Currency Exchange Vancouver

Contact us at 1-604-229-1065 for the BEST CAD-USD EXCHANGE RATES guaranteed.

Knightsbridge Foreign Exchange

Last Updated: 2021/11/29

Vancouver’s Exchange: Compare Traditional Banks to KnightsbridgeFX

If you’re unsatisfied with the currency conversion rates that banks charge, be sure to call Knightsbridge Foreign Exchange Vancouver ( 1-604-229-1065 to get a complimentary quote on our rates with absolutely zero obligations to buy.

By choosing KnightsbridgeFX as your foreign exchange service provider, you can benefit from highly competitive rates on USD. If you find an exchange rate that you like you can book a transfer today to lock-in that rate on your transaction.


Bank Exchange Rates


Markup %




Potential Savings on $10,000 USD with KBFX

RBC – Royal Bank of Canada


RBC Exchange Rates


TD – Toronto Dominion Bank


TD Bank Exchange Rates


BMO – Bank of Montreal


BMO Exchange Rates




CIBC Foreign Exchange Rates


Scotia – Scotia Bank


Scotia Bank Foreign Exchange Rates




HSBC Foreign Exchange Rates




Desjardins Foreign Exchange Rates




PayPal Exchange Rates


American Express


AMEX Exchange Rates




Knightsbridge Foreign Exchange

The best exchange rates on US dollars

This chart (see above) displays a rate comparison of some commonly used major FX providers in Canada. The term “markup” is the profit margin on the mid market exchange rate that FX providers include to pay for the cost of service. Since KnightsbridgeFX is considered a very lean company (few overhead expenses and operational costs) the company can afford a much lower markup – money transfers with KBFX can save you up to 2%!

These markups have been retrieved from public sources. Knowing this, it’s important to keep in mind that the actual rates are continuously changing. Since it’s difficult to consistently display accurate quotes, most of these financial institutions will ask that you call and ask service representative. Generally speaking, the “big Canadian banks” all compete with each other by featuring similar markups (roughly around 2.5%). It may benefit you to call your local Vancouver banking branch to double-check that their markups are similar.

Why Do You Need to Call In For Quotes?

Put simply, most financial institutions that offer money transfers ask that you consult a representative because rates are not inherently stable; they fluctuate all the time on the world exchange market. The rate shown on their bank website may not accurately match up to their current offering, although in most cases they usually do. For this reason we highly recommend calling financial institutions personally. It’s a lot more work and can be incredibly tedious, but it’s the only way to guarantee rates that are completely up-to-date.

Why Are Exchange Quotes Constantly Changing?

The answer to this question is actually pretty straightforward: FX services post different rates because the global FX market rates fluctuate. Changes in foreign exchange rate values come from varying levels of demand and supply on the world market level. And since foreign exchange market windows are open for a considerable amount of time throughout the week, currencies are basically being traded and swapped constantly. You can think of a currency’s valuation similar to that of a stock valuation: as long as individuals are trading the equity (and if there is enough volatility) then the price will not remain firm.

It’s very possible that currency prices rise and fall while FX service providers maintain the same percentage markup. For example, let us assume that one US dollar is worth one Canadian dollar on a publicly traded exchange. An FX service provider that offers rates at a 10% markup will charge 1 Canadian dollar and 10 Canadian cents for that one US dollar. Now imagine the price of one US dollar trends upwards and is now worth two Canadian dollars (1 for 2). The FX service provider most likely won’t alter their 10% markup and you’ll pay 2 Canadian dollars and 20 Canadian cents for 1 USD. On the other hand, there are plenty of professional FX specialists who will lower the markup based on the terms of your money transfer, the type of currency you’re exchanging, and the size of the order.

Why Can’t You Simply Get The Bank Of Canada Exchange Rate Everywhere?

