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Old July 24th, 2007, 12:04 PM   #1
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Vancouver or Montreal?

I don't really know if this the right place to post this. If it isn't I would appreciate if the mods could move it to another place. Ok, so here it is:

Hi,

The possibility for me to move to either Vancouver or Montreal in a couple of years just showed up. I was wondering if someone could give me the pros and cons of these 2 cities (work wise and socially wise). The big plus about Montreal is that I have loads of family there...the big con is that the winter there is just cruel and my french is not too good. My uncle from Montreal told me that Vancouver is WAY more expensive. I was also wondering how much money could I make per day as a camera operator or by renting my A1 with a brevis35 and a bunch of nikon primes.

thanks,

Rafa
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Old July 24th, 2007, 03:31 PM   #2
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I live in Vancouver and Toronto.

Vancouver is a great city. However, although it doesn't snow a lot in Vancouver, it rains a LOT. Almost everyday is either spitting, pouring, or cloudy... can get quite dreary. (EDIT: forgot to mention that this is only in the winter time. Summer time is unbeatable in Vancouver). But the landscape is definitely the most beautiful in Canada (other than maybe the East coast and far northern parts). The prairie and central provinces are horribly boring in terms of landscape. The cityscape is also very unique and when you hit up East Hastings, you can get that nice urban ghetto feel (you'll see when you get there :P).

Montreal I don't know too much about in terms of film industry. But I'm pretty sure most things go to Toronto. Vancity and Toronto are the key hubs of the Canadian film industry. Vancouver has tons of foreign productions (Hollywood included) shooting all the time. Toronto does too, and will probably grow in the near future when the new Ridley Scott movie studio is built.

From what I've experienced from both cities, Toronto has more jobs available for freelancers, and probably more filmmakers and clients as the population is much bigger in Toronto.

I recommend Vancouver over Montreal. But if family lives in Montreal, maybe move to Toronto might be the best place for you. Personally, I'd go with Toronto :)

If you ever end up moving to Vancouver, let me know!
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Old July 26th, 2007, 07:08 AM   #3
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Thanks. I'll be sure to take all of this into consideration.
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Old July 26th, 2007, 10:30 PM   #4
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I lived in Montreal.

Hola Rafa!

I lived for one year in Montreal, I'm originally from Mexico, and I can only say good thing about the city work wise and socially wise. I found a good job there, as a matter of fact I keep working from them. I never went to Vancouver, so I don't know anything about it, I have only heard good things about Vancouver also. Montreal is cheap, the winter is terrible, yes, so I recommend you that if your going there live with your family because you are going to spend a lot of time inside the house in winter and it's good to have someone to talk to. On the plus side the summer is AMAZING, they have the Jazz festival, the just for laughs festival, Montreal film festival, and another one aimed at independent cinema (I think it's called, new media festival) It's really an amazing city to live in, and the greatest thing about it is their people, everyone treated me so well. I guess that you should be asking why I don't live there anymore... Well, the reason is that during the winter I was living alone and things get a little depressive, I started feeling home sick and I asked for a permission at the job to came back to Mexico for the winter, so I started working at the distance and I realized that I was making more money because dollars go a long way here in Mexico, so I stayed here, but hopefully I'll come back when I get married so I don't get depressed again in winter. Don't worry about the french everybody talks in english also, and it's a great chance to better your french skills. Another important thing about Montreal is their media industry, Softimage and autodesk (makers of flame, inferno, 3ds max, etc.) have their headquarters there. If you have questions don't hesitate on contacting me. Saludos!
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Old July 27th, 2007, 02:04 AM   #5
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I lived in Vancouver for years and now live in Victoria. I've been to Montreal a few times and love it there. To me it has a very Euro feel. I hardly speak a word of French and I got by fine. If you go out to rural Quebec, you're screwed, but in Montreal it's very bilingual. Housing in Vancouver is expensive. Check craigslist Vancouver and Montreal for work opportunities, but I think that there are ALOT of camera ops in Vancouver these days. Montreal has some beautiful architecture, and I'd imagine there is a pretty decent indie scene. Depends on how much money you need to make.

Vancouver winters are wet. Montreal winters are cold. Take your pick. Or try Mexico or Costa Rica for a few months.

I'd try Montreal first and stay with the family, then try both Toronto and Vancouver. I'm a west coast guy all the way, but Montreal is tres chic.

Either way, Canada is a great place.
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Old July 27th, 2007, 08:48 PM   #6
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the guys all give a pretty good perspective, but the best thing to do is to spend a week in each and decide what you like best. If you are from a warm climate, and don't speak French, there is -0- motivation to live in Montreal besides family. Oh and Montreal has hotter, friendlier women than Vancouver. But it's so damn cold in winter. Ever been in -30 degree weather? :)

As for how much you'll make as a freelances in Vancouver? Well, there are probably 1000 A1's or more here, and lots of 35mm adapters for rent.
If you have some real skill as a cameraman and a great reel, you could probably make $200 a day (regardless of having a camera or not), but it'll take you a while to build up the contacts to get regular work. It's far from an ideal place to be a freelance videographer.
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Old July 27th, 2007, 09:02 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dylan Couper View Post
If you are from a warm climate, and don't speak French, there is -0- motivation to live in Montreal besides family.
...and architecture, and night life, amazing restaurants, and european culture, and exposure to another language, cheaper to live here...etc, etc...

