I was born in Saskatchewan, Canada's central parries, but my family moved to the Vancouver area when I was 4 years old. I started Kindergarten in Coquitlam (one of the small cities that make up the GVRD, or Greater Vancouver Regional District). My childhood and teen years were spent in various cities within the 'GVRD', and when I was 22 I moved to central Vancouver.
But as my 30th birthday loomed on the horizon and my future felt less like 'the future' and more like 'right now', one thing became impossible to deny--- I would never 'get ahead' in the city that I loved so much. I would always be living pay cheque to pay cheque. The cost of living was crippling. The average Vancouverite spends more than 50% of their income on housing. My husband and I, when we moved, were spending $1500 a month on a 700 sq/ft basement suite. It became undeniable that this sort of housing cost was not sustainable for us in the long term. We had to find a way to make living more affordable, and unless we took on 2+ roommates, that just wasn't possible within the city of Vancouver itself.
We considered moving to one of the outlaying cities that border Vancouver. Housing costs in Surrey, Port Coquitlam, Langley, and even Burnaby are moderately lower. However, what you save in rent you more than pay in additional commute time. Widely accepted as having the worst traffic in Canada, living outside of Vancouver's centre can easily add 2-3 hours per day onto someone's work commute.
We bought a little house in a small town with a population of less than 8,000 people. Our mortgage and insurance payment equal out to LESS than half of what we were paying to rent that 700 sq/f basement suite in Vancouver. In fact, real estate is so affordable out here that after 2 years we bought a second property--- a duplex that we rent out. We are home owners and landlords, and our total monthly expenses for both homes is still less than what we were paying to rent that basement suite. If you would have asked my 25 year old self if I would be living outside of Vancouver in 5 years, and own not one, but TWO houses, I would have laughed in your face. I could barely afford to pay my cellphone bill while living in Vancouver!
My husband earns the same income here as he did in Vancouver. I, initially had to take a bit of a pay cut, but after 2.5 years found myself also at the same income level that I was making in Vancouver. We have found the myth of there being "no jobs" outside of Vancouver to be entirely unfounded in our particular fields.