Local Information (under construction)
Getting around Vancouver
Detailed information on public transport around the city is best obtained from Translink.
UBC is well-served by buses. Electric (trolley) buses depart from the small bus loop next to the outdoor swimming pool. Diesel-powered buses depart from the large main bus loop located near the Student Union. Adult bus tickets are $2.50 cash only on the bus, or you can buy a pack of ten tickets from most drugstores (or at the "Outpost" shop in the Student Union) for $19). Once validated in the machine on the bus, tickets are valid within Vancouver for 90mins. Trips to the nearer suburbs and airport cost $3.75 before 6.30pm on weekdays.
Useful buses to know:
4 leaves campus and goes along 4th avenue (past many shops and restaurants) to the Granville Street bridge to downtown (electric bus).
17 leaves campus and follows 10th Avenue to Broadway past many shops and restaurants to Granville Street, where it turns, crosses the bridge, and goes downtown (electric bus).
44 is an express bus from UBC to downtown via 4th avenue and the Burrard Street bridge (diesel bus). Fast but not so frequent.
99 is a frequent express bus (limited stops) from UBC down 10th Avenue and along Broadway. This bus does not go downtown, but you can connect to other buses at Granville Street. The 99 is much faster than the 17 and is usually a double (bendy) diesel bus, running very frequently.
To get back, catch the same bus in the opposite direction.
UBC-Downtown ~$20-25; UBC-Airport ~$25-30.
Checker: (604) 731-1111
Yellow Cab: (604) 681-1111
Places to Eat: For lunch, try the student union (SUB) building or the university village, just off campus, east of the intersection of University Boulevard and Wesbrook Mall. For dinner, see Sally Otto's list (a bit out of date, check online first; bus numbers are slightly wrong), Vancouver restaurant guide or foodvancouver.com. A reasonable strategy is also to take the #4 or #17 bus and get off when you see something you like - these buses pass a lot of good places on 4th avenue and Broadway respectively, before ending up downtown.
The Celebration of Light is an annual fireworks festival taking place over English Bay (between downtown and Kitsilano). The 2009 event will take place July 22, 25 and 29 and Aug. 1 starting at 10pm. The waterfront area gets busy during these evenings.
To see the fireworks well, following the conference dinner on July 29th, the easiest way will be to travel by bus to Kitsilano and walk north to Kitsilano Beach. Two ways to do this:
(i) take the (more frequent) #99 diesel bus, alight at MacDonald street (on Broadway), walk four blocks east and ten blocks north to Kitsilano beach park (15-20min walk).
(ii) take the (less frequent) #4 electric bus to 4th avenue at Vine Street (or thereabouts), walk five blocks north to the beach (5min walk).
Translink will run extra buses after the fireworks.
Safety and security informationVancouver is a safe city, but normal precautions should still be taken. Travel in a group late at night, and in quiet or isolated locations (including parts of the UBC campus and Pacific Spirit Park). Keep an eye on your possessions and do not leave your laptop unattended at the meeting.
Seven nice things to do on a free afternoon(see also Wikitravel)
1. Go to the beach (FREE)
There are two nice beaches a short distance from campus.
Wreck Beach is a clothing-optional beach just North of campus. To get there, consult the campus map and take beach access trail 4 or 6 (10min steep walk from campus).
Spanish Banks is a long beach park Northeast of campus. To get there, walk 15min downhill on Northwest Marine Drive. There is an infrequent bus service back to campus from Spanish Banks. From Spanish Banks you can walk east towards downtown. Generally following the water, you would reach Kitsilano beach in about one and a half hours and passing various outdoor cafe areas and parks. From there you can continue in another 20mins to Granville island (see below), or walk up the hill to 4th avenue and pick up a bus back to UBC.
2. Go to the Museum of Anthropology ($12 or $6 after 5pm on Tuesdays. Open 10am to 9pm on Tuesday, 10am to 5pm other days)
This world famous museum is on the UBC campus. See the campus map.
3. Go for a walk in Pacific Spirit Park.
Walk east from campus and through the woods, or down to the beach.
4. Visit downtown vancouver (FREE; Vancouver Art Gallery $20.50 or by donation 5:30pm-pm on Tuesdays).
Take bus #44 (faster) from the main bus loop or bus #4 or #17 (slower) from the electric bus loop. Of particular note:
Vancouver Art Gallery (Burrard and Georgia street).
Chinatown area (around Main and Pender).
Gastown area (Cordova street).
5. Visit Stanley Park and its aquarium. (Park FREE; Aquarium $20)
Stanley park is a large park on the downtown peninsula.
One way to get there, with some walking, is to take the #44 bus from the main bus loop on campus to Waterfront Station. From here, walk west and pick up the waterfront trail. This takes you to the park in 10-15mins. Alternatively, to avoid walking, ask the driver to get off the #44 downtown at Pender street and catch the #19 bus west right into the park.
Vancouver aquarium is located in the middle of the park, near the #19 bus terminus. It is a popular attraction.
The park is ringed by a wonderful waterfront seawall trail (8.8km loop) that is ideal for walking, skating, or cycling. You can rent a bike at a large rental shop at the corner of Georgia and Denman streets, just before the entrance to the park.
6. Granville island and False Creek. (FREE)
Granville island is home to a large indoor market, a water park, and many craft/artisan shops.
It is located under the Granville street bridge and is not an island. To get there by public transit from UBC, take the #4 to Fir street. Walk north under the bridge onto the island.
7. UBC Botanical Gardens and Nitobe Garden. Canada's oldest continuously operating university botanic garden ($8). http://www.ubcbotanicalgarden.org/. The Canopy Walkway is very fun and unusual! You can walk there from central campus in about 20-30mins. You may also enjoy a visit to the Nitobe Garden ($6), a traditional Japanese garden just a 5min walk from the conference. See the campus map (PDF) for both gardens.