Move to Saltspring Island
A Few Facts From One Set of Newcomers to Another
If your dreams of a move to Saltspring Island have become reality, there are some things you'll want to know about. We moved here in 2007, from Alberta Canada, and these are the points that we think new residents would like to know about a move to Saltspring Island.
Costs associated with moving to Saltspring Island
» Utility hookups
BC Hydro www.bchydro.com
North Salt Spring Waterworks 250-537-9902
» Driver's license transfer
A quick visit to the licensing area at SeaFirst Insurance (downtown) will get you set up with a BC driver's license. They also handle vehicle insurance and registration at the same office.
» Vehicle inspection(s)
If registering a vehicle previously registered outside of British Columbia, a full mechanical inspection is required
» Existing lease agreements
In our case, a leased propane tank for our gas fireplace. Surprise!
» Medical coverage
Be sure to cancel your health coverage if you are moving to British Columbia from another Canadian province. It is not something that happens automatically when you sign up for BC health care and your previous province will continue billing you! Avoid an unpleasant surprise bill by cancelling as soon as you have your new BC health coverage. Info on the provincial Medical Services Plan from Health Canada's website: http://www.health.gov.bc.ca/msp/infoben/eligible.html
Some Specific Challenges
» Family doctor
Finding a family physician is one of the challenges for newcomers to Saltspring Island. Many people travel off island to Duncan or Victoria for doctor's appointments. But it is worth the effort to phone all of the doctors in the telephone listings. They'll let you know whether the physician is taking new patients. If not, call the next one. It took us about six phone calls before one receptionist took pity on me and added us to their roster!
» Kids needs
Finding kids' apparel is a difficult task on Saltspring. The one multi-purpose store that carried these essentials (Fields) closed their doors recently. This means an occasional trip off island is necessary to replenish those items as needed.
If you are a sociable personality, integrating with the people in any new place can be a big priority. Here are a few ideas that will get you involved, meeting like minded people...
- join one of the local gyms
- volunteer with one of the many community organizations - http://www.volunteersaltspring.com/ has details on ways you can get involved and help out in the community
- walking/hiking group outings (watch the Driftwood newspaper for details)
- try out (and perhaps become a member at) the island's golf course
- sign up for a yoga class or retreat
- take in some live music at one of the local pub/restaurants