Kootenays

Discussion in 'Canada' started by lukex, Nov 14, 2005.

  1. lukex

    lukex Adventurer

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    Hi all :linzi
    Damp British guy(&wife) here, looking at up rooting sticks from UK and moving to The Great White North, hopefully the Kootenay region. Any of you guys hail from this region? If so can you help me find out more about it?
    Thanks in advance :nod At.
    #1
  2. canuck

    canuck Been here awhile

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    A really great part of BC. Best bike roads in the province. Lots of small towns to choose from. Winter is much harder than on the coast. (where I live)

    House prices are "reasonable" compared to UK. Depending on your profession, you might need to look to larger towns to find work.

    Any specific questions ??
    #2
  3. Steve G.

    Steve G. Long timer

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    You will find that compared to England, the price of real estate in the Kootenays, especially the North Kootenays, will be absolutely 'fire sale' deals everywhere.
    The southern part is where the 'hub' towns are, like West Kootenays' Nelson, Castlegar, or the biggest city in the region, Cranbrook, which is in the south east part of the region. Smaller towns are numerous, with land prices you will find very reasonable. My favourite area being the Nakusp/New Denver/Kaslo area, as a Laverda owner, the world source for parts being a great fellow in Nakusp.
    Of course as stated by Canuck, it truly is the best on road/off road riding in the country. And close to the border, a half days ride to motorcycle heaven, Oregon/ Idaho/Montana.
    This area does have a genuine 4 month winter though, with true snow buildup. Moving just 100 miles west gets you into the northern thumb of the Sonoran desert, the Okanagan valley, with vastly drier precipitation, and winters easier to deal with. If you ski, then the Kootenays is for you.
    Of course, what you do for a living [or if you have to work] has alot to do with what would work best for you.
    Ciao, Steve G.
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  4. Mercenary

    Mercenary Mindless Savage

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    I don't live in the area but have been there quite a bit. It is a true Nirvana. I have sniffed around the Kootenays for years now and I keep going back. Like the guys here have stated, you will find real estate prices to be quite resonable when directly comparing them to prices in GB.

    Give us some idea about what you want to know about the area and we will do our best to fill in the gaps.
    #4
  5. lukex

    lukex Adventurer

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    Thanks for the response guys, appreciate :thumb
    OK guys, you asked for it! :D
    We`ve split the research up into three parts: Climate, Geography & Economy.
    So...............
    Climate. Steve said it is winter four months of the year. Does that mean four months of snow or what? I guess a topical question would be when would the GS have to stop being ridden? Here in the South-West UK we jokingly say that winter is nine months of the year! OK, so it ain`t cold (lows of minus3deg) and I can commute by bike year round but we do get an incredible amount of rain. Try 253 days with precipitation out of 365! That`s more than Vancouver :eek1 It drowns your spirit after a while :cry

    As far as Geography goes we have spent a few months in "motorcycle heaven, Oregon/ Idaho/Montana." trailing through the rockies, so we are certain that is what we want more of. Lakes and mountains and creeks, it`s pretty pretty:choppa

    Don`t I wish! :D
    Last then is Economy by which I really mean work. I am a structural engineering draughtsman(Canuck=Drafter, I think?) so I am hoping that I may be able to get work in some of the larger towns in the area. Do you guys think that is likely? Is the construction trade up or down at the moment?
    Thanks again, At :thumb
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  6. kootenay kid

    kootenay kid Lets Ride

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    Although I do not currently have a bike, I have in the past owned a few. I sold my CBR 900 Last year. I live in the heart of the Kootenays in Trail and can tell you there is not many places better for riding. We are 2 miles from the border with Washington and Idaho and Montana are just 2 hours away.

