What are the differences between living in vancouver and edmonton – quora gas and sand

V: People are laid back and generally pleasant but it is a big city – it can feel a bit cliquey and it can take time to find your niche. Culturally diverse with large communities from Asia and South Asia. Strongly liberal-leaning – stay away if you hate organic foods or yoga.

E: There are a decent amount of concerts/art shows/ festivals to go to, especially in summer. Because of the relatively high income levels, lots of big acts come to Edmonton. Not like 20 amazing choices every weekend but there is usually something.

E: The river valley park system is very pleasant and there are world-class views of the Rockies about 4 hours away. Some parts of the city have cool old architecture. Outside of that it is pretty flat and boring. Urban/suburban sprawl transitions into highways connecting monotonous rolling farmland.

E: 8 months of cold winters interrupted by beautiful hot summers. Generally dry and sunny most of the time even when it’s cold. In the heart of winter, average temps are around -20C. If you have proper winter clothes it’s not terrible, but going outside takes preparation. The nice thing about the cold is that when it snows, the snow stays all winter – rarely slushy.

V: Moderate and rainy, overcast a lot of the time. Days below freezing are rare but winters are wet and chilly. Summers are beautiful but only about 4 weeks in the heart of summer are reliably warm and sunny. Gore-tex jackets are a must and the cuffs of your jeans are damp all the time.

They are both great places to live. If you want to maximize your income to expenses ratio (and you work in the right industries), Edmonton can offer a lot. If your focus is lifestyle (and you can find a job that pays for it), Vancouver has great things going for it.

Edmonton is a very nice city. It has a nice older section with some character buildings and neighborhoods, and a few little outdoor shopping zones with a bit of soul. (White Avenue, the “strathcona farmer’s market”, 124 Street, 118 Avenue) Emphasis on “few”. The rest are soulless indoor malls. Outdoor shopping areas are not really a “thing” in Edmonton. Probably because for 8 months of the year the outdoors is not a pleasant place to saunter around in. The arts, social, and entertainment scene in Edmonton is very lively. A lot of theatre, art galleries, live music entertainment events are there if you know where to look, and they are appreciated and well attended. People are very friendly, especially in the winter in a “we’re all in this together” sentiment.

But it is a harsh climate. Even nature: ie; the trees and other vegetation , especially outside the city, always showed evidence of how brutal and inhospitable the elements are. Outside the cities, trees generally grow only about 40 years and die, and only a few types of trees survive, besides the evergreens. Poplar trees and birches. Everywhere you drive, there are dead trees surrounded by younger live trees. I was always longing for greener, larger, lusher vegetation. I grew up in Holland, where trees grow copiously and effortlessly.

Never in all the 40 years I lived there did I come to enjoy the winters. I tried. Cross country skiing, downhill skiing, tobogganing. Nope. Didn’t work for me. Winter is just toooo long. People are always romanticizing winter. But the reality is that walking and driving conditions are perpetually treacherous and the snow is only pretty when it is falling, and maybe a day or two after. Then it becomes a salted, half melted, iced, grey/black ugly mess. Glare ice, black ice, narrowed lanes, giant piles of snow blocking your view. You can only walk where the snow was cleared (if it was cleared). Roadside landscaping can never happen because any and all plants will be killed by the salt and mud that gets sprayed and splashed ten feet on either side of the road. At the end of winter, the city is very ugly. The grit, sand, salt, dirt, and litter is revealed. Yech.

After a string of broken promises called “Spring” (it easily can, and often does, snow right up to the end of May) it is suddenly summer. But summer is glorious! I really miss the Edmonton summers. The whole city rejoices and bursts with planters full of annuals along every major street and at every business and restaurant. Citizens also go wild and quickly fill up their yards with annuals, and there are quite a few perennials that endure as well. People are happy and excited, because Edmonton has the MOST festivals of any Canadian city. Literally every summer weekend has at least one festival somewhere in the city. They are very well attended by a lot of happy and friendly people. Edmonton has a absolutely great park system all along the North Saskatchewan River that runs through it. Lots of picnicking areas and bicycle paths. The weather is awesome. It gets hot sometimes but mostly it is just pleasantly warm. Sometimes there are rainstorms that last for a few days, but they keep things green. Once in a while there is a stint of dry cloudy weather, which I always resented because the summers are short, and there’s no time to waste on dry cloudy weather. “Rain already, or go away!” But then there are the magnificent thunder and lightning storms. I miss those too.

I was in the Canadian army. Our issued kit included somewhere around 6 pairs of different styles of gloves, 5 different styles of mittens a half dozen different touques/balaclavas, other assorted winter gear including long johns, parka and windpants, snowshoes and skis. As an infanteer/paratrooper we spent a lot of time training in Arctic/winter warfare, The conditions could be pretty abysmal. I spent a bunch of time in Pettawawa and Calgary (trained in Wainwright and Suffield Alberta). There is none of the aforementioned gear that would have been in anyway necessary in Vancouver. I went for my basic para course in Edmonton, it was OCTOBER. The conditions were absolutely brutally cold and abysmal. Some of the worst I endured in seven years as an infanteer/paratrooper in the Canadian army.

Edmonton is extremely isolated and quite a ways north. It is a three hour drive to Calgary, a four hour drive to Jasper and that’s it. There is nothing else nearby. Vancouver is a ferry ride/drive to Seattle, a ferry ride to Victoria, a short jaunt to whistler and the Okanagan Valley is nearby.

Don’t get me wrong, Edmonton is a great city and I had a great time. But winter can be brutal and it is very isolated. Vancouver has a great climate, lots to do, is not nearly as isolated. One caveat, Vancouver is one of the most expensive places to live in all of Canada.

I have lived in both cities, though Edmonton has changed a lot since 1976 when I left the place. My impression of Edmonton is that it is a very friendly city. When I was there in late 60s and 70s, there were few minorities; each group was very small. Now, like any other city, minority groups are large. All types of food are available. Education standards at all levels are very high. Mountains for hiking are far away, about 5 hours drive. Cross-country skiing is common, even on the side walks in the winter. You really need to like ice sports to enjoy Edmonton. It is culturally a rich place. In the summer, it has the beauty of the prairies. It is affordable to buy a house there compared to buying one in Vancouver.

Vancouver is a very diverse city, all types of food are available. All types of sports are available here—snow in the winter, ocean in the summer. Within a few minutes one can be hiking on the mountains, there are many, well kept trails all around Metro Vancouver. Housing is expensive. Culturally, for Broadway shows, it is wanting. Education levels are high; there are two big universities, a few smaller ones, and several colleges. Public transit is quite good.