Author Topic: Mustachian cities in Canada  (Read 21481 times)

tomatoprincess

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Mustachian cities in Canada
« on: March 09, 2013, 06:10:45 PM »
I want people's opinions on where in Canada has good mustachian living. 

I'm a young mid 20s medical professional, who could work anywhere. I am looking for a place that is multicultural, has a good public transit system, close to international airport and variety of housing options (condos, detached, semi).

I currently live in Toronto, so the reason I'm thinking of re-locating is the housing expenses. I am in no hurry to own a home, but if I want to in the future, Toronto is not a good option.

Suggestions?

Wiggle

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Re: Mustachian cities in Canada
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2013, 08:14:57 PM »
Currently I'm in Halifax.  I was speaking to a friend of mine who lives in Vancouver and was shocked at how expensive it was to live there (real estate especially) considering that the salaries are not much greater.  Halifax is not bad, coming from a small town the housing prices seem high but compared to other cities it seems reasonable.

mobilisinmobili

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Re: Mustachian cities in Canada
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2013, 01:43:55 PM »
I want people's opinions on where in Canada has good mustachian living. 

I'm a young mid 20s medical professional, who could work anywhere. I am looking for a place that is multicultural, has a good public transit system, close to international airport and variety of housing options (condos, detached, semi).

I currently live in Toronto, so the reason I'm thinking of re-locating is the housing expenses. I am in no hurry to own a home, but if I want to in the future, Toronto is not a good option.

Suggestions?

For multilculturalism, low real-estate costs, good transit, international airport and housing options.. really the only option is Montreal.

Vancouver meets all of these but no cheap housing.
Calgary / Edmonton - not terribly multicultural, transit is awful. Edmonton not an air hub.
Toronto meets all of these but no cheap housing.
No other international airports in Canada really.. except Ottawa.. and I wouldn't recommend people moving to Ottawa.

How's your French? ;)

tomatoprincess

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Re: Mustachian cities in Canada
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2013, 03:16:31 PM »
My French is pretty awful, despite going through years of French in elementary.

Montreal is actually one of my favourite cities in Canada! I would move there in an instant if not for the language problem, I know English is passable for most people, and a lot of people living there actually don't speak French. I am a vet however, and I don't know if too many clinics would hire an associate that could only speak half the language.

I guess you can't have everything, would taking international airport off the list give me more options? The only reason it's on the list is because my family is not all in Canada, but it's not like I can't fly to an international airport.

The transit system is actually on the list for me cause I visited some friends in Montreal and really enjoyed not having to drive everywhere! Perhaps I should move to Montreal...

mobilisinmobili

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Re: Mustachian cities in Canada
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2013, 04:12:52 PM »
My French is pretty awful, despite going through years of French in elementary.

Montreal is actually one of my favourite cities in Canada! I would move there in an instant if not for the language problem, I know English is passable for most people, and a lot of people living there actually don't speak French. I am a vet however, and I don't know if too many clinics would hire an associate that could only speak half the language.

I guess you can't have everything, would taking international airport off the list give me more options? The only reason it's on the list is because my family is not all in Canada, but it's not like I can't fly to an international airport.

The transit system is actually on the list for me cause I visited some friends in Montreal and really enjoyed not having to drive everywhere! Perhaps I should move to Montreal...

There's a few options.. language lessons.. you don't necessarily need a massive vocabulary for certain kinds of things.

Otherwise I'd contact some vet clinics in predominantly Anglophone neighbourhoods to see what's possible. Alternatively maybe you could get a Montreal contact through your professional association (I imagine there is one for vets) to give you the lay of the land in terms of how that would play out in Montreal.

Dee

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Re: Mustachian cities in Canada
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2013, 04:38:41 PM »
Of course the downside of Montreal (that is, of the whole of the province of Quebec) during your earning years is often the income tax, which can be significantly more depending on life circumstances (i.e. availability of credits).

Self-employed-swami

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Re: Mustachian cities in Canada
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2013, 04:43:16 PM »
I was also going to suggest Montreal as well.  I love Montreal, and I would live there in a heartbeat.

mobilisinmobili

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Re: Mustachian cities in Canada
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2013, 05:44:15 PM »
Of course the downside of Montreal (that is, of the whole of the province of Quebec) during your earning years is often the income tax, which can be significantly more depending on life circumstances (i.e. availability of credits).

