What can you tell me about Victoria, BC? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 05-02-2010, 03:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DH and I are from Manitoba, and we're discussing the possibility of a move to BC. We'll be checking it out in June, and Victoria is on our list of places to see. I know Victoria is quite large, but it's a pretty big contender for us so anything you can give me would be helpful

What can you tell me about living in Victoria?
What should we make a point of seeing when we're there?

Thanks

You can check out my other threads, Fraser Valley and Courtnay/Comox - there's a little more info on what we're looking for. In terms of family friendly, natural/crunchy, job availability etc.

Wendy (26), married to my sweetheart since 2007. Mommy to Caroline, born Boxing Day 2010 by beautiful home water birth h20homebirth.gif  intactlact.gif
 
 
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#2 of 4 Old 05-02-2010, 06:06 PM
 
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We've been living in victoria for 6 years now and originally come from Saskatchewan. The weather here is great. In the summer we only get a couple weeks of hot 30+ degrees weather. The winter is rain, but sometimes we get snow (the snow is the only thing I miss). The only negative is the cost of living. You can do organic, but really have to budget. There are lots of places within driving to get the food you want. There are crunchier parts of the city ie. James Bay, Fernwood and Oak Bay come to mind.

Things to do when you come....
Moss Street Market on Saturdays starting in May 10am-2pm
Butchart Gardens
take a walk along Dallas Road (it winds its way along the ocean)
Chinatown
CFB Esquimalt's Naval Museum
Fort Rodd Hill and Fisguard Lighthouse -- a lot of history here and beautiful!
it's the Naval Centennial this year and there will be a lot of things going on in different places around town-I suggest googling that.
Witty's Lagoon during low tide (miles of beach and you can see the tide come in)

As you will find out, these are thrifty things to do, but our family loves doing these. The big thing is factoring in the cost of living when you live in Victoria. We wouldn't be able to live here if it wasn't for hubby being in the navy and living in military housing.

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#3 of 4 Old 05-03-2010, 09:51 PM
 
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Housing is expensive here, but everything else is pretty affordable. Once you get the hang of it, fresh produce is cheap, plentiful and available year-round (just don't BUY any at the Moss St. Market... fun market to hang out at, but don't shop there.) There are increasing numbers of corner grocery stores with good selections of affordable local stuff, and once you get to know people there is usually someone who wants to go halvesies on a side of beef or pork or a lamb or something, which ends up being pretty inexpensive.

Gas is pricey too, but it's a great city for cycling and the transit system is really good.

Good neighbourhoods to live in - James Bay, Vic West, Fairfield. There are decent parts in all the other neighbourhoods, but if you are crunchyish I would avoid Langford & Colwood.

Job opportunities depend on what sector you work in. Health, IT, post-secondary education, anything to do with seniors or eldercare, and volunteer organization are probably good bets.

When you're here, it would be a good idea to just explore the city and get a good feel for all the different neighbourhoods. Go to UVic and marvel at the unconstrained bunny population explosion (bring carrots) then go down to Cadboro Bay and enjoy the lovely sandy beach and the trippy cement toys. Hang out at the Dallas Rd dog park to see a good cross-section of the population, and windsurfers if it's breezy. Go to a bunch of markets - the James Bay one is fun too. Drive (or bike, if your family is up to it) up the peninsula and check out some of the little farm stores and stands (June is strawberry season!). Wander through Cook St. Village and have a pizza, Ethiopian, Thai, sushi, bakery yummies or really good coffee. Hang out on Fisherman's Wharf, eat ice cream and taunt the seals. Walk along the Ogden Pt. breakwater - or take the more challenging route down on the concrete blocks and watch for divers, otters and other marine life. Go to the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre in Sidney (NOT THE UNDERSEA GARDENS!!!) and the Scratch Patch and Sidney Museum. Go to the Royal BC Museum (cool mammoth!) Have fish & chips at Red Fish Blue Fish on the inner harbour. Go to East Sooke Park and spend a day exploring all kinds of wildernesses.

Soooo many things to do! Victoria is a fun city. I love it here - I've lived here for almost 20 years and I'm still finding new things to do. And it's WONDERFUL for kids - so many community centres with children's programs, some great schools AND a great homelearning community, many kid-friendly restaurants, lots of good playgroups, lots of playgrounds, beaches...

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#4 of 4 Old 05-04-2010, 08:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the great replies, that's a lot of good info!

Wendy (26), married to my sweetheart since 2007. Mommy to Caroline, born Boxing Day 2010 by beautiful home water birth h20homebirth.gif  intactlact.gif
 
 
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