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Old 12-16-2011, 07:30 PM
EBK EBK started this thread
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We (my wife, our 8 y.o. son and myself) live in Vancouver BC, Canada. Now we have an opportunity to permanently move to the US. We did quite a bit of research and singled out San Diego as a potential place where we would like to settle down.

Here's the issue though: there is no compelling reason for us to move other than over the years we grew tired of Vancouver cold and rainy weather.

The main concerns I have about moving to SD are:
- Quality of public education in SD schools
- Drug usage at schools
- Personal safety
- Medical care
- Environmental issues, e.g. air pollution, water quality, etc.

I am really not concerned about high cost of living in SD (well, I am but it's probably even move expensive to live in Vancouver) or employment (I'll not move unless I have a good offer).

Has anyone moved to SD from BC? Can you share your experience? What are the pros and cons living in Vancouver vs. SD?
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Old 12-16-2011, 07:52 PM
Location: Coastal San Diego
5,024 posts, read 7,527,058 times
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Moving from Canada to the USA has it's unique challenges. If you search this forum, you'll find several Canada-related threads.

There is a poster named 'mricu' who did make the move from Canada about 2 years ago. I think he still posts here. If he doesn't reply to this thread, you can probably send him a private message.
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Old 12-16-2011, 11:40 PM
Location: SoCal
681 posts, read 2,790,677 times
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I moved from Canada to the US 2 years ago.

There are pluses and minuses of course.

I don't have first hand experience with the first two items regarding schools so I won't comment on those, but as for the last three items the following are my two cents:

Personal Safety:
- I have never personally felt unsafe in any part of the city day or night. That being said, I have heard others with some parts of downtown at night (usually remote areas) as well as some parts of National City. But keep in mind, just like any city anywhere in the world, there will always be good and bad. You will find that San Diego is either just as safe or more safe then any of the major cities in Canada.

Medical Care:
- Be prepared to be frustrated and confused about medical care here in versus in Canada. I still haven't really gotten the hang of it and prefer the Canadian system much better. It is pretty costly, but if you have an employer based insurance, it can be a bit more affordable. I have used Etna Health Care (PPO) and Kaiser (HMO). Both have good and bad points ... this one is more of a personal choice as well. Insurance coverage for one person/family may not be ideal for another person/family. Also, it is nearly impossible to compare apples to apples ... so choose your fruit wisely :-)

Environmental Issues:
- Haven't had much issues with anything. Pollution is there on some days, but again, just as much or less than the major Canadian Cities. The water in the city is hard water so you'll get scale and lime build up everywhere. The taste of the water is also not as palattable as those found in Canada. Not sure if Van City has flouride in their water, but San Diego recently introduced it in some parts of their system, but not in the amount found in the Canadian systems.
- The ocean water's are crystal clear and not really polluted at all so that is a really big bonus.

Hope that helps.
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Old 12-17-2011, 12:11 AM
124 posts, read 331,725 times
Reputation: 112
I'm just going to be quick since I have some chores to do... but I figured I should chime in a bit.

While I did live in BC (North Van, to be exact) for 2 years, I lived in Seattle for another 2 years before moving to SD County for 1.5 years before moving up to Temecula. So it's not really a straight BC to SD move.

Anyway, with schools... I have to say it depends on the school district and even on the particular school within the district. SD is pretty huge so there's a lot of good and bad places. Usually, the best school districts (Poway and San Dieguito) are in the North County area... which is suburban. Think West Van and North Van.

I'm pretty sure the others will have better answers to the other questions.

As for medical care... I personally prefer here than in BC. I don't know why but it was so hard for me to find a doctor while I was living there. I actually didn't get to see a doctor the entire 2 years... it seems like the places I've called are full and weren't accepting any new patients. My insurance comes from my husband's employer but when he went through a period of unemployment, we bought our insurance through Kaiser for about $400/month for a family of 3. Definitely a lot more than the $54/month I was paying as a single person in BC.... but I was able to see a doctor every time I needed to.

Sorry I can't be of much help... but I just wanted to chime in a bit since I've lived in both places.

One thing though is the lack of a good bus/public transportation system in SD. You really need to drive here. I miss just hopping on the bus from North Van, taking the SeaBus and then the SkyTrain to be where I want to be in Vancouver... and not have to worry about parking downtown. Like, my parents now live in the Joyce/Collingwood area. I like just taking the SkyTrain to go to Metrotown and not have to circle around the parking lot looking for a space.
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Old 12-18-2011, 01:36 AM
EBK EBK started this thread
2 posts, read 4,157 times
Reputation: 10

Great, valuable info. Thanks a lot for taking time to reply to my post!
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