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Old 06-21-2012, 09:58 PM
 
312 posts, read 945,936 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adventuregurl View Post
Do you like it there? I can live anywhere in Canada, as I am sellf employed and only need a phone and computer to work. I am always trying to find the best place.
It's a good place for most people. There are a lot of jobs here that are widely available. And the rocky mountains nearby is a nice touch. Personally the city isn't really for me though and so I am moving pretty soon. I am more of an 'easterner' type.
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Old 06-21-2012, 10:50 PM
 
Location: Verde Valley
4,060 posts, read 9,114,398 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ExtremeMan8 View Post
It's a good place for most people. There are a lot of jobs here that are widely available. And the rocky mountains nearby is a nice touch. Personally the city isn't really for me though and so I am moving pretty soon. I am more of an 'easterner' type.
I;ve been to Calgary a few times and it never felt like home to me.

When you say 'easterner', does that mean that you're moving to the maritimes?
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Old 06-21-2012, 10:54 PM
 
312 posts, read 945,936 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adventuregurl View Post
I;ve been to Calgary a few times and it never felt like home to me.

When you say 'easterner', does that mean that you're moving to the maritimes?
No lol, By east I mean like Ontario and Quebec. I guess they're not technically east but more east than Calgary . I'll be moving to Southern Ontario actually. That area always felt more like home to me. Though I'm originally from Winnipeg.
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Old 06-22-2012, 11:34 AM
 
Location: Verde Valley
4,060 posts, read 9,114,398 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ExtremeMan8 View Post
No lol, By east I mean like Ontario and Quebec. I guess they're not technically east but more east than Calgary . I'll be moving to Southern Ontario actually. That area always felt more like home to me. Though I'm originally from Winnipeg.
I like Southern Ontario too, I'm from TO but would never want to live there after being away. There's too much traffic, it's too expensive (if you don't need the city for a job) so the big question for me has been "where to go".

I would like a lower cost of living as I make the same amount no matter where I live so it only mkaes sense to save on living exoenses but I have to be happy with where I live.

I've thought about the Collingwood area, then I could rent my place for the winter and head south .
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Old 06-24-2012, 05:47 PM
 
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Based on your user name, if Kelowna interests you then go for it! There are so many adventures to be had, from the Rockies to the West Coast, or even up to NWT and Alaska. I mentioned they still get snow but they don't get the wind chill Ontario gets. I'm really glad we did it.
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Old 07-28-2012, 10:58 PM
 
Location: Temporarily in Niagara Falls, Ont. Canada
167 posts, read 717,104 times
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I'm replying a bit late to this thread, but thought I'd share some of my experiences with Kelowna. I lived there for just under a year (during 2007-2008). A friend of mine had recently moved there, originally from the lower mainland, but had spend about a decade in Barrie, Ontario. He kept telling me how nice it was and convinced me to move there. I intended to stay longer, but a family emergency got me to move back to Ontario.

I went to Kelowna because I don't enjoy living in Ontario, and especially not Barrie (I've lived in Vancouver's lower mainland before, much different). In some ways, I was disappointed to find out the Kelowna was similar to Barrie, which is what I was trying to get away from. Both cities are close to the same size in terms of population (130,000). Both cities are suburban-like, but are by themselves geographically, surrounded by a lot of lightly inhabited land. Both have a bit of small town redneck undertone, despite the large size and suburban feel. And with that size, also comes heavy traffic on the main roads. Especially in summer for both cities. Both cities rely on tourism (Kelowna moreso). Both cities are more working class with a small upper class population (Barrie is more working class like manufacturing, construction, etc, Kelowna was more service industry related, used to be two very large call centres there). Also, both Kelowna and Barrie offer a lot of outdoor activities like skiing not too far away, hiking, lakes/waterfront, camping not too far away, etc. With the exception of hiking, none of those similarities appealed to me, as I was trying to go for a change.

And of course there are differences: Barrie is surrounded by farmland in the immediate area, further away, like around Collingwood, the escarpment and then more rocky terrain of the Canadian Shield. Kelowna is surrounded by mountains and always seems to be in tones of beige, brown, etc since it is usually quite dry in Kelowna. (Contrary to what many Ontario residents think - they wrongly assume all of BC is like Vancouver with short, virtually snowless winters and LOTS of rain). Kelowna is quite the opposite. Four distinct seasons, relatively the same length each season (unlike Barrie which gets a long, long cold, snowy winter and a short, hot & humid summer with a brief transition from winter to summer). Kelowna winters are (on Canadian standards) short and mild. I was only there one winter, but I'd say winter started late December and wrapped up in early February. Only about 6 weeks of that truly felt like winter with a week long cold snap of FREEZING temperatures day and night (about -16 Celcius at night, sometimes even colder). However, you know it's a milder climate in Kelowna because they have orchards, much like in the "banana belt" of the Niagara Peninsula in southern Ontario - a climate not seen much in Canada. They say Kelowna is very calm - not very windy, and I'd have to agree.

I might get flamed for this, but Kelowna, as I saw it in 2007-2008, seemed to be a city of many working class people, lower middle class, and even a sizeable population below that, living at or near the poverty line. It seemed there were a lot of people on social assistance who were barely making ends meet. Or working 1, 2 or 3 dead end jobs (sometimes fulltime, sometimes a few part time jobs). People are also more into recycling, garage sales, buying and selling used items, etc. Combined with a milder climate, a semi-transient population (not as much homelessness as in Vancouver though), and a slightly higher than normal crime rate, you need to pick your neighbourbood carefully. Having said that, I lived in one of the less prosperous neighbourhoods (Rutland) and never had a problem. And I worked two dead end jobs to make ends meet. There's also a sizeable population of weathly individuals. Many are retirees but also many self-made first generation wealthy (new money) - namely successful entrepreneurs. So, you could say that most people in Kelowna are either really rich or really poor.

