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Old 05-11-2012, 12:13 PM
 
Location: Temporarily in Niagara Falls, Ont. Canada
167 posts, read 717,311 times
Reputation: 139

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Just looking through some other forums here for other cities in Canada and the US which got me thinking... In small towns on Vancouver Island, are most people from that small town, or from another part of BC, or from other parts of Canada? Or even from other parts of the world?

I've live in the suburbs of Vancouver (New Westminster) and it seemed like there were a few transplants from Ontario and Alberta, but most people seemed to be from New Westminster. Vancouver is another story all together - obviously lots of people from everywhere, even Burnaby. Back in 1992-94 I lived in Pitt Meadows and it seemed like I was the only one not originally from the area. When I lived in Kelowna, there seemed to be a lot of people from Ontario and Alberta too, but also a lot of people born and raised in Kelowna. I didn't feel too much like an outsider, but not fully welcomed either. I had Ontario plates on my car for less than a week (I got BC plates as soon as I could), and the whole time I lived there, everyone in the 20 unit apartment complex referred to me as "the guy from Ontario." I hated that.

I've also lived in Montreal (where there are people from everywhere, so I felt welcomed and enjoyed it) and in the suburbs of Montreal where it seemed like most people were from that area since birth. Sure there were a few people not from there, but overall, I always felt like an outsider. I met some people, but overall, many people are friends with people they know from childhood, so it's harder to break into a social circle.

But now I'm looking at going to Vancouver Island. I really don't want to be known as "that guy from Ontario." I'm not particularly fond of Ontario and don't want to be reminded that's where I'm from, nor do I want that to be the way people remember me. Originally I was planning on going to Victoria, which I may still do. I'm sure it's a melting pot of people from all over Canada, young and old (especially retirees looking to retire in a mild climate). But what about smaller towns? I really like Sooke and Langford. And possibly Duncan on a temporary basis due to cheaper rental while I get myself settled. Lastly... Nanaimo which is not really a small town but it also seems to have more affordable rentals and rentals that are pet friendly, which I need for my dog.

On one hand, I like the thought of living in a small town on Vancouver Island where things are more laid back and easy going. But I also don't want to be looked upon as an outsider for eternity since I wasn't born and raised there. I wouldn't bring that up in conversation, but inevitably people ask. I don't want to lie, but maybe I'll say I'm from Kelowna? Truthfully, I've lived there and it's in BC. But still, I will not know anybody on Vancouver Island. I'm sure they're welcoming to tourists, but what's it like when you move there and become a new resident?
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Old 05-11-2012, 05:57 PM
 
Location: Verde Valley
4,060 posts, read 9,116,556 times
Reputation: 3435
Most are retirees or older folk from Ontario and Alberta.

Langford seems to be more suburban family type living (from my memory) and Duncan has the nick name "Drunken". I love Sooke but it's far removed from everything (with one two lane road in to town) and rainier and greyer (according to my good friend who lived there for years). I'd suggest Nanaimo, it's cool and even though it had a bad reputation for a long time I believe it's better now.

PS Sooke is smaller than Cookstown
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Old 05-11-2012, 08:43 PM
 
Location: Temporarily in Niagara Falls, Ont. Canada
167 posts, read 717,311 times
Reputation: 139
They all sound like great places! If there is a sizeable (even if small) population from elsewhere, that's good news. I would think that it means it will be easier to fit in. On one hand it would be nice to go to a small town that's not full of "transplants" but that normally means that newcomers are always going to feel like outsiders. But when there's already a bunch of people from other places, they've already blazed the trails. I just don't want to be in a fast growing suburb. I'll have to look into Langford a bit more and see if it's right. But Sooke sounds terrific! Just what I'm looking for! I don't mind a bit more rain and greyer skies - less chance of sunburn, not too hot, and the lawns and vegetation will be watered and green, not all dried out.

