If you’re arriving in Vancouver for your studies this year or if you’re looking for a competitive student phone plan to switch towards, we hope this resource will help you!
=> We have taken careful consideration to finding the best student phone plan in Vancouver, and Canada at large. You won’t go wrong with these choices for student phone plans in Canada.
There are generally few options available for cellular service providers in Vancouver or Canada for that matter, relative to other countries like Britian. A few years ago, the government of Canada, tried to increase competition by encouraging budget carriers to enter the market with their spectrum auction. (Articles for your reading pleasure 1 – as of 2015, new wireless service providers in Canada control 25% of the wireless spectrum relative to 98% by the big 3 telcom providers back in 2006. This was an intentional move by the conservative government to introduce competition with cellular service providers and hence reduce prices for consumers. It has worked; introducing new national and regional players and forcing Bell, Rogers, and Telus to reduce their cellphone plan prices. The process have significantly reduced the prices for student cellphone plans in Vancouver and Canada. 2, 3 – The Liberal government is planning to follow suite and reserve 40% of the new spectrum auction for smaller cellular providers such as Freedom Mobile and Videotron/Quebecor. This all makes to say that Freedom Mobile can be a very probable contender for student phone plans in Vancouver where competitive pricing is concerned. ) Understandably the major cellphone service providers still provide better coverage and full services. At least, you have lower cost cellphone plans and budget student cellphone plans options available to you!
This worked reasonably well in improving customer service, network performance, and reducing costs for consumers however Canada is still noted as one of the most expensive cellular service plans. The bigger firms also begun to purchase these smaller organizations. The government then proceeded to legislate some laws that helped consumers in this space such as maxing contract terms from three years to two years. (so cellular companies can’t sign you on for three year plan with the incentive for a phone and then get you stuck on an excessive plan cost for three years.) These all have helped with the pricing of student cellphone plans in Canada and Vancouver however it still helps for you to know which cellphone companies excel in customer service, which cellphone companies provide the best value for their plans, and what are the perks or clawbacks of going with one network over another such as Freedom Mobile compared with Rogers?
So in the next few paragraph, we’ll be sharing our honest, non-sponsored, and genuine recommendation for the best student phone plan in Vancouver or Canada. We hope it helps you make a decision easier.
Welcome to UBC,
This guide is intended to help welcome new students to UBC from out of town. We hope to cover (1) Food on campus (2) Cool things to do (3) Interesting knowledge about UBC. Basically what makes this such an awesome campus to spend four years of your life; a bit bias, but we’d say the best in Canada.
The writing will be written as a list format towards UBC new (and much beloved) president Santa J. Ono since it’s not every day you have the opportunity to welcome a school dean to his own campus. 😉 I’m sure in a few months, he’ll know all the symphony orchestra events, construction detours, and concerns.
Without further ado, here’s a few need to know about UBC:
Food at UBC:
Where do you find good food on campus? Where are the best food deals? This is by no means an extensive list of eateries at UBC but a highlight of a few notable mentions. UBC is almost a city of itself, there’s so many food choices around. 😀
UBC Food Services – UBC Food Services is a common sight on campus. They run cafes in about every faculty during the normal school year.
Pre-loading your UBC card (which also serves as an after-hours access card for your faculty building among other things) provides a 5% discount on food purchases.
Coffee – UBC Food Services rely on a variety of coffee bean suppliers; all are actually consistently good. They even serve coffee made from freshly roasted beans by Milano Coffee Roasters in Vancouver which is featured as our #2 pick for the best coffee in Vancouver. Milano Coffee is also participating in our free Vancouver walking tours. (which are now operating year-around so sign up for a free tour in Vancouver when you come in September!)
Vanier Dining Room– It’s a first year residence cafeteria attached on the second floor of Place Vanier’s common block. This UBC food services venue has delicious wraps (better than Totem Park – the Vanier Dining Room has a salmon option which Totem dining room doesn’t carry. Got to have your Omega-3 during exams and blueberries!), burgers station, and the Asian feature station.
(While the Vanier Dining Room is operated by UBC Food Services just like Totem Park, it appears the two cafeteria are still distinctly different varying in service and food quality).
Totem Dining Room – The Totem Dining Room is another first year residence cafeteria; much like Vanier is on the 2nd floor of the residence common block. The Totem Dining Room features more ethic food traditionally if I’m not mistaken. (I remember once in first year, being so excited to see “laska” unfortunately it was nothing like the “laska” in Singapore. Still a grateful experience.) The dining hall has a very nice outdoor patio with glimpse of the sea. Gorgeous dining spot during the September sunset with a crisp, cool breeze before the rain begins in November. #OnlyatUBC (Hope you’re ready for weeks of rain President Santa – nothing like the weather in Cinnaniti. Unfortunately you’re no longer in the #HottestCollegeinAmerica…noticing your interest in liberal arts on Twitter maybe you’d like to correct this homonym.)
Totem Park also has a late-night burger eatery, part of the Magda’s convenience store at Totem Park. Vanier also has it’s own late-night Hubburd’s convenience store without an attached grill. Generally, it’s better to order pizza from Domino’s if you’re eating late on campus so Vanier isn’t losing out with late-night food options. Domino’s on Dunbar closes at 3 AM daily and you can use your UBC card to pay (Flex Dollars). Students also frequently visit the 24 hours Macdonalds at University Village.
The Totem Dining Room has better views but the Vanier Dining Room seem to have better atmosphere. (It’s a cozy place to grab a coffee and study in a corner. They have cafe-like seating booths.)
Both Vanier and Totem dining rooms feature residences’ prices and general prices (for other students without a meal plan); the food is typically still overpriced for the portion and quality. There’s also an obsession with having to dine with others; residence floors typically go to dinner together. It may feel awkward eating by yourself but sometimes it’s nice just to eat outside alone, think how far behind you are with work and enjoy the scenery.
