Traveling to Vancouver/Victoria, BC

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Poeben, Jun 15, 2006.

  1. Poeben macrumors 6502

    Jul 29, 2004
    I will be traveling to Vancouver/Victoria, BC this August and was hoping some of the locals on MacRumors could help me out with a few things. First, this is not purely a vacation as I am planning to relocate there permanently (from the New York Metro area.) Here's a few of my questions:

    1. I plan to stay about one month, so I am looking to sublet a 1 BR apartment for that time. Is there anywhere in particular I should look in the Greater Vancouver Area? Anywhere to avoid? I will have to find something sight unseen and will need close access to public transportation.

    2. Here's the big one.. I will be looking for work while I am there, or at the very least make some contacts. I have been a live sound engineer for over 6 years, but in the past 2 years I have been getting more into studio and post work. Ideally I would be looking for employment at a recording/post facility or medium-large venue. I am also qualified for most stage/tech positions so I would consider other options as well. Can anyone help me out here?

    It would be cool to meet some of the members from the area while I am there. I also plan to spend a week in and around Victoria and Naniamo. I have been told that the island is nothing like the mainland, so I feel it's worth looking into. If you are interested let me know. I'm a 28 year-old male musician and Mac user...what more do you need to know?

    Thanks in advance for any help/advice.
  2. blackfox macrumors 65816


    Feb 18, 2003
    While I will let a Vancouver native speak to the best places to live (as I have always been a guest), if you are looking for a sublet, I would check out craigslist - they have a Vancouver listing, and it is a great resource.

    As for jobs, well you might ask around (locally) for potential resources and/or maybe score an under-the table job, but otherwise your best bet is getting a company to sponsor you.

    Vancouver Island is nice, btw - though only to visit.

    Good luck.
  3. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    Ooh. Challenging career choice, Poeben.

    I am a sometime recording musician, my son is a hip hop songwriter, DJ and producer, so I have first hand experience about the music industry in Vancouver and Victoria and starving young musicians.

    While there are some jobs in the industry, it is an exceedingly difficult way to make a living around here. I'm sure you know that commercial recording studios have been dropping like flies, and the majority of production is swinging to independent "bedroom" studios that don't employ professionals.

    The live scene is OK, but not thriving. Again, from the professional sound point of view the readily available jobs literally don't pay any money. Film work is off and on, in a semi-lull right now.

    There are not a lot of medium to large venues and many of those, like film shoots, are union shops.

    Gather some information from the Canadian Counsulate in NYC before planning your trip to see what is permitted on a tourist visa, and what the process is for work permits and longer stays. Generally you;re going to have to secure a job first and have the company sponsor you. You're probably not going to qualify under the "persons of unique talent" category, sadly, since we have so many out of work sound engineers.

    I don't want to say it is hopeless; of course any time someone brings together exceptional talent, promotional ability, good contacts and good luck and timing, things tend to happen.

    PM me for contact info, please let me know when you're planning to be on the Island.

  4. Leareth macrumors 68000


    Nov 11, 2004
    Rent wise avoid Vancouver in general, you can get a decent price in Burnaby, New West and Port moody, and since they are all on the skytrain line travel to downtown is less than 20min. Avoid Surrey,Delta and Langley.
    If you must live in Vancouver Proper: avoid the Downtown eastside (worst neighbourhood in Canada), Downtown core (uber expensive) and this year Commercial ( 1br went from $600 last year to $1,000 this year)
    Good areas are : City Hall ($$$ but close to everything, Uptown ( $$) Marpole ($$ but far from downtown)

    Your best bet would be a Bed and Breakfast or a month rental for hotel suite. August is the worst possible month for rentals in Vancouver due to the influx of students looking for housing, prices go up %120 from the june/july prices
    you wont get a 1br for a month at that time unless you go to one of the executive places (~$1,600-2,500 for the month)

    though I know of a decent furnished place right by Stanley park that goes for $1,000... PM for more info...
  5. quigleybc macrumors 68030


    Jun 17, 2005
    Beautiful Vancouver British Columbia, Canada
    geez....not the exactly the greatest news is

    If you're only going to be here for a month, why are you looking for work?

    spend the month enjoying the area..the only jobs I can think of that would be cool for under the table (not a canadian citizen), and would be only a month long would be construction, or being a waiter or something....a far cry from sound engineer..

    I don't have much else to add other than, the fireworks competition starts at the end of July, and it is awesome....

    And rent in downtown Vancouver can be least it is for me...another good resource is the University of BC online message boards, there are usually professors that will rent their fancy places for short spans of time, while they go live it up somewhere, that's what my parents did once when they came here for a month.
  6. Agent Smith macrumors 6502

    Agent Smith

    Mar 21, 2004
    Toronto, ON
    Born and raised in Victoria...:cool:

    I haven't been back in a while though, so I'm not sure as to advice regarding the particulars of your situation, but I can comment on a couple of things.

    1. I am very preferential to the island. It is beauty defined.

    2. The best milk I have ever tasted comes from Island Farms dairy (on Salt Spring Island, though close to Victoria). I'm not sure if the milk is readily available in the GVA, but it is in Victoria.

    3. There is a huge difference in the tap water. In Toronto/Mississauga, where I live now, the water is quite hard, as I imagine it would be in NYC. Victoria has very soft tap water. Some people don't like the change, but I find it really nice (though I did grow up with it).

    I guess it's more like a trio of comments. Sorry it's not more helpful, but I don't get to reminisce about home too often.
  7. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    That's it!

    Come for the scenery, stay for the milk!

    well. OK, it could use some fine tuning...

  8. Leareth macrumors 68000


    Nov 11, 2004
    The best time to come in the fall would be mid september at the earliest that way you miss the student renter cutthroat crowd , the weather is really warm until mid october.
    - The tap water in Vancouver actually tastes good compared to some cities I have been in.
    - mountain, ocean, mountain sloping into ocean, it one of the few places in the world where you can ski during the day and enjoy a cold one on an outdoor patio on beach in the evening...
    - Lots of organic food available if you are into that
    -lots of really really good restaurants cheap, from around the world. just in one block radius of my house there is : pizza,bakery, lebanese, mongolian, buddhist chinese, chinese X3, japanese X2, subway sandwich, KFC, Fish and Chips place, family dinner and 7 cafes. within walking distance are tons of food places. and fitness centres - yoga is really popular here right now.
    -if you are a fitness nut, seawall to run/jog/rollerblade , Grouse Grind to run up, tons of bike trails and decent rock climbing not too far out, kayaking is really good, scuba better.

    - cost of living is bloody high, rent is ridiculous, food is affordable, keeping car really expensive but the transit system is really good.
    - areas of town english is the second language. signs not in english etc
    -really high car theft rate
    -alot of homeless people
    -good paying job hard to get
    -$6 "training" wage for first 500hours with no guarentee that employer will keep you
    - this is the place where people with PhD's work at better than other jobs.

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