Good news! The UBC Welcome Centre has reopened its doors, and just in time for summer. For people interested in living at UBC, this is your go-to place to make an informed decision on your new home. But even if you’re not in the market to rent or buy a home on campus, this visitor centre is a great way to discover all that UBC has to offer.
At the heart of this inspired, drop-in facility is a 12-foot, interactive architectural model that offers a bird’s-eye view of the entire campus, the first of its kind. Using touchscreen technology, you can simply search for a neighbourhood, as well as amenities, attractions, parks or even a particular building, and the physical model will light up your area of interest. The model also shows how the different neighbourhoods interconnect on campus, displaying green streets, pedestrian friendly areas, the surrounding Pacific Spirit Regional Park, and the multiple access points to and from campus. And if there’s still not enough to look at, take a peek at the Centre’s floor, which shows where UBC sits in relation to a map of Vancouver.
As you zero in on various areas, a large screen adjacent to the model automatically syncs up to your selection with a beautifully shot highlight reel. It’s a truly immersive, multimedia experience, and a great resource for visitors and locals alike. Conveniently located is one of UBC’s most bustling villages, Wesbrook Village, the Welcome Centre is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Whether you pop-in for some quick directions or hunker down for a proper house hunt, you’ll be greeted by a very friendly, knowledgeable host who’s only too happy to help you on your quest.
But what else can you do at the Welcome Centre?
Explore the Neighbourhoods
If you’re thinking of purchasing or renting a new home at UBC, then you probably already know that it’s all about location, location, location. At UBC, you’re really spoiled for choice. It’s a stunning and friendly place to live, consisting of five beautifully designed neighbourhoods – each with its own distinct personality.
At the Welcome Centre, you’re able to see which area best suits your lifestyle – in terms of where it’s situated on campus and what amenities are nearby. You can also get a real sense of its size and density – perhaps you’re looking for a charming little pocket community with easy access to nature. Or maybe you’d prefer an up-and-coming area that’s teeming with an urban-like vibrancy. Either way, you’ll find what you’re looking for here.
Find Your Dream Home
The Welcome Centre also has a large touchscreen displaying house listings in a semi-private area of the facility. Here, renters and buyers can refine their search by area, budget, and size. This is a great way to narrow down your selections. Once you’ve got a few leads, you can either follow up directly or ask the Centre’s host for help to connect you with the sales centre. You can also cross-reference with the model to see exactly where your new home would be.
Of course, there are many reasons to live at UBC. You might be looking for a family-friendly place to raise children, a warm and welcoming community for retirement, or maybe you’re simply looking to start a new chapter. You can use the model to gather information on all the various shops, services, attractions and amenities that are specific to select areas. Whatever you’re looking for in a new home, the Welcome Centre will help you find it. Plus, there’s always a friendly host on hand to guide you through the process and spark ideas.
Get a lay of the land
If you already have a place to call home, and just want to spend a day of adventure at UBC, the Welcome Centre is the best way to get your bearings or to plan your itinerary. For example, if you’re planning a visit to the Arts & Culture District, you can discover what else in that area might be of interest, or you can see the best route to take to your restaurant of choice. And if you’re drawing a blank as to how to spend your day on campus, feel free to ask the host for activity suggestions or just take a load off and skim through the library of brochures in the Centre’s spacious and comfortable lounge area.
Plan a Future Outing
There is so much to see and do at UBC, no one would blame you if you couldn’t do it all in one day. So, while you’re at UBC, why not drop-into the Centre for some ideas on how to spend your next visit? For example, you could visit the Museum of Anthropology or take a walk through the Nitobe Memorial Garden. Or if you’re looking to get active, there are some truly epic biking and walking trails in, and around, UBC. With a bird’s eye view, you can see where the most suitable loops are for your endurance level, and perhaps just as importantly where to grab a bite to eat after your ride or hike.
Need another reason to visit the Welcome Centre? It’s located in Wesbrook Village, amidst a neighbourhood of amazing shops and dining facilities. Take advantage of the experience and grab some pizza from Virtuous Pie after, or a cold beer from BierCraft – both just steps away from the Centre.
Note: Don’t forget to wear your masks upon entry and until further notice, the Welcome Centre is still practicing physical distancing. But don’t worry, it’s a very spacious facility with plenty of room for visitors to safely discovery all that life at UBC has to offer. Oh, and no need to pre-book your visit, simply stop by and start exploring!