Both are still wonderful first-year residences and a great experience for first-year students. The culture is great; people are supportive and caring especially your floor mates. There are many first-year activities organized by RAs (Resident Advisers – they’re paid too little for the things that they have to go through.) Each Common Block also has a pool or billiard table for socializing and a field for outdoor sports. Place Vanier is closer to the beaches, Math faculty, Commerce faculty, Arts faculty, Nitobe Gardens, IKB Library, Koerner, and the bus loop while Totem Park is closer to the Botanical Gardens, Thunderbird Stadium, Computer Science faculty, Engineering Faculty, Earth Sciences building, Geography faculty, and Science faculty.
Tip – First year students requiring a residence meal plan may wish to choose the lowest meal plan.
(1) As with life, generally the more you have the more you tend spend frivolously and you definitely don’t need to help your freshman 15. (On a side note, consider putting 20% of your income to savings before budgeting your finances when you can.)
(2) Another factor, in your first three months at residence you’ll probably find the cafeteria pretty interesting but eventually it gets boring and you’d rather eat elsewhere on campus (which will use your “flex dollars”) or near campus. There are many diverse cuisines in Vancouver and so many delicious eateries around. Vancouver is especially popular for its fresh seafood; there are also over 600 sushi restaurants in Vancouver, here’s where you can find the best sushi in Vancouver. Popularly Tojo’s Sushi was appointed Japan Food Ambassador also supposedly accredited to first create the California roll. In summary, you will likely require more flex dollars than meal plan dollars. It’s best to have your spending in cash rather than locked to a card plan.
(3) The higher your meal plan the more you pay in overhead fees.
Residence life is really part of your UBC experience, it’s something that you can only get at UBC. SFU is an excellent school with good professors but it’s a commuter school primarily with less campus involvement (keeners).
Tim Hortons: There are two Tim Hortons franchise ran by UBC Food Services on campus. There’s always a line up during the regular school year. You’re better off getting a coffee from one of the many UBC Food Services café if you’re in a rush. You can use your UBC Card at these two Tim Hortons.
- The Tim Hortons by Sauder School of Business only serves drinks and pastries.
- The Tim Hortons by the Forestry building is a full service Tim Hortons
AMS Nest: UBC has a brand-new student union building that’s stunning.
The Delly – The Delly is a familiar name to many UBC students. It’s a convenient option for a quick bite with their pre-made sandwiches or custom made-to-order sandwiches. They also have a variety of delicious deserts and a selection of Indian curries. Prices are very reasonable around $7 per meal (Italian Sub, Coffee, Cookie) and food quality is acceptable. They used to have a popular 50% off on Fridays in the old sub; this offer is no longer available in the Nest.
(Blue Chip cookies are no longer sold by weight – It’s $2.50 per cookie now. The bagel store didn’t make it over to the new student union building either. Delicious fresh, daily bagels with a variety of cream cheese or smoke salmon. They had 50% off day old bagels too which is actually fresher than the supermarket still.)
Flip Side – Your typical burger store (very inefficiently ran by the AMS – three cooks! In the end it still seems just one person is doing the order taking and cooking.). Your standard burgers and fries. They have daily specials; try their poutine. About poutine, here are the best poutine in Vancouver. Oakwood Canadian Bistro on the list is only 20 minutes by bus (#4 or #84) from UBC.
Grand Noodle Emporium – The Asian take out (“The Moon”) in the old student union building which got a make over. They now serve Asian take-out and Ramen noodle. Dine-in eating space available.
Grocery Store – There’s a small Grocery Store in the SUB. They sell pre-packet raw meats in simple single-serve portions.
There used to be a fancy restaurant at the Nest call “Perch” which wasn’t doing well and has since closed.
University Village: A multi-level complex very close to the bus loop with a variety of retail stores, services, and apartments.
Pearl Fever – The legendary bubble tea shop at UBC campus. This is where you get the best bubble tea on campus. There’s
Bubble Waffle Cafe – It’s a nice and cozy Asian cafe that serves bubble tea, bubble waffles, Teppanyaki rice, and a variety of hot dishes.
Pita Pit – Healthy food on the go located towards Gold Gym at University Village. You can use your UBC card here (flex dollars).
Fresh Slice – Average pizza franchise. Tuesdays special $1.25/slice if I’m not wrong. (Though Pie R 2 is better – support your student run businesses. It provides jobs for students and goes back to your AMS fund.).
Pizza Garden – Newer pizza store at University Village. Stone oven pizza.
Only U Café – A cafe serving breakfast and lunch. Quite a favourite for many UBC students but I didn’t quite understand the hype.
Three more sushi stores. Suga Sushi is typically lower quality sushi but reasonably good Korean BBQ. Mio Sushi which is opposite Starbucks is Ok; they also do teriyaki on the grill. One More Sushi for dine-in sushi restaurant with passable quality.
Furthermore, you’ll find A&W, Booster Juice, Vera’s Burger, and a Red Burrito (it always seems empty). Personal favourite is the A&W between CIBC and the pharmacy where “our beef is raised without any added hormones or steroids.”
There’s too much to mention but on your way to University Village you cross by the dentistry buildings that has Shoppers Drug Mart (for your hygiene, pharmacy, and a small food grocery selection) along with Mahoney’s and Sons – a frequent spot for student and faculty celebrations. As far as grocery store goes there’s also a Granville Island Produce at University Village which also sells delicious chocolate muffins.
University Village Food Court: A basement level food court with the entrance besides Bubble Waffle Cafe at University Village.
My Home Cuisine & Black Pearl – As far as Chinese food is concerned, My Home Cuisine is better than Black Pearl. Both offer great value for Chinese take-out. It’s about $6 for two items and rice (regular price). A frequent special offer is $3.99 for two items and rice.
In contrast, a desert at UBC residence café would already probably cost you around $3.99. It does get boring quickly though because the menu doesn’t seem to change but the food quality is acceptable. It’s fast convenience food. BBQ Roast Pork, Ginger chicken, spicy fish (really spicy), and Sweet and sour pork are some nice items. It’s even cheaper than Richmond’s Yaohan food court.
Osaka Sushi – Big portions for sushi but not the best quality. Many students share they enjoy the Bento boxes here.
Vietna Vietnamese Cuisine – According to Reddit, it’s good pho. (The other sections of Reddit are like a whole other world of the internet. People are so cynical.)
Among other things are two donair shop, Mongolian grill, and Want Want Hot & Spicy.
