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Sunlight reflecting off the Pharmaceutical Sciences building at UBC.
April 3, 2019
2 mins read

Unexpected best views on campus

One of the things that initially attracted me to UBC was the stunning view of the ocean from campus.

Having been here for a while now, I’ve realized that the view from the Rose Garden is only one among many of my favourite views on campus. Not every view needs the ocean and the mountains to be interesting, so take a trip to these locations around UBC to find views you never thought about or didn’t even know existed:

1. Tower Beach

I’ll start with a view where you can see the ocean and some mountains: Tower Beach. Everyone knows its saucier and more famous cousin, Wreck Beach, but Tower Beach can be just as stunning. It’s also usually quieter, and is a great place to go if you need to relax.

2. The “surprise smiley face” behind the Beaty Biodiversity Museum

Ok, so this might not be a “view” in the ordinary sense. However, it fills me with enough wonderment that I had to include it—why is there a smiley face painted on a garage door? What is behind it? What even goes on in this part of campus? A cute little mystery.

A smiley face outside of the Beaty Biodiversity building.

3. Sports fields

Shockingly, I am not an athletic prodigy. That might be why, on the rare occasions I make it this far south on campus, I’m always surprised by how open it feels. Compared to other areas of UBC, the sports fields are airier, and a great place to walk around if you’re craving your own space.

4. Buchanan Tower

If you’re lucky enough to find yourself in the upper floors of Buchanan Tower for a class or office hours, take a look out the window—a sprawling view of campus awaits you. UBC feels big, but being up so high always leaves me in awe of our school and the beautiful sky above it.

5.  Mini-forest on Main Mall Greenway (near Agronomy and Lower Main Mall)

Better known to residents of Totem Park and Ritsumeikan, this is an easily accessed square block of forest if you need a quick nature break. It’s the perfect spot to get away from the hustle and bustle of campus for a minute. If you go on a nice day, you can catch some of the sunlight filtering through the trees and do a bit of reading.

6. Ivy-covered wall on the Forward Building

As I sadly lack any botanical knowledge, I cannot actually confirm that this is ivy, but…close enough.

The Forward Building is part of a rather industrial compound and the contrast between the ivy and brick is as symbolic as you want it to be.

Look up and pretend you’re admiring an old English manor house.

7. Reflection in the Pharmacy Building windows

Aside from being one of my favourite pieces of architecture at UBC, the Pharmacy Building is blessed with some particularly reflective windows. Take a seat on the grassy hill in front, and watch the reflection of the sun set. Bam. Mother Earth and marvelous engineering in one sweet view.

Sunlight reflecting off the Pharmaceutical Sciences building at UBC.

These aren’t the only interesting places at UBC. If you need a study break, take a walk around and explore a part of campus you haven’t been before. There’s enough here that you’re guaranteed to find something spectacular.