The national rate published by the Bank of Canada is called the “interbank” rate, and is mainly only available to financial institutions that deal with large transactional volume. In other words, you’ll almost never find interbank rates being offered at the consumer level – regardless if it’s a personal or business transaction. As a general statement, big banks will add a sizeable markup to the exchange rate before offering it to the retail clients as a payment for the service. After costs are made up the remainder is pure profit. At most conventional banks, the markup would be between 2-5% depending on the type of currency. Traditional banks need a substantial markup to continue operating. Just for example, a physical bank has to pay for keeping the currency on hand, also known as inventory or storage cost. The bank also needs to pay the salaries of tellers and representatives who are delivering the service, as well as the rent for a brick and mortar location. 

Foreign exchange service providers need to handle exceptionally large transaction amounts to receive interbank rates from the Bank of Canada. The fact of the matter is, Canadian banks will add markups to these interbank rates anyways – they won’t pass down that favorable rate to you. Compared to professional digital-only foreign exchange providers, these inflated rates are not very competitive. The reason why bank exchange rates stay so high is that even with the markup, Canadian bank users will flock to them for lack of industry knowledge. Speaking plainly, the conventional banking system faces no competitive pressure that might motivate them to reduce their exchange rates and fees. That same sort of thinking applies for airport currency kiosks – customers who are physically beside one will feel like they have no other options. Banks also tend to provide rather convenient services that are reliable and diverse, so naturally customers expect good deals from their foreign exchange offerings as well. It’s the lack of presentable options to the consumer that lets banks get away with charging expensive rates, and banks are known to have a strong degree of customer retention – which gets even further amplified when they are servicing a retail customer for numerous financial products. 

On That Note: How Come Banks Overcharge for Currency Exchange in Vancouver City?

The stunning truth of the matter is actually really simplistic – banks overcharge because they can get away with it. The big Canadian banking system has historically set up oligopolies within the financial services industry in order to dominate the market. It’s easy for banks to target and re-target you with different financial products, because at the end of the day your money is still being held with them. When you think about it, your primary banking needs are fulfilled with only a single (sometimes two) major financial institutions. Newly emerging fitnech companies are slowly disrupting this space by informing individuals about better alternatives to big banking, but the “big five” Canadian banks still retain most of the power even to this day.

At the end of the day, banks do not compete on price – their client retention rate is very high and they have considerable operational costs to make up for. The financial product lineup within a bank is incredibly diverse, and so naturally they have many business expenses. Not to mention they also own physical brick and mortar locations that are fully staffed and require constant maintenance. Speaking plainly, the big banks in Vancouver, and all across Canada, need to charge more money for currency exchange to continue running.

In order to receive the best FX rates in Vancouver you’ll need to look for big banking alternatives. With the rise of digital companies, there are many online-only firms that specialize entirely in currency conversion to give retail clients the savings they deserve. Knightsbridge Foreign Exchange is an example of an online-only company that helps their clients get the most bang for their buck. For our Vancouver office, call 604-229-1065 or simply visit our website ( and read about us. KBFX has been featured on multiple respectable news sites and provides daily updates on the state of the Canadian dollar. Check out our site for more information.

How Should You Compare FX Rates in Vancouver?

There are two great ways to compare the currency exchange rates in Vancouver, British Columbia. The quickest way would be to check the table provided near the top of this page, since it displays major bank offerings. The alternative method is to call every physical bank branch that is in Vancouver directly. Simply just ask them how much you would have to pay in Canadian if you wanted exactly US $1,000. The representative on the phone can offer you a quote immediately, but the costs may not be transparent immediately. Before you calculate any transaction fees, take the total number of Canadian dollars you need to buy $1,000 (that the representative tells you) and divide that number by 1000. In actuality that is the implied exchange rate offered by the bank. If it costs you $1400 CAD to receive $1000 USD, then the rate provided would be 1.4 before fees. Afterwards, you can see how this rate stacks up to the interbank rate (let’s assume it is 1.36 just for example). This would imply an exchange rate markup of 0.04, which in this example represents an added charge of roughly 3% over the interbank.

