I moved to Victoria, BC five years ago, and I must admit it was one of the biggest adventures of my life. I faced several challenges; one of them was finding a place to live. There were so many accommodation options, but they were above my budget. I had no idea about the location of different neighbourhoods and buildings, so I felt lost and disappointed at that point.
Nowadays, every time I remember myself facing those challenges, I am proud to say I conquered them.
Last December I joined Global Village Victoria, a school where you can learn English, explore new surroundings, and make friends from different nationalities. I hope that by sharing my experiences and new knowledge, you can find a place to live in Victoria more easily.
Victoria, the capital city of British Columbia Canada, is a beautiful city to live in. It is described as the mildest city in Canada. In Spring, you can see beautiful cherry blossoms all around; in Summer, you can swim in Victoria’s lakes; in Fall, be ready to see red leaves on the trees and orange pumpkins at the doors of every house; and finally in Winter, we are lucky because Victoria only sees snow for a few days through this season, and it is not as cold as other places in Canada.
Victoria has many beautiful neighbourhood to choose from that are all very close to Global Village. See our list below, and also a City of Victoria neighbourhood map can be found here.
• North Park
• James Bay
• Burn-Side Gorge
1. Begin your search online before you arrive in Victoria. In this way you can get familiar with locations, types, and costs, rental housing.
2. Contact landlords directly to set appointments.
3. Do not transfer any money. Wait until you are in Victoria and you have seen the place for yourself.
4. Do not sign a contract until you have revised your tenancy rights and responsibilities in BC. Please review the links below:
• Residential Tenancies
• Tenancy agreements
Do not feel overwhelmed by these choices; be positive and patient; it is possible to find a place that matches what you are looking for. But if not, you can always ask Global Village if there is an available homestay for you. Please check it out Accommodations at GV, and see all the options we have.
For international students in Victoria, BC, there are several popular accommodation options including:
• Roommate – shared house or suite
• Apartments, townhouses or furnished rooms
• Hotel or Hostels
Here are some resources and links to help with your search:
Global Village English Centre offers a five-star Homestay Program for students who would like to live with a local host or family in order to practise English and learn about the Canadian way of life.
For students who want to live like a local Canadian college and university student, we recommend that you consider finding a roommate and sharing a house, apartment or basement as accommodation suite with them.
Personal safety when sharing accommodation with others is very important, which is why these closed, members-only Facebook groups are an excellent option for finding roommates.
• Friends of Camosun International
• UVic Off-Campus Housing
Depending on how long your stay will be in Victoria, you should check rental prices for apartments, furnished rooms in a shared house, and townhouses.
When renting a furnished room in a shared accommodation, you will share the washroom, kitchen, and common areas. Shared accommodations usually have the lowest costs as expenses are shared, prices start from $800, and it depends on the location.
Renting a house/apartment/condo is ideal when you are with your family or friends, and you are planning to stay at least six months. Landlords will ask you to sign a contract, and pay a damage deposit plus the rent monthly amount. Prices start from $1,300, and vary depending on location, number of rooms, and/or if they are furnished or not.
Within the websites where you can find long term accommodations are:
Hotels and hostels are always an option of accommodation if you are staying for a short-term period or for a temporary time.
Hotels around Victoria provide many amenities at varied prices. Depending on which hotel you choose, they might offer facilities such as free parking, kitchenettes, free wifi, and free phone calls.
Hostels are the lowest priced accommodation in Victoria. You can find hotel-style dorm beds and private rooms at different prices and sizes. However, you need to share some facilities, such as washrooms and a kitchen, and you also need to pay by night.
The most popular hostel with English language students is Ocean Island Backpackers Inn
“Ocean Island Inn Suites have a wide array of rooms to suit your budget and lifestyle. You can choose from comfortable hostel-style dorm beds to private rooms in all shapes and sizes: twin rooms, double rooms, group/family rooms, queen rooms (with TVs and ensuite bathrooms) and even apartment suites at our second location by the park and ocean. And our prices are far lower than other Victoria accommodation, with great extended stay rates! Ocean Island is delightfully unique!
Our friendly and knowledgeable front desk staff is on hand 24 hours a day to laugh at your jokes, answer your questions and ensure your stay is safe, comfortable and happy.”
Disclaimer: Links provided are for informational purposes; they do not constitute an endorsement or approval by Global Village Victoria of any of the products, services or opinions of the corporation, organization or individual.
It is mandatory for all our underage (under 19 years old) students to stay in a GV Homestay.