Edmonton vs. Vancouver: Which is better?

a woman thinking about moving to Edmonton vs. Vancouver

If you’re craving a new environment, you’ve come to the right spot! Today, we’re comparing Edmonton vs. Vancouver to help you make an informed choice before contacting any moving companies Toronto has to offer. This guide is designed for everyone, whether you’re single or have a family, a working professional, or a student. Our goal is to give you a well-rounded perspective to aid in your decision-making process.

The histories of both cities

Founded in 1795 as a fur trading post, Edmonton has grown exponentially, now standing as Alberta’s capital and one of Canada’s major cities. Historically serving as a hub for resource-based industries such as oil and gas, the city has managed to diversify its economic portfolio in recent years. Today, Edmonton is a bustling metropolitan area with an expanding technology sector and a vibrant arts community. Moreover, it’s home to several renowned educational institutions like the University of Alberta, making it an attractive destination for students and academics alike.

If you’re considering moving from Toronto to Edmonton, you’ll find the city offers a different set of opportunities. Whether you’re attracted by its entrepreneurial spirit or the access it affords to natural landscapes like the Rocky Mountains, Edmonton provides a blend of urban and rural that many find appealing.

When choosing between Edmonton vs. Vancouver, consider factors like climate, job opportunities, and cost of living.

Vancouver has a rich history, deeply influenced by the Coast Salish people before its official start in 1886. Located between mountains and the Pacific Ocean, Vancouver has become one of the top places to live in the world. Its port plays a big role in Canada’s trade, and the city is important for tech, movies, and green energy. Many different cultures live in Vancouver, making it very diverse. Its natural beauty and outdoor recreational opportunities—from skiing and mountain biking to sailing and hiking—are practically unparalleled. The city has a more temperate climate than other Canadian cities, which is a significant draw for those who prefer milder winters and enjoy outdoor activities year-round.

Climate in Edmonton vs. Vancouver

Edmonton has a distinct prairie setting, characterized by flat landscapes and big skies. This geographical layout lends itself to spectacular sunsets and starry nights that have been a source of inspiration for many. In terms of climate, Edmonton experiences cold winters and relatively warm summers. Winter temperatures can plummet to around -20°C, often accompanied by snowfall that transforms the city into a winter wonderland. However, Edmonton also enjoys more sunshine than any other Canadian city, even in the winter months. Summer temperatures are around a pleasant 20°C to 25°C, ideal for outdoor activities and festivals that the city is famous for.

In contrast, Vancouver’s location on the southwest coast of British Columbia provides a spectacular natural backdrop where mountains meet the ocean. This coastal setting not only offers unparalleled scenic beauty but also presents an array of outdoor recreational opportunities. Vancouver’s climate is milder but wetter, especially in the winter. Average winter temperatures rarely go below 0°C, although the city does experience frequent rainfall. Summers are generally mild, with temperatures ranging from 20°C to 25°C. Furthermore, the moderate climate allows for a variety of year-round outdoor activities and a plethora of beautiful gardens and parks that stay green throughout the year. If you’re considering moving from Toronto to Vancouver, it’s essential to note that Vancouver’s milder, albeit rainier, climate might be an attractive option if you find Edmonton’s winters too harsh.

Economy and job opportunities

Traditionally, Edmonton has been a powerhouse in the oil and gas sector, which continues to be a significant employer in the region. However, the city has made concerted efforts to diversify its economy in recent years. The public sector also plays a pivotal role, with institutions like the University of Alberta providing substantial employment opportunities. Additionally, there’s a growing focus on technology, healthcare, and renewable energy sectors, making the job market increasingly multifaceted.

In terms of competition, Edmonton is somewhat less saturated than other major Canadian cities. This can make for a smoother job search experience. Average salaries are competitive, with a median household income of around CAD 93,000. Furthermore, Edmonton’s cost of living is relatively lower than in Vancouver, which allows for a more comfortable standard of living.

Edmonton’s robust economy and relatively lower cost of living make it an appealing option for those looking for both professional growth and affordability.

Vancouver’s economic landscape is considerably diversified. Tech companies, both startups and established giants, have a significant presence here. The city is also a hub for the film industry, often dubbed “Hollywood North,” which provides numerous job opportunities in various creative fields. Tourism is another key industry, along with international trade due to its strategic port location.

When it comes to the job market, competition can be fierce, especially in high-demand sectors like technology and creative fields. Average salaries are relatively high, with a median household income of approximately CAD 76,000. However, it’s essential to factor in Vancouver’s higher cost of living, which can offset the seemingly attractive income levels. Whether you’re contemplating relocating with interprovincial movers to transition from one city to another, understanding each city’s economic underpinnings is critical.

Housing and cost of living

In Edmonton, housing remains one of its most attractive features, particularly for those looking to buy. As of the latest data, the average home price stands at around CAD 375,000, significantly lower than in Vancouver. Renting is also relatively more affordable, with the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center hovering around CAD 1,100 per month.

  • The cost of goods, services, and utilities in Edmonton is generally lower compared to Vancouver.
  • Average monthly utility bills can amount to approximately CAD 200–250, and grocery prices are quite reasonable.
  • This financial breathing room contributes to a higher disposable income, which can enrich your quality of life.

On the flip side, Vancouver is one of Canada’s most expensive cities, reflected in its high housing costs. The average price of a home here can exceed CAD 1 million, a significant consideration for potential buyers. Renting doesn’t offer much relief either. The average cost for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center is about CAD 2,200 per month. Additionally, the general cost of living in Vancouver, including goods, services, and utilities, is higher. Average monthly utility bills typically run between CAD 250–300. Grocery prices can be up to 15-20% higher than in Edmonton. These expenses have a tangible impact on disposable income and should be meticulously factored into any decision to move.

Vancouver at night
Vancouver’s scenic beauty and diverse job market attract many, but it comes with a higher cost of living that should not be overlooked.

Taking the next steps in your relocation journey

When considering Edmonton vs. Vancouver for your next home, each city presents its own appeal. It’s a matter of what aligns most closely with your aspirations and lifestyle choices. In the end, the key to a successful relocation is thoughtful planning and deep introspection. So take the time to weigh your options carefully, after all, this is a journey to find not just a new home, but also a community where you can truly thrive. Best of luck in charting your course to a fulfilling future!