Life on the Coast provides opportunities that aren’t available in the Metro Vancouver area. From local music and arts festivals to regular, community farm-to-table markets, to knowing your neighbours and local shop-keepers, all are benefits to living on the coast.
While enjoying a similarly mild climate, housing is less expensive than the Metro-Vancouver or Fraser Valley, with three-bedroom house prices ranging from $450-$650 with an average single family dwelling in Sechelt costing $568,000. In Gibsons the average home costs $650,000. Many of those homes come with ocean views, while ocean front homes cost more, but still less than similar homes in the Metro Vancouver area. Because of the landscape of the Coast with its host of communities along the water, no matter where you live you’re never far from the ocean or the various recreational lakes, parks and trails strung across the Coast.
If you prefer rental accommodation various rental agencies can assist. For example:
For a locum visiting the Coast alone, the Hospital Foundation also offers accommodation at Foundation House for a nominal fee.
Parents considering moving families to the Sunshine Coast often have questions about their children’s educational opportunities. School District 46, the Sunshine Coast School District provides education to 3,300 students through nine elementary schools and four secondary schools. In addition, Francophone students can attend Ecole de Pacifique for grades 1-7 and Ecole Chatelech Secondary (within the Chatelech Secondary School) to continue their Francophone schooling. There is also a robust Alternative School system, as well as a thriving home-schooling community.
School District 46 offers a variety of programs intended to support student development and interests. Early learning programs include StrongStart, as well as innovative programming for families and the community. Opportunities exist for students to enrol in specialty programs such as nature education, university-based English programs and trade programs. The close connections to local arts communities has resulted in world-class artists providing art, Indigenous art, and music programming inside school programs. The small size of the district has resulted in smaller school sizes leading to an intimate, supportive environment for all students.
Sunshine Coast also enjoys the presence of a Capilano University campus in Sechelt, which offers a variety of programs tailored to the Coast. Students from the Coast are also able to commute to colleges/universities in Metro Vancouver to continue their studies.
Parents seeking child care for young children can gain support and assistance in locating child care through the Sunshine Coast Childcare Resource and Referral. They maintain a full listing of child care providers arranged by the Sunshine Coast community on their website.
Employment for partners or family
The Sunshine Coast has a vibrant economy based on tourism, forestry, fishing and the pulp and paper industry. Over the past few years immigration from across Canada and beyond has brought many individuals and families to the settle on the Coast in search of a quieter lifestyle. The result is increasing demand for professionals in health care,building trades, and service industries such as financial planning, food services and social services.
Major employers on the Coast include:
- Vancouver Coastal Health Authority
- School District 46
- Howe Sound Pulp and Paper
- BC Ferries
- Sunshine Coast Regional District
The Coast also fosters numerous small businesses from Bed and Breakfasts, boutique clothing and kitchen shops, and breweries, to lavender and sturgeon farming, and legal, accounting and printing businesses. The Gibsons and District Chamber of Commerce, Sechelt District Chamber of Commerce, and Sunshine Coast Economic Development websites are sources of information about local business. For women who might be interested in starting their own business, the Self-Employed Women’s Network can provide support and assistance.
For those who prefer to continue working on the mainland, commuting is a viable option to many Coast residents because of the short 40 minute ferry ride, and excellent connections to public transit from the Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal.
Physician Community and Activities
“Working here has brought deeply satisfying relationships with colleagues, staff and patients. It’s interesting how I will serve someone as a patient and then they are serving me coffee elsewhere. There is a real reciprocity that happens here that I haven’t experienced elsewhere.”
Dr. Rahul Gupta
“I was struck by the collegiality of physicians and the emphasis on balance and pursuing the scope of practice that you choose.”
Dr. Jennifer Baxter
Physicians on the Sunshine Coast have a close-knit community that serves both the hospital and community patients. In partnership with the Division of Family Practice, new physicians to the Coast receive orientation brochures/manuals as well as connection to local mentors. A community mentor provides connection to resources on the Coast, while medical practice mentorship assists in the development of local health system knowledge and physician skills.
In addition to supports such as physician mentoring, the Division of Family Practice supports physician social and family activities such as summer picnics, holiday socials and other get-togethers.