Im a 23 year old female heading off to Vancouver in August. Im so excited about heading off, although other than the first irish pub I see, Iv no idea where to go to first. Suggestions on good, clean, safe but fun hostels to stay in would be greatly appreciated.
Downtown and Gasworks Vancouver to me seems the best place to live and find work. I love the buzz of cities. Dublin is far too small for me now. However I dont want to end up living in the equivilent of North inner city Dublin and becoming a satistic in Vancouver, if you know what i mean...
So any tips on where NOT to go also GREATLY appreciated.
Vancouver seems an amazing place and Im truely looking forward to the entire experience. At the moment though trying to work from Google maps and Wikipedia is more confusing than anything so Im hoping any body who has travelled, lived or just smarter than me could help me in some way
Lookin forward to responses xxx
In relation to accommodation, I stayed in both the Samesun & HI on Granville st. Samesun is more run down but more sociable than HI. HI is a much cleaner & modern building. If I was choosing again I'd stay at HI.
Johnny foxes pub is right next door to HI on Granville. Small Irish pub where you'll meet plenty of Irish people. There is also Doolins right across the road where you'll find plenty of Irish too!
The roughest part of Vancouver is down around East Hastings st. so stay away from that area. Lots of homeless & crackheads down that area.
Enjoy your stay!
Thanks so much on the tip of East Hastings st appreciate it!
can I ask did you live and work in Vancouver for a while or just visit it? Im hoping it wont take me too long to find work. Im not a huge fan of hostels so Id rather not have to more than a month in one you know...
Any suggestions on must see spots?
Thanks anyways for that help!
Yeah I was living there for a while.
The best way to find jobs & permanent accommodation is to look on the Craigslist website. It's where most employers & landlords place their adverts in Canada. Be aware though that there is also alot of scammers placing adds on Craigslist.
You should also contact/visit a temp agency to find job opportuinites. These places will often have job fairs in their offices also which are worthwhile heading along to.
Thanks so much you have been a great help.
so finally you would recommend Vancouver to live in and you enjoyed your stay there... yes?
Go Raibh mile maith agaibh
Yeah I enjoyed my stay there. I fortunately made friends & found accommodation pretty quickly which was a huge help.
Downtown Vancouver is pretty compact, so don't expect it to be a massive ciy. The transport system is very good which helps getting around & the place is very safe. East Hastings street looks like a zombie land but is still very safe compared to dodgy areas in other N American cities.
If you get bored with nightlife in the downtown area you can check out the more relaxed vibe of places like Kitsilano & Commercial Drive which are both nearby.
In terms of things to do, well the ski slopes are only 20 mins away . Whistler in the Winter is a good place to check out. You've also got the beaches in the downtown area & Kitsilano where you can top-up your tan during the summer months.
I have this grand plan to write a blog explaining the ins and outs of Vancouver to Irish people, but I keep running out of time.
Otherwise, I'd just link that.
Alright, here's the big pointers.
- Vancouver is expensive. Sort of Dublin five years ago expensive.
- Wages are actually pretty piddling. The reality is that everyone works two jobs. Even people with good jobs supplement their incomes with some other thing. Minimum wage is something like 8 or 9 dollars. Lots of places offer 12. I suspect the magic number for a living wage is about 18.
- There's a lot of money floating around (yay), but it may not float down towards you (boo)
- One of Vancouver's big mysteries is what everyone does. Everyone seems to be accountants, financiers or movie people. That's because everyone is - most of Vancouver's economy runs on big corporations putting their financial departments out here. Said employees buy condos - as do big Chinese business concerns - and drive property prices up.
- You will be living in East Vancouver. You can still find nice places cheaply (ish - very ish) on Dunbar, or in the grottier parts of Kits, or somewhere near Stanley Park, but the majority of places that are in any way affordable will be somewhere either east of Main or south of 50th.
- East Vancouver used to be the downtown. It's not anymore. Main and East Hastings is the place people think of when they think "downtown eastside" and its, as mentioned above, a ****ed up zombie apocalypse of cracked out head cases flailing around. Said flailing sorts wander up into Chinatown and into Gastown too. Neither place has a lot to recommend it after certain hours of the night. However, East Vancouver gets rather nicer anywhere ten blocks from Main and Hastings. Main Street was a tip 6 years ago; its now home to lots of nice shops, noodle places, coffee shops and young families. Fraser Street a few blocks east is following suit. There's a lot of nice cheap eateries and coffee shops and so on clustered here.
- Vancouver is a city of neighbourhoods. Downtown, like a lot of Canadian cities, is more like an open air mall than somewhere people might hang out too much. Often there's nothing downtown that can't be found closer to where you live. You could go all the way to the Winners downtown - or just hit the one on Cambie.
- Kits is nice, but rather overrated.
- Commercial drive, or The Drive, is a fascinating mix of too-expensive, too-pretentious and another tribe of flailing mad people. Oh and intense looking guys with beards and skinny jeans. Lots of expensive apartments thereabouts, usually right beside some crack house.
- If you don't like "all the Chinese" or "all them foreigners coming over here taking our jobs" you won't like Vancouver, since half the population is Chinese, and those foreigners are coming over here...giving you jobs.
- You will eat sushi. Other people go to MacDonalds when you have 7 dollars and need to eat really quickly. In Vancouver, you go to any one of the rather good and rather cheap sushi places.
- Use padmapper to find your apartment.
- You will need to pay half a month's rent in advance for a deposit. So budget about 600-700 dollars upfront.
- Get a bike. The city is full of bike paths, and its a darn sight cheaper than bussing it, or worse, getting a car.
- Get a ****ty bike, because a good one will be nicked. (Crime in Canada is pretty low-calorie, compared to, say, Dublin, but still. And bikes are a prime target)
- Try to live in the Zone 1 for public transit. Save yourself a fortune. Burnaby and Richmond are Zone 2 (and a big lump of Tallaght style bugger all in both cases) Surrey and the North Shore are Zone 3, and those are irredeemable Canadian nowheresvilles. Also, that low calorie crime I mentioned - it gets pretty high calorie in Surrey. You get news reports like "and finally 8 people were shot in a gang related drive by shooting in Surrey. Now here's Claire with the weather"
- It rains a lot. Except in summer when the sun wants to beam your eyes out.
tl;dr: Bring money, live in East Van but not the screwy bits and bring a rain coat.