Overall, th University Village food court provides an ethic variety of convenience food for very good prices.
Wesbrook Village: UBC is truly a city of itself in some sense. WesBrook village is a rapidly growing community with plenty to see, eat, and do.
There’s a Save on Foods (grocery store) here, Menchies frozen yogurt, Jugo Juice, Bier Craft for pub food and beer, To-go Sushi (one of the better quality sushi on campus), newly opened Roger’s Chocolates (their Gastown location is also in our Vancouver Walking Tours), Hung’s Beef noodle, and an elderly home. The BC liquor store is here as well (almost forgot to mention this).
C20/C18 and 41 bus to transit there if you’re lazy to walk.
You can have pretty much find what you need without going off campus. (There’s also a salon at the Nest, beauty parlor, musical shop, and dentistry office at Wesbrook Village). Wesbrook village has the same “vibe” as Kitsilano neighborhood. (New and fresh, yet cozy)
Good Coffee: Coffee is part of Vancouver’s identity. UBC is fortunate that we have good coffee everywhere!
Convenience Store by Bookstore – This convenience store is a recent edition among the new book store; it’s also attached to a Starbucks. The “RocketFuel” Coffee at this bookstore is good, the food is typically overpriced packaged meals (per usual food on campus for some reason.) It’s a good place to grab a coffee on your way to class. They had a “loyalty program” on their opening where every 11th cup of coffee is free. That means a free coffee every week if you drink as much coffee as a typical university student. 😉
The Boulevard – They are located besides Scotiabank at the Dentistry buildings and roast their own beans on site.
Bean Around the World – This is a popular coffee chain which supposedly serves excellent coffee. The coffee shop is located near the Forestry faculty building by the Old Barn (Community centre).
The Great Dame – This café is near the theology buildings opposite St.Andrews Residence. Coffee here is on the milder and sour side. (My opinion but real coffee should be bitter and strong.) It seems like popular cafe though.
Here’s all you need to know about coffee on campus: http://ubyssey.ca/blog/bean-around-campus-best-coffee-ubc137/
Favourite Food Spots: Not an expert with UBC food but for what it’s worth, here’s my personal favourite spots for food on campus the four years at UBC. 😀
- A&W: University Village.
- PitaPit: University Village.
- Tim Hortons: Forestry Building (full food menu)
- Blue Chip Cookie (Now called UpperCase): The Nest
When planning to eat out, I typically look for quick convenience food with some nutritional value. The real value of eating out for me is saving valuable time.
The University Village food court, along with A&W, and Pita Pit provides easy, reasonable priced, and relatively healthy food that you can grab-and-go quickly if you’re living on campus. Among the many uprising developments at the Bus Loop area…there are rumors a Chipotle store will be opening in 2016 (from UBC Confessions page).
Food Deals: Here’s a re-cap of some shocking food deals that can be found on campus because who doesn’t like a good deal.
- $3.33 Triple O’s Tuesday at Triple O’s (next to Sauder School of Business)
- $3.99 two items and rice at My Home Cuisine (University Village food court)
- Daily specials at Flip Side (the Nest basement)
- $2.95 for medium coffee & cookie at the Delly (the Nest basement)
Cool Things to do at UBC:
What’s there to do between your spare time? Not only is UBC the 2nd best university in Vancouver, they probably have the best campus in Canada. What other campus in Canada has one of the most authentic Japanese garden in North America, visited by the (now) emperor of Japan, its own golf course, and a biodiversity museum on campus with a full Blue Whale Skeleton display (it’s truly YUGE ;)), and three distinct beaches on campus.
Beaches – UBC’s three beaches is a worthy mention. It’s also very near to Jericho beach (anyone a fan of sailing? There’s a sail club here) and Spanish Banks beach. (Great place to catch outdoor volleyball during summer). Between Jericho (farther from UBC) and Spanish Banks (closer to UBC, walk-able from Tower beach) is Locarno Beach (good for outdoor BBQ). Side note, the Point Grey and Kits neighborhood is also very quaint with unique shops for a nice walk reasonably close to the water.
Wreck Beach: It’s a nude beach that’s fairly known in Vancouver. It has a great sunset view westward. During summer times, you’ll notice a lot of non-UBC individuals and some questionable characters. (Unfortunately, you meet at the bus loop.). Don’t go sightseeing there (you may run into your professor. Eek.)
Entrance is behind Place Vanier residence with a long stairs down. (another benefit to Place Vanier, you’re no more than 5 minutes from the beach and Nitobe Gardens. It’s right next door.)
Tower Beach: An awe-inspiring, long hike down to a pebble filled beach with a historical search light tower (hence the name). Saw a few jade stones on Tower Beach, I think. You can enjoy the beautiful sunsets, tranquil waters, and the only beach on UEL where you can view the open sea (not really open with Victoria), North Shore Mountains, and parts of Vancouver downtown together. (Excellent for panorama shots.) It is a good escape to nature.
Entrance is on East Mall, walk pass the Law building on East mall towards the water and you’ll see a small entrance.
Acadia Beach – Towards Spanish Banks is Acadia Beach. This is where you’ll find sandier beaches and a good swimming spot. It’s also near towards the Pacific Spirit Park trails but there’s reportedly no trails officially made for this beach.
Nitobe Garden – Nitobe Gardens has quite a lot of accreditation. Among many, it’s one of the most authentic Japanese Garden. It’s near the Asian cultural centre and it’s a beautiful garden with free access for students and faculty.
Golf Course – There’s a full 18 hole golf course on the University Endowment Lands (UEL) added with a driving range for your practice. Join the UBC Golf Club and get discounts on green fees. My friend from first-year residence did it, and they had some great deals for golfers with a supportive community.
Pacific Spirit Park – Besides a golf course and great views, another thing that makes the UBC campus so awesome is a 874 hectares park with 73km of hiking trails. The park runs from south to north with the golf course and University Boulevard in the middle. It’s a favourite for joggers and outdoor enthusiasts.
Rose Garden – As it’s name implies. This is a rose garden. The flowers only bloom in summer primarily but it’s still a nice spot to watch the sea, mountains, and occasional ferries going by. Good spot to finish readings maybe. Find it as you walk by the Canada Flag roundabout.