No way I'm going to argue that point. It can be brutal at times.

Although a lot comes off the top of my pay for company stock, pension, health insurance as well. Automated saving.

It would be interesting to see someone run the numbers to see whether it would even out in terms of higher income tax vs. lower cost of living.

fuzzed

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Re: Mustachian cities in Canada
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2013, 06:22:48 PM »

No other international airports in Canada really.. except Ottawa.. and I wouldn't recommend people moving to Ottawa.

Not meaning to hijack the thread, why not Ottawa?  Just curious, not looking to argue.
From where I am in flat Tim Hortons belt of SW Ontario, Ottawa seems like a pretty good spot.

Self-employed-swami

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Re: Mustachian cities in Canada
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2013, 06:46:43 PM »


No other international airports in Canada really.. except Ottawa.. and I wouldn't recommend people moving to Ottawa.

Calgary, Vancouver, Winnipeg and Halifax are international airports as well. Im sure I missed a few others as well.

Kazimieras

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Re: Mustachian cities in Canada
« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2013, 11:41:16 AM »
I'm from Ottawa so I would give the city a bit of a nod as a place to live. The transit in the city is improving (still not great, but sadly much better than many other large cities in Canada) and housing prices are reasonable. They are more expensive than the East Coast, but cheaper than going out West. Unlike Toronto, Ottawa doesn't experience upswings and downswings as much because of the federal government. The biking in Ottawa is great though. We have a large number of paths (mostly for recreation), although more commuting is happening too. The airport is "international" but you may have to hop through TO or MTL in some cases. If you look at Ottawa, the west-end of the city is anglo, whereas the east is traditionally more franco. You can easily get by here with no French, just do not expect a job with the federal government if you can't. Many large multinationals (that are actually in Ottawa) do not require French.

Montreal is a great choice, although the taxes are a killer. My friend and I ran the numbers for Quebec (he's in Montreal) and you will lose due to the higher rates as compared to the rest of the country.

tomatoprincess

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Re: Mustachian cities in Canada
« Reply #11 on: March 11, 2013, 12:09:04 PM »
I think my problem is I haven't been to these cities besides Montreal and Ottawa. Perhaps time for a road trip! or a lot of Googling...

Kaz, what's the actual housing prices like, for say a 2 bedroom condo, or a small house?


mobilisinmobili

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Re: Mustachian cities in Canada
« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2013, 01:17:43 PM »


No other international airports in Canada really.. except Ottawa.. and I wouldn't recommend people moving to Ottawa.

Calgary, Vancouver, Winnipeg and Halifax are international airports as well. Im sure I missed a few others as well.

I guess it depends on what you're wanting out of an international airport, but you're not going to have much of a selection of international flights except from Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal, Toronto.

higginst

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Re: Mustachian cities in Canada
« Reply #13 on: March 11, 2013, 04:29:11 PM »
Well, why don't I jump in with a totally contrarian view?

The main limiting factor you have is the international airport requirement. The multiculturalism to a lesser extent.  Why is it so important to be in the same metropolitan area as the international airport?

What I would look at if I were you is living in a smaller center with an airport that is not international and simply have connecting flights to get where you need to go. If you're doing international travel anyway (10+ hours), having to allocate an extra 3 or 4 hours for the connecting domestic flight to the international airport of choice shouldn't be to big a deal. Plus, if you live in smaller town, it's easy to find affordable housing that is within walking/biking distance of the ammenities available, making public transit unneccessary.  I know in BC where I live, there are also salary/tax benefits for medical professionals living outside the big cities. 

Living in small-town BC has made our lives effortlessly affordable, even when we had to survive on my $30k annual salary with my wife still in full-time school, which is with owing our own home!  Think of the savings possibilities for someone with a salary like yours.

mobilisinmobili

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Re: Mustachian cities in Canada
« Reply #14 on: March 11, 2013, 05:29:20 PM »
That's a great point actually, higgins.

I think more details from the original poster on the frequency/duration of their travel would be useful. If you're only doing 1-2 trips a year you don't really NEED to be next to a huge hub.. the extra it will cost for flights, you'll save in other things.

Other the other hands.. the other requirements listed make it sound like the original poster wants to live in a larger city.

totoro

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Re: Mustachian cities in Canada
« Reply #15 on: March 11, 2013, 05:54:32 PM »
I agree with smalltown bc.  If you travel lots why do you need a multicultural environment?  Just checking...  I mean, what culture exactly?  Most small towns have lots of immigrants from various spots - Vietnam in the early 80s, Portugal in the early 70s, India 80s to now...

