As with everything in this city, a good handle on French is a major advantage when you are hunting for a place to live. However, there are some neighbourhoods (boroughs), such as Westmount, Hampstead and Notre Dame de Grace, that are more predominantly English speaking if that is what you’re after. Personally, I think, “jump in the deep end” at French speaking Rosemont – what better way to learn the language?!
If you are planning to stay in a hostel for your first week or so, this is a great opportunity to talk to other travelers and find out what they know about where to live. You can also use the hostel as a base while you check out the apartments in the classified ads and start determining your favourite locations. Consider language ability, cost, accessibility and safety.
As we have said for other cities, it really depends on what you are after. If you want a quiet neighbourhood suburbia, you can find it no problem, just make sure it has good public transport to get you to work. Some downtown areas to avoid after dark include Bayshore, Vanier, Hintonburg, South Keys, Lowertown, and Ledbury so you might choose not to live in these areas.
For those looking for something in between, Westboro is a good place to check out. It is clean and safe, has plently of shops and cafes, and it well serviced by public transport. For somewhere a bit more lively (not that Westboro is boring) try the Bank St. Promenade. This has lots of pubs and restaurants so will be slightly noisier, but may float your boat!
As with Calgary and Edmonton, none of us at WHC have ever lived here so the above is what we have been able to pick up on various blogs and websites. We will reach out to our contacts and update this section with an article from somebody who has spent a working holiday here, but in the meantime, your own research on arrival and online will serve you best. (Suggestions Welcome!)
Where you choose to live in Calgary will probably be determined by where you are going to work, and how much you are going to earn. As we have suggested in other accommodation sections on this site, it may be best to spend your first week or so in a central hostel while you view apartments in the cities different areas and begin your job search.
In all honesty, none of us at WHC have ever lived in Calgary, so until we find a willing working holiday maker to re-write this section for us, we suggest checking out some other great sites with information about where to live in Calgary. (Suggestions Welcome!)
Choosing somewhere to live in Edmonton will depend on your reasons for going there. If you are intending to move here for a career in the oil and gas industry you may not want to be living in the middle of the entertainment district – especially if you are bringing your family. You will probably want one of the quieter suburban neighbourhoods in this case. Check out the living in Calgary section of this great site which is geared more towards long term immigrants.
On the other hand, if you are young, single and looking for fun, frolics and epic adventures, the downtown areas might be more your thing. Try viewing some apartments and talking to the locals in the West End or South Central areas.
All of that said, the best way to check it out is arrive over and spend a few nights in a hostel. Talk to like minded people on blogs and forums before you arrive and then when you arrive in the hostel.
As with Calgary, none of us at WHC have ever lived in Edmonton, so until we find a willing working holiday maker to re-write this section for us, you are going to have to do some more research yourself – see a short breakdown of the districts of Edmonton on Wikipedia Travel. (Suggestions Welcome!)