Originally I was planning on going to Nanaimo, but then I read a bit more about it. I've heard it's improving and it's not all that bad. It's got a population of about 75,000 IIRC, so it's more of a suburban city than a small town. A nice small town, moderate climate, not too far from the big city in case I need to go there. Probably a lot of people from other places due to the student population. If anything, I'll stay there temporarily while I explore the rest of the island. The lower rents and more pet-friendly rentals are appealing. And as for Duncan... I'll keep that open as an option for temporary housing, but yeah, I've heard of its reputation and it's definitely not the place for me, at least not long term.
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Old 05-15-2012, 02:24 PM
 
Location: Verde Valley
4,060 posts, read 9,116,556 times
Reputation: 3435
I had a large dog and always found places to live, despite what the ads say.

Sooke is not so much like a town, it's more spread out with a VERY tiny (almost blink and you miss it) decentralized commercial area. It might be hard to meet people there due to the rural feel to it.

If you don't want a fast growing suburb, you might want to skip Langford

Quote:
Originally Posted by JustSomeGuy73 View Post
They all sound like great places! If there is a sizeable (even if small) population from elsewhere, that's good news. I would think that it means it will be easier to fit in. On one hand it would be nice to go to a small town that's not full of "transplants" but that normally means that newcomers are always going to feel like outsiders. But when there's already a bunch of people from other places, they've already blazed the trails. I just don't want to be in a fast growing suburb. I'll have to look into Langford a bit more and see if it's right. But Sooke sounds terrific! Just what I'm looking for! I don't mind a bit more rain and greyer skies - less chance of sunburn, not too hot, and the lawns and vegetation will be watered and green, not all dried out.

Originally I was planning on going to Nanaimo, but then I read a bit more about it. I've heard it's improving and it's not all that bad. It's got a population of about 75,000 IIRC, so it's more of a suburban city than a small town. A nice small town, moderate climate, not too far from the big city in case I need to go there. Probably a lot of people from other places due to the student population. If anything, I'll stay there temporarily while I explore the rest of the island. The lower rents and more pet-friendly rentals are appealing. And as for Duncan... I'll keep that open as an option for temporary housing, but yeah, I've heard of its reputation and it's definitely not the place for me, at least not long term.
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Old 05-16-2012, 06:49 AM
 
Location: Temporarily in Niagara Falls, Ont. Canada
167 posts, read 717,311 times
Reputation: 139
There seems to be a new subdivision being built in Sooke now. Not sure if it was there when you were living in the area. I also hear what you're saying about Sooke being small and spread out. To me, that actually sounds kind of nice! But I think I should wait until I get there and check it out. I don't mind a small commercial area, but I don't want to be driving to Langford every time I need to buy something. So, it depends how small it is.

Langford is starting to look more attractive for living, working and shopping. Closer to Victoria for those times I need to go there, or if I need to go there for work. I'm hoping to be fully self-supporting working from home.

For renting a place, my dog weighs 30 pounds, so I guess most people would consider him medium sized or small-medium. He's very well behaved and fairly quiet. So, if a landlord wants to see the dog I think he would put on a good impression. Or should I just pick a place I like and move in, just not mentioning the dog? It's one thing if the ad makes no mention of it being pet-friendly or not, but if the ad specifically says "no pets" it's kind of bold to move in with a dog. I don't know about BC, but I heard in Ontario it's not enforceable unless the dog is causing problems to other tenants. Maybe it's the same in BC. Once I get to know the area (maybe after living there for 6 to 12 months) I'll look in to a house I can buy with a mortgage or on a rent-to-own basis. Then I won't have to worry about any "no pets" policies.

At first I wanted an area that was populated with people who are born and raised in the area. But after reading threads on other cities, it seems places like that are not very welcoming to newcomers. The people tend to hang around their friends they've known since childhood and generally don't care to "let any new people in" to their circle of friends. So, an area with at least a small segment of the population being "transplants" might not be so bad.