Quote:
Oh and Montreal has hotter, friendlier women than Vancouver.
True. When I moved here from Toronto, I couldn't believe the way women would actually look at you on the street and smile.

Quote:
But it's so damn cold in winter. Ever been in -30 degree weather?
I've lived here twelve years, and it's never been -30 even once. But it does get damn cold, I will admit. You can count on a week of -20, and plenty of -10 for Jan, Feb, and March of the endless winter.

I don't know much about the freelance camera scene, cause I mostly work in events. If you are into that, it's easy to find work.
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Old July 27th, 2007, 09:15 PM   #8
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Quote:
The possibility for me to move to either Vancouver or Montreal in a couple of years just showed up.
Montreal rocks. Calgary and Edmonton are where you can make money, though.
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Old July 27th, 2007, 11:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dylan Couper View Post
the guys all give a pretty good perspective, but the best thing to do is to spend a week in each and decide what you like best. If you are from a warm climate, and don't speak French, there is -0- motivation to live in Montreal besides family. Oh and Montreal has hotter, friendlier women than Vancouver. But it's so damn cold in winter. Ever been in -30 degree weather? :)

As for how much you'll make as a freelances in Vancouver? Well, there are probably 1000 A1's or more here, and lots of 35mm adapters for rent.
If you have some real skill as a cameraman and a great reel, you could probably make $200 a day (regardless of having a camera or not), but it'll take you a while to build up the contacts to get regular work. It's far from an ideal place to be a freelance videographer.
what is an "A1"?
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Old July 28th, 2007, 09:09 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Vito DeFilippo View Post
...and architecture, and night life, amazing restaurants, and european culture, and exposure to another language, cheaper to live here...etc, etc...
1) Ok, I'll give you architecture.
2) Every city on earth has some entitlement to believe that it has better nightlife and restaurants than other cities. There is great food and clubs in every city. Montreal is no better or worse than Vancouver or Toronto in this case.
3) Umm... Rafael is from Spain... Anywhere he moves to in Canada will be exposure to a new language. Besides, in Vancouver he can get exposed to Cantonese and Mandarin. :)
4) Well, you got me, it's cheaper to live for sure.


Quote:
True. When I moved here from Toronto, I couldn't believe the way women would actually look at you on the street and smile.
If you think Toronto is bad, you should come to Vancouver. I think the girls here go around sucking on lemons. :)

Quote:
I've lived here twelve years, and it's never been -30 even once. But it does get damn cold, I will admit. You can count on a week of -20, and plenty of -10 for Jan, Feb, and March of the endless winter.
I'm counting wind chill. Still.... It's never been -10 in Vancouver since the last ice age. (not true I'm sure, but it rarely stays below 0 for long).

Anyway, I shouldn't have been so blunt about not living in Montreal. Here are some good things about it:

THE BEST F--KING HOCKEY TEAM EVER!
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Old July 28th, 2007, 09:11 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Justin Ly View Post
what is an "A1"?
An abbreviation of either a Sony HVR-A1 or a Canon XHA1.

Or a steak sauce.
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Old July 29th, 2007, 01:38 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dylan Couper View Post
1) Anyway, I shouldn't have been so blunt about not living in Montreal.
No worries. Everyone has their own opinion about great cities, and where's a good place to live. You take the good with the bad.

All the best,
Vito
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Old July 30th, 2007, 10:37 AM   #13
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Wow, thanks a bunch, guys. There's some amazing information and a lot of good will...classic Canadian :D
Language it's actually not a big big problem. Even though i don't speak french fluently I'm sure I could learn. I do speack fluent portuguese, spanish and english and basic french. What worries is how much will not knowing fluent french influence me getting work there. Besides my girlfriend/wife doesn't speak french at all, and I'm far from moving from Spain to see her work as a waitess (no offence to waitresses, but the idea is to improve life, not make it worst).
Even though Vancouver and Toronto seem to be the best choices because of the language and the weather, i think that durring a period of such radical changes family could be a huge help.
Anyway, thanks a bunch all of you!

P.S - Do they still make Fin du Monde in Montreal? it´s my favorite beer :D
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Old July 30th, 2007, 01:16 PM   #14
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Ok, lets talk numbers here.
Rent: 630 for an 80m apartment (the rent is divided between my girlfriend and I, which would make 315 each)
Food: around 200 a month (100 each)
Transportation: 30
Mobile phone: 30 (more or less)
Light, gas and water: these 3 come every 3 month and the total is around 200 (which would amount more or less to 66 per month)
Internet+phone: around 70 (35 each)
Cable TV: around 30 (15 each)
Eat out: around 80 a month per person. We probably eat out almost every weekend. Not always, but lets say we eat out every weekend for 20 per person, now that's 80 per month
Total: 671 per person...now, this value varies from month to month, but not A LOT.

Do the numbers differ a lot in Montreal, Vancouver and Toronto? How about the regular wage that most people do?
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Old July 30th, 2007, 01:43 PM   #15
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Raf,

First thing... we don't do Euro's here. But the Canadian and US dollars are near even right now (subject to wild fluctuations).

Without (me) doing to much research, what the Euro to US $ exchange?
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