Also, you can fly from Kamloops, Penticton, Kelowna, Comox, etc... many spots to international destinations with a short commuter (30min) flight.  Finally, Victoria, where I live is expensive, but just up island is not. There are loads of very cheap flights to all sorts of destinations from Seattle which is a ferry ride away from Victoria.

As for Montreal, I lived there and it was great but winter is cold and long and lots of snow.  Summer is hot and humid.  How much does climate factor in?

swiper

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Re: Mustachian cities in Canada
« Reply #16 on: March 11, 2013, 06:18:36 PM »
Relevant to the Quebec taxes and "running the numbers" :  http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/story/2010/03/12/gatineau-ottawa-housing-families-children-costs.html

I moved from Ottawa to Aylmer (Gatineau), bought a large home so likely not the smartest FI move.


tomatoprincess

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Re: Mustachian cities in Canada
« Reply #17 on: March 11, 2013, 10:35:55 PM »
Thank you for all the replies, they're really helpful!

None of the requirements are absolute necessities in my life, as I've lived without them before and I've been fine, but it's nice things to have. I'll explain a little bit about each one.

International airport, this would be the least thing I would consider, as you're right that most travels I am transferring at other airports anyways. I travel to other countries twice a year, I see this going up as I enjoy it.

Multicultural, I would really like to keep this option, as I am Chinese and I typically date more Asians. Not a rule I have, just more attracted to them. Also I enjoy having familiar culture around, it's what I'm used to. I'm not objected to living some place I'm not used to though.

Weather does factor in somewhat, I really like beach weather all year round. Any place in Canada for that? =P

totoro

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Re: Mustachian cities in Canada
« Reply #18 on: March 12, 2013, 06:09:35 AM »
I'd say Victoria fits your request pretty good except for higher than average house prices. 

theredviper

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Re: Mustachian cities in Canada
« Reply #19 on: March 12, 2013, 12:06:46 PM »
Vancouver "housing" is only expensive if you buy.  There are many decent areas with relatively decent rental rates.  As a bonus you aren't paying through the nose for heating and cooling like you might across other parts of the country.

Kazimieras

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Re: Mustachian cities in Canada
« Reply #20 on: March 12, 2013, 01:17:39 PM »
Kaz, what's the actual housing prices like, for say a 2 bedroom condo, or a small house?

For a 2 bedroom condo (with office) 420-460k is about market rate (can be higher if the place is brand new). A 3 bedroom house (semi) in decent shape runs about 420-460k if you want to be within 15 minute walking distance of parliament hill. If you do think of Ottawa the trendy areas are right now Westboro (overpriced) and Hintonberg (starting to become too hot for my liking). Our Chinatown (technically a mix of China and Vietnam mostly) has some decent places too that are wanting a bit of work done on them and can be a great deal.

If you want a house in the burbs expect 350-370k for a 3 bedroom new house, but I'd avoid if you can since transit there isn't nearly as good.

higginst

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Re: Mustachian cities in Canada
« Reply #21 on: March 13, 2013, 10:28:27 AM »
It's true that Victoria has the warmest average temperature in Canada. It also has noticeably less rain than it's big city neighbour, Vancouver, across the straight.  However, from what I've read on local forums, the rest of Canada/the World has caught on to this and it can be tough to find work.  I don't have any knowledge on the Chinese or Asian community.  The public transit system is not good but there are some good biking trails.  Living on island is very inconvenient (and costly) if you want/need to travel to the mainland on a regular basis.

The desire to find suitable partners to date does change the parameters considerably. If you were just looking for people of similiar cultural/ethnic background to hang out with and become part of the community, I know there are active communities in many small towns.  However, the communities are not overly large, and I can see why you'd want to have a bit more seletion if you're trying to find your Mustachioed Mate.  So, maybe take a look at Richmond: HUGE Asian population, the international airport is actually in Richmond (not Vancouver), and public transit has really improved mostly due to the 2010 Olympics. There are also lots of local farms and markets, so there's opportunity for Mustachianism there.  The housing prices are appalling by my "small-town" standards (detached SFD start at $600k and go up quickly), but there are small condos for much less and as theredviper mentioned, renting can be a more fiscally sound option.

totoro

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Re: Mustachian cities in Canada
« Reply #22 on: March 13, 2013, 01:27:11 PM »
I think Richmond is good too.