Chan Centre – The Chan centre is where you’ll frequently find performing arts events. The concert hall is inspired by a Cello. You’ll find frequent performance by UBC choir and UBC Symphony Orchestra. Do note, your cellphone may not work there; according to our orientation guide, the concert hall was built with copper to intentionally block out cellphone reception.)
More to mention:
- Some may remember when UBC had bouncy bushes (natural trampoline) unfortunately it appears to have succumb to construction and progression; there’s still an old video on Youtube for keepsake.
- If you’re up for a walk, there’s great views walking the entrance of Tower Beach towards Spanish Banks. (stunning views)
- UBC also has a farm and a botanical garden. The UBC farm once again emphasizes the concept of sustainability and is the only working farm in city of Vancouver.
Adding further to the list students have free access to UBC’s aquatic centre drop-in swimming sessions. It’s also a frequent spot for nap sessions by commuter students. You’ll also find students studying atop in the warm but chlorine-smelling atmosphere to escape the cold, rainy weather. (Apparently studying at different locations aids your memory. There are also many excellent study spots at UBC. UBC also has many fantastic libraries including one which looks like an upside down book, Koerner Library. It’s a world class campus.)
- Koerner Library: You’ll find the basement floor has copious amount of study tables and remarkably quiet.
- Irving K. Barber Library (IKB): The go-to library for most students. Heritage stacks are here, most books are here, and a few classes occur in the basement level. It’s quietest location if you need silence to concentrate but there are many break-out rooms you can book. Ike’s Cafe is attached to the library for your coffee runs.
- Concordia Library: Where you will see overly dressed Sauder students. Generally very bright (location). The top floor has great views of the flag-pole while studying which is why I liked it. Variety of group study areas and silent study area along with a few breakout rooms.
- Forestry Building: This is where you should visit. Very impressive wood structure inside. Each floor has two study desk at the balcony. Generally quiet, private, and great place to enjoy natural lighting while you study.
- Marine Drive Residence building: If you want to study and relax, go to the couches at the Marine Drive common block. Great views, nice couches, fireplace, and a good place to study. It can get noisy but it usually isn’t.
- Ponderosa Study Rooms: The new residences have study rooms besides the Mercante Cafe (which has good thin-crust pizzas).
- Beach: Catching up on text book readings? The wonderful thing about UBC is you’re just 10 minutes to the beach ON CAMPUS so go for a hike down to the beach to do your readings. (static noise of the waters can help you concentrate too).
- There are many other study spots, it would require a list of itself. Many faculty have rooms you can book or use when it’s not being used especially the upper levels of Sauder School or business and Buchanan buildings as well as the Computer Science faculty. There are also empty rooms typically at Forestry after hours.
This segment will continue to be updated. There’s so much to do at UBC; such a unique campus combining the convenience of urban living surrounded, and steeped with history (it’s on native land and was used as a fortress in World War II). Even still, peppered with culture and attractions.
Interesting Knowledge about UBC:
- UBC has an impressive lip dub: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dpp3quce1Vo Made five years ago. Maybe it’s time for a new lip dub seeing how much the campus has changed…with a bowtie somewhere in it?
- Attending UBC, you’re likely to run into various filming crews and celebrities. Taken, Fantastic Four, The Butterfly Effect, and Tomorrowland are a few films that used UBC as a set. TV shows also use UBC as a set such as Prison Break by the Chemistry building.
- UBC was named the “First Fair Trade University Campus” by Fair Trade Canada.
- The current prime minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau is an alumni of UBC. Adding to the list of two other UBC alumni John Turner and Kim Campbell who were 17th and 19th prime minster of Canada respectively.
- UBC epitomizes Vancouver’s green culture. UBC has a full program dedicated to this; the UBC sustainability program to educate. UBC is building a steam to hot water energy system which will supposedly reduce its carbon foot print.
More cool facts about UBC:
Thanks for reading our UBC Welcome Guide:
Hope you enjoyed VancityAsks‘ guide to UBC.
The article draws on personal experience from four years at UBC (albeit the campus changes EVERY year) as well as consolidation of information from these sites:
UBC’s New President!
A bit more about Santa J. Ono as written by the Straight:
“In 2015, Ono turned down a bonus for the third consecutive year, preferring to give $190,000 of the $200,000 to fund scholarships, staff awards, housing for students, arts, respite care, and other worthy causes. The final $10,000 was handed over to the family of a fallen police officer. His base salary was $520,000 and he refused the board of trustees’ offer to give him a raise.”
This man emphasizes the concept of servant-leadership. A concept which was echoed as well by Stephen Toope which initiated the push for developing more student residences. Finding unique ways to fund UBC growth while helping students with much needed on-campus residence. In my humble opinion, smart move to accept more international students – higher tuition fees for them and more diversified community (higher rankings as the most international university in Canada doesn’t hurt either.)
Santa J. Ono is also taking a 25% “pay cut” to accept his new position at UBC (relative to his pay at UC) of which money seems a small concern for him after turning down various raise at UC.
This is what Ubessey has to say about Ono, “Ono really does seem to care — this isn’t just for show. “The reason I developed a special relationship with the students is that they knew I listened to them in both personal life and through social media,” he said on his affinity with students at the University of Cincinnati. “I miss them. I absolutely love them.””
With this said, lest this should be flattery, lets’ avoid building too high a chair for Santa J. Ono. “A loud and cheerful greeting early in the morning will be taken as a curse!”
None the less, we’re excited for UBC. [For information of significance, UBC contributes over 12 billion dollars to BC’s economy with over 560 million dollars in research funding for more than 8000 projects.” This simulates the economy in Vancouver, providing more jobs, training students to be more valuable – hopefully – members in society.
I remember in my Econ 350/370 class on Canadian public finance about two years ago; we saw the significant external benefits to higher education for society and for the individuals themselves. The dollar value of social benefits to higher education out weight the cost (especially with female students). This is maybe why government subsidizes higher education and why it increases the overall marginal social benefit for doing so. While Regan is famous for pushing that “Government is not the solution, it’s the problem…” government is especially useful when there are externalities in the market. Without the subsidies, the equilibrium point chosen by an individual’s private marginal benefit to private marginal cost would be well below the socially optimal level.
