I had a commenter on my Maple Ridge City Daily Photo Blog ask me a favour. Glazgakiss lives in the UK and wants to chat about what life is like here in Canada. She and her hubby have kids and want to find a better life for their family. This is not the first person to make such enquiries so I thought I'd do a little post here about this place!
Maple Ridge, where we live, is part of the GVRD Greater Vancouver Regional District. We live 40 minutes from Vancouver, that is when there is no traffic. During rush hour, the same trip can take twice the time and then some. But if you live close to work , then that is not an issue. I work right here in town so I don't need to concern myself with the drive. There is a wonderful commuter train that runs to Vancouver through the morning and then returns in the evening. Its a lovely scenic ride along the water and is a nice way to relax on the way to work instead of sitting in traffic.
You can rent a suite or one floor of a house here for about $1100 and up. Apartments are about $800. or so per month.
An average family home detached with a plot of land in Maple Ridge starts at about $400,000. The same money in Vancouver will buy you a one bedroom apartment. Less space for the money, but living in Vancouver also has its perks. Close to the sea and skiing and loads of office jobs. For a family though, Maple Ridge is a nice area. Has lots of activities to offer. Sports clubs, recreational center. Ice rinks. swimming pools, good schools. Loads of shops. A wonderful local theater. For us, the best part of living here is the closeness you feel to nature. Weather in Vancouver or Maple Ridge, You are only a short drive from the middle of nowhere. Trails and hikes, Lakes, Mountains and forests. Beaches, camping, golf, boating, canoeing. loads of wildlife and birds. The views anywhere in the Lower Mainland are fantastic because we are surrounded by mountains and water. For listings of real estate in the GVRD check out this Multiple Listing Service. click HERE to see homes listed in the GVRD. you can also see real estate anywhere in Canada through this site. Maple Ridge shows up on the GVRD map as MR.
As for work, they are crying out for workers here. Trades are in high demand, as is anyone in Health care. Everywhere you go there are help wanted signs. So no shortage of work.
Our weather is pretty well the same as England's. If you went further north or east, the winters are alot colder. Here on the coast, we are known by the rest of Canada as Lotus Land or California North for the fairly mild winters and for the huge amount of filming done here. The worst thing we get here is alot of rain from October to spring. The gloomy winters can be a bit oppressive but when the clouds lift and we get a day like we had today. Sparkling blue skies and snow capped mountains all around, its like living in wonderland. After being here over thirty years, the sight on the sun catching the snowy peaks, and making them glow a golden pink, still never fails to take my breath away.
Some of my readers may tend to get an idealized view of this place. I usually only post pretty photos, and those showing the nice side of things. Of course, like any city, we have the back alleys with hookers and druggies. The slummy part of town with boarded up windows and derelict cars without tires parked on the long front grass. I should make an effort to actually post some of that side of Maple Ridge life. Fortunately its only a small part of town. Non- the -less. It does impact on the crime rate. But I thing that is an issue any where you go these days. City hall is making an effort to tidy up that area and is making some obvious improvements and handing out stiff fines to landlords who don't try to keep their properties from looking so run down.
My family and I love living here. But Glazakiss or anyone else thinking of emmigrating, I would suggest you come over on holiday first to really see how it feels to you. I hope I have answered any questions you had. If there is anything else I can fill you in on, just leave a comment.
The photos in this post were taken today on our way home from shopping. The Golden Ears mountains in the first picture are in Maple ridge and are the crowning glory of our little town. The second picture is heading north on 203rd st. towards the mountains. This is a typical rural street with the wooden telephone posts fencing in the way! Thirdly, is a photo of what I think is a comarant on the roof of Tim Horton's, a local coffee shop. I included this one to just show how nature manages to coexist with the developing area.
As always, click on any photo to enlarge for better detail.