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Old 04-12-2012, 10:12 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 45,344,192 times
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I know one can find fun in any decent-sized city, but I'm looking at the possibility of doing a year long working holiday in Canada (I'm Australian). The Maritime provinces look really pretty, the kinda place I'd like, but I checked out Halifax on Google street view and it looks a bit bleak and empty. I'm thinking Vancouver is far more likely, but on the off chance, what are your opinions of Halifax?

Entertainment, nightlife

Amenities

Public transport, walkability

Range of dining options

Parks.etc
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Old 04-13-2012, 05:01 PM
 
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never been to either, but I would think Vancouver would be more up your alley
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Old 04-13-2012, 09:55 PM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
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As someone from Perth, Australia, Vancouver would certainly be more familiar a feel for you.

That said, Halifax for its size is not a boring city and is actually a pretty fun place to be for a young adult since there are many universities and post-secondary institutions in the city.

If you are living on a working holiday salary Halifax will also be a lot cheaper than Vancouver, where the cost of living is exorbitant.

Climate-wise, Vancouver is somewhat similar to southern England, whereas Halifax is a colder variant with more snow and ice. Halifax is not considered a super cold city by Canadian standards but to you it will seem very cold. (Vancouver will probably seem pretty cold as well.) Summers are similar in both cities - warm but not really hot.

Vancouver tops Halifax for recreation. You can ski in mountains right next to the city.

Dining options will be a lot more expansive in Vancouver as the city is five times bigger and is much more diverse than Halifax.
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Old 04-14-2012, 12:12 AM
 
Location: Canada
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Halifax has GREAT nightlife and pubs for the size of city it is.
The city proper is quite walkable, but public transit is a bit poor.
Decent range of dining options, not as much choice as Vancouver, but of course Vancouver is much bigger and more ethnically diverse.
Halifax parks are nice, but Vancouver's are really unparalleled in the country.
Halifax's main advantage is that the cost of living is much less than in Vancouver and you can still have a fun time in a dense coastal city with things to do.
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Old 04-14-2012, 09:59 PM
 
Location: Sunnyside, Calgary
250 posts, read 549,698 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
I know one can find fun in any decent-sized city, but I'm looking at the possibility of doing a year long working holiday in Canada (I'm Australian). The Maritime provinces look really pretty, the kinda place I'd like, but I checked out Halifax on Google street view and it looks a bit bleak and empty. I'm thinking Vancouver is far more likely, but on the off chance, what are your opinions of Halifax?

Entertainment, nightlife

Amenities

Public transport, walkability

Range of dining options

Parks.etc
Halifax is pretty good for nightlife. Good arts community, a great collection of pubs...

There are a lot of really good restaurants in Halifax, but the range of dining options is pretty narrow.... Nothing exotic. Vancouver is much better for dining.

Peninsular halifax is very walkable. You can get around by bike pretty well too. Halifax transit sucks though, and traveling to and from the 'Burbs is a bit of a pain.

Amenities? Okay I guess.....but Halifax is isolated. The nearest big cities are Montreal and Boston (12 hour drives away).

Haligonians are great people though. I really like the city. It feels much friendlier than Vancouver, and the people in Halifax really know how to have a good time.

Vancouver has a a reputation for being a "no fun" city. It doesn't seem to be super social. It is beautiful though. I would consider moving there if it wasn't so damn expensive.
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Old 04-15-2012, 04:26 AM
 
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Halifax is lovely. I went to university there and loved it. Housing is pricey (as are apartments) but less than Vancouver. It does rain a lot, but the winters are quite mild compared to a lot of places in Canada (keep in mind that mild winter in Canadian terms is still freakin' cold to many people!)

Here are some nice shots.
Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada - XinaCat's Photos

It also has direct flights to Heathrow, Frankfurt and a few other European cities which are good connectors to overseas travel - although coming from Oz, Vancouver will be closer I believe.
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Old 04-15-2012, 11:43 AM
 
Location: Florida
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My husband and I really enjoyed our week stay in Halifax, and felt it had more to offer us than Vancouver (my hometown). We are not 'touristy' types and like to experience city-life like the locals and found Halifax suited our budget. As 'mikeinalberta' said we also found the people warm and friendly, more so than Vancouver, and we found the transit very nice and affordable (compared to our city). Guess it boils down to what you find exciting--we were in heaven with the Farmer's Market and a nice walkable city--with steep streets for a good work-out! Can't wait to go back!
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Old 04-16-2012, 08:08 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 45,344,192 times
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Thanks for the advice, Halifax seems like my kinda town? Is there a lot of historic architecture compared to St. John's? A lot of job opportunities, mainly just casual work I suppose.
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Old 05-30-2014, 06:26 PM
 
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Halifax lacks jobs, and is boring. Yes it is full of universities and pubs, but there is basically nothing to do but drink. The dating sucks, but one night stands abound, especially if you like drunk students. You could walk around and look at pretty stuff, but you can only do that so much before you're completely bored.

Yes Vancouver is expensive, but real people don't live in Vancouver, rich arsehats live in Vancouver. Take the train 10 minutes east and rent a place in Burnaby, you'll be happier.
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Old 05-30-2014, 08:08 PM
 
3,431 posts, read 3,043,103 times
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Halifax is small compared to Vancouver, obviously, but I will say that for its size, it is pretty lively, has lots of pubs and clubs, a relatively large university crowd, and since it's basically a "regional capital" of the Maritime provinces, it has a relatively sophisticated feel. Bonus points: cheap cost of living. You can rent a decent apartment in a nice Victorian era house in central Halifax at a decent price, particularly if you can deal with a roommate or two. People in Halifax are quite friendly to boot.

Vancouver has the benefit of a nicer climate, gorgeous scenery (not that Halifax rates poorly in that area either, but Vancouver does have the Rocky Mountains plus the waterfront). Vancouver has a much higher cost of living. It's more culturally diverse, but you might find people a bit more reserved than in a smaller city. Vancouver's culture is similar to other cities on the West Coast of North America... a lot of people are kind of into the sporty, outdoorsy, lefty, vegetarian/yoga enthusiast sort of stuff.

Just thought I would add: if cheap accommodations are an issue, you can rent an apartment near Halifax, like a basement suite in a suburb like Bedford, fairly close to Halifax by public transit (bus). Vancouver... you'd be in a distant suburb if you were looking for something inexpensive, but public transportation isn't too bad in Vancouver.

Last edited by Ottawa2011; 05-30-2014 at 08:14 PM.. Reason: transport
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