Without positive or negative externalities (which is rarely the case – our actions always affect others), a free market without regulation is more efficient for society – not necessary more fair. Though where externalities exist. subsidies and taxes are efficient to bring the market to a socially efficient point of equilibrium or where re-distribution for “fairness” is concerned; the measurement for an efficient point of subsides however is difficult (it’s like weighing how heavy a glass of water is with your eye).
There’s the economics student in me lol; correct me if I’m wrong, going by memory and not the scribbled class notes I’ve put away years ago. Something actually useful learnt in class 😉
TL;DR: We should be thankful that the government pays about 50% of student tuition for residents. It’s worthwhile for government to subsidize tuition for students in hopes they’ll be more productive to society and pay more taxes to come. Still more can be done relative to the benefits of education.
This article may not represent the opinion of VancityAsks.com but represents the opinion of the editor/writer:
There’s no such thing as a best church in Vancouver. When it comes to faith, it’s about family and it’s not a competition for the best or biggest church. While there is no such thing as the best church in Vancouver, there are many good churches in Vancouver and many choices available.
At VancityAsks.com we hope to help locals and tourists find the best of Vancouver. Since there isn’t such a thing as the best church in Vancouver, we’re going to share some things to consider for when looking for a local church along with five good churches for your consideration.
Perhaps, you’re new to the city and looking for a Vancouver church. Maybe you’re simply looking for a community to grow, we hope the following list can help you along. Enjoy reading.
If you’re non-religious, feel free to skip on to another article. If you’re looking however for a supportive community founded in Love, I hope you consider reading the list and stepping into one of these cathedrals (building, community centers, or theatre nowadays). It may be the missing piece you’re looking for to fill that emptiness or desire?
Note: The church is His body and I believe He cares about it. Shouldn’t you? It’s the longest living organization on earth that has planted schools, advocated for education, advanced science, and built/staffed hospitals. (Look at St. Paul’s if you need a local example) It cannot be under emphasized that if you’re a Christian, you should get connected and serving in a local church. I cannot think of a government or society group that has made as much an impact globally than the Church. I believe the local church is one of many ways that God uses to help humanity and add to society tangibly, an expression of His care and His love.
“And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” – Matthew 28:18
If you want to experience the full power of God then be connected to a local church; it’s the dispensation that it comes through imho. Much like how the feeding of 5000, the people set in groups (organization), and the disciples (church) distributed the food. The miracle was from the Lord, but the disciples were used and order was present. Order as you will find is very important for progress. Order such as the usage of gifts through the church.
How to find a good church in Vancouver?
As I mentioned, there is no such thing as the best church in Vancouver. There are many good options for community and fellowship. Here are some things I look for when trying to find a church in Vancouver. It’s by no means a definitive list but what I believe are important points.
Christ Centered church: Look for a church that emphasizes on the finish work of Jesus Christ and the second person of the God-head. You don’t have Christianity without Christ. It’s about God’s love towards humanity that He sent His Son; it should not be only about our frailties or God’s judgement.
Biblically based: A church should be grounded in the Bible. While I believe there’s an importance to relevance in society, it should be in context of the Word. Church goers did not go to church to hear what reader digest said about modern culture – they already do that in the washroom.
Triune God-head: It’s been said that how people live their lives are based upon (1) their view of God (2) their view of themselves. It’s been emphasized throughout the Bible the concept of the triune God-head. I believe it’s an important point that a Vancouver church acknowledges the triune God as it affects your view of God and hence how you live your life; it’s also a reflection of being Biblically based. (“Elohim” is a plural word with references in the Bible using “Let us” still further saying “the Lord is one!”)
New Covenant: In my humble opinion, it’s important that the church emphasizes on the New Covenant or grace. All books of the Bible are important for the full counsel is necessary and every word of God is profitable for teaching, rebuking, and training in righteousness. Let’s show the world love and grace because we have first been recipients of this love and grace from Him.
Community: Finally, community cannot be understated. We all have a longing to belong; maybe this branches to our desire to achieve, and to succeed. If Christianity is about a relationship with God then you would know your horizontal relationships matter as well.
Unfortunately by virtue that we’re humans and we make mistakes (sometimes wilfully), some people have been hurt by the church community itself. This should not mean that you put yourself at a distance from community always but maybe find another community.
Now that I’ve underlined what has been considered when creating the list of churches in Vancouver, here are some good churches for you to consider visiting.
Five Good Vancouver Churches:
Westside Church: A Christ-centered Mennonite Brethren church right in the heart of Vancouver pastored by pastor Norm Funk. This church has a history of going through books of the Bible for sermon series with relevance to modern living. It’s a great church that you can be sure is giving sound doctrine.
The community is friendly comprising of yuppies, young families, young professionals, and students. Westside also has a church in North Vancouver headed by pastor James Bonney. They run life groups throughout the year allowing for more tightly knitted fellowship in small groups.
Services throughout the year meet at 9 AM and 11 AM on Sundays though only one service per week during the summer at 10 AM on Sundays as well. The congregation is fairly large – may be the largest downtown Vancouver church with several thousand members. The Vancouver campus also features a cool café serving tea and pastries before and after service. It’s definitely one of my favourite churches in Vancouver.
Address: 777 Homer St, Vancouver, BC V6B 2W1
Broadway Pentecostal Church Vancouver: Broadway Church in Vancouver is a modern church under the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada and shepherded by lead pastor Darin Latham (who was a former police officer in Toronto area and enjoys apologetics). Broadway Pentecostal plans their sermon series at the start of the year on different topics varying from money management to hung-ups; these effectively finding biblical answers to are life topics.
Broadway Pentecostal Church in Vancouver features a diversified international community comprising of many mature families (children in high school or universities) with elders and younger families. They don’t have a very active community group program at Broadway Pentecostal Church but feature other programs. Broadway Pentecostal church also runs various programs such as a day care and City Reach society (a separate non-profit association affiliated with Broadway Church) as well as contributing to the YVR airport Champlain program.