Generally, I tend to keep to myself - I'm fairly introverted. So I won't be a big social bug or out clubbing every night. But, it would be nice to meet a few people and have a few friends in the area. So, that's why I'll have to check out what Sooke is like these days. Maybe with that new subdivision it's a big bigger, but will still have a small town feel.
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Old 05-16-2012, 01:22 PM
 
Location: Verde Valley
4,060 posts, read 9,116,556 times
Reputation: 3435
Quote:
Originally Posted by JustSomeGuy73 View Post
There seems to be a new subdivision being built in Sooke now. Not sure if it was there when you were living in the area. I also hear what you're saying about Sooke being small and spread out. To me, that actually sounds kind of nice! But I think I should wait until I get there and check it out. I don't mind a small commercial area, but I don't want to be driving to Langford every time I need to buy something. So, it depends how small it is.

Langford is starting to look more attractive for living, working and shopping. Closer to Victoria for those times I need to go there, or if I need to go there for work. I'm hoping to be fully self-supporting working from home.

For renting a place, my dog weighs 30 pounds, so I guess most people would consider him medium sized or small-medium. He's very well behaved and fairly quiet. So, if a landlord wants to see the dog I think he would put on a good impression. Or should I just pick a place I like and move in, just not mentioning the dog? It's one thing if the ad makes no mention of it being pet-friendly or not, but if the ad specifically says "no pets" it's kind of bold to move in with a dog. I don't know about BC, but I heard in Ontario it's not enforceable unless the dog is causing problems to other tenants. Maybe it's the same in BC. Once I get to know the area (maybe after living there for 6 to 12 months) I'll look in to a house I can buy with a mortgage or on a rent-to-own basis. Then I won't have to worry about any "no pets" policies.

At first I wanted an area that was populated with people who are born and raised in the area. But after reading threads on other cities, it seems places like that are not very welcoming to newcomers. The people tend to hang around their friends they've known since childhood and generally don't care to "let any new people in" to their circle of friends. So, an area with at least a small segment of the population being "transplants" might not be so bad.

Generally, I tend to keep to myself - I'm fairly introverted. So I won't be a big social bug or out clubbing every night. But, it would be nice to meet a few people and have a few friends in the area. So, that's why I'll have to check out what Sooke is like these days. Maybe with that new subdivision it's a big bigger, but will still have a small town feel.
Personally I would never live in Langford, I prefer the Saanich peninsula, even Brentwood Bay or Sidney by far.

Do not try to sneak in your dog under any circumstances.

There are VERY few areas with people who are born and raised in the area as most have to move away for employment and it's not a great place for young people.

If you join in on the odd activity you like you will meet some people for friends.
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Old 05-18-2012, 11:21 AM
 
Location: Temporarily in Niagara Falls, Ont. Canada
167 posts, read 717,311 times
Reputation: 139
Thanks for the extra info! So far, what from I've read online, Langford or Sooke sounded like the best place, but sometimes what seems good online may not be the same in person. Also, not all people like the same things, so what might seem unappealing to one person may be appealing to another. That's why I'm going there with an open mind and being fully prepared to rent for a few months or a year while I explore the area. I'll check out the Saanich Peninsula, Brentwood Bay and Sidney too. For some reason, I had the impression Sidney had a higher-than-average population of seniors, even for Vancouver Island/Victoria standards.

I really need to get self-sufficient working from home. I don't want to have to rely on getting local employment. I'm sure I could get something, but I really don't want to be scraping by on a low paying dead end job. Maybe I'll take on something part time, to get my out and earn some spending money though.

It's comforting to know that most areas are not primarily populated with people born and raised in the area. I'm always leery about that as I don't want to always feel like an outsider where most people are life-long citizens of the area. I may join in on some activities, but generally I like to keep to myself.

Yeah, I wouldn't feel comfortable trying to sneak in my dog. Nanaimo seems to (currently) have a lot of pet-friendly rentals available. And the rental prices seem lower than Victoria, so I may just end up in Nanaimo. Maybe not long term, but until I get to know the island a bit better. And initially I'll need to find a short term rental, like a pet friendly hotel room with a kitchenette (if possible) while I look at apartments. I'm thinking it might be best to arrive in September, or possibly October so it's after the tourist season and after college and university students have found their apartments.
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