Looking for accommodation in Vancouver?
The ocean and mountains of Vancouver combine to make for a picture-perfect setting for your working holiday adventure. You cannot talk about the weather in Vancouver without talking about the rain! People here are obsessed with it.
The climate on the west coast is a lot milder, so once your rental accommodation has a roof on it, you should be a happy camper!
No matter what time of year it is, there are plenty of activities to take part in – from hiking, sightseeing, and dirt-biking in the summer to skiing and snowboarding in the winter!
But this beautiful city comes at a price. Downtown rental rates are quite high compared to the rest of Canada.
It shouldn’t be too hard to rent an apartment or room. However, the rent usually starts on the 1st of the month so it is important to note that when you arrive you may need to stay in a hostel or Airbnb until the end of the month.
This would also be a good idea because you will have some time to choose the right place before rushing in to rent somewhere straight away. It is also a good idea to go and see the accommodation in person before sending any money in advance.
If you land a job in a ski resort you may be lucky enough to have your accommodation included in your employment agreement. It is usually a shared dorm accommodation.
Hostels in Vancouver
If you don’t have accommodation as part of your employment, you can book a hostel before you arrive. Hostels in Canada can vary in the facilities they offer.
- Free Wi-Fi
- Laundry facilities
- Free breakfast
- Shared kitchen
- Shared bathroom/shower
Hostels to check out:
- Hi Hostels Vancouver – HI Vancouver Downtown is just off the West End’s Davie strip, you can easily walk to the beach, Stanley Park and English Bay. Dine out at one of the many restaurants nearby or cook your own meal in the fully equipped kitchen.
- Vancouver – samesun.com/backpackers-hostels/Vancouver – You can stay central with the Samesun Vancouver hostel. The staff will help you make the most of your visit with all their local knowledge they can point you to the top attractions and restaurants.
We recommend that you read the reviews and book in for at least a week as it may take some time to find more permanent accommodation.
You should also try sharing with a few friends to help save you some cash!
Choosing your neighborhood in Vancouver
Vancouver has so many great places to live and it really is worth putting the time in and doing your research before you set off.
If you want to live in the downtown area expect to live in high residential units. Rent can be pretty expensive depending on the location. However, it is possible to find an affordable place to live.
Some of our favourite areas are Gastown, Yaletown, and Kitsilano.
Yaletown is located southeast of the downtown area. It’s a very modern town and has restaurants and cafes along the waterfront. However, it is expensive to rent here as it is one of the top neighbourhoods in Vancouver.
Gastown is situated just east from downtown so they often see a lot of tourists coming off seaplanes and cruise ships. You can take a walk along the cobblestone streets to see all the fascinating architecture and sidewalk terraces. Gastown has more reasonably priced apartments compared to Yaletown.
Burnaby is another area just outside of downtown that attracts a lot of working holidaymakers so it’s well worth considering.
A lot of working holidaymakers move to the west side of the city to Kitsilano also known as Kits. It is probably the most reasonable for accommodation and has two of Vancouver’s most famous beaches. Kits is the centre of activity during the summer. Rent can be expensive here but prices decrease as you move further out.
Further out by Metrotown is a good option too, as it is on the Skytrain and as Metrotown is Canada’s largest mall it offers plenty of casual jobs such as retail and waiting.
If you are just going for summer, do consider the student residence at the University of British Columbia (UBC). It has great access to public transport and beaches. They may rent their accommodation out to working holidaymakers and international students. Check out the summer residence at UBC here.
Average rents per month in 2020
Table: See below some of the recent average rents for the most populous cities in BC.
|City||1 bedroom Rent (pm)||2 bedroom Rent (pm)|
*These are estimates and are subject to change.
Tips for renting accommodation in Canada
- Arrange temporary accommodation before you leave for Canada.
- A lease begins at the start of the month and is legally binding.
- Don’t sign a lease for longer than you want to live there.
- Have enough money for a month’s rent upfront and a month’s rent as a deposit.
- Accommodation is often un-furnished so this can be an additional expense.
- Bring a reference letter from a previous landlord, as you may be asked for one.
- Check out boards in hostels and outside buildings.
- Be wary of anyone asking for money before you see the apartment.
Top Accommodation Sites for Vancouver
Short term/summer accommodation
- Roomarama – Short-term rentals
- Vancouver Short Stay – Short-term furnished
- BC Rentals – Rentals by area
- Craigslist Vancouver – Check Housing/Temporary
Long term rental sites e.g. Craigslist
- Rent Seeker – Canada-wide rentals
- Rents Line – Canada-wide rentals
- Rent BC – BC Rentals
- Craigslist Vancouver – Check Housinhg/Apts or Rooms Shared