Since Broadway Pentecostal Church Vancouver is such an inter-generational church, they have elected to run three services with different styles of worship. The 9 AM service features the traditional worship service, the 11:15 AM service features a contemporary worship service and the 6 PM service features an emerging worship service (with loud music, and free food targeting young adults)
Address: 2700 E Broadway, Vancouver, BC V5M 1Y8
Willington Church Vancouver: Willington Church Vancouver is another Mennonite Brethren church just outside Vancouver in Burnaby by Metro-town area. It’s headed by pastor Mark Loewen and one of the largest church in the Vancouver area.
The community is once again very multicultural. The church also takes on various ministries for the betterment of their members and the city at large. The Willington Mennonite Brethern church has a strong emphasis on the gospel and prayer with open invitation for prayer on their website. Here’s their statement of faith:
I have not personally visited this church so don’t have much further information about it but I have had many friends who attend this church and enjoy the diversified community of people.
Address: 4812 Willingdon Ave, Burnaby, BC
Coastal Church Vancouver: Coastal Church is a non-denominational church in downtown Vancouver right in front of the Trump tower. The church’s lead pastor is Dave and Cheryl Coop. Coastal Church in Vancouver likes to ensure their sermons are relevant to modern living and the hub city of Vancouver (where people regularly transit in and out). Their self-professed mission at the church is to make the city of Vancouver a better place.
Coastal Church has a strong emphasis on community with life groups running throughout the year in cycles on different topic or sermon. Congregation is comprises a lot of students and working adults and couples in downtown Vancouver. The church also encourages entrepreneurship and positive thinking. They have a strong online presence and social media team which is unusual for a church.
Services run weekly on Saturdays at and Sundays at 9 AM, 11 AM and 12:30 PM for about 1.5 hours, an introduction followed by a brief 45 minutes sermon between worship. Coastal Church is built in a historical building on 1160 West Georgia Street where you can see drawings of the old architecture of the building pinned in the hallways. They provide free coffee, apples, and snacks after service and also have a kiosk that serves ice cream, fresh squeeze orange juice at a nominal cost.
Address: 1160 West Georgia Street, Vancouver, BC V6E 3H7
TBD: This is kept in the faith that another church will come to Vancouver that will contribute to the local community J
More Churches in Vancouver:
Here are many other churches in Vancouver.
West Coast Christian Fellowship: WCCF was suggested on our Facebook post. They are a non-denominational church affiliated with Salt & Light Ministries (http://www.saltlight.org/international/). Their statement of faith can be found here. Services start at 11:30 AM on Sundays.
“We believe God has called us to be a Christ-centered, Word-based, Spirit-led Family.” – WCCF website
Address – 3198 E Georgia St, Vancouver, BC V5K 2L1
Website – http://wccf.ca/
Salvation Army Cariboo Hill Temple: Located in Burnaby, Salvation Army Cariboo Hill Temple was suggested as well on our Facebook post. I was not able to find mentions of their denomination but I would assume affiliation to the Salvation Army? Their statement of faith can be found here. Services run on Sundays at 10:30 AM and 6 PM.
They value, “People, Word of God, Growth, Spiritual Gifts, Relationships, Service, Prayer” – http://www.cariboohill.ca/our-values
Address – 7195 Cariboo Rd, Burnaby, BC V3N 4A6
Website – http://www.cariboohill.ca/
Bethel International Church: Bethel International Church was suggested from someone on our Facebook page. Services appear to be at 10 AM on Sundays. Not affiliated to Bethel music.
“We desire to make a lasting difference in people’s lives in the city of Vancouver and beyond. Our vision is to be a community of transformation: where people disconnected from God experience fullness of life through knowing Jesus.” – Bethel International Church website
Address – 739 33 AVE E, Vancouver, BC
Website – http://bethelinvancouver.com/
Redemption Church: Formally Point Grey Community Church which was joint with another church to form Redemption Church. They are a Pentecostal church with affiliations to the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada. Services run on Sunday at 9 AM and 11:15 AM.
“To follow our Redeemer and King Jesus in bringing his love and salvation to every person we can. To be a church that loves others in a generous, gracious, and joyful. To make disciples who are obedient to Jesus in thought, word, and deed. To bring the transforming and renewing power of God into the city and the world.” – http://www.redemptionchurch.ca/about/
Address – 3512 7 AVE W, Vancouver, BC
Website – http://www.redemptionchurch.ca/
Relate Church: Relate Church was suggested by several on our Facebook page as well. Otherwise known as Victory Christian Centre, this congregation was renamed to Relate Church in 2009. It appears that Relate Church is affiliated to Hillsong Churches (Pentecostal) and have adopted a similar vision with the “Church that I see”. Services are on Saturdays at 5:10 Pm and Sundays at 9:40 AM along with 11:40 AM.
“We exist to build the church by developing flourishing relationships with God and people.” – Relate Church Website
Address – 6788 152 St, Surrey, BC V3S 3L4
Website – http://www.relatechurch.ca/
Trinity Central Church: This church was also recommended by someone on our Facebook page. It’s a new church in Vancouver seeking to impact this city with the message of the gospel. They are part of Newfrontiers family of churches. Trinity Central Church meets in the Vancity Theater on Sundays at 10:30 AM.
“We’re a community that’s all about loving God and loving people. Our vision is to reach and influence Vancouver by building a Christ centred church that changes mindsets and empowers people to lead and transform society in every sphere of life.” – Trinity Central Church website
Address – 1181 Seymour Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 2E8
Website – http://www.trinitycentral.org/
Think for yourself – I’ve heard it spoken before, “do not leave your brains at home when you come to church”. Remember to think for yourself. Church is not a place where you ignore logic or thought processes; God created your brain as much as he created you.
Do not let anyone else think for you; esteem the teacher but do not regard anyone more highly than you ought. Christianity is not a brainless religion; that’s a cult. Christianity is about relationship between a Holy God and humanity saved by grace and love. Many of the greatest philosophers and individuals in academia are Christians.
Adding or Taking – Be careful when people make deviations from the Word. There are minor and major disputes as in life there are disagreements of opinion and interpretations although the crux of the gospel and the God-head should not be disputed neither should the instructions in the Bible be contradicted.
