Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: the great white north
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I lived in the Lower Mainland five years back (just outside of Greater Vancouver) and I can give you a few ideas, anyway, though I haven't lived in Toronto, but I have family in Southern Ontario.
A few things to consider when deciding where to live:
Housing in Vancouver is very, very expensive, so I would look in the surrounding areas.
Public transit is not as efficient as it is in Toronto, although it is fairly easy to get into Vancouver if you are near a skytrain line. But unless they've extended it since I was there, the skytrain only goes to the edge of Vancouver. So, we used to live in Langley and I taught in Surrey and my husband was doing school and internships at UBC and in downtown Vancouver. We drove 45 min to get to the skytrain, then he had another hour and fifteen minutes to get from there to UBC.
If your dh would be driving to work you don't want to be crossing a bridge going with the majority of traffic during rush hour if you can help it. There are not enough bridges, and they get backed up like crazy, even if there are no accidents or stalls. But if you are going away from traffic (like, in Surrey there were a lot of teachers that commuted FROM Vancouver) it is not so bad.
That being said, most of the suburbs of Vancouver have a real focus on preserving green spaces, which means it is easy to find places to walk / hike / jog almost anywhere you live. The weather is beautiful, once you get used to the rain. There are a lot of cool, crunchy people once you find them.
I can't give you any actual info on housing prices or cost of living because I haven't lived there recently, but I hope that helps.
Jill , mom to Andrew (09/04), Aaron(01/07), and Emma (11/09)