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 Quesnel, BC, just one of the many attractive small towns in BC.
Quesnel is an attractive riverside community on the confluence of the Quesnel and Fraser Rivers. It is known for its beautiful location and is surrounded by mountains, forests and rivers. Although relatively cold in the winter, Quesnel has a pleasantly dry and sunny climate.
We will give you all the key information you need about living in Quesnel, BC. In addition, we will provide you with an unbiased view of the pros and cons of living in this town.
Living In Quesnel, BC – The Facts
Here are some key facts about this riverside town for anyone interested in living in Quesnel, BC.
Where Is Quesnel BC?
The small city of Quesnel is located in the Cariboo Regional District of British Columbia. It lies around 400km north of Kamloops on Highway 97, which is the main route to northern BC and the Yukon. The closest sizeable city is Prince George (population approx 100,000) which is around 120km to the north.
The closest international airport is actually Kelowna Airport (around a 6.5-hour drive), but the international destinations from here are limited. The closest major airport is Vancouver International Airport which is a 7.5-hour drive to the south. However, Quesnel does have its own small airport, which offers regular flights to Vancouver.
What Is The Population Of Quesnel in 2023?
The population of Quesnel in 2023 is around 10,198, based on the latest government of BC estimates released at the start of the year.
The town has seen marginal growth in recent years. The latest federal census data (released in 2022) showed a population of 9,889, representing a growth in the population of Quesnel of just 0.1% between 2016 and 2021.
The average age of the population is 44, around 2 years higher than the national average of 41.9, and the population of Quesnel is predominantly white and English-speaking.
According to the latest census data, visible minorities account for around 7% of the population. The largest minority groups living in Quesnel are South Asian and Filipino, and these two groups account for around 60% of the visible minority population.
What Is The Weather In Quesnel, 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.
Quesnel lies further north than many BC communities and has a colder climate as a result. The average January low is minus 11°C, while the average July high is 24°C.
On the positive side, the climate is dry, with average annual precipitation of just 556mm (162mm of this falls as snow) and high numbers of sunshine hours.
What Is The Cost of Living In Quesnel 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.
Despite the high BC taxes, Quesnel is still a relatively cheap place to live. This is mainly due to low property costs; the average price of real estate in Quesnel is around $429,000, more than 30% lower than the national average.
What Is The Quesnel BC Economy Based On?
The Quesnel economy was traditionally based on the extraction of natural resources, including logging and mining. Logging is still vital to the economy, but manufacturing, construction and service industries now also play a part.
The city also benefits from tourism; popular activities include ice fishing and snowmobiling in the winter and hiking, fishing and camping in the summer. Hunting is also popular in the area.
Is Quesnel 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.
Crimes rates in the municipality of Quesnel are very high for Canada and almost three times the average for BC. While these rates sound high, they should be taken in the context of low overall crime rates in Canada.
Also, note that rates in the Quesnel rural area are significantly below average for the country and the province.
Are You Planning A Move To Canada?
Are you wondering whether to make the move and have endless questions?
We have the answers to these and many more questions.
What Are The Schools In Quesnel, 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.
The school district also offers French immersion programs, from early immersion at the kindergarten level all the way through to grade 12.
What Is The Healthcare In Quesnel, 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 Quesnel, 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.
Quesnel has its own hospital known as GB Baker Memorial Hospital. This hospital provides a wide range of inpatient and outpatient care, testing facilities and 24/7 emergency care.
Pros And Cons Of Living In Quesnel BC
The pros and cons of living in Quesnel, 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 Quesnel BC
- Attractive location
- Outdoor activities
- Low property costs
- A dry, sunny climate
- French immersion school programs
Cons Of Living In Quesnel BC
- High crime rates
- Distance to the international airport