I believe God has made us all with an intuitive desire for worship and community. This leaves room for error when the desire is abused. In my opinion, this is why Cults and religions can catch on so successfully when people add or take from the Bible for their own profit. For example the “children of god” cult that abuses the name of Jesus for sexual exploitation but completely ignores the Bible talks about sexual purity and lust.
Be careful when leaders knowingly make a deviation from the Word for their own intents or profits. If someone takes the frame and fills it with their own opinion and junk, take caution. Learn but judge and do your own fact checking. Acts 17:11
Compromises – This last caution may be subjective. I believe a church should never compromise on their convictions and their faith. It should not be bended to societal influence or what is “acceptable” to man. This applies to what is good, just, and true. Accepting a lie doesn’t make it anymore true and any less hurtful. One should not accept compromise in their faith or conscience. However neither should we expect everyone to agree with our convictions or believes and neither should we force such believes upon others unwillingly. God gave man free will, shouldn’t we respect their free will as well? (1 Peter 3:15)
Living in society with different believes requires acceptance but not compromises. Yes, compromise is necessary in daily life for a cohesive society though compromises should never be about Truths or facts.
Every individual is unique and different. Take the metaphor of plants, one plant may grow better in red soil with higher iron while another plant may grow better in soft, fertile soil with a lot of peat. I hope you find a good church in Vancouver and you enjoyed this article.
Note while denomination should not be a divisive factor, we have noted it because denomination represent slight differentiation in interpretation of certain scriptures or preferred style of worship. I find you may be more familiar or comfortable with a church that matches your denomination (upbringing or preference) enabling for fellowship in your community.
The purpose of this list is to help new Christians in Vancouver find a church they can get connected to and begin living life, growing, and serving the community and city at large.
So you’ve applied to UBC and you’re awaiting for your admission decision.
It’s quite a nerve racking process; I remember four years back applying for UBC as my first choice for post secondary studies. Why UBC? There are many excellent universities to choose from in British Columbia. To name a few you have UBC, SFU, UBC-O, UVIC, UNBC, Langara, TWU.
Yet my choice for UBC came while in high school in BC. I liked their campus. You really get to appreciate and enjoy the beauty of Vancouver.
Next, I like the large campus. UBC has a huge campus and almost like a city of itself, it makes for good exploring and things to do. Importantly, in my opinion, it’s part of the university process. To have somewhere away enough from your norm to experience something different. It’s an incentive to live on campus which is part of the experience you get at university (I’m of the inclination that university is more than education but the networks and experience you build).
Finally, I chose UBC because of the community. I like a big university with a big international community. It introduces thoughts and allows you to intermingle with other cultures and people. It’s interesting and it’s vibrant.
I’m not saying UBC is the university for you (there are a lot of difficult people there too lol), those are simply some of the reasons why I appreciated UBC (there’s lot of eagles too!).
And BTW heads up, the picturesque photo they use in marketing UBC, IS NOT WHAT YOU ACTUALLY SEE…you know what I’m talking about. The sunny rose garden over looking the ocean and mountains. That’s real. It’s by the flag pole past Koerner and Sauder school of business. The sunny weather? Comes once every 7 days in the months from November to March 🙂
Who is this for:
Who is this article for? Well it’s for you, the one reading because you’ve applied to UBC. You’re a UBC Prospective Undergraduate. Congrats 🙂
Firstly, this article is more so intended for the international community coming to Vancouver to study at UBC. I hope it’ll help you get started and know what you can find in Vancouver. Feel free to browse this site for other information about Vancouver from a local’s view point.
Next, let me get this out there. I really enjoy meeting people and I enjoy helping people. I enjoy inviting and welcoming people and sharing any experience we can (partly the reason for VancityAsks.com). It’s something intuitive and something I enjoy (yes I used that word a lot). I find it exciting quite honestly.
We at VancityAsks.com would like to extend our genuine assistance for you moving from another country for your studies. If you have any questions about Vancouver please reach out and comment bellow! If you need a ride from the airport, we can help you too. (free) We just really enjoy welcoming people to this amazing city, even at our own expense of time and gas! Basically, this is a formal suggestion that we’d be happy to help you with your transition to Vancouver however we can at VancityAsks.com
Now, who else would be interested in reading this?
It’s for you who are still closing near the end of your high school education and looking for something to read while you procrastinate.
It’s for you who grew up in the suburbs of Vancouver (like me) in Coquitlam or maybe Port Coquitlam (good on you – your commute must be enjoyable) who perhaps may not know what Vancouver has to offer.
It’s for you, who’s perhaps currently in Singapore or New York and want to know more about what to expect in Vancouver and UBC.
Why is this on VancityAsks.com?
VancityAsks.com is a local question and answer site for Vancouver. We want to discover the best Vancouver has to offer. When you ask, where’s the best pizza in Vancouver, we have the answer from a first-hand local experience. When you’re wondering where you can get the best sushi in Vancouver? We got you covered. Something you’ll come really accustom to is drinking coffee and we also share the best coffee in Vancouver.
So it seems fitting that we also uncover our own experiences about UBC and I hope it’ll help in some way at all with your transition to university. We’re also writing this to get some likes here:
What to expect:
The waiting process can be frustrating can’t it. I remember refreshing the UBC SSC again on a daily basis waiting for my admission. UBC goes on a rolling admission base on your application strength (the best application gets approved first). My grades weren’t so good, and so my application was the latter to be approved. Foolishly or maybe faithfully, UBC was the only school I applied for haha.
Once you’ve gotten your offer, really consider if you think UBC will be the best option for you economically and personally. (There are some really amazing people and professors at UBC although there are also the fair share of ummm. yeah.)
Now once you’re admitted and you’ve accepted your offer of admission. Up and coming for international students is Jump Start in August. I’ve talked to a lot of friends while at first year residence about their jump start experience and some loved it and some did not like it so much. It is a great way to make friends though. I knew some who simply came early to Vancouver with their family and explored the city together.
When school starts in September, the first week (and even the second) is really relax. It’s a great time to meet new people and get involved with on campus activities. Go to imagine day and check out the (student) club days later on.
Honestly speaking, this video is quite accurate to many experience of their four years at UBC (with some exceptions):
If you’re a keener, it can be definitely worth while to get involve in student government.