    I used to park my Bike at the end of October. By this time the frost is pretty heavy and the roads are a little scary in the morning. As I write this we have light snow for the first time falling today. If we are lucky, the bikes start reappearing in the middle of March at the earliest, April 1st everyone is out.
    As for the work scene, there is a general boom in the economy right now and there isnt much reason not to have a job. Amec Americas is a large engineering firm in town which is active for projects all over the world particularly in South America, here in Trail at the worlds largest Zinc and Lead smelter and up North in the Diamond Mines. Depending where you want to live, house prices can be had from $45,000.00 CDN up to just about anything. We have a ski hill in Rossland that is expected to rival Whistler in the next 5 years or so and the house prices are thru the roof averaging $300,000.00 or more. In contrast, a house can be had for 50-60,000.00 just 10 minutes down the road in Trail. Other areas in trail can be 200,000.00 or more. Great outdoor living if you like fishing hunting, biking hiking and anything else. We are truly blessed here. Let me know if you want more info.
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  7. Steve G.

    Steve G. Long timer

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    You certainly won't have any problem finding work in B.C. Atkule. The lack of tradesmen in Western Canada is in true crisis mode right now. Everyone is running with cronic understaffed status, and everyone has to wait months sometimes to get stuff done. Vancouver/Whistler is getting ready for the 2010 winter Olympics, and has attracted trades there from other places with huge money. Job? No problem at all. As well, it seems most young people these days want to sit in front of the computer these days, just at a time when the baby boomer tradesmen are retiring.
    Yes, the Kootenays has a genuine winter, unlike the southwest of B.C., [which I know is quite like the winters in southwest England [I have an uncle in Wells, Sommerset]. Everywhere in B.C., except Vancouver/Victoria and the North coast [Prince Rupert, Queen Charlotte Islands] will get a mid January/mid Februrary cold bite that will last maybe 1 to 2 1/2 weeks, where is will be minus 20c-minus 30c [0f-minus 15f]. Genuine seasons indeed. Farther north will get progressively colder. Mountain passes will be cooler. As mentioned earlier, the Okanagan valley will probably be just as cold, but much, much drier. Any snow that happens gets blown away fast. The place has cactus and rattle snakes.
    There are large towns and cities in both regions, but less people and less business boom in the Kootenays.
    The Kootenay kid mentions Trail. This small city does indeed have a base economy, and great riding all round. It used to have a bad reputation as a 'mill' town, with pollution to match but has cleaned up it's act. I'm far from a tree hugger type, but this is something to check out maybe.
    Riding 12 months in the Kootenays may require the purchase of a Ural side hack for a couple months a year.
    Ciao, Steve G.
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  8. lukex

    lukex Adventurer

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    Hello again guys,
    Well, it all sounds very good from where I`m standing. I have to see if I can find some work now and get the visa.
    One or two more questions though:ear
    Do any of you know of any good Canada specific employment agencies? I`ve tried google searching but keep getting global companies which ain`t much use. Koot Kid, maybe you know of some in Trail & around that I could contact?
    Do you think it will be easy to find a place to rent when we first arrive? Is auto insurance expensive? I`m assuming that I will be commuting to work wherever that might be and I`ll need transport. Are cars cheap to buy? I am quite prepared to drive an old wreck. As long as it`s reliable :D Also one more climate question for Mr Kootenay Kid there, in the winter does the sky go grey and dark as here or do you get plenty of clear sky days to ski on?
    As for parking the bike up in October, looks like I`ll have to get one of these http://www.ukgser.com/forums/showthread.php?t=55638&highlight=trailers :thumb
    All the best guys, At
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  9. kootenay kid

    kootenay kid Lets Ride

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    Hey Aktule hows it going. I thought I would take few minutes to answer some questions. First, our winters seem to be getting less and less snow but on average where I live we have 2-3 feet ussually in the yard. There are many days that the sun is shining on the mountains and things are just awesome. There is also those days that are cloudy and snowy of course, but with out them we wouldnt have winter! All in all its pretty nice if you like snow and skiing. I have had many snowmobiles and can tell you it is incredible.