Best Practices for Converting Currency in British Columbia, Vancouver

1) Purchasing Cash Amounts Under $2000

If you’re only planning on transacting a few hundred to a couple thousand dollars, you may wish to book a reliable transfer with your primary bank – assuming it provides foreign exchange which it most likely does. In this situation, your transaction can take anywhere from 1-3 business days depending on your chosen transfer method. You would definitely overpay, but the idea is you’re benefiting from a convenient service that you’ve already subscribed to. Keep in mind there’s usually also a fixed transaction fee that ranges between $1 to at most $10, which is applied per transaction. Truthfully, even if this method does not save you any money, it saves you precious energy and time. Individuals who place small sized transfers for personal reasons generally won’t witness any significant dollar savings. If you lose a few cents or dollars on an exchange because you traded it for reliability and convenience it isn’t the end of the world.

2) Avoid Exchanging at the Vancouver International Airport (Airport IVR)

No matter what your decision ultimately is – in terms of choosing a professional FX service – please do not impulsively exchange your hard earned money at or near an airport. Many individuals are easily convinced by the sight of an FX exchange booth, although it’s widely regarded as the worst place to fund conversions. The highest exchange rates in the world are found at these booths and kiosks. If exchanging small amounts of money is absolutely necessary at these places, attempt to negotiate the service charge or unnecessary commissions. Sometimes if you tell them to waive fees away they will do so on your request. After all, they would still be profiting off the highly marked up exchange rate alone.

3) Purchasing Cash Amounts Over $2000

If you are seeking to exchange (buy or sell) US dollars in amounts exceeding $2000, then you should call (877) 355-5239 for a free currency exchange rate quote and speak to a representative from Knightsbridge Foreign Exchange. Alternatively, you can check out our services and reputation on our website at Just by choosing KBFX as your primary currency conversion service provider you’ll manage to save a full percentage point or two compared to buying US dollars through banks. For sizeable transactions ranging into thousands of USD, you could save hundreds – even thousands – on your transaction. With KnightsbridgeFX you’ll get complimentary wire transfers with no additional charges and zero hidden fees. You would only pay one cost, which is a highly competitive rate of exchange.

4) Paying for Conversions with Credit Cards

Many credit card providers charge added fees for currency exchange, on top of the ones you’d already be paying with service provider. However, if you plan on paying directly by card, that fee gets factored right into the exchange rate. As per usual, these fees are buried in the credit card agreement's terms and conditions so it’s a good idea to read the foreign exchange policy of your card. Oftentimes unless you’re making offshore purchases with a travel credit card, the conversion markup is around 2.5%. It’s always convenient to use a credit card for payments, even when you are outside your native country. For this very reason, registering for a travel/FX-purposed credit card is essential to saving money while spending time abroad. Not all credit cards have identical rates, some will be more favorable than others.

5) Storing Funds Properly in Cross Border Bank Accounts

Whenever you place large transfer orders that convert your Canadian dollars to USD, it helps to have a specialized account to store and manage those US dollars appropriately. Some financial institutions call this a “cross-border account” but it’s more commonly known as a US dollar bank account in Canada. You could register for one of these accounts at practically any major Canadian bank as long as you’re willing to make an initial deposit. To begin the process, you would need to have at least two separate personal identification documents, such as a passport and drivers license. As soon as your identity/eligibility for the product has been verified you can sign some documents and you’re all set.

Exchanging Money like a Pro in Vancouver Canada: Top 5 Things to Consider

No matter which way you approach money conversions and transfer payments, there’s always an optimal and a sub-optimal way to trade currency. Since there are so many currency exchanges in Vancouver, you’re presented with seemingly endless opportunities to switch your dollars to something else. By taking note of a few tips and tricks you’ll be much better off in the long run in terms of savings. Many financial institutions prey on the misinformed, especially in the FX industry. Millions of unfavorable conversions are performed every year just because the individuals who have placed them were not notified of better alternatives.

