UBC 411: Where to find the best live music, hangover breakfast and more

A UBC insider's perspective on campus life

UBC Students

UBC. Photograph by Simon Hayter

Unofficial school motto:

‘Five is the new four.’ After falling in love with extra-curriculars, joining the co-op program or studying abroad with Go Global, most students stretch their undergraduate degrees to five years.

UBC insider Bailey Ramsay.

Best place for a nap:

The upper seating of the UBC Aquatic Centre, also known as the Womb, is a peaceful place to fall asleep to the sound of sloshing water

Best cheap lunch:

UBC Sprouts serves hot lunches 11:30-1:30 p.m. every Friday. Although the food is free, donations are welcome.

Best hangover breakfast:

The Sunshine Diner on West Broadway is fun and ’50s-themed, serving breakfast all day

Favourite watering hole:

The Pit Pub is the place to go on campus. The Coppertank is the best spot just off campus.

Perks of living in this town:

The mountains and the ocean. You can theoretically go skiing and boating in the same day.

Best place to study:

If you want to get work done, Koerner Library is quiet and the basement has no cell service. If you want to chat with friends and don’t mind a bit of noise, go to Irving K. Barber Learning Centre.

Best campus event:

Storm the Wall is one of the most iconic UBC experiences. Swim, sprint, bike and run across campus. Once you and your team make it to the Wall, get over it! Hint: the secret to success is teamwork.

Best giveaway:

Occasional free food and stationery from campus clubs.

Best live music venue:

The Commodore Ballroom and Fortune Sound Club are where you will most likely see your favourite bands play.

University Insider: Bailey Ramsay, 21, English Literature and Creative Writing

UBC has everything you could ever want from a university and more, including beaches, a treetop walkway and a giant whale skeleton. Often compared to McGill and the University of Toronto, UBC differs from its competition in the east with the more relaxed lifestyle of the West Coast. There is a strong extracurricular emphasis at UBC with more than 350 student-run clubs to join.

PROFILE: The University of British Columbia | Vancouver, B.C. | Founded 1908

UBC can seem like it exists in a bit of a bubble. While still close to the downtown core of the city, the campus is isolated by the 800-plus hectares of forest in Pacific Spirit Park. It is essentially its own small town, complete with condos, grocery stores and a hospital. The campus itself is massive and can take 15 to 20 minutes to cross. If you find yourself with back-to-back classes at opposite ends of campus, I’d highly recommend investing in a bike. The university’s constant construction means that the campus will likely not look the same from the time that you start your degree to when you finish it. Still, construction is a great small-talk alternative to the weather.


Whether you affectionately call it the University of Beautiful Cars or the University of Boundless Construction, it’ll also be a marvellous place to call home.


UBC students flock to cheer on the school’s football team, the Thunderbirds. Massive crowds are commonplace, with a record-breaking 6,950 coming to the homecoming game last September (which UBC won, of course).

Wreck Beach sunsets are spectacularly beautiful all year round. Although it is a clothing-optional beach, the chilly weather means most visitors keep their clothes on. The only downside is that there are 500 steps to descend before you reach the beach. You’ll definitely notice all 500 going back up and will be sure to get a workout.

Local Vibe

Before you decide to come to Vancouver, someone needs to have a serious talk with you about the weather. Vancouver—affectionately known as Raincouver—is notoriously wet. Fortunately, it’s nowhere near as cold as the rest of the country. If you are looking to escape the snow, welcome!

You might have heard of the Vancouver stereotype: health-obsessed hipster yogis with a craving for quinoa, coconut water and craft beer. Well, it’s mostly true. People are generally laid-back, but there is the occasional air of pretension that you may encounter in Vancouverites, mostly because everyone knows they live in the most beautiful city in the country.

The Skinny

The student newspaper is the best way to keep up with campus life. It’s published online daily and in print every Tuesday during the school year.

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