Moving from BC to Alberta has a lot of moving pieces. This guide will touch on some of the most important things to keep in mind.
The Moving Process From BC to Alberta
How Far is BC from Alberta?
BC and Alberta share a border, so you could technically stand in Alberta and BC at the same time.
We’ll assume you mean from one of the major cities in BC to one of the major cities in Alberta.
The most common combination is Vancouver to Calgary, which is 971.1km, and just over a 10 hour drive.
Other common combinations are just about a 12 hour drive from Vancouver to Edmonton, which is 1159.7km.
Kelowna, BC to Edmonton is just about a 9.5 hour drive.
And lastly, driving from Kelowna to Calgary takes less than 7 hours.
Moving From BC to Alberta Average Cost
Moving from BC to Alberta will cost $4,500-$10,000+, on average. Keep in mind that this is making the assumption you’ve found a reliable moving company to work with. Working with unreliable movers can extend this range by up to $10,000+.
This range, which is a very rough estimate, is completely dependent on a host of other factors. How many rooms worth of stuff are you moving? Are there elevators involved which will affect how long our load time will be?
In order to give an accurate quote, everything must be taken into account.
One very big thing to keep in mind is that most of these rough estimates are assuming that you live within one of the main cities. Moving out of, or to a remote community that adds on a lot of driving distance will add significantly to the final cost.
Average Studio Moving Cost
If you live in a studio, moving from BC to Alberta will cost about $4,500-$5,500, dependent on where you’re moving to and from.
Average 2 Bedroom Moving Cost
The average cost to move a 2 bedroom home is $6,500-7,500.
Average 4 Bedroom Moving Cost
And lastly, a 4 bedroom home will be roughly $8,500-$9,500+, on average.
Nearly 10 Grand?! I Have Quotes For Just $2k-$3k!
If you’re a significant amount into the moving process, we hope that you’ve gotten quotes from a few companies already. If you have gotten a bunch of quotes, then there’s a good chance that you’ve gotten some “mysteriously cheap” quotes.
What you absolutely must realize is that these quotes are apart of one of the most infamous moving scams. You receive a quote that seems like you need to jump on it as soon as possible, “Only $2,500 all the way to Alberta? Let’s do it!”
But then all of a sudden moving day rolls around, and you discover some bad news. That “$2,500 moving quote” was only based on 1,000 pounds.
But, since you’re supposed to be moving on that day, it’s too late to find a new mover.
You’d better hope that you only have about 1,000 pounds, and if not, not too much over a thousand!
But we’ve got some bad news for you. The average room in your house has 1,000 pounds worth of stuff. So, unless you live in a small, 400 square foot apartment, you’ll be getting overage charges.
With these charges, it’s pretty easy to see how that $2,500 quote turns into $12,000, $15,000, or even more.
When we are estimating these numbers for you, we’re doing our best to let you know what you’ll pay all-in. With no additional fees, taxes, or other charges.
It’s very important to do extensive research on the moving company that you may work with. Check their BBB, Google reviews, Yelp reviews, and anywhere else that you like to find reviews.
How do BC and Alberta Compare?
BC vs Alberta Cost of Living
As a whole, Alberta’s cost of living is lower than BC.
The main reason we say this is because of the extreme cost of living within the lower mainland. If you’re currently living far from the lower mainland, then you may not see a large difference in cost of living if you move to Alberta.
For example, Vancouver’s cost of living is significantly higher than Calgary in just about any category that you can imagine.
On the other hand, Prince George, BC actually has nearly 15% lower rent costs than Calgary.
Comparing the crime rates of BC and Alberta, we find that as a whole, the two provinces have similar levels of crime.
According to these statistics, BC has 1,574 violent crimes per 100,000 population, while Alberta has 1,448 per 100,000 population.
You will need to do further research on the specific towns/cities that you are moving to and from in order to analyze the crime rates’ effect on your moving decision.
Speaking generally about BC’s public transit systems vs Alberta’s is difficult because it is so dependent on where you are.
As a whole, Calgary and Vancouver have some of the top-rated transit systems in Canada, with Edmonton’s public transportation lacking a little bit in comparison.
If you’ll be needing public transportation, then we recommend checking out the public transportation in the specific city that you’re staying in, obviously. Google has great resources for seeing how long getting from point A to point B takes using transit, all the way from your home in BC.
To properly compare the climate of BC and Alberta, we first need to distinguish the different regions of BC.
If you’re currently living in the lower mainland, the difference in climate vs the interior of BC is huge.
Those of you lower mainland dwellers will be used to a lot of rain, but not very cold weather. But, if you currently live in the interior of BC, then you are more than likely used to cold winters.
Alberta has a similar climate to interior BC, with pretty cold winters.
Especially if you are moving from the lower mainland, you’ll likely want to invest in warmer winter jackets.
It’s not all bad news though, cause at least you’ll be leaving the endless rain behind you, and trading it for just a few snow days per month. Life is about picking your battles!
Where to Move to in Alberta
Alberta has a lot of fantastic cities, and smaller towns to call home. We put together a list of a few that you will want to consider, courtesy of Maclean’s.
We couldn’t talk about where to live in Alberta and not mention Calgary! Calgary’s population of 1.33 million people represents just about one-third of the total population of Alberta.
