I agree with the rest about Vancouver. I've just moved here and its really easy to find affordable accomodation (esp if you're used to London prices) Didn't live on the east coast but Vancouver is just super close to all the nature stuff you'll want. And I don't drive either so far not a prob.
I took a greyhound from Calgary to High Level one time, it only took 19 hours. It would keep going North to the Territories. Wasn't too expensive either. As for accomadation in Calgary, Red Deer or Edmonton, check out rentfaster.ca . Rent is a little higher then the rest of the country, but there are tonnes of slack part time jobs that pay pretty good. You could get by working only 20 hours a week if you wanted
Maybe your best bet would be to go somewhere into the interior of B.C. into some small towns. Tonnes of nature and character... I once lived in Nelson, B.C. and loved it very much, you probably would too.
Hope that helps,
I'm Canadian and moved to Leeds for about 1 year, so basically the opposite of what you're doing. Trust me, you'll find Canada waaaay cheaper than England
As far as needing a car, I would say you definitely do unless you live in one of the big cities like Montreal, Toronto, or Vancouver. Public transportation in smaller cities can be pretty dodgy.
I'm from the East Coast of Canada (New Brunswick) so of course I have to recommend this part of Canada. Halifax, Nova Scotia is right on the coast and there's a lot going on . It's quite international, but has a unique East Coast character.
Here's a link for a whole page about Canada -reviews of its citys, attractions, and more, by people who have actually visited. So much to see, so little time....
Hope that helps
Thanks, some usefull responses there.
Vancouver seems to be the most siutable from what you say.
I am slightly suspicious of it since a freind of mine was mugged while on holiday there. But he may have just been unlucky.