About the UNA
The University Neighbourhoods Association (UNA) acts as a municipal council for the residential areas on campus, promoting a vibrant, sociable, safe and diverse community at the University of British Columbia (UBC).
When you own or lease a property in BC, property taxes must be paid yearly. The money raised from the property taxes you pay is used to fund local programs and services. Homeowners in the UNA pay a Rural Tax to the BC Government and a Services Levy to UBC.
What is the UBC Services Levy?
The UBC Services Levy is a charge collected annually from homeowners at UBC to fund local programs and municipal-like services. The Services Levy is like the municipal portion of property taxes. It is called a levy rather than a tax because UBC is on unincorporated land and is not a municipality.
What is the UBC Services Levy used for?
Services Levy funds are collected by UBC and deposited into the Neighbours’ Fund which funds the University Neighbourhoods Association. The Neighbours’ Fund goes towards the UNA Operating Budget and Reserves.
The Operating Budget is used by the UNA to provide municipal-like services to UNA residents. The annual budget is developed by the UNA Board of Directors and approved after public consultation. Money the UNA generates is also put towards the Operating Budget.
The Neighbours’ Fund Reserves are held to meet the future needs of the community. Reserves are best practice and are required planning for the replacement of infrastructure and to guard against surprise costs.
How is my Services levy Calculated?
The Services Levy Rate equals the difference between the BC Rural Tax Rate and the City of Vancouver Residential Tax Rate. Your invoiced Services Levy amount is based on the value of your property, as determined by BC Assessment. For more information on the assessed value of your property, you can contact the BC Assessment Authority at 604-739-8588 or visit www.bcassessment.ca
When will I receive UBC Services Levy Notice?
UBC Services Levy notices are mailed out by UBC in mid-June annually. You can also access your account balance online or get more information by visiting https://finance.ubc.ca/tax-services-levy/services-levy
What is the Rural Property Tax?
If your property is not located in a city, town, district or village, it is in a rural area. UBC is unincorporated land so it is considered rural.
The BC government collects taxes on properties in rural areas to fund provincial services. The BC government also collects taxes on behalf of other organizations, such as Translink and the Greater Vancouver Regional District.
Rural tax is paid directly to the BC Government.
When will I receive Rural Property Tax if live in UBC?
Rural Property Tax notices are mailed out by the BC Government in early-June annually. You can also access your account balance online or get more information by visiting www.gov.bc.ca/ruralpropertytax
How do my taxes and services levy charges compared to residents in Vancouver?
UBC is required to ensure that the total property taxes paid by UNA homeowners is the same as the property taxes of a comparable property in the City of Vancouver. While homeowners in the UNA pay a Rural Tax to the BC government and the Services Levy to UBC, the two added together are the SAME as the City of Vancouver municipal tax for a property with the same assessed value.
I still have questions, who can I contact?
For questions on the UBC Services Levy:
UBC Department of Financial Services
For questions on the BC Rural tax:
Surveyor of Taxes Office
UBC and BC government have sent out the annual Rural Property Tax Notices and UBC Services Levy Notices. The BC government collects taxes on properties in rural areas to fund provincial services.
If you have not received Rural Property Tax Notice and UBC Services Notice, please see below on how to pay your Property Tax online and contact information.
About Rural Property Tax
The BC government also collects taxes on behalf of other organizations, such as Translink and the Metro Vancouver Regional District. Rural Property Tax is paid directly to the BC government.
Rural Property Tax applies to residents living in the following neighbourhoods: Hampton Place, East Campus, Hawthorn Place, Chancellor Place, Wesbrook Village.
If you have not received your Rural Property Tax Notice, please see below Rural Property Tax Contact Information.
Surveyor of Taxes: +1 (250) 387-0555
Toll free: +1 (888) 355-2700
Rural Property Tax is due July 20, 2018
To pay your 2018 Rural Property Tax Notice online, please visit their website at
To apply for 2018 Rural Home Owner Grant Application online, please visit
About UBC Services Levy
The UBC Services Levy is a charge collected annually from homeowners at UBC to fund local programs and municipal-like services. It is called a levy rather than a tax because it is collected under the terms of your lease with UBC.
