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PostFri Jan 22, 2021 11:28 am 
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it's looking possible (not guaranteed) that i might be able to move to british columbia and could possibly secure a job that will allow permanent work from home. i have researched my preferred towns for some time and have arrived at the following locations. for those of you with good knowledge of these places, which one would you select and why?

tier 1:
rossland
kimberley
nelson

tier 2:
golden
revelstoke
fernie
invermere
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kite
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PostFri Jan 22, 2021 4:58 pm 
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iron,

I have spent a few winter and a summer in Rossland and loved it, the town felt real and was not to inundated during the winter. Close to the border and easy shopping in Trail and the school is really good. I missed last season so I have not gotten to try out the new highspeed network that got installed.

Also spent a summer working in Golden & thought it was a sweet town, just a bit of drive to get anywhere and it could get really cold.

Nelson is also a cool town and white water is real.
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Matt Lemke
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PostFri Jan 22, 2021 7:46 pm 
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Whichever you decide, those are all great places. I have no doubt you would be happy in any one if them.

Glad it looks like you'll be able to work it out to move up there!

My personal choice on your list would be revelstoke. The access to alpine climbing or skiing is unparalleled. I couldnt say to which would be the best place to raise a family though.

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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostFri Jan 22, 2021 8:19 pm 
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Just passing thru or briefly hanging out several of those places, Invermere and Nelson are the two that stood out to me.
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Randito
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PostSat Jan 23, 2021 12:51 am 
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If it's going to be long term remote work, why do you need to choose just one?   I'd try one for a year, then move on to the next.   

If you have a fondness for tye dye and berkinstocks,  start in Nelson.
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treeswarper
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PostSat Jan 23, 2021 5:12 am 
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Was not Nelson the town where Roxanne was filmed?

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PostSat Jan 23, 2021 6:29 am 
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Sounds like you're moving up as a Canadian permanent resident as opposed to entering on a regular 6 month tourist visa that is available to US citizens?

All the towns listed have plusses and minuses. Is being 3 hours from Spokane or Calgary a good thing or do you prefer the more isolated Revelstoke? Is occasional rain in the winter (like the Cascades) ok? How about brutal cold temperatures? All have great ski areas near them, with Invermere/Panorama and Kimberly probably being the worst. Rossland is surrounded by hills compared to the mountains around Revelstoke and Golden. Nelson is right near where the rockies really start to get going. All the cities listed are trendy and getting more expensive and crowded each year.

I'd pick Revelstoke or Golden for excellent lift and backcountry skiing near the most rugged part of the Canadian Rockies. Revelstoke is the better town, warmer, wetter, easier access to summer fun in the Okanagan. Golden is an improving, less crowded town. Colder, drier snow and closer to Banff, Jasper, and a major airport in Calgary.
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PostSat Jan 23, 2021 1:27 pm 
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goal is a permanent move with canadian residency and eventually citizenship (3 yrs).

it would be me, wife, and 2 young kids. i do not want to move around a bunch if possible as our oldest will be starting kindergarten in fall 2021.

top concerns for me:
- not likely to be overrun with tourists or development (my tier 2 group)
- access to family oriented activities (this might mean sacrificing some of the glory of more adventurous mountain terrain)
- reasonable (for the kootenays) weather (invermere and revelstoke are low on this list)

all these towns have ski hills in them, so it's kind of a non factor even if some hills are better than others.

road biking is a bonus (southern towns likely better)
airport access to US visitors is big plus (kimberley tops the list; others would likely require a drive from spokane to pick people up)
lake would be nice, but not needed (nelson tops the list)
indoor rec center with pool and climbing gym is pretty important (golden doesn't have indoor pool)
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Anne Elk
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PostSat Jan 23, 2021 2:00 pm 
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Several of my Canadian friends who spent decades in the Banff-Canmore area all eventually decamped to Invermere and nearby Wilmer when the Bow Valley grew obnoxiously over-populated/over-visited.  Hikers, skiers & climbers all, but none had child-related concerns.

