Vancouver/UBC-Point Grey

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 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.

. . . Vancouver/UBC-Point Grey . . .

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.

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 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 $2.50, 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 Vancouver South and follows the coast around the campus.

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 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. 
  • Chan Centre for the Performing Arts A concert hall and events centre; often the location of convocation ceremonies.
  • Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, 1825 Main Mall (just up from the Rose Garden), +1 604-822-2759, fax: +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 Garden, 1895 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 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. 
  • UBC Botanical Garden, 6804 SW Marine Dr (20 minute walk across campus from UBC campus bus loop, or take bus C20 to the gardens), +1 604-822-9666, fax: +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. 
  • 49.269167-123.2597221 UBC Museum of Anthropology, 6393 NW Marine Dr (15-minute walk across UBC campus from the bus loop), +1 604-822-5087, fax: +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).  

. . . Vancouver/UBC-Point Grey . . .

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. . . Vancouver/UBC-Point Grey . . .