1) Understand Your Transfer Timing

The reality is that the FX market is significantly harder to capitalize on in regards to timing windows than the stock market. While FX may experience more activity during certain periods (on average) in a week, global exchanges are basically open all day. On the flip side, you can only trade stocks during “Wall Street” hours, otherwise known as the hours of a business day. The fact that the stock market has limited trading periods and more commonly understood “open and close” periods, there are general blocks of time during the day where it’s more volatile.

The FX trading market, seeing as it’s accessible at virtually any time during the week excluding weekends, is much more efficient however. There’s not always a predictable rush that is akin to a market opening and closing every day at the same time. For the FX markets, timing is not the most essential consideration unless you’re planning to “day trade forex” on your own terms, which involves setting up short term entry and exit points – which are oftentimes wildly inaccurate. It’s for this reason that we can’t confidently provide you with the best trading time.

However, there is one important thing about timing FX that’s worth mentioning. On weekends when individuals are drying up currency and taking up its supply, the rates generally increase. This is due to the fact that they’re essentially purchasing currencies from reserves on weekends since the FX markets are closed, and that foreign exchange service providers assume added risk from owning currency they cannot immediately trade. Don’t book your conversions over the weekend if you can help it.

2) Always Hunt for Competitive Rates

If we are being completely honest, it’s easy to go to a major bank and exchange money – especially if you’ve already registered a few financial products under them. The downside is this convenience usually comes at a big cost. Banks are notorious for charging relatively high rate markups for their service, but if you’re only trading small amounts then the actual dollar cost to you is practically negligible. The advantages of getting a competitive foreign exchange rate really only present themselves when you’re trading large amounts of dollars. If you’re thinking about exchanging thousands of dollars you could really benefit from rate-hunting. Check the table at the top of this page to get an idea of common rate markups from popular FX service providers.

If you are truly determined to get the best value transaction, make sure to ask these financial institutions about their FX fee structure as well. Unfortunately the rate is not the only thing you’ll need to look out for in terms of the overall transaction cost. You’ll often find fixed transaction fees and other commissions attached to the exchange rate provided, so it’s important to consider these as well if you’re looking to keep more money in your wallet.

3) Know Your Provider

If you’re unsure of a FX service provider’s history or reputation it doesn’t hurt to ask them a few questions about their practice. Respectable companies will be glad to ease your concerns as long as you ask the right types of questions. Here are a few relevant questions you could ask to figure out if your FX service is right for you:

What’s your exchange rate? This question is pretty basic but it establishes the most important consideration at the start of the deal. In practically every situation it should be used as your opener. Great exchange rates are where you’ll save the most amount of money on large transactions, so it’s important to agree on one that is competitive. Once you’ve settled on an exchange rate offered by your provider, see if you can lock it in (preserve it for a future date). Some professional institutions will do this free of charge.

Are you financially regulated? There are two massive financial regulatory boards that overlook businesses within the FX industry. Namely, they are the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and FINTRAC. It’s generally agreed upon that you should not ever book an exchange with a service provider that isn’t properly regulated by a third party. The safety of your transaction is of the utmost importance.

Are you a Canadian-owned business? Being a resident of Vancouver, it helps to know that your FX provider operates within the same country. Canadian businesses support the national economy and work closely with other Canadian financial institutions.

4) Do Not Dismiss Convenience

Many individuals who perform frequent currency exchanges often wonder if it’s worth switching to a different primary bank for cheaper FX transfers. Truthfully, the answer varies depending on individual needs and personal income levels. If you find yourself often switching between USD and CAD in Vancouver to make timely payments it may be worth it. Of course, you could just open up a separate bank account with your current bank that’s denoted in the other dollar. For instance, if you live in Vancouver and need to pay expenses south of the border in USD, you can register for a US dollar account at your Canadian bank.

However, opening up a USD account will not solve all of your foreign exchange cost efficiency problems. While it can store your US dollars at an affordable cost, you can’t use the account itself to actually exchange them. You could use the same bank’s services to convert those dollars into any other tradable currency if you are only doing small sized transactions since it would be extremely easy.

