Campus Housing

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Campus Housing

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3 Recent Alumnus

Campus Housing: I understand why living in dorms is an important transition for new students, but I moved out halfway through the year. I didn't enjoy it very much.

3 College Freshman

Campus Housing: I'm not tight with my rez floor but I've made some of my best friends in rez and its pretty nice for 8 am classes.

3 College Freshman

Campus Housing: Sharing residence with boys can get annoying at time when you just want to walk around like a complete slob and not be stared at or feel judged

3 College Freshman

Campus Housing: The dorm I lived in was average but pretty good as far as first year residences go.

3 College Senior

Campus Housing: Campus dorm at UBC is just a bit above average - but there is a relatively high price you end up paying for that. There are many residence choices at UBC, starting from "first year rez" (Totem Park, Vanier Place and more recently Gage Residence), upper year apartment residences (Marine Drive, Gage, Thunderbird, Fraser Hall, and more recently Ponderosa) or Townhouse/family housing (Fairview and Acadia.)

Each dorm at UBC is "governed" by a Residence Association e.g. TPRA (Totem Park Residence Association) who organizes residence events, workshops, and initiatives.

There are also many rules that residence enforces which may be perceived to be unfair (you can't possess a growler or any container that encourages large consumption of alcohol) but that depends on who your Residence Advisor is.

Party is semi-encouraged but alcoholic parties are definitely not encouraged (although it happens anyways) in first year residences. However, proximity to class, campus activities and other students make living on campus a good choice. If you have the ability to build relationships regardless of whether you live near people and don't want to pay a hefty price tag for that experience, living off-campus is a great option.

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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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Freshman dorms generally have a very social environment. This is partly because all freshmen are new to the school and are willing to participate in events to get to know each other. UBC Housing Services also specially picks and trains resident advisers to organize social activities that allow new students to get to know each other. Not all events are mandatory, but some RAs can be stricter than others in terms of attendance for floor events. Most freshman dorms are about the same size, depending on the number of people sharing a room. Rooms are maintained pretty well, considering their age, but some hot water shortages do happen every so often. However, the University has pledged to spend a significant sum of money to refurbish the residence buildings of Totem Park in a span of four years. The newer Totem Park buildings (hem'lesem' and q'elexen) are hands down the best dorms on campus, though. Finished in 2011, the two buildings are constructed with motion censors, light detectors, water-preserving showers, and window-lock detectors, making the building one of the most eco-friendly resident buildings in the world. Each floor lounge is equipped with a sink, microwave, and refrigerator (the two buildings also have a flat-screen cable HD TV on each floor). Needless to say, a room in these buildings costs significantly more than older dorms. The dorms' distance from classes vary depending on what classes you have, but generally speaking, Place Vanier residences are closer to most classes, as Totem Park is located in the far corner of the campus. Students can either take an average 15-minute walk to class or take the C20 community bus, which can shorten travel time anywhere between five to 10 minutes, depending on where your class is. Keep in mind that the community bus only makes a run every 20 minutes, so it may be faster to just walk to class at times.

Facts & Statistics

Types of Housing Offered
  • Apartments for married students
  • Apartments for single students
  • Coed dorms
  • Fraternity/sorority housing
  • Men's dorms
  • Special housing for international students
  • Theme housing
  • Women's dorms
Undergrads Living On Campus
21%
Number of Dormitories
2
Number of Campus-Owned Apartments
7
Best Freshman Dorms
  • Place Vanier Residence Hall
  • Totem Park Residence Hall
Best Upperclassman Dorms
  • Marine Drive Apartments
  • Walter Gage Residence Hall
Worst Upperclassman Dorms
Fairview Crescent Townhouses
What You Get
  • Bed
  • Bookshelves
  • Closet
  • Desk and chair
  • Drawers
  • Table lamp
Also Available
  • For students with children, the University provides family housing around a daycare center so parents can continue studies without worrying about their kids.
  • hem'lesem' and q'elexen are the most ecofriendly dorms on campus, equipped with light detectors, motion censors, and water-conserving showers.
  • The University provides special housing for people with disabilities that includes personal bathrooms with side railings for students in wheelchairs.
Available for Rent
Mini-fridges, bicycles, vacuums
Did You Know?
  • Students below the age of 19 are restricted to Totem Park or Place Vanier.
  • Students living in Totem Park or Place Vanier must purchase a mandatory meal plan.

