Family moves from Vancouver to P.E.I. in search of affordability, 'eastsizing'

A family of five has packed up their life to move from the Vancouver area to P.E.I., to "chase one small idea."

'We're moving east for opportunity,' says family moving to P.E.I. from Vancouver

The Bruyneel family is driving from Vancouver (left) to move to P.E.I. (Eastsizing/Twitter)

A family of five has packed up their life to move from the Vancouver area to P.E.I., to "chase one small idea."

Shannon and Kent Bruyneel, along with their three children, 5 year old Andre, 3 year old Georgia and 1 year old Willa, and the family dog Gus, sold their house in Port Moody, B.C. — a suburb of Vancouver — and are now driving to the east coast, a concept they've dubbed "eastsizing."

"I was thinking about this idea of traditionally movement has been moving west for opportunity, but we're moving east for opportunity," said Shannon from the highway just outside of Calgary. "Getting out of the big city, getting out of this expensive real estate market."

Shannon is originally from Ontario, and Kent is from Vancouver, but they chose P.E.I. because they felt it was a place they could find community. Kent is an alumnus of UPEI and still has family and friends on the Island.

"There's some kind of magic there, there's some kind of pull there," said Shannon. "We wanted to be in a place where we could be in a small town and be engaged with the community."

To start, they're renting a home in Oyster Bay Bridge, P.E.I. from some friends, and eventually plan to buy a home in the Charlottetown area.

Shannon works remotely, and Kent is a writer, which allowed them to make the move.

"We were definitely under the umbrella of what you would call house poor [in Port Moody]," said Shannon. "Even renting this place for the summer, four months — almost five months — on P.E.I. is going to be about two mortgage payments of what we're used to in Vancouver."

The family is not alone to leave B.C.'s Lower Mainland, citing issues of affordability.

Last week, a blog post written by social media co-ordinator Jennifer Fox was widely shared as she explained that she was "breaking up with Vancouver" to move to Halifax.

In one Tweet from the Bruyneel family, they reference #DontHave1Million — a social media campaign started last April to highlight how difficult it is to buy a home in Vancouver.

The family has been receiving well wishes along their trip. One supportive message came from the mayor of their former city.

Another, from P.E.I., welcoming them to this province.


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