As far as Victoria goes, I live here.  There is a lot of work in the medical field. 

There is a large Asian/Chinese community and a Chinatown - but nowhere near to Richmond. 

The public transit system is quite good. 

You do need to take a ferry to the mainland if you drive which costs about $70 each way.  I take it for work trips but don't do it very often otherwise because, at 300,000, greater Victoria is large enough for everything but an Ikea. 

If you are flying then we have an international airport here with connections every hour to Vancouver (15mins).  You can also take a ferry to Seattle for super-cheap international flights.

The Taminator

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Re: Mustachian cities in Canada
« Reply #23 on: March 13, 2013, 01:50:48 PM »
...

As far as Victoria goes, I live here.  There is a lot of work in the medical field. 

There is a large Asian/Chinese community and a Chinatown - but nowhere near to Richmond. 

The public transit system is quite good. 

You do need to take a ferry to the mainland if you drive which costs about $70 each way.  I take it for work trips but don't do it very often otherwise because, at 300,000, greater Victoria is large enough for everything but an Ikea. 

If you are flying then we have an international airport here with connections every hour to Vancouver (15mins).  You can also take a ferry to Seattle for super-cheap international flights.

You are making Victoria sound wonderful. I'm putting it on my list of places to investigate retiring to.

totoro

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Re: Mustachian cities in Canada
« Reply #24 on: March 13, 2013, 01:56:26 PM »
Ahhh... yes.  The catch is house prices.  When I look back to the original post I see that house prices were the number one reason to leave TO.  Victoria has high house prices - median is $550 000.....  Retirement spots are cheaper up island and pretty nice though - check out Parksville, Qualicum or Comox.

The Taminator

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Re: Mustachian cities in Canada
« Reply #25 on: March 13, 2013, 02:04:04 PM »
totoro, I would be leaving for warmer weather and a "small town feel". Somehow I think I might want that more when I'm older. I'm not leaving TO/retiring any time soon I'm afraid (bad younger self tsk tsk).

mobilisinmobili

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Re: Mustachian cities in Canada
« Reply #26 on: March 14, 2013, 04:20:35 PM »
I lived in Victoria for 7 years.. it is a nice and beautiful little city. Getting off the island for travel can be a pain, depending on cost. (Harbour to harbour floatplane being the awesomest) Otherwise you have to ferry or fly out of Victoria International - which definitely adds time/cost to the trip.

If you like the big city though.. it can be a little too quiet.

tomatoprincess

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Re: Mustachian cities in Canada
« Reply #27 on: March 14, 2013, 08:05:57 PM »
Thanks for the great replies! I may ask more questions about specific cities as I start searching!

Richard

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Re: Mustachian cities in Canada
« Reply #28 on: March 15, 2013, 12:00:41 PM »
I usually only go on the forums to read posts but Im going to make my debut post here as I see a surprisingly high number of parallels between your situation and mine.

Like you, I'm chinese and in the healthcare profession (not a vet though), from Toronto and wish to stay near the chinese community there. My situation is a bit more unfortunate in that any major city is saturated in terms of jobs for what im in and the money/experience is initially in rural areas/small town Canada for new graduates. I did a small bit of research/anecdote searching, and found a couple pointers wrt to rural areas:

- People are nicer there (stereotype?)
- housing costs are significantly lower
- healthcare professionals are in greater need vs large cities, are exposed to a greater scope of practice and are given better renumeration (not sure if this applies to vets)
- if you do miss major cities and wish to go back often (lets use Toronto as an example), then relocating near an airport with direct flights to the city would help (i.e Timmins, Thunder Bay in Ontario).

Just a perspective FYI if in case you are thinking of taking a more unconventional/extreme route.



tomatoprincess

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Re: Mustachian cities in Canada
« Reply #29 on: March 15, 2013, 07:07:00 PM »
Richard, I did my externship up in Timmins, I didn't mind the location ( for a summer) and enjoyed having everything close by, so you may be onto something.

The other hurdle I have to get over is being far from family...

Richard

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Re: Mustachian cities in Canada
« Reply #30 on: April 06, 2013, 09:15:59 PM »
Oh wow, you already know what its like up there! Is being away from family generally a very important factor to deal with?