UBC Services Levy applies to residents living in the following neighbourhoods: Hampton Place, Hawthorn Place, Chancellor Place, Wesbrook Village.
The UBC service levy does not apply to properties within the jurisdiction of the UEL. Be sure to check the jurisdiction of the property in question. Click here to view a map of UEL.
UBC Services Levy is due July 18, 2018
For details, Frequently Asked Questions and on line access to your property statement showing your levy amount and payments received, go to the UBC Services Levy website at
You will need the access code from your statement to view your balance. Further details can also be found at the University Neighbourhoods Association website at
If you have questions about the Services Levy, please see below Revenue Accounting contact information:
Phone: +1 (604) 822-3596
Fax: +1 (604) 827-2668
Theory or hands-on: how these engineering programs stack up
BY ADAM SCHACHNER - As a recent graduate in mechanical engineering from McGill, I feel I am qualified to offer some advice on how to choose a school. I did a lot of research on the four that accepted me, but I attended both McGill and Universite de Montreal's Ecole Polytechnique for the first week because I couldn't choose. I was more impressed with Polytechnique, but decided on McGill for several reasons, including its reputation. With the wisdom gained from five years of study, I would ask different questions, I would understand the answers better, and I would have chosen differently.
My main priorities would be flexibility (do they have a part-time option so you can work or take it at your own pace?), co-op experience (I prefer short, more frequent placements ), the state of equipment and access to labs (Do they have a working band saw? Are they available for personal use?) and a balance of theoretical and practical exploration. I've compiled a list of engineering schools to be considered. It's subjective, based on my own research. I consulted university websites, talked to students and lab technicians, and even interviewed a few deans. It is, however, incomplete. If anything excites or concerns you, dig deeper yourself.
Ecole de technologie superieure
The teaching structure is traditional, but the culture is practical, since the school focuses on turning technologists into engineers. Students without a technology certificate do an extra year, giving them a condensed technologist's training.
Professors have industry experience, and are more willing to trust students with technical assignments. ETS is known for its design teams, which win many competitions. Graduates are likely to be solid, classical engineers.
Co-op: Mandatory three four-month internships Notable programs: Construction, operations and logistics, automated production, information technologies
McGill is extremely theoretical and I feel the school is coasting on its reputation. There is decent access to professors, but the administration and academic advisers are not helpful. The equipment is ancient and difficult to access, and there is inadequate support and training.
Due to its theoretical nature, McGill is considered strong in preparing students for graduate studies, but grad students use the scientific method. So if your goal is advanced studies in engineering, consider doing a pure science or engineering science degree first.
Co-op: Only in mining and materials engineering
Notable program: Agricultural engineering
Concordia provides many resources for mature students and continuing education, so scheduling is pretty flexible.
Programs are traditional; students say it can be difficult to access equipment. There are more technical elective credits than McGill, but, otherwise, the programs seem similar. Space Concordia, a student club, builds and sends satellites into space on a two-year cycle.
Co-op: Optional three four-month internships. Opportunities
are limited, and students have to find placements
if the school can't.
Notable program: Building engineering
Universite de Montreal's Ecole Polytechnique
Polytechnique is traditional and primarily theoretical, but is well-organized and equipped. It offers more tutorial time per course-an average of two hours, rather than one-with the idea that students should learn in school.
For those who want to continue in graduate studies, Polytechnique has an engineering physics program. It has a pure-science-like structure, covering broader topics and incorporating more intensive math derivations. Engineering physics offers an advantage over a pure-science program, because it is more difficult to be accredited as a professional engineer with a bachelor's degree.
Co-op: Mandatory four-month internship
Notable program: Aerospace engineering
Universlte de Sherbrooke
The electrical and computer engineering programs at U de S have no classes. Instead, every two weeks, a problem-designed to teach required concepts-is posed to students, and the teacher acts as an adviser as they research the answer. The six or seven problems a semester may be physical projects or on paper. After two weeks, students present solutions.
Each semester, those concepts are integrated into a project, which also teaches project management, communications and team work. Personal projects are encouraged and lab space is extensive.