The idea behind switching banks/seeking more favorable money conversion opportunities is that you need substantial transfer sizes to receive the most value. In the simplest terms possible, the more you spend translates to the more you save. Jumping from one major bank to another involves a ton of paperwork and hassle, and the FX cost savings advantage might even be negligible in some circumstances. In order to get the best rates on foreign exchange in Vancouver, regardless of which Canadian bank you’re with, contact KnightsbridgeFX – they guarantee rates that beat the banks.

5) Exchanging Physical Cash the Right Way

Virtually every large Canadian financial institution can quickly settle any transactions between CAD and USD. If you walk into a bank branch in Vancouver today you’ll most likely be able to acquire US cash in hand. However, if you’re looking for more specific or niche currencies that are not readily available, your bank will need to order it on your behalf.

Fortunately for you there are a few FX services native to Vancouver that’ll give you cash upfront – even if the transactions aren’t necessarily at the best rate. Again, requesting transfers in physical cash is another instance where you emphasize convenience over dollar cost savings. VBCE, short for the Vancouver Bullion and Currency Exchange, has a few locations near and within city limits where you can pick up hard money. You can give them a call to find out about their services at 1-888-224-3331. For obvious reasons, picking up cash is mainly beneficial when it’s only a few thousand dollars or less. Do not forget to bring a few forms of personal identification, as it’s a mandatory requirement in order to book conversions in person at all reputable exchange centers.

Here’s how you should go about purchasing physical money:

Having foreign cash on hand that you could leverage internationally, especially if you travel frequently, is a huge advantage since it deters you from placing more money transfers while overseas. In the case of thousands of dollars, this service is a luxury – you’ll definitely receive better quotes on your exchange if it’s performed solely through a digital medium. Remember, a good rate on a sizeable sum of money being transferred can literally save you hundreds of dollars – even if it’s an online only transfer. Our advice if you’re living in Vancouver is to get a US dollar bank account and receive inbound digital transfers in USD. From that point you’ll be able to withdraw the US dollars, although there may still be some fees. We recommend checking the terms and conditions of your USD bank account to double check.




· More convenient – if you’re already using the bank for other financial services it is easier to use their foreign exchange platform

· Higher fixed fees – banks typically include a substantial fixed fee, per transaction, that can quickly add up when making numerous small transfers

· Physically available – Canadian banks (most notably the “Big Five”) have many physical branches you could walk into if you have any issues or concerns

· Unfavorable rates – banks feature notoriously high foreign exchange rate markups relative to its competition

· Reduced hassle – there is no need to constantly bounce your money back and forth between third party accounts if you need quick access to cash

· Customer service – while this doesn’t apply in all situations, reputable independent FX companies show great attention to detail and care for retail clients

Why Do Residents of Vancouver Exchange Money?

Individuals and businesses all will come across the need to exchange currencies at some point in their lifetime. No matter the reason behind it, it’s important to get a competitive exchange rate so you can save as much as possible. After all, currency conversion is a commodity service – it’s hard to exchange “better” than others, because all exchanges are essentially just trading one form of money for another. When FX service providers claim that they exchange “better,” they either have cheaper rates, faster delivery times, or quality customer service.

In regards to this fact, KnightsbridgeFX guarantees rates that are better than any of the main Canadian banks. It’s a good idea to book exchanges with them for any one of these reasons:

  1. Your total transaction value exceeds $2000 (which will grant you free wire transfers)
  2. You frequently travel outside of Vancouver to parts of the United States and need personal spending money in USD
  3. You’re a Vancouver snowbird that’s trying to escape Canada’s cold season and flock to the US for warmer weather and climate
  4. You migrated to Vancouver with family members living in other countries where you are trying to send money back (international money transfers)
  5. You’re a Vancouver citizen or PR who is a seasoned international investor looking to make big purchases overseas in foreign currency (or make payments on these assets)
  6. You’re a financially responsible Vancouver citizen or PR who wants to hedge their investment portfolio against the risk attached to the Canadian dollar through buying foreign currency