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PostSun Jan 24, 2021 10:55 am 
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Here's my two cents on each town from my visits:

Rossland: small population but increasingly getting taken over by yuppies with the more working class folk living down valley in Trail. Trail is the largest smelter in BC and was built specifically on the Columbia River a stones throw from WA so that they could dump the toxic tailing directly in the water and kill Americans while only killing a few Canadians. Lawsuits have caused them to clean up their act some but the soil, air, and water is still toxic and could harm your kids. Rossland sits above the toxicity but still an issue. Rossland is small but Trail and Castlegar are larger and have things like Walmarts, ice rinks, swimming pools. Can rain in winter in Rossland and is very grey and foggy. Mountains are not very rugged but still pretty cool. Not a far drive to Kooteney Pass (highest paved pass in Canada), Nelson, the Valhallas, and Amrstrong Mountain and Sherman Pass back in WA. Red mountain gets enough snow (300 inches annually) but can rain. The ski able acres is very big. Great mountain biking, not any great nearby rock climbing. Shuttle to Spokane airport so no need to drive to Spokane to pick up friends from the airport. Can shop at Spokane Costco, Home Depot, ect but could be issues bringing items back across border.

Nelson: getting very yuppie and expensive. Town is low elevation so rains in winter. Grey, foggy in winter. Deep in a valley so not much sunlight. Bigger and more vibrant city than Rossland. Has the best old architecture and classic small city feel of all of the choices. Whitewater ski area is very small but gets as good of snow as anywhere on earth. Close to Kootenay Pass and Kootenay Provincial Park. Good mountain biking. Just a bit farther from Spokane than Rossland.

Revelstoke: low elevation and on wet, warm side of mountains so can rain in winter. Ski area is huge and becoming a major destination. The most remote of the towns, but closest to Vancouver. Okanogan valley is near giving you good shoulder season escape to warmer, drier, weather. Epic mountains that are a mix between the coast range and the rockies so you get the best of both worlds. On Canada highway 1 so feels more connected to the rest of Canada than say Rossland or Nelson. Great aquatic center.

Golden: like Revelstoke, but 10-20 years behind. On the dry, cold side of the mountains. Closer to Calgary and Banff. A bit farther drive up to Rogers Pass than Revelstoke. I think that side of the pass closes more often for avy. Kicking Horse is a somewhat hidden gem of a ski resort.

Fernie: only 3 hours from Calgary so gets taken over by people on weekends, holidays. Despite being on the dry, cold side of the mountains have heard it still rains there in the winter a bit.

I've driven through Kimberly and Invermere but haven't skied at the resorts and don't have much opinion on either. I think I would prefer Invermere over Kimberly because more rugged mountains.  They have been trying unsuccessfully to build Jumbo Mountain ski resort near Invermere forever. As I understand, it will likely never get built. All these towns are relatively hard to get to for the masses so despite their best efforts, they have not been able to build a Whistler like resort in any of the areas.
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PostSun Jan 24, 2021 8:58 pm 
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atlasnob:

thanks for all the feedback.

it sounds like you are saying that it can rain and be foggy in all these towns in winter. kind of like a wenatchee + seattle blend. and, that all the towns are being overrun by new $$$ and sucking the charm out of them. seems like the inevitable outcome of the BC tourism dept combined with the power of the internet. i think all the towns are more or less valley towns, with the exception of rossland and kimberley.

rossland: i believe your insight on rossland/trail is similar to what i read elsewhere, and i had previously struck those towns off my list. but then i talked with someone who lives in rossland and speaks incredibly highly of it, even in comparison to the other towns on my list. my other concern is that the quality of the mtns here doesn't measure up to those of other towns. on the flipside, it seems like this would have the most options for road biking.

nelson: thanks for pointing out the small ski resort size. i hadn't yet looked at the specifics of the ski resort 'quality'; i had only noted that whitewater is 22 mins from downtown, making it the longest drive compared to the others. but, it's pretty clear that whitewater is on a different (smaller) level compared to the others on the list.

revelstoke: i'm surprised you consider this the most remote of the towns. i would figure that was golden since revelstoke is 2.5 hrs from kelowna/kamploops. i guess since the folks in K/K have access to big white, silver star, apex, etc, they don't need to travel to revelstoke, whereas golden is probably one of the closer spots for folks from calgary (though wouldn't they just ski at banff?)

golden: i think if i was single or married with no kids, this would top the list. i think it has the most potential and it clearly on the epic side for access to the outdoors.

fernie: yes, i've heard the same about the flood of calgary folks on the weekends. since one of my purposes of moving to a ski town would be for the kids, it would kind of suck to encounter whistler-like lines every weekend for a 'local'.

invermere/kimberley: i think invermere is the coldest (on paper) by a considerable amount. i think this is a big factor considering we'd be moving from seattle area. the one thing i like about kimberley (and maybe rossland) is that they aren't located on the main highway. to get to kimberley, you need to intentionally detour from the main road to reach it.

thanks again!
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