GP

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Re: Mustachian cities in Canada
« Reply #31 on: April 11, 2013, 08:37:58 AM »
Living in small-town BC has made our lives effortlessly affordable,

Effortlessly affordable I like the sound of!  Whereabouts in BC are these small towns?

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Re: Mustachian cities in Canada
« Reply #32 on: April 11, 2013, 09:06:59 AM »
How about Hamilton?

It's worth a look. There are some nice areas there, housing costs are way down from Toronto, it's quite multicultural and sort of a university town (lots of young people) near McMaster, and close enough to Toronto for the airport and other big city amenities.

tomatoprincess

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Re: Mustachian cities in Canada
« Reply #33 on: April 11, 2013, 04:39:31 PM »
I didn't think about Hamilton, I had a friend in uni who was from Hamilton, and I heard the pollution there is quite bad. Don't know if this is true...

Deano

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Re: Mustachian cities in Canada
« Reply #34 on: April 11, 2013, 05:58:56 PM »
Hmm, no Hamilton is not bad with pollution. People think that because of two reasons, when you're on the escarpment you can see the smog on a hot day in the summer and when you drive by on the highway you see Stelco (or its remnants). The stats show that Kitchener-Waterloo and Oshawa are worse than Hamilton for smog/pollution.

Hamilton would be the #1 choice. A great system of hospitals, close to transit, close to Pearson, beautiful homes on the cheap (or pricey if you go West Ham/Dundas), a bit of cafe culture, the occasional hipster for flavour along with a blue collar backbone that gives it a "real" city feel. It really is the best kept secret among those from southern Ontario.


StarswirlTheMustached

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Re: Mustachian cities in Canada
« Reply #35 on: April 12, 2013, 09:04:12 AM »
I usually only go on the forums to read posts but Im going to make my debut post here as I see a surprisingly high number of parallels between your situation and mine.

Like you, I'm chinese and in the healthcare profession (not a vet though), from Toronto and wish to stay near the chinese community there. My situation is a bit more unfortunate in that any major city is saturated in terms of jobs for what im in and the money/experience is initially in rural areas/small town Canada for new graduates. I did a small bit of research/anecdote searching, and found a couple pointers wrt to rural areas:

- People are nicer there (stereotype?)
- housing costs are significantly lower
- healthcare professionals are in greater need vs large cities, are exposed to a greater scope of practice and are given better renumeration (not sure if this applies to vets)
- if you do miss major cities and wish to go back often (lets use Toronto as an example), then relocating near an airport with direct flights to the city would help (i.e Timmins, Thunder Bay in Ontario).

Just a perspective FYI if in case you are thinking of taking a more unconventional/extreme route.

You could try Sudbury or North Bay. Both are further south and larger than Timmins, and university towns (Laurentian and Nipissing, respectively) , but still have plenty of rural hinterland to practice your trade in.  We're small enough that we're dying for doctors, I know that!  I figure there is an active Chinese community in Sudbury, from all the flyers I see in Chinese around here,but I could not tell you the size. I suspect that's true of North Bay as well. A direct flight from Sudbury to TO is about 45 minutes. 

higginst

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Re: Mustachian cities in Canada
« Reply #36 on: April 12, 2013, 04:57:47 PM »
Living in small-town BC has made our lives effortlessly affordable,

Effortlessly affordable I like the sound of!  Whereabouts in BC are these small towns?

Well, I guess the catch would be our lives effortlessly affordable.  Meaning, you'd have to have the same priorities/tastes as we do. That being said, if you want to minimize housing costs, there is a much greater opportunity to this in a small town, rather than a big one (obviously, I guess).

The main factor was our house which we purchased for $70,000. Granted, it was a fixer-upper and needed/needs quite a bit of work but there is no opportunity in the greater Vancouver area, Victoria, etc. There are plenty of options at $150,000 or less. While they may not be fancy, these represent a game-changing decrease from costs in larger areas.  If you're interested, just go to the MLS.ca site and just zoom into different areas of the province on the map. But I'm sure that this holds for other provinces/countries. The further away you go from where "everybody" wants to be, the less it's going to cost. "A peak life is lived off-peak" - MMM ;)

BPA

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Re: Mustachian cities in Canada
« Reply #37 on: April 13, 2013, 11:50:06 AM »
I am looking for a place that is multicultural, has a good public transit system, close to international airport and variety of housing options (condos, detached, semi).
Suggestions?