A Brief History of the Two Neighboring Dollars: Canada and the US

The Canadian currency of the dollar is also sometimes called the 'loonie' and symbolized by 'CAD'. A Canadian loonie is synonymous with the Canadian one dollar metal coin. The Bank of Canada is the central bank responsible for printing out Canadian dollars and allowing them to enter circulation. The Royal Canadian Mint is responsible for minting the physical metal coins. Throughout history, the Canadian dollar has bounced back and forth between the floating currency system and the fixed currency system. A fixed system involves the government mandating a nominal value on the dollar that cannot be swayed by market forces. As you may have guessed, a float system is the complete opposite. Float currencies are dictated by foreign exchange markets and are constantly fluctuating in value, which is the system that Canada’s dollar currently uses.

When comparing the CAD to its international neighbor, the USD, it’s important to note that the currencies have maintained a somewhat stable relationship, trading a bit above or below parity. The US dollar reigned supreme over the Canadian dollar over the long run, as it does today, but there were certainly periods of time where the CAD was more favorable. While both countries trade currencies with each other near parity (when the currency exchange rate is 1 on both sides) the USD is a more valuable fiat currency due to the more prosperous economic conditions in the United States. Times where the Canadian dollar surpassed the USD involved brief periods of economic recovery from a recession or downturn that Canada handled better than its southern neighbor.

What is CAD-USD Exchange?

The commonly known CAD-USD or USD-CAD symbol basically represents the value of the two dollars when paired against one another. The two dollars separated by a hyphen or a slash is referred to as a currency pairing. The term is commonly used as an abbreviation by FX market traders to method of quickly identifying and labeling an exchange. Apart from the two dollars, there are many other existing currency pairs – in fact, a pair can practically be denoted from any two tradable currencies valued against each other.

The relationship between the currencies is what’s widely referred to as the exchange rate, since it is a ratio of price. In other words, the currency exchange rate determines how much of one currency would you need to trade to get the other currency. For instance, if the CAD/USD mid market rate was 0.7 then you would only receive 70 American cents for every 1 Canadian dollars spent. On the other hand, a USD/CAD ratio of 0.7 – the inverse – would mean that it only takes 70 Canadian cents to purchase a US dollar. Whenever the USD/CAD ratio is favorable for Canadian residents in Vancouver, it can be a good idea to spend money south of the border since the CAD will have more buying power than the USD.

It’s important to mention that the CAD-USD and USD-CAD exchange rates are only a global FX market representation; you most likely won’t obtain these rates through a service provider. The mid market rate does not take into account fees, fixed transaction charges, or any exchange rate markups that FX firms install into currency conversion costs. Put simply, FX service providers charge a premium to retail clients in order for them to use the money transferring service.

Exchange Rates: A Closer Look into their Valuation

It’s really difficult to pinpoint (with accuracy) the exact factors and their associated degree of effect on a country’s exchange rate/dollar value. Most FX market analysts unanimously agree that exchange rates are determined based on a blend of economic and political conditions. In fact, some of these conditions might even be speculative into the near future. As a general rule of thumb, economic/political forces on a country’s currency can be useful when describing a general downtrend or uptrend, but not the exact percentage shift. Politically, the Canadian dollar is influenced by the interbank rates set by the Bank of Canada. On a similar note the US Federal Reserve periodically sets its own interbank rates as well, that affects the value of the US dollar. Both central money powers set rates in an attempt to manually boost or limit the appeal of borrowing and lending their respective dollar.

The economic side of exchange rate factors is much less straightforward. In fact, it is very difficult to predict – with absolute certainty – how an objective change in a country’s economic situation will affect their currency valuation. Since economic factors are essentially a basket of many different components that produces one outcome (the exchange rate), it’s much akin to a stock market index fund; except we don’t know the proportionate value of each security in the fund! A few commonly brought up economic exchange rate influencers include:

This is just a short list of frequently mentioned economic factors but in reality there are many more components to it.

