Life in Vancouver - Graduate Student Webinar
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Life in Vancouver - Graduate Student Webinar






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Life in Vancouver - Graduate Student Webinar Life in Vancouver - Graduate Student Webinar Presentation Transcript

  • Life in Vancouver: Finding a home, settling in, getting around and exploring the city December 11 and 12, 2013 Graduate Pathways to Success
  • The Lower Mainland  Cities surrounding Vancouver include: - Richmond, Delta (south) - Burnaby, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Maple Ridge (east) - Surrey, Langley, White Rock (south-east) - West and North Vancouver (north, the “North Shore”)  Rent can be lower in these cities, but the commute to UBC will be much longer (1 to 2 hours by transit)
  • Deciding where to live: Vancouver neighbourhoods Main St. divides the city into east and west Western neighbourhoods tend to be more affluent; neighbourhoods to the east are more economical The Downtown Eastside (just east of downtown surrounding East Hastings St.) is not considered to be a desirable neighborhood due to crime, drug use, homelessness, etc. For more information on Vancouver neighbourhoods, check out: Image from UBC Housing and Accommodations, View slide
  • Neighbourhoods: Know your “Wests” Pay attention to these names, as they refer to very different areas! West Side: (ex. Kitsilano, Point Grey, Kerrisdale, Shaughnessy) - the western part of Vancouver that is not downtown West End: the western, more residential section of the downtown area West Vancouver: to the north-west of Vancouver on the North Shore; not a suburb of Vancouver - transit to UBC will be longer and require transferring …but “East Side,” “East End” and “East Van” both mean East Vancouver View slide
  • West Side neighbourhoods Kitsilano (Kits), Point Grey, Dunbar-Southlands, Fairview, Kerrisdale  Closest neighbourhoods to UBC  Rent can be higher here than neighbourhoods to the east... but the commute is much shorter  Quick and easy access to campus and downtown by bus Safe  Access to beaches and parks  Many basement suites and small, low-rise apartment buildings  Mix of well-cared for older homes and large, “April in Vancouver” by iwona_kellie; new homes
  • East Vancouver neighbourhoods East Van neighbourhoods generally feature lower rents and a more diverse population. Direct bus routes to UBC are available, but the commute will be longer than in western neighbourhoods (approx. 60 minutes) Some neighbourhoods are:  Grandview (incl. Commercial Drive) -A diverse, bohemian area; home to many affordable restaurants -Little Italy: Italian coffee shops, pizza, fresh cheese markets  Mount Pleasant - Popular with young professionals, first-time home buyers & artists - Main St. is popular for vintage clothing shopping, restaurants Photo by DennisSylvesterHurd nissylvesterhurd/2619116195/
  • Downtown neighbourhoods Easy access to transit, including direct buses to UBC Approximate time to UBC using public transit is 40 minutes  West End - Home to Vancouver’s vibrant LGBTQ village - Close to parks and beaches - Densely populated; mainly apartments and condos  Yaletown - High rent apartments and condos - Trendy restaurants, bars, and boutiques
  • Deciding where to live: Vancouver neighbourhoods Image from UBC Housing and Accommodations,
  • Finding roommates and rental spaces  Try connecting with other graduate students through the Graduate Studies online forum (  Current or graduating students in your program may know about available rooms / apartments  Online resources include: AMS Rentsline: -; Craigslist; Padmapper; - (International students)  Be cautious and beware of scams: do not send money, banking or personal information  The turn around time for rental units is fast  Apartments and suites available to rent will be posted throughout the month
  • Housing: Additional Costs  Utilities (BC Hydro, internet, cable, cell phones, land lines) Some apartments or basement suites will include specific utilities in the rent, others will not  Laundry (Is it coin-operated or free? Will you have to go to a Laundromat?)  Damage or safety deposit: this should be no more than half a month's rent and will be refunded when you move out if you leave the apartment or suite clean and have not caused damage. Ask for a receipt when you pay this.  Renter’s insurance is highly recommended (minimal cost)  Furniture -used: Craigslist, Kijiji, garage sales -new: Ikea (2 locations), etc.
