Hi I am thinking about moving there from the east coast and I wanted to know if anybody could help me with finding a job or an apartment or any place to say. I would be arriving around mid-sept thinking about the 10th. Anyone have advice on the raw lifestyle there? Can i find fruits easily?
Try Tessa here; she just checked in a few days ago:
Hi! I live on Van Isle! I don't think I can really help you out in the areas you've asked for...but I can probably help out in the friend department (: I won't be in Victoria mid-sept...but I'll be back around the 23rd
Good! If everything goes like it plan i'll let you know :) thank you
Thank you this is very nice from you! Of course if I make my way there i'll let you know :) I'll need friends :)
Thank you, I'll check her out :)
Just so you know, this is the worst time of year to look for accommodation as floods of students come to Victoria this time of year. That being said, I don't want to discourage you, and of course you can still find a place. I just want you to know the market you will be entering. There are plenty and I mean plenty of people renting suites, rooms and basement suites out of their homes and lots of people sharing. I'd look online with Craigslist and UsedVictoria.com. You could also try the UVic student housing website if that is still active. As for areas, I'll give you a brief breakdown.
Imagine a T shape with the horizontal line being the beach and coastal road with the vertical line being the big and beautiful Beacon Hill Park. On either side of the park are two of the nicer areas to live. Fairfield on one side and James Bay on the other. James Bay is one of the older areas of town and has tons of students living and sharing places in it. It is windier here though and the temp is usually a few degrees cooler than the rest of the city. Fairfield has moved on from its hippy glory days and is one-part yuppie and one-part student. Prepare for lots of people walking dogs holding take-away coffee cups. The area is beautiful though with lots of trees and of course close to the park and the beach. James Bay is likely a little bit cheaper for rent.
Another area worth looking would be Fernwood which would be full of hipsters, students, lower-middle class families, environmental sorts, hippies and that sort of thing. Also a nice spot with some good rentals. Esquimalt and VicWest will land you the cheaper rents for the Greater Victoria area and if you look, you can find some decent areas.
You will likely see a lot of rental options close to the two big schools; Uvic and Camosun. Likely on Shelbourne, MacKenzie and Hillside. I wouldn't recommend living on these streets as you will be dealing with traffic noise. Same could be said for places on Cook St. though lower Cook would be alright. Surrounding the previously mentioned streets are suburbs where people rent out their rooms.
VIctoria is super bike friendly and so easy to get around this way. That being said, Vic can get a decent amount of rain, and the kind of cold that can get into your bones, which is fine as long as you've got the gear. The Galloping Goose trail and its connecters can get you most places in Vic and there are lots of side routes through quiet streets.
Here on the island we have a chain of Supermarkets called Thrifty Foods. They have been bought out by Sobies and feature a higher price margin than the other stores, but they have a higher quality of fruit, in my opinion. I would use them to get your boxes of bananas as they know how to store them properly. A box from them should run you between $35 and $40. Alternatively there are other chains like Save-On-More which I never go to except in a pinch and Fairways. Fairways is run by Asian families and so you can find some of the more alternative stuff and for the cheapest prices. You just have to be a bit selective. If you have wheels, then I would shop at the Root Cellar where you can get lots of bulk deals. They often have boxes of Atulfo mangoes for cheap. Some local stuff and mixed organic stuff too.
There are a number of farmer markets and farm areas; Oldfield road for example, but the time for their harvests will be coming to a close soon. It's been a good year here, but the rains are starting to come on. You'd be able to get apples and veggies through the winter and potatoes and squash if you eat those. Lots of green areas and places to hike and they are all really close. I'll cut this off here, but if you have any more questions or want to know more about the other spots on the island, send me a pm as I don't check the forum all that often. Beautiful place, Vic is a bit chill if you like that and anywhere North is even more chill. Some beautiful opportunities out on the gulf islands as well. Cool, talk to ya later.