Metro Vancouver is Canada’s gateway to the Pacific, with an international community, fantastic food and brewery scene, and laid-back approach to life, nestled in nature between the Coastal Mountain range and the Salish Sea. Campus is on the western tip of Vancouver proper, separated from the city by the giant cedar trees of Pacific Spirit Park yet well-connected through transit, bike lanes, and walking trails. On the far side of campus is Wreck Beach, known as much for the height of its staircase as for its clothing-optional designation.
Getting outside in Vancouver is easy, and a huge array of sports is at your fingertips. Whether you like to move on foot, on wheels, by boat, or on skis or a snowboard, the gentle climate and proximity to mountains and ocean mean you always have a place to go.
Walking, running, hiking, and mountaineering are popular, with a vast trail network for newcomers to the sport, and a wide variety of peaks for those with a sense of adventure and a lot of experience. Whether bird watching on the West Dyke trail in Richmond, running the sea wall around Stanley Park, hiking Lynn Canyon, or backpacking the Garibaldi range, sunny weekends see many Vancouverites getting outside, propelled by their own feet.
Cycling is also growing in popularity, both for commuting in the city on a growing network of on- and off-road cycle routes, and on single-track forest trails and downhill routes. For newcomers to the sport, the bike path on the Stanley Park sea wall is a natural place to start, as are the quiet, traffic-calmed routes around campus.
The Vancouver climate makes water sports fun, year-round activities. The UBC Sailing Club operates out of Jericho Beach Sailing Centre, and includes dinghy and catamaran sailing, windsurfing, stand-up paddleboarding, and kayaking. Alternatively, you can take lessons or rent boats from numerous providers. Others prefer to sit on some of Vancouver’s numerous sandy beaches, or to fish or crab.
Vancouver’s fame for precipitation and mountain proximity makes it a winner for winter snowsports. Whether downhill, cross-country, snowshoeing, or just building snow forts, the local ski hills – just an hour by bus from campus – have what you are looking for. Alternatively, take a day trip to Whistler by car or on the Edge shuttle for world-class downhill skiing and boarding.
After working up an appetite, Vancouverites love to indulge in the local food scene. Microbreweries and taprooms are popular, and Michelin just announced Vancouver will be visited for potential Michelin starred dining establishments. With our international community comes great international food, with a plethora of authentic and fusion restaurants to choose from. Many restaurants also cater to special diets, and vegans and gluten-free eaters can celebrate in both specialized restaurants and most standard restaurants. Seafood, of course, plays a starring role in many eateries, along with local meats, fruits and vegetables from the Fraser Valley and beyond.
In the evening, the glitter arrives – live theatre, ballet, the symphony, and an array of museums from the Audain Art Museum to the Museum of Anthropology and the Vancouver Maritime Museum. Whether you are interested in Broadway Across Canada, Bard on the Beach, or the Fringe Festival, the arts are alive in Vancouver. Also performing are our numerous local sports teams, including major leagues like the Vancouver Canucks (NHL) and Vancouver Whitecaps FC, and minor leagues like the Vancouver Canadians (baseball) and Vancouver Giants (minor hockey).
For families and adults alike, Community Centres are the thriving heart of our city. With low cost opportunities for everything from swimming and ice skating lessons to recreational sports to art classes and fitness classes, these centres are found in every municipality and neighbourhood. Activities are tailored to local interests, with current hot classes including pottery, yoga, and preschool (1-4) and after-school (5-12) programs for children.