    As for Trail, I actually live 20 minutes outside of Trail in a mall town called Fruitvale. The main reason was for better air quality as the old smelter has been known to produce some smoke. I work for a company who employs Pipefitters and Ironworkers and our main source of work is at Cominco (the mill). I can assure you that they have and continue to spend tens of millions improving the place. As matter of fact, inthe last 6 years they have spent 500 million on rebuilds. The old smelter that used to pollute is gone and the air quality is 80% better. I would not hesitate to live in Trail. As a result of this reputation the house prices are lower as I described before. Rentals in any town around here would not be a problem.
    As for cars, there are millions of vehicles at any price range. I saw a 2002 Pontiac Sunfire with 58000 Kilometers on it for 6800.00 dollars as an example. My wife drives a vehicle worth $15000.00 and she pays 1100 dollars for insurance fo full coverage.
    Work wise I would look up Amec Engineering on the internet. I know they are swamped now and a Structural draftssman should be in demand. Also the Canada Manpower center would have info. I can send you some names and numbers tomorrow.Let me know what else I can do.
    #9
  10. Steve G.

    Steve G. Long timer

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    Good advice from the Kootenay kid. Fruitvale is just a lovely little place by the way.

    Entering Canada as a landed imigrant worker has it's challenges, but has gotten better lately, but has previously been neglecting residents from the UK, prefering imigrants from third world countries with minimal english language skills.
    So, situation 1. Here's what I've learned from a good friend [originally from Heathrow, London] who has a buddy who plans on retiring in B.C. His buddy has money. He will not be working [thereby not contributing to the tax base of Canada]. Even when offering up the required money [400,000cdn up front for 5 years, then given back, less 'imigration' fees and interest], he still could not get in. But, BUT, the province of Quebec has it's own independent imigration system. It has allowed him in with open arms. A vague confirmation of some french language skills [but no test], and a one way flight from Paris, and in like flyn. Then, once stamped into the country, a flight to Vancouver, or wherever, as imigration from province to province has no borders.
    Situation2 As I'm thinking you are probably my age or younger [45 or less], you have a skill, will be working, thereby paying taxes, you have points towards you. Negative points will be a criminal record, a questionable health situation, or other socially negative traits. If all is good, contact Canada House in London, get info from them, towards some kind of visa with intention of applying for landed immigrant status, and working right away. Feel the situation out, and don't forget the Quebec option should you run into roadblocks towards imigrating into English speaking Canada. An interview with an immigration lawyer in England may be an idea as well. In this new terrorism strewn world, with increased security, countries have had to tighten things up to try to stop the scumbags of the world from travelling around. Unfortunately, this has made it more important for legitimate people like yourself to dot your I's and cross your T's.
    Good luck, and look forward to crossing paths at a bike rally in the Kootenays.
    Ciao, Steve G.
    #10
  11. kootenay kid

    kootenay kid Lets Ride

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  12. kootenay kid

    kootenay kid Lets Ride

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    A couple of my last suggestions kind of sucked. Guess I should have looked at them first:D Type in kootenay remax on google or what ever search engine you use. Should be an interesting read
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  13. Mercenary

    Mercenary Mindless Savage

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    For CANADIAN job specific sites, check out....
    monster.ca
    workopolis.com
    jb-ge.hrdc-drhc.gc.ca

    While not exactly area specific, you can narrow your search parameters to where ever you plan on searching for work.

    HTH
    #13
  14. kootenay kid

    kootenay kid Lets Ride

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  15. lukex

    lukex Adventurer

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    Thanks for your help guys. Ride safe. More questions coming soon :norton
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  16. boxermoose

    boxermoose Regressive airhead Supporter

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    Son of a gun - My in-laws live in Montrose, my sister in-law and her boyfriend are in Trail, and my wifes got cousins in Fruitvale (why do you guys hate being called hillbillys?). I send one of my boys there every summer

    I'll vouch for everything KK has said - wonderful place. We're going to look for retirement land there in a few years
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  17. kootenay kid

    kootenay kid Lets Ride

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    Hey I have no problem being called a Hillbilly. We dont want everyone knowing about our riding here!
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  18. boxermoose

    boxermoose Regressive airhead Supporter

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    If I get out there this summer I'll look you up
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  19. kootenay kid

    kootenay kid Lets Ride

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    Hey sounds good. If you want to go for a bike ride make sure youre bike carries 2! Aw maybe Ill have my GS by then:cry
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  20. lukex

    lukex Adventurer

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    It`s a small world aint it! One of Steve G`s relatives lives just down the road from us here in the UK. Stuff like that we never would have known before the internet came along eh? :nod
    #20