Converting Currencies: The Best Way To Keep More Money In Your Wallet

As more and more foreign exchange companies enter the industry on an ongoing basis, it can be difficult to keep up with the right deals. However, you really can’t go wrong with companies that specialize in online-only services. These aforementioned businesses (for example KnightsbridgeFX) operate with lower overhead costs than the banks do. This means that they are able to offer retail customers better rates simply due to the fact that it’s affordable and within reason to do so. KnightsbridgeFX ensures its competitive rates with a best rate guarantee, since you could save up to 2% on their currency exchange relative to a nearby Vancouver bank.

While brick and mortar financial institutions may be convenient for some, many KnightsbridgeFX customers agree that the cost savings are worth going digital. Here are just a few reasons that detail why KnightsbridgeFX is such a popular currency conversion and money transfer service:

NO WIRE TRANSFER FEES: As long as you’re willing to transact amounts over $2000 CAD, KnightsbridgeFX will give you free complimentary wire transfers on your funds.

ZERO HIDDEN CHARGES: KnightsbridgeFX practices fully transparent business with exchange rates that you can lock in. Once you’ve agreed to a rate, KBFX will send you a written confirmation that details the entire cost of your order – you only pay the exchange rate.

YEARS OF EXPERIENCE: To this day, the company has serviced over 70 thousand clients and executed over $2 billion CAD worth of transactions.

EXPERT REGULATORY STANDARDS: KnightsbridgeFX continues to maintain the professional financial business standards set in place by two major governing boards. These would be FINTRAC (#M09819788) and AMF (#904210).

NEWSWORTHINESS: You can occasionally find KnightsbridgeFX being featured on the news for topics such as currency conversion and Canadian dollar forecasts.

Placing Vancouver, BC in the Spotlight

Vancouver City is widely regarded as being one of the most illustrious cities in Canada. While it may have the expensive price tag of Toronto, the city makes up for it with the beautiful wildlife to be found in British Columbia, Canada. It’s classified in Canada’s top five largest metropolitan areas (by population) and has a great safety rating and public service infrastructure, making it ideal for both single individuals and families. The overall quality of life in Vancouver has been rated very high by its residents, and the city’s multicultural and diverse vibe gives the area a welcoming breath of fresh air.


Vancouver PROS

Vancouver CONS

DISTANCE: Geographically speaking. If you reside within Vancouver’s city limits, everything you would need is in close proximity (including the city’s shoreline).

EVENTS: Compared to other large Canadian metros, Vancouver is fairly quiet. Apart from its occasional city gatherings and sport events it is very peaceful.

NATURE: The area is surrounded by an expansive wilderness containing beaches, mountains, forests, and the ocean.

PRICE: Vancouver is easily one of the most expensive areas to live in Canada, mostly since the city is incredibly compact and living space is limited.

SAFETY: Vancouver is ranked as a very safe city to live in, making inner city wandering a little less stressful.

CLIMATE: Although you won’t see much snow in Vancouver, life in the compact city is subject to constant rain throughout the year and grayish skies.

MULTICULTURE: The city is incredibly diverse culturally and is welcoming to people from all over the globe, making it extremely comforting.

CRIME: While the city is still extremely safe in terms of major crime, there have been many reports of petty theft (stealing personal belongings that are left unchecked).

HEALTH: Due to the mountains, forests, and oceanic beaches being nearby, it’s easy for Vancouver residents to live a healthy active lifestyle.

MINDSET: In Vancouver you’ll definitely meet the right friendly people, but you may find it difficult to actually fit in. The area’s locals typically hang out amongst themselves in a tight-knit group fashion.