Apply to be the first year representative of your faculty student association. I’ve notice, it seems those who go on to further positions in the student government are typically first year reps. I would think because they have the experience, rapport, and network/familiarity to be elected for other positions.
So if you intend on being in the student government later on, be the keener in the first year and apply as a first year rep. I don’t think you get paid for being a first year rep (I was quite an introvert so it wasn’t my bid) but if I’m not mistake the higher positions later in student government do pay quite reasonably.
Also in my humble opinion, if you want to run for student president some time in your 4 years at university and score that $30,000+ salary for the year…you should know, it’s a lot of a popularity contest than a merits in some level. Most of the people who become student president have strong marketing campaigns and are typically part of frats or large clubs (whose members then help with word of mouth pushing for votes). As a voter, inform yourself of each individual platform and vote purposefully.
Learning also comes in different ways as cliche as it sounds. I wasn’t quite the fan of in-class learning and haven’t done so well in my classes (mostly those that I didn’t like) although keep reading outside of class on what interest you. Many of you I know are likely going through university to check that box for a degree. I’ve spoken to many who have gone on to do careers in things outside of their degree scope.
I personally find that university is essential not for the rigid academics (many of which you won’t actually use outside your classroom unless you pursue academia) particularly but for the life skills, experience, and networks.
Go figure this one out, “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.”
That’s pretty much it I suppose in terms of expectation for your first year. Know also that the point above leads to the next, your grades are important but look at it with perspective. Many people (myself included) got really stress about first year grades. It doesn’t really hit you as much until probably 3 months into your first year when you realize relative to others, you appear behind.
Your 90%+ you got in high school is rare in university. Attaining a B is quite a feat for certain classes. Look at the grade distribution here (you’ll need your SSC login now it appears – previously you could access it public):
You have pretty much everything you need on campus if you choose to live on residence but do take the time to explore Vancouver outside of UBC. UBC is situated to the west of Vancouver in the Point Grey community. It’s near by two communities: (1) Kitsilano – Otherwise known as Kits, check out the beaches, cafes, and eateries. You will find good coffee and donuts at 49th Parallel Coffee shop. You’ll find a beach (you can actually walk there from UBC through Spanish Banks if you’re up for a hike). You’ll find hippy stores. (2) Kerrisdale – It’s a nice, small community you arrive taking the 41 bus or the 43 bus. Here you’ll find good sushi and a nice family orientated neighborhood. UBC is also 30 minutes from downtown Vancouver by transit for your downtown Vancouver adventures.
Follow Ricardo Seah for his downtown Vancouver adventures: https://www.facebook.com/ricardoseah
Read this Vancouver guide by Alvin Yu:
Both are UBC students above. Well Alvin, went on to Edmonton to study at University of Alberta.
- Go for the orientation. Go for the campus tours. Make those friends and networks. I attended several UBC events while in high school and it was really useful for me personally. Many of the seniors are very glad to share their experience and they are really friendly (contrary to a “friend” I remembered who told me if they knew we were from high school, we’d be scorned at the events – hence think for yourself.) Imagine what a easier transition it would be if you’ve met a few in your program (or one you wanted to transfer into 😉 ) who could tell you about courses and professors to expect. Imagine how much easier it would be to make friends if you could recognize people you met before on campus and get introductions. Imagine how much easier it is for positions at (student) clubs or events if you knew the individuals from a previous encounter. Networking isn’t only exclusive to a specific study. It’s a general good and it’s always nice to make meaningful relationships. Be genuine.
- The AMS has some nice paid positions for the student government that can be worth applying for. IMHO if you’re looking some extra income, get involve in student government early on and build upwards. Also for international students, if I’m not mistaken you’re allow to work on campus without a work permit:http://students.ubc.ca/career/resources/working-canadaThe AMS does hire for a lot of position and UBC has quite a bit of programs to encourage on campus hiring. It appears you can work off campus too up to 20 hours.
- Honestly, your first year grade doesn’t matter as much (it does matter) but there’s no point beating yourself up if you didn’t do as good as you expected when you first considered your goals. Sometimes our self expectation can be unrealistic. It’s sad to read occasionally about suicides because of grades that occur in university (and in certain south east asian countries). You have so much potential, you’re admitted into one of the top universities in Canada; you have other skills and gifting so be able to look beyond your grades but for where it matters, you’re paying (or your parents are paying) $10k/year for your studies so do make the most of it.The part it matters is largely with course selection for the second year. Your GPA determines your time for course registration; you want the good courses and good professors. Professors do matter a lot to your learning. Most the professors in the Math, Computer Science, and Economics department are amazing. (with a few exceptions)Study what you enjoy and take some GPA boosters 🙂 I use to think GPA boosters was a waste of credits but they do help and they do matter. Check with the grade distribution link I posted above and choose GPA boosters if you need it. Good GPA boosters are typically intro foreign language courses of course it depends on your bent as well.
University is an exciting time and a time of transition. You can waste it away or you can make the most of it; we suggest you consider what you hope to get out from your 4 years (or five) and go for it.
It cannot be understated but genuinely choose your friends carefully. Yes, it’s a time where many fool around and reckless decisions but it can also be a time for growth and genuine understanding of who you are. Will you use this four years for your life as a platform or will it be a waste?
Honestly, the programs are such that you can easily make it through without really getting much from your education but why would you? Lastly, control your thoughts and your consciousness. (don’t lose your chooser – don’t let others choose for you. Don’t listen to propaganda. Think for your life and be productive to society. We’re neighbors for a reason.)
I hope you’ll enjoy your university experience whether at UBC or wherever else you go. If you plan on studying in Vancouver from another country, please feel free to reach out to us at VancityAsks.com and we’ll be happy to help however possible. (whether be it question, or being a line of support, or a ride from the airport to your destination – if schedule permits. I may be in and out of Vancouver). Also follow VancityAsks.com to learn more about Vancouver!
I’ll probably update this article later when I feel like it; meanwhile after a straight 2 hours of writing, I’m simply going to post as-is. It’s not a graded essay after all. Please leave your comments and thoughts and suggestions. I’m sure there are many others who can provide better tips than these so please do!