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Hi folks,

I had a few places in mind - Deer Lake, UniverCity, North Burnaby. Can people throw some light on these places or suggest any alternate locations? I wouldn't want to commute to school everyday for more than 15-20 mins by bus/train. I know that SFU is on a mountain and not possible to cycle to school. Is this option completely ruled out then? I also want to have good access to Vancouver city to travel on weekends.

I am a current grad student on campus, and my only reservation about using the 145 every day is if you think you might stay at school late. I've been stranded 3 or 4 times by the 145 (out of the maybe 10 total times I've taken it, since I have a car) for 45+ minutes plus, all at night (once it was near midnight, but the other times were before 10:30pm).

Note that it is POSSIBLE to cycle to school (I know two people who do, at least in sunny weather), but it is a tough ride. You would have to be in pretty good shape to make it up the hill, and even then, you'd arrive all sweaty (although you could always go to the gym and take a shower, I suppose).

I might actually recommend living in North Burnaby, somewhere along the 135 route, since that takes you directly into downtown and SFU. It also runs regularly at all hours (it converts into a night bus after 1am, I think), and I've found it to be very reliable. For example, Willingdon and Hastings is a good area; lots of little restaurants, coffee shops, a Safeway (grocery store), and it's not too far from Brentwood Mall (a strip mall, not to be confused with Metrotown, an enormous shopping mall).

Edited by cpg

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Well, I'll be starting a PhD at SFU in September. Not sure what month I'll move yet, but I'm approachable if someone is interested i sharing. Preferably near SFU or Commercial Drive, but definitely on/near transit routes.

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If you are going to go to SFU, it will definitely help to live near a Millenium line skytrain station. You should be able to find a basement suite to share for a reasonable price. The skytrain is really key though, it will make everything feel much closer.

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I have had alot on Eastern and Western parts of Vancouver can anyone give me a brief of the Northern part expenses?i applied to the University of Northern British Columbia,Vancouver.THANKS.

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I have had alot on Eastern and Western parts of Vancouver can anyone give me a brief of the Northern part expenses?i applied to the University of Northern British Columbia,Vancouver.THANKS.

UNBC is not in Vancouver. Vancouver is a city on the southern coast of British Columbia, which is a large province. UNBC is in the town of Prince George. It's a relatively large town, apparently it has a strong smell to it and it gets cold in the winter. Unfortunately, I have never been to Prince George so I can't say much more about it. You should look it up though. I know several people who went to UNBC and they enjoyed it. It's really great if you are studying Forestry.

Good luck!

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Yes, UNBC is in Prince George which is nowhere near Vancouver. I haven't been there either, but the city's website says it's about 9 hours driving time between the two. I guess it depends on what you compare it to, but I'd say it's much more 'small town': the population is around 80,000 but it's also quite isolated, I think. Whether that's negative depends on your preferences, and I'm sure it's quite beautiful and obviously has a lot of opportunities for recreation and 'communing' with nature.

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As previously posters have mentioned, Prince George is a northern city in the province of British Columbia, while Vancouver is a southern city in British Columbia.

Pretty sure Prince George is cheaper than Vancouver to rent, since mostly every city is cheaper than Vancity! I'd say you would be looking around $600 per month (possibly less or more depending what you look for). It is a large rural city, so it does have big box type of stores but lots of smaller boutique type stores as well. If you like the outdoors than you will like PG, but it does not compare to Vancouver at all. They have called, and some still call, Prince George 'the armpit of BC'. It can get smelly in the summer because of the pulp mills. The town is industrial based and relies on logging/pulp mills. The people are very friendly and it gets cold in the winter, more snowy than Vancouver but less rainy. It is about a 1 hour flight from PG to Vancouver.

Way different than Vancouver though that is for sure!

Edited by squaresquared

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oh!i really appreciate your comments and i am so glad.Thanks to Ogopo,Wtncfffts,and Squaresquared and thanks to gradcafe.

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what is the absolute cheapest i could get rent for in Vancouver within a reasonable commuting distance to the UBC campus with internet (preferably wireless) access and other standard utilities at all. If possible id be hoping around 500 and I'd prefer to have housemates (students if possible)

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what is the absolute cheapest i could get rent for in Vancouver within a reasonable commuting distance to the UBC campus with internet (preferably wireless) access and other standard utilities at all. If possible id be hoping around 500 and I'd prefer to have housemates (students if possible)

You need to define "reasonable commuting distance". I live on the edge of Vancouver (just on the border of Vancouver and Burnaby) at a transportation hub. With traffic it takes me around an hour to get to UBC by bus. If you want to live close to campus, ie. Kitsilano, Kerrisdale, Point Grey, Dunbar, the ABSOLUTE cheapest basement suite will be about $500 a month, with roommates. You might be able to find something under $500 if you go to the east side of Vancouver but then you will have a longer commute like me.