DormitoriesWhat's This?

Place Vanier Residence Hall
Floors: 4–5
Number of Occupants: 1000+
Bathrooms: Communal
Coed: Yes
Residents: Freshmen and upperclassmen
Room Types: Singles, doubles, triples
Special Features: Basketball and tennis courts, community kitchen, fitness room, laundry facilities, music practice room with piano, on-site dining, study lounge, TV lounge; Place Vanier features 12 coed houses, including Cariboo, Hamber, Mawdsley, Okanagan, Sherwood Lett, Tweedsmuir, Korea-UBC House, Tec-UBC House; two women's houses—Kootenay and Ross; and two men's houses—Mackenzie and Robson.
Totem Park Residence Hall
Floors: 5
Number of Occupants: 1000+
Bathrooms: Communal, suite, private
Coed: Yes
Residents: Freshmen and upperclassmen
Room Types: Singles, doubles, triples, quads, suites (singles)
Special Features: Basketball and tennis courts, bike storage, community kitchen, fitness room, game room, laundry facilities, music practice room with piano, on-site dining, snack bar, study lounge, TV lounge; Totem Park consists of eight houses: Dene, Haida, Kwakiutl, Nootka, Salish, Shuswap, hem'lesem', and q'elexen.

Campus-Owned ApartmentsWhat's This?

Acadia Park Apartments
Bathrooms: Private
Coed: Yes
Residents: Upperclassmen, student families
Room Types: Apartments
Special Features: Units include full kitchen, furnished living areas; complex features community garden, smoke-free environment
Fairview Crescent Townhouses
Floors: 3
Bathrooms: Communal, private
Coed: Yes
Residents: Upperclassmen
Room Types: Four- to six-bedroom apartments (singles)
Special Features: Units include full kitchen, furnished living areas; complex features 24-hour front desk service, basketball court, bike storage, fitness room, laundry facilities, multi-purpose rooms, on-site dining, parking, study lounges
Fraser Hall
Floors: 4
Number of Units: 10–24
Bathrooms: Private
Coed: Yes
Residents: Upperclassmen
Room Types: Six-bedroom apartments (singles)
Special Features: Units include full kitchen, furnished living areas, Internet; building features bike storage, fitness room, laundry facilities, parking, social lounge
Marine Drive Apartments
Floors: 17
Number of Units: 25–49
Bathrooms: Private
Coed: Yes
Residents: Upperclassmen
Room Types: Studios, two- to four-bedroom apartments (singles)
Special Features: Units include full kitchen, furnished living areas; complex features 24-hour front desk services, laundry facilities, wireless Internet.
Ponderosa Commons
Number of Units: 100–249
Bathrooms: Private
Coed: Yes
Residents: Upperclassmen
Room Types: Studios, two- and four-bedroom apartments (singles)
Special Features: Units include full kitchen, furnished living areas; building features art gallery, child care center, classrooms, convenience store, fitness room, game room, meeting rooms, on-site dining.
Thunderbird Residence Hall
Floors: 2–4
Number of Units: 25–49
Bathrooms: Private
Coed: Yes
Residents: Upperclassmen
Room Types: Studios, one- and two-bedroom apartments (singles)
Special Features: Units include full kitchen, furnished living areas, Internet; complex features fitness room, laundry facilities, multi-purpose rooms, music practice room with piano
Five neighborhoods of Thunderbird are connected by winding cobbled walkways and manicured greenery.
Walter Gage Residence Hall
Floors: 17
Bathrooms: Private
Coed: Yes
Residents: Upperclassmen
Room Types: Studios, one- and six-bedroom apartments (singles)
Special Features: Units include full kitchen, furnished living areas; complex features 24-hour front desk, activity and meeting rooms, bike racks, convenience store, laundry facilities, study lounges

Student Polls

Rate campus housing on the following subjects    Based on 47 responses

Very poor
Excellent
  • Overall building quality
  • Amenities/perks
  • Cleanliness
  • Ease of housing process/lottery system
  • Proximity to classes
  • Resident community
  • Social atmosphere
  • Spaciousness
  • Appropriate level of rule enforcement
  • Value

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