  • Housing: Protecting yourself  Know your rights as a tenant:  Get your rental agreement in writing  Document all existing damage with photographs: This could help you get your damage deposit back when you move out.  Vancouver Bedbug Registry
  • Public transit  U-Pass is included in your student fees and is good for all zones. See:  Only exact change if paying cash on a bus (e.g. visitors)  Translink: See for schedules, maps, Trip Planner, Transit 101, etc. - Google maps can also plan transit trips  Major express bus lines: 99 B-line (express along Broadway), 44 (express UBC to downtown on W 4th), 84, 480  Skytrain: Canada Line (downtown to Richmond and airport), Expo Line (Surrey, New West, Burnaby, Vancouver), Millennium Line (Coquitlam, New West, Burnaby, Vancouver).  Sea Bus: Connects the North Shore to downtown Vancouver  Stand up / wave to stop bus at bus stop  Red stop button / cord on windows to request stop
  • Cycling in Vancouver  Bike lanes/routes:  Best Bike Trails in Vancouver and Beyond  City of Vancouver Bike Projects  AMS Bike Coop  Get a good lock and always use it  Helmets are mandatory and lights are strongly recommended  Do not ride on the sidewalk unless signs are posted allowing you to  It’s easy to combine cycling and transit: buses have bike racks on the front and the Canada Line has designated spaces for bikes
  • Grocery Stores  Around campus: – Save on Foods; Safeway on 10th Ave  Lower priced groceries around the city: – Real Canadian Superstore, No Frills, Walmart, T & T, independent fruit stands  Organic and specialty items - Whole Foods, Choices, Greens (these can be expensive)  Fresh, local produce: - Farmer’s markets, Granville Island  Costco (requires a membership) - bulk food
  • Grocery Stores Best areas to purchase Ethnic/World Food: Punjabi Market on South Main (Sunset neighbourhood) Chinatown: just east of downtown Kingsway: Asian and South Asian foods Greektown: West Broadway Little Italy: Commercial Drive Richmond (Golden Village): Chinese H-Mart (downtown, Richmond, Coquitlam) is a Korean grocery store T&T (downtown, Metrotown Mall) Asian foods See also:
  • Clothes Shopping  Brand-name clothing – Downtown: Robson and Granville – West 4th – Malls: Metrotown (Burnaby), Park Royal (North Van), Richmond Centre (Richmond), Pacific Centre (downtown)  Boutiques – Main St. (new and vintage) – Commercial Drive – South Granville – West 4th
  • Local Attractions Beaches: Wreck Beach (clothing optional), Spanish Banks, Jericho Beach, Kits Beach, English Bay, 1 + 2 Beach Mountains: Grouse, Cypress, Seymour, Whistler Parks: Pacific Spirit Park, Stanley Park and the seawall Museums: Vancouver Art Gallery, Telus World of Science, Museum of Vancouver, Maritime Museum Vancouver Aquarium (in Stanley Park) Granville Island Lots of free festivals: Italian Days on Commercial Drive, Greek Day on W. Broadway, Khatsalano music festival in Kitsilano, Car Free Day on Main St and Commercial Drive…and more
  • On Campus Attractions Museum of Anthropology – world-renowned collection with a focus on First Nations art and culture Beaty Biodiversity Museum – Natural history museum Rose Garden – beautiful view of the oceans and mountains; a great place to eat your lunch when the weather is nice Nitobe Japanese Memorial Garden – authentic Japanese garden and Tea house Botanical Garden Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery – contemporary art School of Music – check their website for events; some are free Chan Centre for the Performing Arts – music and theatrical performances; students under 25 can get discounted tickets UBC Library: Rare Books and Special Collections and the Chung Collection
  • Resources / Tips The graduate student forum is a great place to ask questions. Rent varies across the city, but our cost calculator can give you a rough idea about how much living and studying in Vancouver will cost: Orientation events for Graduate Students – first week of January  Other ideas for places to go and things to do:  Take a free workshop from Graduate Pathways to Success