Vancouver/UBC-Point Grey

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UBC-Point Grey is a district in the westside of Vancouver occupying a pretty spot at the tip of the Point Grey peninsula. Its main occupant is the University of British Columbia (or UBC for short), the largest university in British Columbia and one of the larger universities in Canada.

For the purposes of this guide, the district includes the university campus, Pacific Spirit Park and the neighbourhood of West Point Grey. The boundary follows Highbury St / 16th Ave / Pacific Spirit Park in the east, while to the west and south is Georgia Strait and to the north is Burrard Inlet.

Understand[edit]

Seaside views near Jericho Beach

The main occupant of the University Endowment Lands is UBC. It includes not only the University, but also residential and commercial areas. The campus is surrounded by Pacific Spirit Park, a large nature reserve.

Get in[edit]

By public transit[edit]

UBC is well served by the Translink bus system. Generally, the best bus to take is the 99 B Line which is an express bus that goes along Broadway and 10th Avenue from the Broadway/Commercial Skytrain station to UBC. Other useful bus routes include:

  • #4 which connects UBC to downtown.
  • #9 which travels up and down 10th Ave/Broadway through Kitsilano and South Granville, and onto Mt Pleasant and East Van.
  • #17 which runs along 10th Ave/Broadway and Oak St, connecting UBC with Vancouver South.
  • #41 from Joyce Station, along 41st Avenue to UBC, from the Kerrisdale area of Vancouver South.
  • #44 which connects UBC to Waterfront Station downtown (with connection to the SeaBus and North Vancouver).
  • #480 travels along 41st Avenue and Granville making select stops between UBC and Richmond.

Generally, from inside Vancouver, bus fare to UBC will cost about $2.50, but can range higher if more than one zone must be crossed.

By car[edit]

4th Ave, 10th Ave/Broadway and 16th Ave are the main roads into UBC from Kitsilano. Marine Drive SW enters the district from Vancouver South and follows the coast around the campus.

See[edit]

University of British Columbia campus[edit]

Totem poles at the UBC Museum of Anthropology
  • Automated Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS)Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, 1961 East Mall. M-Th 8AM-11PM, F 8AM-6PM, Sa 10AM-6PM, Su 12PM-8PM. Automated "robot librarian" cranes scurry along 5-story shelves holding 1.6 million books, at the beck and call of human librarians. For a geek thrill, watch them through the ground floor windows on the north side of the building. On the 2nd floor, near the Circulation desk, is a more limited view. Free.
  • Beaty Biodiversity Museum2212 Main Mall (15-minute walk from UBC bus loop, south of University Boulevard). W-Su 11AM-5PM. Home to Canada's largest blue whale skeleton, a herbarium, and a wide array of animal specimens including fish, insects, arthropods, tetrapods, marine invertebrates and fossils. $12 adults, $10 seniors/youths/non-UBC students.
  • Chan Centre for the Performing Arts— A concert hall and events centre; often the location of convocation ceremonies.
  • Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery1825 Main Mall (just up from the Rose Garden),  +1 604-822-2759fax: +1 604-822-6689. Tu-F 10AM-5PM, Sa-Su 12PM-5PM (closed Mondays and statutory holidays). A small gallery with regular exhibitions. What looks like a woodpile outside is actually a sculpture, made of concrete. Free.
  • Nitobe Memorial Garden1895 Lower Mall (entrance near the Museum of Anthropology),  +1 604-822-9666 (info line). Daily from 9AM-5PM, mid-March to Oct. One of the most traditional, authentic Japanese gardens in North America and among the top five Japanese gardens outside of Japan. $2/5/6 (youth/senior/adult).
  • Pacific Spirit Park (by bus, get off at any stop after Blanca St; by car, look for any of the small parking lots scattered throughout the park),  +1 604-224-5739. 8AM-10PM (or dusk in winter). A relatively undeveloped and heavily forested park. It includes a strip of forest running north-south between Blanca Street and Alison Street, immediately to the west of UBC campus. There are over 100 kilometers of trails and beaches for running, biking, and horseback riding. It also includes the clothing-optional Wreck Beach, wrapping around the west end of the Point Grey peninsula. It's the closest thing to wilderness in the city. Free.
  • UBC Botanical Garden6804 SW Marine Dr (20 minute walk across campus from UBC campus bus loop, or take bus C20 to the gardens),  +1 604-822-9666fax: +1 604-822-2016, e-mail: . 10AM-6PM (5PM in winter). Canada's longest continuously operating university garden, it contains over 8000 different kinds of plants in both designed landscapes and coastal forest settings. Must-sees are the Asian garden, the alpine garden and the food garden. An enchanting oasis. Compared to the more-visited Van Dusen Botanical Garden, the remoteness of the garden means fewer people and a quieter, more private setting. Guided tours free with advance notice. $7 (discounts available), audioguide $3. Free for UBC students, and faculty, staff, or neighbours holding a Garden Pass.
  • UBC Museum of Anthropology6393 NW Marine Dr (15-minute walk across UBC campus from the bus loop),  +1 604-822-5087fax: +1 604-822-2974, e-mail: . Daily 10AM-5PM (closes 9PM Tu). Devoted to world cultures, but with an emphasis on the First Nations of the Northwest Coast. Includes a splendid collection of totem poles, a mind-boggling array of artifacts from around the world, and a number of changing exhibits. $15.68 adults, $13.44 students/seniors, children 6 and under free ($7.84 flat rate Tu 5-9PM).