If you enjoy the big city life but were not enjoying the high price tag of living in Vancouver, you will be in for a treat moving to Calgary. With a one-bedroom apartment renting for an average of $1,214/month in Calgary, it’s no wonder it makes an attractive option to live in.
Canmore is a beautiful city/town with a population of just about 14,000 people. The views of Canmore are absolutely gorgeous, and it would be difficult to ever get tired of it.
Living in Canmore is comparable to Squamish, with all of the beautiful mountains and outdoor lifestyle.
Just like most of Alberta, Canmore’s average rental rate of $1,300/month is significantly cheaper than comparable Squamish’s rate of nearly $1,600/month.
St. Albert is a fantastic mid-sized city with a population of just about 66,000 population.
St. Albert is just a few minutes Northwest of Edmonton, so you will have access to all of the amenities within St. Albert, plus everything the big city of Edmonton has to offer.
With an average rental rate of $1,163/m for a one-bedroom apartment in St. Albert, it is comparable to the rest of Alberta, and even slightly lower than most other larger cities.
While we’re on the topic, Edmonton also makes a great place to call home.
Edmonton had a population of 973,000 people in 2019 and is now expected to be over a million. It is even larger than Metro Vancouver in terms of population. Edmonton is now Canada’s northernmost city with more than a million population.
Edmonton is home to North America’s largest mall—the West Edmonton Mall, with 5.3 million square feet. With average rental rates of $1,164/month for a one-bedroom apartment, it is one of the cheapest major cities to live in within Canada.
Selling Your Home in British Columbia
Now that you’re starting your new life in Alberta, you’ll need to get your property in BC sold. With sky-high real estate prices, now is a great time to work with a realtor and get as much as you can for your property. If you need help finding a great realtor, we are happy to recommend Josh KepKay of Vancouver Real Estate Today.
Although Josh is based out of Vancouver, he is widely connected and can you help you get your home sold through British Columbia.
Finding a Job Before Getting to Alberta
One opportunity that you have, that has only been around in the last decade or two, is prospecting, and even landing a job in Alberta before you have even fully moved there.
We put together a list of resources to use in order to apply for various jobs all over Alberta, completely virtually.
Alberta has lots of city jobs available, and you’ll need to find the job database for the city that you’ll be moving to. Here are the city jobs pages for some of the main cities of Alberta; Calgary, Edmonton, St. Albert, Canmore, and Red Deer.
If your city isn’t listed above, just Google “city of *your city* jobs” and their jobs page should be the first result. Cities of Alberta are constantly hiring, for a variety of roles, so it is usually worth checking out.
Indeed is the largest job site in all of Canada, and it will likely stay that way. As of November 2020, Indeed has more than 23,000 jobs on the platform, in Alberta alone.
There are many companies that post on Indeed exclusively, so make sure that you are checking this site often! There are tons of new jobs posted every single day.
Word of Mouth
If you are in an industry of specialization, then word of mouth will be especially important. Your current contacts in your industry may know of someone that needs your help in Alberta. You never know, so talk to the people you know.
LinkedIn is great for this, so just head over there and make a quick post about it! At the very least, letting everyone know that you’re moving from BC to Alberta is a nice gesture.
Checklist for Moving From BC to Alberta
1. Get in contact with moving companies well in advance of your move. At least 4 weeks in advance is recommended, however, the earlier you can get this sorted out the better. Set a budget for getting your things from BC to Alberta, and try to stay within it.
If you don’t get a budget and your moving situated sorted out in advance, this is the number one way that you will get sucked into a moving company scam.
2. Get a few quotes for your move, and see if they can work within your budget. Keep in mind what we talked about earlier, how some movers will lure you in with an extremely cheap price, and then attempt to hold your stuff hostage until you’ve paid far more than you bargained.
If you have tried to find movers that will be able to work within your budget, and you’ve found it completely impossible, then you should consider exploring other, “budget options”, such as a portable moving container or a U-Haul.
3. Make sure that you have your housing situation figured out, before getting to Alberta. If you’re planning a move in the winter months (or even anytime after September), this is especially important.
If you’re in the market for a new property in the Calgary area, Mrs. Donna L Abbott can help you find the home of your dreams. If you’re looking for a property elsewhere in Alberta, she is heavily connected to all of Alberta and can help you find a realtor that can help you find your special new home. Her phone number is (403) 828-5115.
4. There are a few things to do in terms of school, before getting to Alberta. You’ll want to let your kids’ old schools know that they will be no longer attending, as well as researching and contacting new schools in your new city in Alberta.
5. Use this Government of Canada website as a guide for changing your address as known by the government. Although this is only one of the steps during your address change, it is necessary. You’ll also want to manually change your address for many of your other services, such as financial products.
6. Talk to everyone that is important in your life in BC, and let them know of your scheduled move. You would not want them to find out that you moved away from another person, or on social media, especially if they mean a lot to you.
Making the decision of moving from BC to Alberta is a huge decision, especially if you have people in your life that it will seriously affect (e.g. kids or a partner), and you need to consider it strongly before making a decision.
The best advice we can give you is to reach out to people in your life that truly have your best interest at heart, and discuss with them. Also, make a pros and cons list and truly weigh your options.