Can someone tell me what the Perks may be for Fort St. John, B.C. ?
As a family that lived in FSJ for 8 years (moved away in '98), we can say that FSJ is not that bad. We have been back to visit once since we left and are planning on going back again this summer. Since we moved even, there have been plenty of changes.
They now have 3 large grocery stores (Safeway, IGA and Overwaitea). The Safeway was rebuilt into one of the large ones and the IGA only opened in '98. There is also a Co-op if you happen to belong. There is a large Canadian Tire. There are many restaurants ranging from the smaller local ones to chains such as Boston Pizza, Sobey's (that wasn't there when we left and I don't actually know what it serves) and Pizza Hut. There are of course all of the main fast food restaurants like McD, Tim Horton's, Wendy's and Dairy Queen (DQ was the original one). There is a theatre arts centre with a very nice theatre that also offers programs for preschoolers. They also have Northern Lights College where you can get your Associate of the Arts Degrees and other programs.
If you have young children (or haven't started your family yet), it is a great place for young families. There are several dance studios, a gymnastics club and of course plenty of hockey, figure and speed skating and curling. We also just enjoyed doing our own outdoor things in the winter like snowmobiling and sledding. The temperatures in the winter are not that bad (as many people down here on the westcoast think). There are rarely -40 days and in the winter I would say it averages between
-15 and -20 for the coldest days. -10 days are perfect for heading outdoors.
There are also lots of outdoor activities for the summertime - boating and fishing (if you like pikerel) on Charlie Lake (which is about a 15 minute drive north of FSJ). Lots of camping too.
We found that the biggest drawback for us, was being so far away from home (Vancouver Island). If you end up moving there, you will find a lot of transplants though and they become your family. We also of course missed the ocean. But again the biggest problem was simply the distance from anything. If you wanted to go on holidays you had to get out of the FSJ area first and then get to Edmonton or Vancouver if you wanted to fly anywhere so travel costs do rise (as opposed to flying directly out of somewhere like Winnipeg).
FSJ is still booming with all the oil and gas exploration, so it can be difficult to find rental units. However, my husbands sister and her husband just moved there at the beginning of this month (he found work there)and were able to find a 2 br apartment.
Anyways, I hope this gives you some of an idea about FSJ. We made friends there that we will have for the rest of our lives and that is probably the best part!!
Oh, I forgot to mention that I believe that there is now a multi-plex theatre in FSJ. There used to be only one, but I think the new one has at least 3.