Do[edit]

Be warned - Wreck Beach isn't like those other beaches
  • Jericho Beach is a more family oriented beach with a large picnicking area. The beach forms a crescent shape which creates a sheltered swimming area that is relatively shallow. In the summer, the beach is patrolled by life guards who monitor beach near the floating dock. Jericho Beach is also a great location to go windsurfing or dingy sailing.
  • Spanish Banks. Is a set of three sandy beaches further west towards UBC. When the tide is out you can walk way out on the mudflats. This is a popular spot for skimboarders and kite boarders. The area has a large stretch of beach which makes for a popular beach volleyball area as well as a scenic multi-pathway system, connecting Jericho Beach to UBC, making a fine running or cycling course. A large field behind the beach has been designated as an off leash area for dogs and part of the beach as well.
  • Wreck Beach— Probably North America's most famous and busiest clothing optional beach. The trail to Wreck beach is near the West Parkade, or more precisely at the extreme west end of University Boulevard just past the Place Vanier residences. You can either park on Marine Drive or you can take transit to UBC and continue down the same road the bus brought you on foot. The steep stairs are not recommended for the faint of heart. There is always a festive atmosphere at this beach and many types of goods are for sale from jewelry, to food, to beer. Watch out as the police do occasionally crack down on drug use and open consumption of alcohol.

Buy[edit]

University Village has a number of service stores including a Staples office supply store, photocopying services, several restaurants (including a subterranean foodcourt), a grocery, coffee shops, a liquor store, a newsstand, etc.

Eat[edit]

University Village is a small residential and commercial area on University Avenue on the eastern edge of campus, just before Pacific Spirit park. The main bus route onto campus (including the 99 B-line) passes here. The development at the corner of University Avenue and Allison Road is called University MarketPlace. It has a full service Starbucks Coffee as well as a Blenz, Omio Japanese Restaurant, Pita Pit, McDonald's, and a number of smaller cafes etc. An underground food court has about nine Chinese, Japanese, Indian and Persian buffets, with lunch or dinner in the $5-$6 range. Dalhousie Road is the third side of this triangular area.

  • One More Sushi#222-2155 Allison Rd (on 2nd floor, go up stairs near produce store and over bridge),  +1 604-228-9773fax: +1 604-228-9772. Delicious, low-priced, authentic-tasting Japanese food in a friendly atmosphere. One of the best price/performance restaurants in the University Village. lunch $8-10.
  • Curry PointB1-5728 University Blvd (in the underground food court off University Ave, to the left, all the way at the end),  +1 604-221-0112. Very simple but rich and flavourful curry buffet of several curries, rice, naan bread. The best of the basement eateries, according to many students. However, many students also feel the level of salt used in the curries results in a less than desirable experience. $6-7 for a full meal.