What about the Hammer or one of its suburbs?  Close enough to Pearson (being west of Toronto) and despite the fact that it is ugly as fuck when you drive over the QEW, it's actually quite nice in spots.  The public transit system is really good.  Lots of bike trails too.  Lots of housing options and way, way, way cheaper than most bigger cities.  It's only an hour by GO bus to Toronto.  It's also very multi-cultural (depending on which area you'd choose to settle in).

I do love living here but my Toronto friends mostly turn their nose up at it.  Fine...keep renting your basement Scarborough apartments for more than what my mortgage is, I say.  ;)

totoro

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Re: Mustachian cities in Canada
« Reply #38 on: April 14, 2013, 07:43:28 PM »
I know of few places in BC where you can buy a home for $70,000.  Maybe if you are up North around 100 mile or higher.  Most of Southern BC is much higher than this, or the home is a mobile home.  I'm not a fan of Northern BC myself and I have spent plenty of time up there.  That said, for $70,000 for a house your life could become pretty effortless.

Snowboard junkie

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Re: Mustachian cities in Canada
« Reply #39 on: April 14, 2013, 09:05:40 PM »
Consider outskirts of victoria (langford, esquimault) , or some of the small towns up the malahat.  (Duncan, Chemainus, Saltspring, Maple Bay)

The housing costs are lower.  Driving  to Victoria is easy.  Ferries to Vancouver are convenient (Victoria / Nanaimo).  Floatplane to Vancouver from Maple Bay is quick and easy.

NB - Medical facilities in many of these locations are older and may not have everything you're used to, which may be an issue for you.

totoro

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Re: Mustachian cities in Canada
« Reply #40 on: April 16, 2013, 09:33:07 AM »
Langford and Esquimalt have median house prices around $500 000.  You are not going to find anything for $70 000 in this area, not even a lot.  The commute from either of these places to Victoria is not easy, it is known as the "Colwood Crawl" and, from my point of view, extremely slow and something you could not pay me to do on a regular basis. 

Duncan, Maple Bay and Chemainus are lower priced, but not below $300 000.  The commute from any of these places to Victoria is not easy as you add the Malahat to the Colwood Crawl.  The Malahat is very dangerous in winter and has been the site of many fatal accidents due to black ice combined with steep slopes and sharp curves.   Salt Spring island is more than Duncan and you would have to be willing to ferry in and out.

mobilisinmobili

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Re: Mustachian cities in Canada
« Reply #41 on: April 16, 2013, 11:19:23 AM »
Langford and Esquimalt have median house prices around $500 000.  You are not going to find anything for $70 000 in this area, not even a lot.  The commute from either of these places to Victoria is not easy, it is known as the "Colwood Crawl" and, from my point of view, extremely slow and something you could not pay me to do on a regular basis. 

Duncan, Maple Bay and Chemainus are lower priced, but not below $300 000.  The commute from any of these places to Victoria is not easy as you add the Malahat to the Colwood Crawl.  The Malahat is very dangerous in winter and has been the site of many fatal accidents due to black ice combined with steep slopes and sharp curves.   Salt Spring island is more than Duncan and you would have to be willing to ferry in and out.

Agreed. You could maybe try a town where the local economy was devastated like Gold River or something. The commute into Victoria isn' worth doing and you must drive.

Lots of the oil money in AB has been buying up all the housing in BC. You could probably get a condo in a tiny town in the middle of nowhere like Clearwater or something for 70,000. Or a shack on a lot and build. But it probably won't be easy to find, and you'll have to live with the consequences of being far from major centres.

higginst

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Re: Mustachian cities in Canada
« Reply #42 on: April 16, 2013, 03:48:37 PM »
Yup, cheap, small towns are very far away from large centers.  That being said, people still have happy lives in them and you have much better access to all sorts of mustachian things (local farms, hunting areas, fishing opportunities, your own garden, Endless nature). 