Travelling around Vancouver City

If you’re new to the city it might help to familiarize yourself with the areas surroundings. Naturally, the best way to do this is by exploring and discovering ideal transportation options. Canada in general features a vast landscape full of distance to cover by road, so it makes sense why Canadians stress the importance of personal vehicle ownership. In Vancouver however, this theory gets turned upside down. The city is incredibly compact and everything you would ever need for day to day life is within reach – you’d only really need a vehicle if you’re planning to drive outside the city limits. To help optimize your Canadian west coast adventure, we’ve listed a few of our favorite ways to travel around Vancouver city:


Bikes are unanimously agreed upon by Vancouver residents as the most efficient way to get around the city. While it may not be the optimal way to travel from one city end to the other, it’s undisputedly a great method of transportation for your morning commute. Another great thing about bicycles is that you could rent them for short use through a community bike-share initiative. The alternative is simply to purchase one, since bikes are relatively inexpensive and great value for money in Vancouver. Short bike rides to work, to the gym, and to the grocery store are perfect in this city, especially thanks to the year-round tolerable weather. Also in this category of personal eco-transportation are long boards and electric skateboards (another favorite in Vancouver that is mainly adopted by the younger crowd).

Public Transportation

Vancouver undoubtedly has a very good public transportation system. It may not be as in-depth and expansive as the New York City subway system, but the infrastructure is highly supportive of brief trips within the city limits. Public transportation vehicles in this city are very modernized, clean, and safe to ride. Many residents would agree that the city’s most striking transportation feature is the SkyTrain. The Vancouver SkyTrain is an amazing way to experience new-age travel while getting to downtown Vancouver very quickly. The SkyTrain will also take you to the airport for an additional fee.

One-time Ride Payments

Taxis, Ubers, and Lyfts are all plentiful in amount in Vancouver city. After all, the metropolitan area has a massive “hustle culture” as people are constantly moving around to and from work in an attempt to gather the month’s rent. Although they might not be the cheapest option in most scenarios, the convenience of one-time rides cannot be denied. With one of these ride services you won’t have to worry about getting lost in the city (if you’re new or just visiting) so you can concentrate on other important things on your agenda.

Top 3 Things To Do In Vancouver City

Adventuring within the Vancouver city limits is an enjoyable time for individuals and families alike. Due to the vast amounts of diversity, both in culture and exploratory opportunity, people with any kind of budget can have a wonderful experience. We’ve listed a few of our favorite Vancouver-exclusive pastimes below:

#1 Embrace the Wilderness

Many Vancouver tourists and visitors visit the city with the expectations of hanging around downtown and near the coast. The area’s locals however advise against this mentality. The true beauty of Vancouver resides in the surrounding area, like the mountains and the rainforest. To get the most out of your visit, you should escape the metro hustle and enter the tranquility of nature. If you enjoy hiking (or simply want to give it a try) there are many public park trails near the city that you can take advantage of. Some notable ones include but are not limited to Anvil Island, Grouse Mountain, and the Lynn Canyon. Alternatively, if you’re only able to visit Vancouver for a brief period and do not have the time (or the means) to explore the outer regions, consider Stanley Park. Stanley Park in Vancouver is a beautiful wildlife centre that’s located right in the downtown area – hopefully near your hotel!

#2 Enjoy the Cuisine

The Western coast of Canada has a lot to offer in the flavor department. No matter which section of the city you visit, you can’t really go wrong in terms of finding hearty Canadian food. For the ultimate Vancouverian experience, consider hitting a few waterfront restaurants for quality poutine and burgers accompanied by a cool and salty breeze. If you prefer a more quaint and lowkey dining spot, you could always get delicious takeout from one of Vancouver’s Asian communities. Vancouver features a rich Can-Asian (Canadian-Asian) culture that brings the spectacular Eastern cuisine into the multi cultural areas of the city. Since you really cannot go wrong with your decision, we recommend trying out as many different restaurants as you can during your stay.

#3 Go to the Beach

Being located right next to the Pacific Ocean, the city’s sandy shorelines would appeal to any avid beachgoer. Most Vancouver beaches are densely populated if you’re a fan of big crowds, but the water is fairly warm. It’s also worth mentioning that weather in Vancouver is relatively pleasant all year (when it is not raining) so you can really get the most beach time as possible. Our personal favorite beaches to see in Vancouver would include Wreck Beach, Kitsilano, and Jericho. Fortunately you can’t really go wrong with any of these locations as they each bring something different for the table.


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