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Vancouver's Point Grey: shop at the village and explore UBC’s fine museums, lush forests and stunning beaches


Dramatic totem poles inside the UBC Museum of Anthropology
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  • Visit the Museum of Anthropology
  • Explore the UBC Botanical Garden
  • Shopping in Point Grey Village
  • Visit the Beaty Biodiversity Museum
  • Interactive map





Whaling station. Logging camp. Street cars. Over the past century, the area of Vancouver that’s now known as Point Grey has evolved. This stretch of land, which is located on the west side of the city, about 10 kilometres from downtown, wasn’t even part of Vancouver in 1908 when it broke apart from the city for two decades, only to rejoin on January 1, 1929.

The one-room school house that was built in 1909 is still standing, and the stately houses and stunning views make it one of the prettiest —and priciest — residential areas in Vancouver. Point Grey Village, which stretches along West Tenth Avenue between Discovery and Tolmie streets, is the main shopping stroll, with butcher, seafood and bake shops sandwiched between a refined mix of restaurants and boutiques.

Farther west is the University of British Columbia (UBC), one Canada’s leading research universities, with 46,000 students attending its Vancouver campus. The campus is surrounded by lush forests and seashore, which are part of Pacific Spirit Regional Park. Along with a network of trail systems that are used by cyclists, walkers and runners, there are several beaches that invite exploration. Vancouver’s famous nude beach — Wreck Beach — draws an eclectic crowd.  

UBC’s associated facilities are ripe for exploration. Majestic totem poles and carved bent-wood boxes fill the Great Hall of the recently renovated and expanded museum of Anthropology, which sits cliffside above the sea. More than half a million archeological objects — most from within British Columbia — are housed here, one of Vancouver’s most celebrated museums. Add to that 38,000 ethnographic objects, which can also be viewed online.

Nearby, the UBC Botanical Garden, includes 10,000 plants in an array of lush gardens. There’s a food garden with espaliered apple trees. The Nitobe Memorial Garden is a traditional Japanese Tea and Stroll garden. New to the garden is the Greenhart Canopy Walkway. This 308-metre long aerial trail system lets visitors explore the upper reaches of the forest from 17-metres in the sky.

Also at UBC: Beaty Biodiversity Museum, a natural history museum, with exhibits that include the largest blue whale skeleton on display in Canada; and Chan Centre for the Performing Arts, which hosts myriad performances from dance acts to choral concerts.