The five communities that make up the UBC residential area are home to an array of natural landmarks, attractions and points of interest as well as premium events, activities and amenities. Wesbrook Place, Chancellor Place, East Campus, Hawthorn Place and Hampton Place are comfortably nestled among old-growth forest and are mere minutes away from the blue waters of the Pacific Ocean. For the 14,500 residents that call this home, it’s an attractive, vibrant residential area that includes plenty of parks, gardens, cultural amenities, shops and eateries. Wondering where to start? Here are ten things you can do that are ten minutes away or less.
Lace up your boots and slip on your backpack. The trails await! In this area, nature is literally right outside your door. Pacific Spirit Regional Park features more than 750 hectares of natural forest, lush vegetation and graceful streams. The well-kept trails – 33 in total – are maintained for year-round enjoyment.
Stunning views are just one of the many things in store at the Museum of Anthropology. Renowned for its impressive collection of art and artifacts, the MOA is home to an outstanding Northwest Coast First Nations art collection. Kids of all ages will enjoy the Beaty Biodiversity Museum that features over 800,000 fish specimens and a fully assembled, suspended 26-meter-long Blue Whale skeleton.
Who doesn’t love a good latte? The area is home to more than 20 coffee houses, including JJ Bean Coffee, Bean Around The World, The Boulevard Coffee Roasting Co. and Blenz Coffee. If tea is more to your liking, Murchie’s Tea & Coffee features a selection of fine teas from around the world. Raise a glass of craft beer with friends on the BierCraft patio, where there’s more than 120 beers in stock and over 32 beers on tap.
When you’re this close to the water, your “to do” list should include a dip in the ocean. Internationally acclaimed, clothing optional Wreck Beach stretches for 7.8 spectacular kilometers. For something a bit more refined, the UBC Aquatic Centre is a must. This state-of-the-art facility features a 50m length pool, 25m lap pool, lazy river, hot tub and sauna. With its accessible leisure pool and universal change room, it’s ideal for families.
Whatever you’re craving, the neighbourhoods cater to it. Start out with a sweet treat (or two) from Doughgirls Comfort Kitchen + Bakeshop, sip on a smoothie from Body Energy Club then enjoy a scoop from Rain Or Shine Ice Cream. For something truly special, indulge in the rich taste of chocolate from the historic Rogers’ Chocolates – Canada’s first chocolatier that was established in 1885. If you’ve got something more filling in mind, order takeout from DownLow Chicken Shack or Steve’s Poke Bar or enjoy the heated, covered patio at Brown’s Socialhouse.
In the UBC community, there’s plenty of green space to go around so there’s lots of room to explore. Wesbrook Village features six unique parks. Nobel Park features a large playground complete with a baseball diamond. Smith and Khorana Parks, each with its own play area, are uniquely connected through water. Brockhouse Park has a full-size soccer field while Mundell Park has a charming picnic area with its own waterway and playpark.
Get a group of friends together for some doubles tennis at the UBC Tennis Club, the only public indoor tennis facility in Vancouver. There’s also the UBC Baseball Rose Indoor Training Centre that boasts a number of amenities including four full-size batting cages and three pitching mounds. And for something really challenging, test your skills on the state-of-the-art climbing wall, located in The Aviary.
If you’re up for an adventure, the Greenheart Treewalk takes you above the tree canopy and provides a magnificent view of the region’s coastal temperate rainforest. This 310-meter-long walkway hangs from cedars, giant firs and Douglas Firs, many of which are more than a century old. (Pre-purchased ticket required.) If heights aren’t your thing, check out the Chan Centre For The Performing Arts, one of North America’s premier performing arts centres thanks to its impressive design, unparalleled acoustics and first-class programs. (Current performances online only.)
A place of quiet beauty, harmony and introspection, Nitobe Memorial Garden is considered to be one of the most authentic Japanese gardens outside of Japan. Every rock and plant in the garden was placed there by the landscape architect, Kannosuke Mori. Seen as a bridge across the Pacific, it is also a bridge across cultures as the garden is a place to learn about Japanese-Canadian relations. For a truly authentic experience, Nitobe Memorial Garden is also home to a Japanese tea house. (To tour the garden, guests are required to pre-purchase tickets.)
The communities live and breathe the arts. Residents proudly support and celebrate their strong presence in the area: from the Belkin Art Gallery, with its more than 4,500 pieces of art, to UBC’s own Outdoor Art Collection, growing since the late 1940s.
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