If you're ok with 45min to 1 hour commutes, you can also consider getting a place in Richmond or Burnaby, near skytrain stations.

Good luck :)

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You need to define "reasonable commuting distance". I live on the edge of Vancouver (just on the border of Vancouver and Burnaby) at a transportation hub. With traffic it takes me around an hour to get to UBC by bus. If you want to live close to campus, ie. Kitsilano, Kerrisdale, Point Grey, Dunbar, the ABSOLUTE cheapest basement suite will be about $500 a month, with roommates. You might be able to find something under $500 if you go to the east side of Vancouver but then you will have a longer commute like me.

If you're ok with 45min to 1 hour commutes, you can also consider getting a place in Richmond or Burnaby, near skytrain stations.

Good luck :)

Thanks, Id probably be ok with 45 mins especially if it saved me money in the long term. Where I'll be going in Ireland if I don't get accepted is 45min-1 hour bus trip anyway and gets worse certain times of the year. I probably spent 45 minutes-hour as an undergrad commuting too as I would walk to the local train station daily to get my train to college.

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You need to define "reasonable commuting distance". I live on the edge of Vancouver (just on the border of Vancouver and Burnaby) at a transportation hub. With traffic it takes me around an hour to get to UBC by bus. If you want to live close to campus, ie. Kitsilano, Kerrisdale, Point Grey, Dunbar, the ABSOLUTE cheapest basement suite will be about $500 a month, with roommates. You might be able to find something under $500 if you go to the east side of Vancouver but then you will have a longer commute like me.

If you're ok with 45min to 1 hour commutes, you can also consider getting a place in Richmond or Burnaby, near skytrain stations.

Good luck :)

how is your area for getting to SFU?

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I've been accepted to UVIC and SFU and am waiting on a response from UBC. Can anyone give any advice on being a student in Victoria vs Vancouver cost wise, lifestyle, and the Universities themselves? I really appreciated it ,I'm from the east coast and know almost nothing about living in BC.

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how is your area for getting to SFU?

East Van is good if you're going to SFU, but not my particular area because it is on the Expo skytrain line (Joyce station). If you are going to go to SFU, you'll need to live near a Millenium line station. Go to translink.ca to see the skytrain lines so you can get an idea. I think the areas around SFU are cheaper for rent than UBC. There are also express buses that go straight to SFU if you don't want to skytrain. But generally you will want to look in northern/east van or north burnaby areas. Good luck :)

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I've been accepted to UVIC and SFU and am waiting on a response from UBC. Can anyone give any advice on being a student in Victoria vs Vancouver cost wise, lifestyle, and the Universities themselves? I really appreciated it ,I'm from the east coast and know almost nothing about living in BC.

Victoria housing costs are cheaper but the city is kind of boring compared to Vancouver (and Vancouver is not really a party town to begin with). My SO went to UVic for his first year and did not like it. He said that grocery stores closed really early too. But that was a good 10 years ago. UVic and SFU are both smaller than UBC. It all really depends on what you are looking for and the program you're going in to. It's hard to make sweeping general statements beyond that.

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I will be going to SFU Burnaby Campus for my classes but my lab and my thesis adviser will be at SFU Surrey. Can someone suggest me places to stay considering the fact that I would be needing to go to Lab everyday but only 2-3 days in a week to attend classes?

Also how is Surrey in general? Is it a pleasant place to stay?

Thanks for your replies!

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I will be going to SFU Burnaby Campus for my classes but my lab and my thesis adviser will be at SFU Surrey. Can someone suggest me places to stay considering the fact that I would be needing to go to Lab everyday but only 2-3 days in a week to attend classes?

Also how is Surrey in general? Is it a pleasant place to stay?

Thanks for your replies!

Well, New Westminster is probably a good place, but really any place near the skytrain will be fine. If you're near the stations between SFU and New West or around SFU surrey, the commute should be fine. Surrey... well, there are a lot of stereotypes, and it isn't an ideal place, especially in certain areas, but, as I said, anything around Surrey Central and King George stations would be good.

But really, I would suggest looking at New West. From New Westminster station, it's only about 10-15 minutes to SFU surrey, and about 15 minutes to SFU-Production Way station (on the millennium line), with another 15 minutes on the 145 bus. Plus, New West seems to be a pretty pleasant community (granted, I've never actually lived there).

