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 Parksville, BC, just one of the many attractive small towns in BC.
Parksville is an attractive coastal community on the sheltered east coast of Vancouver Island. It is a tourist destination with beautiful long sandy beaches and an excellent choice for anyone who enjoys outdoor activities.
We will give you all the key information about living in Parksville, BC, and an unbiased view of this small city’s pros and cons.
Living In Parksville, BC – The Facts
Here are some key facts about this coastal community for anyone interested in living in Parksville, BC.
Where Is Parksville, BC?
Parksville is situated on the east coast of Vancouver Island, which lies off Canada’s southwestern coast. This small city can be found around 150 km north of Victoria, it will take around 2 hours to drive to the island’s capital and a similar time to reach its international airport.
Options for travelling to the mainland from Parksville are:
- Drive for approx half an hour to Nanaimo and take a ferry to Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver.
- Drive for 2 hours to Victoria and take a ferry or a flight to Vancouver
- Fly to Vancouver from Qualicum Beach Airport
What Is The Population Of Parksville in 2023?
The population of Parksville in 2023 is around 14,164, based on the latest government of BC 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 13,692, representing a growth in the population of Parksville of 9.5% between 2016 and 2021.
The average age of the population is 55, which is significantly higher than the national average of 41.9. This reflects Parksvilles popularity as a retirement destination, and it is particularly popular with British people.
The population of Parkville is predominantly white and English speaking. According to the latest census data, visible minorities account for around 6% of the population. The largest minority group living in Parkville is Filipino, followed by Chinese and South Asian.
What Is The Weather In Parksville, 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 Parksville is mild for Canada. The average January low is zero Degrees C, while the average July high is 24 Degrees C. The average annual precipitation is around 1140 mm, with just 41 mm of this falling as snow.
What Is The Cost of Living In Parksville 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 average property price in Parksville is around $770,000. This is more than the Canadian average of $630,000 but isn’t particularly expensive for BC, especially for a popular tourist destination.
What Is The Parksville BC Economy Based On?
Traditionally the economy of Parksville was based on natural resource industries such as fishing and forestry. These are still important to the region, but the economy is now more diverse, with the services and construction industries now playing an important role.
Parksville is also a tourist destination, and visitors flock to the beaches in the summer. It is also increasingly popular as a retiree destination.
Is Parksville, 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.
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Canada, Quebec, Ontario and the Maritime provinces have the lowest crime rates, while the highest in the territories. BC crime rates are a little above average for Canada. Parksville is a very safe place to live, with crime rates in line with averages for BC.
What Are The Schools In Parksville, 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.
Parksville has two elementary schools (Ecole Oceanside Elementary School and Springwood Elementary School) and one secondary school (École Ballenas Secondary School); between them, they cover kindergarten to grade 12.
French immersion programs are available at Ecole Oceanside Elementary School and Ecole Ballenas Secondary School. The district also has two alternate schools offering individualized and specialized programs for students whose needs aren’t met in the mainstream school system.
What Is The Healthcare In Parksville, 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 Parksville, 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.
The closest hospital to Parksville is Nanaimo General Regional Hospital which is a half-hour drive to the south. However, the Oceanside Health Centre in Parksville offers a range of testing and medical services, including urgent care between the hours of 7:30 am and 9:30 pm.
Pros And Cons Of Living In Parksville BC
The pros and cons of living in Parksville 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 Parksville BC
- Beautiful beaches
- Mild climate
- Access to airports
- French immersion school programs
Cons Of Living In Parksville BC
- Busy in summer
- High BC taxes