Your Guide to Neighborhoods in Vancouver
Vancouver is more than just UBC and downtown - there’s so much to explore! Here is your complete guide to Vancouver neighborhoods to help you get familiar with the various spaces in your new city. You’ll be hearing these words a lot, so hopefully you’ll know what your peers at UBC will be talking about.
This is where you will be spending most of your time. UBC is located in the west of Vancouver surrounded by sea. Our campus is 40-minute bus ride away from Vancouver downtown: the most urban area of greater Vancouver. Most transit lines start or end at UBC, so you’ll never have a problem hopping on a bus to your destination, wherever it might be.
Dunbar Southlands is mostly considered as a great place for affordable student residence. It’s really common to see UBC students renting a house together in this region. There are lots of shops and grocery stores around this area and it’s safe, too. Be sure to try brunch at the ever-popular Jethro’s Fine Grub and grab some delicious treats from Butter Baked Goods here!
Point Grey is right next to one of Vancouver’s most favorable beaches: Spanish Banks. There are lots of stores and restaurants at Point Grey, and this area is fairly close to UBC. It’s a great place for friend and family hangouts, volleyball at the beach and enjoying the sunshine! You’ll also be able to participate in one of UBC’s longest-standing traditions, Day of the Longboat, here at the Jericho Sailing Centre.
Kitsilano - commonly referred to as ‘Kits’ - is probably one of the trendiest and most popular neighborhoods in the city. Several stores are located in Kitsilano, and it’s only a 10-minute bus ride away from downtown Vancouver. You’ll find several parks, Kits Beach and Jericho Beach here, which usually attracts a good mix of both tourists and locals. Kitsilano is also famous for being the ‘healthiest’ neighborhood around. Try a yoga class at Semperviva Yoga and grab some amazing homemade ice cream from Rain or Shine in the summer!
Kerrisdale is a friendly and family-based neighborhood, labeled as Vancouver’s ‘most charming community’. It’s a quiet space with a great environment and lots of warm and welcoming people. If you want a nice and peaceful day out and about, Kerrisdale is the place to go! Explore their trendy shopping district and take in some of their beautiful parks.
Downtown Vancouver is the center of Vancouver. It’s a collective of everything you have in all neighborhoods. It’s a great place to shop, work, and have fun. It’s also right next to Stanley Park, the Vancouver Aquarium and English Bay Beach, some must-see places for all Vancouverites! If you love hiking, it’s also just one bridge away from Vancouver’s North Shore, which is filled with mountains to hike in the summer and ski in the winter.
East Vancouver has lots of great restaurants and is always bustling with energy! It’s also an area favored by many students for cheaper housing. While it may take you a little bit longer to campus, the neighborhood has great access to transit and you’ll find you’ll always have something to do! Depending on where you live in East Vancouver, getting downtown is usually fairly easy. Enjoy Italian Day on Commercial Drive in the summer and be sure to check out Main Street for endless shops, cafes and great restaurants.
Suburbs: North Vancouver, West Vancouver, Burnaby, Richmond, Surrey
Getting to these places might take you an hour or two, but they are still great places to go visit! Burnaby is a friendly neighborhood close to the other universities in British Columba such as Simon Fraser University. It also boasts one of Canada’s largest malls, Metrotown. Richmond holds a great Night Market every summer if you are looking for some great eats and fun. Surrey is known for great spots like Crescent Beach and amazing Indian food! Finally, North and West Vancouver are a bridge away from downtown, and are your connections to great hiking and skiing, with proximity to popular getaway destinations in BC like Whistler and Squamish.