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Surrey... well, there are a lot of stereotypes, and it isn't an ideal place, especially in certain areas, but, as I said, anything around Surrey Central and King George stations would be good.

Not everything is super close in Surrey, so being near the skytrain is a good idea. Surrey tends to get flack for having more crime I think, mainly because those crimes are usually more dramatic (think, stabbings), but I'm sure it's nothing different from the things you would encounter downtown Vancouver that you just don't really hear about (robberies/break-ins etc). If you want to be near Surrey but in a more upscale area, you could always check out White Rock, but the further you go, the longer the commute of course to the various campuses.

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If you need to commute to both Surrey and Burnaby SFU campuses I would have to echo the previous statements. I think it would be a good idea to live somewhere near a skytrain station in New West. New West or Columbia stations would be perfect because then you can take either the Expo or Millenium skytrain lines (and won't have to switch). I would not recommend somewhere like White Rock because it is quite far from everything and transit is not really good out there. As well, the New West Quay area is actually quite nice. The rest of New West, not so much.

Perhaps you could live in New West for your first year and then move to Surrey once you know the area better and you don't have to commute to Burnaby anymore.

Another option I suppose is for you to get a car.

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Thank you all for your replies! I have a better idea now. I took a look at the map, looks like New Westminister - Columbia station seems to be an idea place to live in terms of commuting to both campuses. But looks like apartments in Surrey/ New West are more expensive to rent than those in Burnaby :( I dont really see anything below 600$ per bedroom here. And yeah I did hear a little about the crime rates at Surrey. I hope its not something I should be worried of.

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But looks like apartments in Surrey/ New West are more expensive to rent than those in Burnaby :(

That's pretty hard to believe. New West is not the best part of town either. I'm sure that with a bit of looking you will find something in your budget. And yeah, Surrey has higher crime rates but keep in mind that those rates are high compared to the rest of the lower mainland and Canada. In general, crime is under control in our country.

Also, a lot of it is targeted gang violence, meaning that only the gang members get shot. Not to say you take care of yourself out but I don't think that we should live our lives in fear. Ok, that doesn't sound terribly comforting but really, I have friends who live in Surrey and New West and they never complain that they do not feel safe.

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I would agree that living near the Skytrain would be good, but I'm not sure I'd recommend New West. I wouldn't walk around there at night, and I had two friends who lived in the towers right by the Skytrain station; both of them felt unsafe at night there and moved when their leases were up. Unfortunately, I don't know much about Surrey, so I can't be much help on that front. I might suggest somewhere Burnaby near the Skytrain--I've never felt unsafe in Burnaby at night.

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I have lived in Burnaby and live very close to it right now. Generally I don't feel safe there or in anywhere outside of Vancouver proper. I think it has mostly to do with the dark, empty streets more than any real threat.

Overall though, the lower mainland is a safe place!

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For those interested in SFU, I'm finishing up undergrad having lived downtown (actually, the West End) for my entire degree. Here's my experience in that regard.

Pros:

1. The commute has been hassle-free (if not short). I get on the bus to SFU from downtown and am guaranteed a seat, while most people getting on in Burnaby have to stand if it's peak hours. Ditto with skytrain. If my class is downtown, well, that's really simple.

2. Nowhere else in Vancouver beats downtown if you're living without a car. You really don't feel inhibited relying on transit and walking when you live downtown, whether it's daily needs, eating out, going to the park - whatever.

Cons:

1. A 1-hour commute to school is not short. The fact that I have always read or done homework on the bus (because I had a seat) mitigated that somewhat, but it's still a long haul and I could understand some people not being able to get used to it.

2. Housing cost. My 1 bedroom place (shared with my S.O.) is $950, and that's an absolute steal. If you're rooming with a stranger you'd need a 2 bedroom place, and it's unlikely you'd find anything downtown for less than $1400.

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Hi,

I have the perfect apartment for a grad student and I am trying to find a tenant for May 1st. I am moving to the other side of the city with my boyfriend and really need someone to move into my apartment for May 1st (or at least give the months rent on May 1st and move in when you want/can).

Please contact me via email or phone : brittany.denunzio@gmail.com -- 604-417-9693

Thanks,

Brittany

Apartment info: http://vancouver.kijiji.ca/c-housing-apartments-for-rent-1-bedroom-1-Bedroom-Apartment-Available-ASAP-W0QQAdIdZ277822708

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