Many people are choosing to move out of the city in search of a quieter and more affordable lifestyle — but let’s face it, it’s hard not to miss that urban buzz. Wouldn’t it be great if home was somewhere where you could experience the best of both worlds?
Prince George, a mid-sized city of 76,708 people located in central BC, offers just that. Blending all the amenities of a large city with the charm of a small town, it might just make you think twice about life in Vancouver (and the price tag that comes with it).
Whether you’re after more affordable home ownership, the chance to follow your dream career path, or an opportunity to further your education, Prince George’s thriving and diverse economy makes it a beautiful city of opportunity.
Sounds pretty good, right? With this in mind, we decided to put together a list of some of the benefits that come with relocating to such an up-and-coming locale.
Chasing that dream career
Whether you’re an experienced professional or someone who’s just starting out in the working world, you’ll find so many opportunities for career advancement in Prince George.
The largest employment sectors in the area include wholesale and retail trades, manufacturing, healthcare, and construction, as well as forestry, fishing, and mining.
As a bonus, working in Prince George means you’ll have much more downtime because getting around involves way less commuting than the big city. Most places in Prince George exist within a 15-minute radius and there’s also great public transportation and bike lanes. It’s a win-win.
If you’re a remote worker, Prince George also provides everything you need to work virtually, including high-speed internet connectivity and easy flight access to anywhere in the world with its international airport.
A realistic cost of living
Most of us who live in BC have felt the burden of rising living costs in recent times — it’s tough out there.
One of the biggest benefits of living and working in Prince George is indeed a lower cost of living. People in the city earn a higher-than-average income, with the median household income for couples without families being $100,000 compared to the BC average of $93,000, according to StatCan.
Residents also spend less on housing, as typical mortgage and rent rates are consistently lower than in other Canadian cities. Prince George offers a range of affordable housing options, including multi-family, single-family, and seniors’ dwellings, with an average home costing somewhere in the low $500s. Plus, gas prices in Prince George are frequently among the lowest in BC.
All of this means you’ll have more opportunities to spend your hard-earned cash on what you really want — like the activities you love or quality time out with friends.
A sense of community
Many cities are full of amazing people — but there seems to be something a little different about the sense of community in Prince George. You’ll find the kind of close-knit community that can only be found in small towns, where people not only get to know their neighbours but make an effort to look out for one another — which is why Prince George is known as The Volunteer City. It has several amazing initiatives, such as Operation Red Nose, a service where local volunteers will pick up those who feel unfit to drive within the city, ensuring they arrive home safely.
There’s even a Facebook page with 45.7k members, where residents share stories about positive experiences they’ve had in Prince George, or simply shout out others for their good deeds. Pretty heartwarming, if you ask us.
Say goodbye to boredom. In Prince George, there’s rarely a dull day (and that’s not just because of the mild climate either). Arts, shopping, nightlife, restaurants, breweries, a winery — the city has it all.
There’s also a plethora of different activities and four-season outdoor recreation opportunities. Whether you’re a sports fanatic seeking a new soccer club, a diehard adventure seeker who loves mountain biking through pristine forests, or an art lover who’s happiest when browsing local exhibitions, there’s something for everyone.
And if you’ve got a passion for the outdoors, you’ll never be short of places to go and immerse yourself in nature. The Lheidli T’enneh Memorial Park and Cottonwood Island Nature Park both offer beautiful riverside walks and are just minutes away from the city. Meanwhile, the Purden Lake Provincial Park, located to the east of Prince George, is the ideal spot for a day of forest strolls and fishing.
In fact, there are over 1,600 lakes and rivers within an hour of Prince George, as well as an incredible network of hiking trails in and around the area.
Education all around
There are ample school options for your children in Prince George, as well as two post-secondary institutions. Not only does this give young people the opportunity to stay closer to their families when high school ends, but it also means adults have the chance to further their education close to home too. The College of New Caledonia (CNC) offers health sciences, trades, business, and other programs, as well as numerous university credit courses. CNC also has incredibly low tuition, offering an affordable option for students.
Meanwhile, The University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) is a destination for students from all over Canada, and has been recognized as the second-best small university in the country. UNBC is also known for being a green university and has an award-winning bioenergy plant that heats the main campus buildings.
Prince George is the centre for healthcare in the surrounding region, providing care for 320,000 locals. Home to the University Hospital of Northern BC, the BC Cancer Agency Centre for the North, and the head office for Northern Health (the largest and only teaching hospital in the region), the city offers a range of quality and diverse healthcare services.
People travel from all over the region for the area’s renowned healthcare and specialized physicians — so living in the Prince George area means you likely won’t have to go far from home to receive excellent care and treatment.