I'd say not quite a typical "west coast" lifestyle like in Vancouver, BC, or Eugene, OR. Some people are preppy, some are granola hippies, some are more conservative. A bit of everything. There are a fair number of "transplants" in Kelowna, much like in any other city. Some are from other parts of BC, whether it be the Okanagan Valley, lower mainland, etc. Or from Alberta. A fair number from Ontario (mostly southern Ontario), and I noticed a smaller amount from the maritime provinces of Eastern Canada. Having transplanted myself to Vancouver and Montreal, as well as Kelowna, each city has varying degrees of acceptance of outsiders. I'd say Vancouver was the most snobbish where people born and raised there never quite accept you as one of their own, never letting you forget you're an outsider. Montreal was probably the most accepting. Kelowna was somewhere in the middle. Even still, I became known as "the guy from Ontario" in my apartment complex because they saw the Ontario licence plates on my car, which I changed in less than a week of moving to Kelowna. Ironically, several of those people were also from Ontario or other parts of Canada, but had been there for many years, some 20+ years but kept quiet about being an outsider themselves. lol! Kinda hypocritical.

For some people, Kelowna might be the right place. Had I not had the family emergency that pulled me back to Ontario, I probably would have moved out of Kelowna to (literally) greener pastures. I like Vancouver, with more rain and a milder winter. Although - completely through online research - I think at this time in my life I'd prefer small town Vancouver Island, something near Victoria. But if I were stuck in Kelowna for a few years, I would have been OK. But I know I would have been looking for something with less winter and a cooler summer, and a bit more rain. But if you like a suburban feel, 4 distinct seasons, being near skiing when you want it (45 min away at Big White), etc, then Kelowna might be the right place for you. You might get lucky and get a decent paying job, but I wouldn't count on it. Expect a low paying menial job, then hope to find something better. Or, even better if you are self-employed and can work from home from anywhere and not have to rely on finding a local job.
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Old 07-29-2012, 09:53 AM
 
Location: Temporarily in Niagara Falls, Ont. Canada
167 posts, read 717,104 times
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I forgot to mention a couple of other things:

It's no secret that the province of British Columbia is famous for marijuana (known as "BC Bud"). And lots of cities have issues with drugs. But I believe it's more of an issue in Kelowna than in other cities in BC or across Canada and the US. It may not be evident at first glance as you walk or drive the streets of Kelowna. But I recall reading or hearing that there are an estimated 1000 grow-ops in Kelowna (yes, one thousand!). I think that's A LOT for a city that size. So, you can be sure that there's one near you. Maybe the huge contrast between the very poor and very rich has driven some people into growing and selling pot in order to make a decent income.

If you're into smoking or selling pot, then this may be attractive to you. I recall when I was working at a large office building (a call centre that has since closed), it seemed like at least half of the people who worked there, smoked pot (some on a daily basis, some on an infrequent basis). Hey, to each their own. Everyone's got their own little thing. I may look like a free-spirited, eccentric hippie but I absolutely do NOT do any drugs of any sort - legal or illegal. As a result, it was often hard to make friends or hang out outside of work since we don't share the love of smoking pot. It's not much fun being with someone smoking a joint while you sit there waiting for them to finish (or step outside so you don't inadvertently get high off the second hand smoke).

And secondly, there seem to be a lot of gated communities in Kelowna. Gated communities may be common in the US, but not so much in Canada. The highest percentage of gated communities seems to be in BC. In Kelowna, there are some gated communities in nice neighbourhoods, or in rural areas and/or next to a golf/country club. That, you might expect. But I've also seen gated communities in rough neighbourhoods. There will be one street that's gated, and it looks like a nice middle to upper middle class Florida neighbourhood with well maintained houses, neatly manicured and watered lawns and gardens, nice cars in the driveways, etc. But immediately next to the gated community, it's surrounded by a rather rough neighbourhood, the lower end of lower middle class, dare I say low class. Not sure if those houses are rentals or owner occupied, and they don't look quite as bad as a borded up Detroit neighbourhood, but the lawns and houses are, for the most part, rather neglected. Old beat up cars parked on the street or in driveways. Garbage left outside. Again, just shows the contrast of the very rich and very poor in Kelowna. I could be wrong, but there does not seem to be a very large middle class in Kelowna. You're either rich or poor - not in the middle.

I heard that up until the early 2000s, real estate prices in Kelowna were still reasonable. I knew a guy who bought a 3 bedroom house in 2000 or 2001 for $135,000 and he told me, back in 2007 (the height of the real estate boom), that it was worth about $350,000. It was a very modest house on a busy road in the more working class Rutland area too. However, it seems rental prices have been more consistent. Relative to what people earn, rental prices seem to have stayed in line (sure they went up a bit, but they didn't skyrocket like for property that's purchased - be it new or resale).

Last edited by JustSomeGuy73; 07-29-2012 at 10:08 AM..
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Old 07-29-2012, 11:19 AM
 
Location: Verde Valley
4,060 posts, read 9,114,398 times
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Thanks for these helpful posts JustSomeGuy!
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Old 07-29-2012, 01:10 PM
 
Location: Toronto, ON
2,091 posts, read 1,458,410 times
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Originally Posted by adventuregurl View Post
Thanks for these helpful posts JustSomeGuy!
You're not going to take advice from just some guy are you?



Sorry, had to be said
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