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UBC Botanical Garden and Centre for Plant Research

UBC Botanical Garden in Autumn

Vancouver’s UBC Botanical Garden and Centre for Plant Research is a garden at the University of British Columbia that’s home to close to 12,000 plants.

 


COVID-19 UPDATE

The UBC Botanical Garden suspended operations for a few months last year in the spring due to the coronavirus. The venue reopened in July with new safety measures. In November and December the garden was only open from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm on Wednesdays to Sundays. Advanced reservations were required.

The garden closed again for the months of January and February in 2021. It reopened, however, on March 3rd. The Greenheart TreeWalk resumed operations on April 1st.

As of April, 2021, the gardens are open Wednesdays to Sundays from 10:00 am until 5:00 pm. Tickets must be purchased in advance.

For the most up-to-date information about the status of the venue, see the Botanical Garden‘s website.

To see what other places in Vancouver are open, see our article about Open and Reopening Places.


 

The UBC Botanical Garden

Founded in 1916, the UBC Botanical Garden encompasses 44 hectares (or 110 acres) of land. It includes nearby Nitobe Memorial Garden, considered by many to be one of the best Japanese gardens outside Japan.

Other highlights of the UBC Botanical Garden include the Greenheart Canopy Walkway – a 300 plus-metre (1000+ feet) high aerial trail system, the David C. Lam Asian Garden, a BC Rainforest Garden and other beautiful garden areas.

The Botanical Garden itself is a bit like a park. It has walking trails through the forest as well as a variety of gardens.

Click Garden Map for a map of the site.

 

Trellis Walkway at UBC

 

UBC Botanical Garden Location

The UBC Botanical Garden is on the campus of the University of British Columbia at 6804 SW Marine Drive. It’s about 2.2 km south of the Museum of Anthropology and Nitobe Garden.

 

Admission

The UBC Botanical Garden is usually open from mid-March until the end of October daily from 10:00 to 4:30 pm. As of April, 2021, however, because of COVID-19, hours of operation are 10:00 am until 5:00 pm Wednesday to Sunday (so closed on Mondays and Tuesdays).

The cost is usually about $10 for adults for just the Botanical Garden, or up to $26 (or $55 per family) for admission to all areas including the Nitobe Memorial Garden and Greenheart Canopy Walkway, the latter of which is closed from November until the spring.

Admission rates as of April 2021 were the following:

 

UBC Botanical Garden Admission Rates

  • UBC Students & Staff – free
  • Adults – $10
  • Seniors (ages 65+) – $8
  • Persons with Disabilities – $8
  • Students/Youth (13-17) – $8
  • Children (7-12) – $5
  • Little Children (0-6) – free
  • Families (2 adults and up to 4 children or youth) – $24
  • UBC Alumni – receive 50% off with “AlumniUBC” promo code and possession of Alumni Card.

 

Extra Payment for Access to the Greenheart TreeWalk

  • UBC Students & Staff – free
  • Adults – $13
  • Seniors (ages 65+) – $9
  • Persons with Disabilities – $9
  • Students/Youth (13-17) – $9
  • Children (7-12) – $5
  • Little Children (0-6) – free
  • Families (2 adults and up to 4 children or youth – $26

 

By Donation Winter Rates

From the beginning of November until early to mid-March the garden is usually open from 10:00 until 4:30 pm and the cost is by donation, meaning that’s the best time to go if you’re on a budget, although the gardens then are not at their peak. Generous donations, however, are still greatly appreciated.

(Note: In 2020, admission from mid-November until the end of December was not by donation. It was $5 per person. Whether admission will be by donation between January and mid-March 2021 is to be confirmed.)

 

Apple Trees for Sale at UBC Botanical Garden
UBC Apple Festival (photo by Chloe Sirges)

 

Botanical Garden Events

A good time to visit the botanical gardens is during the Apple Festival which takes place each year on the weekend after Thanksgiving in October. Admission for the event is cheaper than the regular cost for the garden and the festival includes all kinds of entertainment and things to see. There are also tons of apples to buy as part of the garden’s fundraising activities.

Mid-October to mid-November is when the gardens are at their peak of colour in the fall, which makes the Apple Festival an especially good time to visit.

 

Tips and Advice

Below are some suggestions to help you make the most out of your visit to the gardens.

TIP #1: Don’t forget that admission to both the UBC Botanical Garden and Nitobe Garden are usually by donation from mid-November until mid-March. Those months aren’t the prettiest seasons to visit, but they are the cheapest.

TIP #2: Parking in the parking lot at the garden used to be free. As of the fall of 2020, however, it cost $1.50 an hour. That’s still a good deal considering that most parking spots at UBC cost about $4 or more per hour. To park at this lot though you have to be visiting the botanical gardens.

TIP #3: Just a short ways away, along Marine Drive (heading north) is free on-street parking. Because it’s free, it’s a popular place to park. If you can find a spot though, you’ll save yourself a few dollars.

TIP #4: UBC Botanical Garden is nice any time of the year. It’s at its prettiest though beginning in May, when the rhododendrons start to bloom, until early November, when parts of the garden have fall colours.

TIP #5: If you are looking for cherry blossoms in spring, you’ll find lots of them all around the UBC campus. Nitobe Memorial Garden is an especially nice place. The cherry trees there though generally bloom towards the end of the cherry blossom season, so later than most other parts of Vancouver. At UBC Botanical Garden itself, meanwhile, except for near the parking lot, there are no cherry trees.

 

Other Information

For more information on the gardens, click the UBC Botanical Garden website.

For ideas on other things to do in the area check out our article about the University of British Columbia (which includes information about the Museum of Anthropology, Beaty Biodiversity Museum and other places of interest).

For a list of other Lower Mainland events click Vancouver’s October Calendar or Festivals & Events.

Other articles that might be of interest include the following: