure, that is relative...just looking for some insight. And what do you think, would it be less expensive to live in NW USA? It'll be similar to what we've experienced growing up in Calgary/Edmonton?Vernon/Victoria...right? At least in terms out the outdoor environment. If you had a choice, what would you do or consider in making this decision?

Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

Old 09-04-2010, 01:48 PM
Location: Beautiful Niagara Falls ON.
10,024 posts, read 10,111,508 times
Reputation: 8868
There are almost endless possibilities in that humongous area. I have 2 sons some grand kids and a sister that live in the lower mainland of BC. I visit a lot and it's really beautiful. If I were in your shoes though I would consider it too expensive. You are really lucky because it sounds like you can live in the USA or Canada. I would really consider the olympic pennisual of Washington or one of the adjecent islands. I personally really love it there. The ocean the mountains and nice quaint little towns. It suits me because I don't like it hot. Oregon is a beautiful place also and Portland has to be one of my favorite cities in the country. Victoria is amazing too of course but it's expensive.
You have to narrow it down by what's important to you. I like the ocean so I would be drawn to the costal areas for sure. Two of my boys will probably move to Victoria within the next 5 years or so and looking at RE it's not real bad outside of the city proper. There are just so many considerations. What kind of culture you like? Is there any reason you would rather live in Canada. Geography and climate? Quality of schools? Medical services? A good market for your husband? These are all things you have to weigh in the choice.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-05-2010, 06:00 AM
Location: cemetary
363 posts, read 858,535 times
Reputation: 207
Many Alaskan's winter in Montana - I guess it's not AS cold?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-05-2010, 07:37 AM
Location: Kalamalka Lake, B.C.
2,943 posts, read 3,746,133 times
Reputation: 3744
"Chiropractor" is an interesting license in B.C. and I know that a few years ago there were issues relating to paying through medical coverage on it; referral from a doctor, etc. You should update current B.C. conditions. Building a practice here is really, really tough.
Your license MAY be transferable but the podiatrist I met from Phoenix was forced to work through what amounted to a sponsor for two years.
The northwest have some incredible housing deals right now that amount to a down payment on housing here. You also not allowed to deduct your mortgage here, which is why housing is such a driver for the american economy. Housing here has never been cheap; and the outlying areas throughout B.C. attract so many retirees right now from other parts of Canada that housing stock prices are not as extremely different as they were in the 80's.
For a family, professional or not, I'd recommend the Northwest.
My bro in Seattle, by the way, buys a cold pack of Kokanee beer at the cornerstore for $5. Up here, warm from the government store (the lowest price) it's almost $20.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
just an example; no wonder we slimmer; can't afford to eat.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-05-2010, 02:57 PM
Location: Southern Oregon
8 posts, read 11,420 times
Reputation: 14
I am on a similar quest as your family is. I've lived in N.W. Canada and Alaska and Washington and Oregon for many years. I'm looking for a good retirement area and have considered B.C. as well as moving back to Alaska. I have family in North Idaho that would like to see me move there.
Trying to be objective as possible, and not inserting my bias towards Canada or further north in Alaska, I feel that Washington may be your best choice.
You would be close to the B.C. border, for visits and vacation travel, if you lived in either the N.W. part of the state or in Eastern Wa.,-- in Washington's Okanagan or surrounding areas in Eastern Wa., You might even enjoy small town Eastern Wa. life a little further afield from the southern Okanagan.

If you don't mind living approx. 5-6 hours driving time from the Ocean and the B.C.'s Lower Mainland as well as Victoria and Vancouver Island, you might enjoy the more pronounced 4 seasons of Eastern Washington, on the east side of the Cascades. Housing prices are more reasonable there and the cost of living should be lower than Victoria or Cdn Okanagan.

N.W. Wa. and the Wa. Okanagan are both relatively close to both of your previous areas in B.C., --so you could always continue exploring B.C. to look for a longer term place there, a modest vacation home, and any good future medical business opportunities in B.C.. Southern B.C. could be your eventual retirement area and you could have a start on retirement there with your not so distant B.C. vacation home. (that you purchased years before, before housing prices got even higher in B.C., by the time of your retirement. By then you will be expert home brewers in Washington's Okanagan,--with the good water. So B.C. commercial beer prices will be no factor !!)

Last edited by Rancheria; 09-05-2010 at 03:28 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-06-2010, 06:46 AM
Location: Rocky River, OH
12 posts, read 35,886 times
Reputation: 17
Eastern Washington does sound like a great area! Kind of like the best of both worlds...the longer I am away from Canada, the less I recall why I'd rather live there anymore. Ideally, we want to be in a place with great schools, defined seasons (my husband is the coastal lover, but I am happy with just visiting!), lots of fresh fruit (hence the Okanogan) would be awesome, and ample outdoor recreation! What towns would you recommend? We'd prefer to stay away from towns under 50k people...bad experience living in a 30k town...very 'if you aren't from here, you don't belong here' - wasn't a good couple of years for us. On the same note, we'll be happy to get away from Mega Cities...we're just on the edge of Houston right now.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-11-2010, 12:25 PM
Location: US Empire, Pac NW
5,008 posts, read 10,433,199 times
Reputation: 4125
Eastern WA is VERY DIFFERENT from the Western WA part of the state. Once you cross the Cascades, the climate changes from a coastal "beautiful summer / depressing rainy season" climate with very little snow (though you can drive 40 min to the mountains no problem and got ALL the snow you need there!) to a hot, dry, arid environment in the summer with some rainfall in the winter and "high desert" climate. The politics also get very conservative, and in general, are only small towns of the type that you said you hated (less than 50 k). Spokane is NOT Seattle-like in the least.

Seattle and the area have TONS of farmers markets all year round and the fruits, vegetables, and other stuff are all very fresh as Washington has lots of access to a diverse base of farms from the West Coast.

It will definitely be less expensive to live in Washington state than BC.

I think Seattle or Portland would be very good fits for you two. Close enough to Canada to visit, but live in the USA. Avoid Eastern WA, IMHO.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-11-2010, 01:12 PM
Location: Kalamalka Lake, B.C.
2,943 posts, read 3,746,133 times
Reputation: 3744
ditto the above. When in Calgary for two years we took in lots of Spokane, Washington news and information, like there was no border there at all. Historically, before the railroad, Montana cowboys would always come up to Calgary to work for cash during the lull of the summer months, returning for the fall round-up. Spokane has Gonzaga University and Gonzaga prep. school, two very highly considered educational institutions. And literally within minutes you're into Idaho and the lake country.

Last edited by thedwightguy; 09-11-2010 at 01:13 PM.. Reason: add information
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-21-2010, 11:28 AM
Location: Southern Oregon
8 posts, read 11,420 times
Reputation: 14
After hearing that you're hesitant to live in a town/city of less than 50K population, it does really limit your options in Eastern Washington. Basically, all that you could choose from would be Spokane. (and I intended to place you closer to the coast than Spokane!) I had thought of Eastern Wa. as a choice because you wrote that you had been considering the CDN Okanagan; --and Eastern Wa. has its own extension of the Okanagan country and other outlying areas that are quite similar. However, the towns in B.C.'s Okanagan tend to be bigger and diverse, and more expensive to live in, than those of Washington's Okanagan country.

I'm not that big of a fan of Spokane's either. Being an Oregonian, I would rather live on the outskirts of Portland, than in the Spokane area. Although I would think that real estate prices and some other costs of living would be less expensive in the Spokane area, compared to the greater Portland area. Of course, the climate is more moderate in Portland as well.

If you would rather live in an area more like Victoria, B.C., then N.W. coastal Washington would be comparable geographically. For years, passing through Bellingham, I always thought I would like to live there. However, after spending some time there last fall, I came to the conclusion that I had made the right decision in not moving there. From the mid 1990's to the mid 2000's, the housing prices seemed to really soar in Bellingham. They doubled, or more than doubled during that decade. Bellingham has a much bigger feel now. It has become a small city in the last 20 years. It is very strategically located in the middle of great winter rec. and great water rec., while being only 30 miles south of the Canadian border. Like so many other west coast places, the economy is not doing so well in Bellingham right now.

Have you ever been to the Olympic Penninsula area of Sequim and Port Angeles? It's a little small for your 50K pop. criterion, but it's grown in to quite the popular retirement area (Olympic Mtns. rain shadow benefits too !!). You can't get much closer to Victoria either---you can see the lights of Vic across the Juan de Fuca straights. It would feel a little small townish, especially in Port Angeles, and a bit like a long stretched out newer suburban/shopping area on both sides of Sequim. However, I don't think it's all that clanish as far as newcomers are regarded, because there's been plenty of them coming in the last 30 years. People are generally quite friendly there. It's quite a ways from Seattle though. If you have never visited the area, it's worth it to go out to the Olympic Penninsula anyway. Plan to visit Port Townsend too.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-21-2010, 02:45 PM
Location: Canada
14 posts, read 21,070 times
Reputation: 26
To differentiate the valley on either side of the border .... it's spelled Okanagan in BC and Okanogan in Washington.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.

Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > World Forums > Canada
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top