The best of U.B.C.

The University of British Columbia’s rose garden had a well thought out design, plus the view across the entrance to Burrard Inlet’s azure waters and West Vancouver beyond couldn’t be bettered. But there was more worth seeing.

U.B.C. is not a practical university like Simon Fraser University. Most buildings on the Burnaby’s SFU campus are clustered together undercover so with Vancouver’s never ending winter rain, students don’t need an umbrella. The same cannot be said for U.B.C. which is more like a mini-city where buildings are located over a wide area. This allows for some uniquely designed buildings such as the Institute of Asian Research.

Outside was the memorial bell dedicated to Dr Cheung-Kok Choi with a number of stone plaques placed near the bell with Yi (righteousness) advice. Beyond was the Asian Centre—a secluded hideaway amongst the maples and Douglas firs. Behind Tagore’s statue was the Pacific bell and bell tower commemorating the 2009 visit of the Emperor and Empress of Japan that felt like being in their country. The tower was constructed of Canadian cedar but followed an eight hundred year old Japanese design and cast by a Japanese master, Masahiko Katori. 

Another unique building on campus was the First Nation building (featured image). Passed sx whek’wmet (that which is used to remember) or Memorial Drive and down the steps it felt like a different world inside. Not only was the exterior impressive, but the carvings and artwork within set the building above and beyond any other on campus.

If you happen to visit the campus, don’t miss these special places.