UBC-Point Grey is a district in the west side of Vancouver occupying a pretty spot at the tip of the Point Grey peninsula. Its main feature 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.
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.
See Vancouver for options to get in the Vancouver area by plane, by bus, and by train, and by boat.
By public transit
TransLink, ☏ . The main public transit network in the Vancouver area, including: Bowen Island, Burnaby, Coquitlam, Delta, Langley, Lions Bay, Maple Ridge, New Westminster, North Vancouver, Port Coquitlam, Pitt Meadows, Port Moody, Richmond, Surrey, Vancouver, West Vancouver, and White Rock. Its network includes buses, SkyTrain (rail rapid transit), SeaBus (ferries), West Coast Express (commuter rail), and HandyDART (door-to-door shared-ride service for those who cannot ride public transit without assistance). Passengers can pay for fares using Compass Cards ($6 refundable deposit), Compass Tickets, or tap-to-pay using contactless credit cards (only American Express, Mastercard or Visa) or mobile wallets. Passengers using Compass Cards and Compass Tickets pay discounted fares. Passengers can transfer for up to 90 minutes, except if taking West Coast Express, in which case they can transfer for up to 120 minutes. On bus and HandyDART, passengers can also pay in cash, but in that case will not receive change and are not eligible for transfers. Zone based fares apply between Monday and Friday for trips starting before 6:30 pm, if travel involves SkyTrain or SeaBus. Outside of those hours or for travel on only bus or HandyDART, a single zone rate applies. If traveling by West Coast Express, a higher cost zone based fare system applies regardless of time of travel. Children 12 and under can ride for free. People aged 13 to 18, and 65 and older pay discounted concession fares.
UBC is well served by bus routes. 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 (Expo Line and Millennium Line) 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 South Vancouver.
- #41 from Joyce Station, along 41st Avenue to UBC, from the Kerrisdale area of South Vancouver.
- #44 which connects UBC to Waterfront Station downtown (with a 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 $3.10, but can range higher if more than one zone must be crossed.
4th Ave, 10th Ave/Broadway and 16th Ave are the main roads into UBC from Kitsilano. Marine Drive SW enters the district from South Vancouver and follows the coast around the campus.
University of British Columbia campus
- 1 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 noon-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.
- 2 Beaty Biodiversity Museum, 2212 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.
- 3 Chan Centre for the Performing Arts. A concert hall and events centre; often the location of convocation ceremonies.
- 4 Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, 1825 Main Mall (just up from the Rose Garden), ☏ , fax: . Tu-F 10AM-5PM, Sa Su noon-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.
- 5 Nitobe Memorial Garden, 1895 Lower Mall (entrance near the Museum of Anthropology), ☏ (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. Youth $2, senior $5, adult $6.
- 6 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), ☏ . 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 kilometres 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.
- 7 UBC Botanical Garden, 6804 SW Marine Dr (20 minute walk across campus from UBC campus bus loop, or take bus C20 to the gardens), ☏ , fax: , email@example.com. 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.
- 8 UBC Museum of Anthropology, 6393 NW Marine Dr (15-minute walk across UBC campus from the bus loop), ☏ , fax: , firstname.lastname@example.org. 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).
- 1 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 lifeguards who monitor beach near the floating dock. Jericho Beach is also a great location to go windsurfing or dinghy sailing.
- 2 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 kiteboarders. 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.
- 3 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 jewellery, to food, to beer. Watch out as the police do occasionally crack down on drug use and open consumption of alcohol.
University Village has a number of service stores including a Staples office supply store, photocopying services, several restaurants (including a subterranean food court), a grocery, coffee shops, a liquor store, and a newsstand.
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.
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.
- 1 Gold Train Express (Thai Spicy), 4530 West 10th Ave, ☏ . This rather misleadingly-named restaurant actually serves Vietnamese food, including a very good pho (beef with rice noodles). $8-12.
The UBC campus has a number of bars and pubs that cater to the student crowd.
- 1 Koerners Pub, 6371 Crescent Rd (Basement of the Graduate Student Centre), ☏ . 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.
- 2 The Pit, 6138 Student Union Blvd (Basement of the SUB), ☏ . 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.
- 3 The Gallery Lounge, 6138 Student Union Blvd (by the Norm, on the main floor of the SUB), ☏ . 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 from $4, drinks from $3.75.
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.
- 1 Pacific Spirit Hostel at UBC, 1935 Lower Mall, ☏ , toll-free: . Private or twin rooms with shared washroom and kitchen facilities. Open from mid-May to mid-August. $33.
- 2 Gage Towers, 5959 Student Union Blvd, ☏ , toll-free: . 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.
- 3 West Coast Suites, 5959 Student Union Blvd, ☏ , toll-free: . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. One bedroom suites with kitchenettes. Open year round. $200 in summer, $130-160 off-season.
- 4 HI Vancouver-Jericho Beach, 1515 Discovery St, ☏ . Open 24 hr May 1 - Sep 30. Located 100 m 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.