Few places in Canada, if any, garner more popularity awards than Victoria.
Condé Nast Traveler rates the BC capital among the Top 5 Cities in Canada, Amazon honours Victoria as the nation’s Most Romantic City and it won Trip Advisor’s 2013 Travelers’ Choice Award.
It’s easy to see why. Nestled peacefully on Vancouver Island, Victoria boasts Canada’s mildest climate, spectacular ocean and mountain vistas, colourful gardens that bloom all year, rainforests and abundant wildlife, including resident whales in the surrounding waters.
With its charming heritage buildings, the city serves as the metropolitan core for a region of 360,000 people. Victoria is a city of neighbourhoods, each with distinctive character, often within walking distance to parks, amenities or the scenic waterfront.
Living and rental costs in Victoria.
Victoria’s economy is based on government, tourism and high technology, as well as the many retirees attracted by a laid-back lifestyle. However, be prepared for above average living costs if you decide to rent an apartment in Victoria.
Many commodities cost more than on the mainland and house prices are Canada’s third highest after Vancouver and Toronto. As a guide, greater Victoria’s average rent for a two-bedroom apartment was $1,076 in April 2013.
Living on an island also means a social, shopping or business visit to the mainland takes more time and money. The round-trip ferry passage to Vancouver costs over $100 per car, plus about $30 for each adult passenger. Sailing time is about 90 minutes each way, not counting loading and unloading.
Rental properties available in Victoria
Victoria’s rental properties are available in many prices and sizes, from big-block high rises to luxury houses with spacious yards. Many people share an apartment to reduce costs. Where you decide to live will depend mostly on your lifestyle and income. Make sure you visit the area as well as the apartment !
Popular areas to live and rent include Gordon Head, a comfortable, middle class neighbourhood, which has been converting from single family homes to shared rental occupancies, to meet the demands of the local student population.
Victoria is also renowned for its bayside neighbourhoods. The village of Cordova Bay is a family area, with a mixture of newer and older homes. Oak Bay is considered highly desirable, but expensive, while James Bay is Victoria’s oldest residential neighbourhood. If you’re less traditional, look for rental apartments in the Cook Street Village area of Victoria, known for its restaurants, organic markets, boutiques and people watching.
If you’re planning on renting in Victoria, remember that though it has many attractions, Victoria’s a small, isolated place, which may not suit those used to bright lights and big city.
RentersPages.comcan help you find your own piece of island paradise.
Fit for families and students: schools in in Victoria
Victoria is well served with reputable universities and other public and private educational institutions.
If you’re moving to Victoria with a young family and need help choosing the right school, check out the ranking of BC’s educational institutions.
Getting around in Victoria
Downtown is an easy walk, bike, transit or car ride away from most neighbourhoods, making it easily accessible for those who like to live close to where they work and play. The city is very bicycle-friendly, with downtown bike lanes and paved paths at beaches and parks. Victoria's public transit network offers bus services throughout the metropolitan area.
Tenant’s resources for Victoria renters
The rights of tenants, roommates and landlords are well-defined in BC to ensure a fair deal in any rental arrangement.
You may be subject to a credit check with the credit bureau, and if you don’t have credit history in Canada, you may be asked for a guarantor before the landlord agrees to give you the apartment. You’ll also be asked to obtain rental insurance. Rental insurance covers you for potential accidents such as fires or flooding that may cause damage to other apartments in your building.
Before signing any documents or handing over money, make sure you’re aware of your rental rights and obligations. Read over the lease carefully, and make sure you understand if you’re responsible for things like utilities and if the apartment comes furnished or not.
If you plan on moving out before your lease expires, you’ll have to give written notice, but you can sublet or assign your lease (as long as it’s allowed in your rental agreement).
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