Pros And Cons Of Living In Campbell River, BC 2023

Are you planning a move to British Columbia but looking for a quieter location away from the big cities? If so, you may be interested in living in Campbell River, a small coastal city on east Vancouver Island, just one of the many attractive small towns in BC.

Campbell River is a great choice for anyone that enjoys outdoor life. The city is surrounded by unspoiled scenery and abundant wildlife; it is popular for hiking and boating and has some of the best fishing in the country.

We will give you all the key information about living in Campbell River, BC, and an unbiased view of the pros and cons of living in this town.

Living In Campbell River, BC – The Facts

Here are some key facts about this coastal community for anyone interested in living in Campbell River, BC.

An Information Table Which Gives The Key Facts About The Pros And Cons Of Living In Campbell River Bc Canada
Key Facts About Living In Campbell River BC

Where Is Campbell River, BC?

Campbell River is situated around halfway up the east coast of Vancouver Island in southwestern Canada. The city lies at the south end of Discovery Passage, a body of water that separates Vancouver Island from the Discovery Islands.

The closest international airport accessible by road is Victoria International Airport which is a 3-hour drive from the city.

Options for travelling to the mainland from Campbell River are:

  • Drive for 2 hours to Nanaimo and take a ferry to Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver.
  • Driver for 3 hours to Victoria or Port Hardy and take a ferry to Vancouver
  • Fly to Vancouver from Campbell River’s small airport

What Is The Population Of Cambell River in 2023?

The population of Campbell River in 2023 is around 37,185, based on the latest government of BC government estimates released at the start of the year. 

The town has seen steady growth in recent years. The latest federal census data (released in 2022) showed a population of 35,519, representing a growth in the population of Campbell River of 7.6% between 2016 and 2021.

The average age of the population is 45.8, around 4 years higher than the national average of 41.9, and the population of Campbell River is predominantly white and English-speaking. According to the latest census data, visible minorities account for around 6% of the population. The largest minority groups living in Campbell River are South Asian and Filipino, and these two groups account for almost half of the visible minority population. 

What Is The Weather In Campbell River, BC, Like?

Most of Canada experiences cold, harsh winters with pleasant, moderately hot summers. However, BC’s coastal location and mountain ranges mean its climate isn’t typical of Canada.

You will find significant variations in the climate even within the province. Overall the BC weather is milder and wetter than the rest of Canada. The south coast has the mildest winters in Canada and warm, pleasant summers, while the southern interior has very short winters with long, dry, hot summers.

The weather in Campbell River is moderate compared to much of Canada. The average January low is minus 1 Degree C, while the average July high is 23 Degrees C. The average annual precipitation is around 1491mm, with just 84mm of this falling as snow.

A View Across The Water To A Residential Area Of Campbell River In The Fall As An Example Of The Pros And Cons Of Living In Campbell River Bc Canada
Living In Campbell River BC

What Is The Cost of Living In Campbell River Like?

Most immigrants find the cost of living high in Canada, and BC is one of the more expensive provinces. House prices in BC are around 50% higher than Canadian averages.

Rural areas are cheaper but still subject to higher provincial taxes. Sales tax is 12% on most goods (5% GST plus 7% PST) compared to 5% in provinces such as Alberta, and the top income tax rate is relatively high.

The cost of living in Campbell River, BC, is higher than in many areas of Canada. This is partly due to the BC taxes, but property prices are also more than 20% higher than the national average for Canada.

What Is The Campbell River BC Economy Based On?

The economy of Campbell River, British Columbia, was traditionally based on the extraction of natural resources, including mining (lead zinc, copper and coal), fishing and logging.

These sectors are still vital to Campbell River, but the local economy is now more diverse. Tourism is thriving, and the city has worked hard on local initiatives to attract new businesses to the area.

Is Campbell River, BC, A Safe Place To Live?

Canada is one of the safest countries in the world to live in. Crime rates are low, and the country always features near the top of the annual Global Peace Index rankings.

Canada, Quebec, Ontario and the Maritime provinces have the lowest crime rates, while the highest in the territories. BC crime rates are above average for Canada.

Campbell River, BC, is a safe place to live, although crime rates in the city are a little higher than the average for BC. However, this should be taken in the context of low overall crime rates in Canada and the province.

Are You Planning A Move To Canada?

Are you wondering whether to make the move and have endless questions?

Do you want to know how much a community service worker earns, what the best neighbourhoods in Halifax, Nova Scotia, are, or if Osoyoos, BC, is a good place to live?

We have the answers to these and many more questions.

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What Are The Schools In Campbell River, BC, Like?

Canada has a strong and publicly-funded education system, which consistently ranks as one of the best in the world. Education is administered at a provincial level, and BC has a reputation for excellent education within Canada.

Campbell River is well served by schools. It has more than ten elementary schools, two middle schools and two secondary schools. The district offers dual-track French immersion programs and has an international school which accepts overseas students.

What Is The Healthcare In Campbell River, BC Like?

Canada has an excellent publicly-funded healthcare system which covers “medically necessary” care. Generally, hospital and doctor visits are covered, while other types of care, such as dental, optical and prescriptions, are funded for certain groups of people.

In Canada, healthcare is administered at a provincial level, so anyone living in Campbell River, BC, would be covered through BC Healthcare.

You should be aware that there is currently a shortage of family doctors in much of Canada, and it can be difficult to find clinics taking on new patients. This is especially true of the smaller towns and cities.

North Island Hospital in Campbell River provides community hospital services to residents of Campbell River and surrounding areas. The hospital provides a wide range of inpatient and outpatient care, testing facilities and 24/7 emergency care.

Pros And Cons Of Living In Campbell River BC

The pros and cons of living in Campbell River, BC, will vary from person to person, but whatever you are looking for, these are key factors for you to consider.

Pros Of Living In Campbell River

  • Stunning nature and wildlife
  • Outdoor activities
  • Mild climate
  • Great healthcare
  • Good school options
  • French immersion programs

Cons Of Living In Campbell River

  • Not on mainland Canada
  • Crime rates are higher than the Canadian average.

FAQs – Living In Campbell River, BC

Pros And Cons Of Living In Campbell River Bc

4 thoughts on “Pros And Cons Of Living In Campbell River, BC 2023”

    • Hi Don,
      Thanks for your comment. It is true that officially there aren’t grizzly bears living on the island. However, there have been increasing sightings in recent years, including in the Campbell River area. This has led people to question whether the grizzlies are just passing through (apparently they swim across from other islands) or whether they are living and breeding on the island. However, I think my wording may have suggested larger numbers around Campbell River and I have amended this. Thank you again!

    • Hi Colleen,
      Thank you for your comment. It is true that the system in Canada isn’t perfect. Wait times can be long, there is a widespread shortage of family doctors, and prescriptions can be very expensive. However, our experience has been that the system does meet essential needs very well. We have always felt that care was there when we needed it.


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