I definitely do not advise buying in a really inexpensive place in order to commute a long distance to another, but if you can get the employment situation figured out, there really is a lot of opportunity.  I've lived in Northern BC my entire life and loved it. Others may not, and fair enough.  But I could sell my current home for $1, (taking a loss for the entire value) and buy a beautifully renovated character 3 bdrm 1 and 1/2 bath home in the best neighbourhood in my town for $275,000 and still have less (around $375,000) in capital sunk into my housing costs than people spend on "starter" detached homes in Toronto, Vancouver, Victoria, etc. Or even that of MMM.  So, if you're not to tied to your current location and/or employment, I really recommend people look into smaller towns.

totoro

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Re: Mustachian cities in Canada
« Reply #43 on: April 22, 2013, 10:10:04 AM »
Yes, except a house is an asset and well-paying jobs are harder to come by in tiny towns.

If you buy that home in a tiny town with no amenities or one sawmill the chances of land appreciation are low and depreciation are high.  In Victoria BC the 20-year average for appreciation is 4% - that is an inflation-adjusted $20,000/year on, say, a $500 000 home and keeps rising over the long term. 

Not saying small town cannot work great but building equity first somewhere else might be better.

tongzhi

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Re: Mustachian cities in Canada
« Reply #44 on: April 24, 2013, 01:29:35 AM »
The problem with living in Canada is that 99% of the country is frozen over by December. Pretty much every low cost city in Canada entails spending 5 months of the year alternating between stale indoor air and dry nostril-sticking cold. The few places where this isn't the case (West Coast) have housing costs that rival those of most high cost centers anywhere else.

tuyop

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Re: Mustachian cities in Canada
« Reply #45 on: April 24, 2013, 06:10:45 AM »
Currently I'm in Halifax.  I was speaking to a friend of mine who lives in Vancouver and was shocked at how expensive it was to live there (real estate especially) considering that the salaries are not much greater.  Halifax is not bad, coming from a small town the housing prices seem high but compared to other cities it seems reasonable.

I grew up in Dartmouth, and I still can't believe the real estate prices there. Development seems to be picking up, though, so I don't know how it is now.

Of course, the downside is that you have to live in Dartmouth.

The problem with living in Canada is that 99% of the country is frozen over by December. Pretty much every low cost city in Canada entails spending 5 months of the year alternating between stale indoor air and dry nostril-sticking cold. The few places where this isn't the case (West Coast) have housing costs that rival those of most high cost centers anywhere else.

Oh boo hoo, -5C in January and February!, or even Toronto, where a significant portion of our population lives is only -7C in January. Most of our population lives in places like that, hardly the great frozen north.

To be fair, geographically that's a very small portion of the country! It gets much worse just a few hours North in, say, Ottawa or Edmonton (Maybe more than a few hours, but still).

tongzhi

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Re: Mustachian cities in Canada
« Reply #46 on: April 24, 2013, 11:47:57 AM »
All the temperatures you quote are below freezing point. Hence, frozen over :)

StarswirlTheMustached

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Re: Mustachian cities in Canada
« Reply #47 on: April 24, 2013, 12:15:47 PM »
All the temperatures you quote are below freezing point. Hence, frozen over :)
Sure, but it isn't "dry, nostril-sticking cold". Spend some time in the great lakes area or near the coast and you'll see that it can be quite humid. (though I actually prefer a dry to a sodden sort of cold.)

As for frozen over by December-- jeez, optimist, are you? If you go by area, most of the country freezes over in October. It's been snowing all day!

totoro

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Re: Mustachian cities in Canada
« Reply #48 on: April 24, 2013, 12:29:49 PM »
I like winter activities myself.  I live on the West Coast but have lived in the interior of BC.  The Okanagan is great.  Lots of sunshine, very hot summers with lakes and orchards and wineries and winters spent 30 mins from the ski hill with temperatures in the frozen but not too frozen range.  Pretty nice lifestyle.

daverobev

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Re: Mustachian cities in Canada
« Reply #49 on: April 24, 2013, 01:33:32 PM »
I'm near Ottawa. This winter was very grey - not many bright blue sunny days. And it was only a couple of weeks back that the snow finally went here. Hmm.. maybe it went once, for a few days, then came back for a few days, then went again. But still.

And yes, there aren't many months where my facial hair goes 'crackly'. Probably 8 weeks in total.

I'm English. I walk to the supermarket. It's ok. But I don't like walking on the ice or snow much - I am SO happy to be able to walk normally again!

Last week we had a nice hot sunny day and IMMEDIATELY it was humid outside. Like, woah I just stood up and I feel dizzy now type humid.

Working hard on acceptance ("it just is; deal with it"). Heh.