Cheapest Place to Live in B.C.

by Charlie Higgins ; Updated July 27, 2017
Harrison Lake near town of Chilliwack

According to rankings done by the ACCRA (American Chamber of Commerce Research) in 2001, the city of Chilliwack has one of the lowest cost of living indexes in British Columbia. With gorgeous surroundings and close proximity to the bustling city of Vancouver, Chilliwack residents enjoy some of the highest quality of life in Canada while enjoying a cost 16 percent below the North American average.

Economic Profile

Chilliwack’s main industries are in the resource sectors of agriculture and forestry. Tourism, especially for outdoor activities such as fishing, is also a vital force in the local economy. Chilliwack has been experiencing steady growth as a result of increases in technology and knowledge-based industries. Canada’s low-cost dollar and low labor, energy and land costs, and close proximity to the United States all contribute to Chilliwack’s status as a cheap place to live.

Accessibility

Located 62 miles east of Vancouver in the majestic Fraser Valley region, Chilliwack enjoys easy access to one of North America’s fastest growing urban centers. Chilliwack maintains close economic and cultural ties with important markets in North America, Asia and Europe. Chillwack’s close proximity to the TransCanada highway allows for easy access to the United States at the Abbotsford Regional Airport border crossing. The city is just 90 minutes from Vancouver International Airport.

Employment

British Columbia is one of the most progressive and fastest growing regions in North America, and Chilliwack is no exception. Bolstered by a top-notch educational system, Chilliwack produces a highly skilled and educated workforce in a variety of industries. Low taxes allow for steady business growth, particularly in the agriculture and technology industries. Stream International, a customer call center for the high-tech industry, is one of the top employers in the area.

Quality of Life

Chilliwack residents enjoy an exceptionally high quality of life amid some of the most beautiful natural surroundings in all of North America. Though Chilliwack is a small city, the second largest in the Fraser Valley region after Abottsford, residents enjoy convenient access to both larger urban areas and untouched wilderness. According to the Chilliwack Economic Partners Corporation (CEPCO), average living expenses are estimated to be around 35 percent lower than those in nearby Vancouver.

Housing

Housing in Chilliwack can be as much as 50 percent less than Vancouver, according to CEPCO. Energy costs tend to be low as well, though the region’s mild climate doesn’t require excessive heating or cooling expenditures. Although British Columbia does have some of the highest monthly housing costs in Canada, Chilliwack is well below the provincial average. Highly successful housing projects such as Garrison Crossing provide high-quality housing for families at reasonable prices.

About the Author

Charlie Higgins is journalist, editor and translator based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He has written for a variety of lifestyle and niche market websites, including International Food Trader, The Olive Oil Times, microDINERO, Sounds and Colours, Connecting Worlds and The Buenos Aires Reader.

Photo Credits

  • Rick Jones/iStock/Getty Images