The AMS (Alma Mater Student Society) operates a number of campus restaurants including the Pendulum restaurant and Pacific Spirit Cafe. UBC Food services also manages a number of locations, including two outlets of the Tim Hortons chain.

  • The Diner4556 West 10th Ave (near Tolmie St, opposite Safeway),  +1 604 224-1912. Fish and chips and other British food while surrounded by an astounding array of royal family memorabilia. $10-15.
  • Gold Train Express (Thai Spicy), 4530 West 10th Ave +1 604 677-6981. This rather misleadingly-named restaurant actually serves Vietnamese food, including a very good pho (beef with rice noodles). $8-12.
  • Some Kinda Pasta4409 West 10th Ave +1 604 222-0220. M-F 10:30AM-11PM, Sa-Sun 4:30PM-10PM. Italian pasta and wine bar with a warm and relaxing ambiance. $15-$25.

Drink[edit]

Clock tower in the University of British Columbia

The UBC campus has a number of bars and pubs that cater to the student crowd.

  • Koerners Pub6371 Crescent Rd (Basement of the Graduate Student Centre),  +1 604 822-0938. M-F 11:30AM-1AM, closed Sa-Su. Pub run by the Graduate Student Society. Has a patio, free pool, shuffleboard, and foosball. "Mellow Monday" open mic nights. Sleeves $4.50 and up, entrees from $9.
  • The Pit6138 Student Union Blvd (Basement of the SUB),  +1 604 822-6511. A bar with a dance floor, run by the student society and famously first proposed by David Suzuki. Student ID required for Wednesday "Pit Nights" which are always packed. Inexpensive pub food served in the Burger Bar.
  • The Gallery Lounge6138 Student Union Blvd (By the Norm, on the main floor of the SUB),  +1 604 822-4508. A smallish student-run pub, the Gallery is usually quieter than the Pit, and is a good place to go to grab a pint after class - and closer than Koerner's. Karaoke nights on Tuesday are a hoot, also open mic nights on Mondays and DJ nights on Fridays. food $4+, drinks $3.75+.
  • Mahony and Sons5990 University Blvd (Near Wesbrook Mall, opposite aquatic centre and War Memorial Gym),  +1 604 827 4444. M-W 11AM-midnight, Th-F 11AM-1AM Sa noon-1AM Su noon-1AM. Upscale Irish-themed pub and restaurant on UBC campus with live music and sports on TV. Drafts from $6, Entrees $12-$25.

Sleep[edit]

Staying in UBC tends to be quieter than some other spots in the city and the summer accommodation isn't bad value for what you get, but it is far from any attractions that aren't part of UBC. If you want to stay in the area, the university has a small hotel open year round and opens up some of the student residences during the summer. There is also a HI hostel near the beach in West Point Grey and some B&Bs. If you want to be close to both UBC and the other attractions, consider some of the options in Kitsilano and Vancouver South.

  • Gage Towers5959 Student Union Blvd +1 604-822-1000, toll-free: +1-888-822-1030. Low-rise complex with a range of rooms. One bedroom and studio suites have private washroom and kitchenette. A tower suite room provides a private bedroom with a shared washroom and kitchenette (between 4-6 people). Open from mid-May to mid-August. $40-$140.
  • HI Vancouver-Jericho Beach1515 Discovery St +1 604 224-3208. Open 24hrs May 1 - Sep 30. Located 100m from the beach and between UBC campus and downtown. Beautiful and quiet park setting but the 20-25min bus ride downtown leaves some feeling isolated. $18 - $22+ for a bed in the dorm..
  • Casa Mora4538 West 12th Ave, toll-free: +1-800-294-9984, e-mail: . Located on a quiet residential street on the west end of Kitsilano near UBC, and near the 99-B express bus line. There are two B&B rooms, one B&B suite, and a Penthouse Suite that has a full kitchen where you cook your own meals, instead of breakfasts served. $130-250/night, less in off season, week-stay discounts, surcharge for multiple guests per room.
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