Co-op: Optional five four-month internships
University of British Columbia
The UBC integrated engineering program combines electrical, mechanical and materials engineering. There are three year-long project courses, rather than a single final-year project. UBC's second year of mechanical engineering is progressive. Students learn the principles in an integrated manner, with all second-year courses consolidated into three theoretical and two practical courses taught sequentially. The school also offers engineering physics.
After a general first year, students are admitted to a specific program based on demand, their marks and a letter of intent. UBC supports its design teams with their own building. Labs are open for personal use. Co-op: Optional five four-month internships Notable program: Integrated engineering
Queen's is famous for its student culture, with large study groups and a Facebook page for each program and year. It also boasts the highest graduation rates in Canada, because struggling first-years are placed in a special stream to help them succeed.
From first year, students work on projects for local clients. Equipment is extensive. Those who pass first year courses are accepted into the program of their choice. Students planning on grad school should consider engineering physics, engineering chemistry, or the mathematics and engineering program.
Co-op: Optional, lasting 12 to 16 months
Notable programs: Engineering chemistry, mathematics
University of Toronto
The U of T focuses primarily on theory. A grad told me its strength is preparation for graduate studies. Unlike McGill, it offers an engineering science program that allows specialization in several areas, including physics. Students can apply directly to the program they want, or do a general first year before choosing their program. They can form teams and pitch ideas to the Hatchery, an undergrad start-up incubator. The U of T offers job finding services to alumni.
Co-op: 600 required hours; optional 12- to 16-month professional
University of Waterloo
Although the curriculum is traditional, Waterloo encourages entrepreneurship through its start-up incubator, Velocity, and Watco, a commercialization program.
The school doesn't allow part-time studies, and there are six mid-terms in five days every semester. Students must graduate within five years and are not allowed to deviate much from their stream. They always know where they rank within their program, because the registrar emails it to them privately. And because of co-op requirements, there are no summer breaks. I'd have concerns about mental health.
Shorter work terms mean students adapt to new environments and are exposed to more experiences, making them more marketable. It also forces them to perfect job-finding skills. Labs are accessible for personal projects. Students are directly accepted into the program of their choice in second year.
Co-op: Mandatory six four-month internships
Notable programs: Management, nanotechnology, and
systems design engineering
Engineering programs are traditional, but a former student told me his team independently built a drivable hot tub and motorized shopping cart. McMaster supports these activities, in part through its Gerald Hatch Centre for Engineering Experiential Learning. McMaster offers five-year programs, combining engineering with arts or management, and provides job-finding services to grads.
Co-op: Optional minimum of 12 months of internships
Specialty: The first two years of its bachelor of technology are completed at Mohawk College, while the final two years are done on campus. It's more hands-on, but graduates can't work as professional engineers.
Source: Maclean's 2016 College and University Programs Guide
There may be no better place on earth to enjoy the summer months than the West Coast. With a very temperate climate and hardly a cloud in the sky, it is no wonder that Vancouver is constantly voted one of the most livable cities in North America.
Besides the great summer weather, the city is home to one of the premier Canadian universities. The University of British Columbia is an internationally recognized university that offers a full range of academic courses. The campus is home to some of Vancouver’s most spectacular scenery and beaches with diverse neighbourhoods and spectacular UBC homes. Here is a quick view at some of the exciting programs offered at UBC this summer.
Summer Programs and Camps
One of the exciting programs that will be offered through the University of British Columbia is a unique international ESL summer camp. This program is based out of the UBC campus with a diverse curriculum and schedule. It offers a complete cultural adventure steeped in an English learning environment, and is sure to provide you with a true West Coast Canadian experience. For more information, visit the UBC website.
The University of British Columbia will also be offering a Social Responsibility and Leadership Program. This program is aimed at students who are already highly proficient in the English language. Daily lessons in this program will provide students with a variety of topics that relate themes of successful leadership to a socio-cultural context. The Social Responsibility and Leadership Program is broken down into 3 modules:
1. Defining Leadership
This module’s focus will examine various leadership skills and styles and explore various types of goal setting and how to successfully apply them to different leadership styles.
2. Effective Leadership
Various characteristics of successful leaders in history are examined. These characteristics are then applied to small group activities within the classroom. In this module, an emphasis will be placed on group dynamics and non-verbal communication.
3. Learning through service
Applying their newly gained knowledge and skills from the first two modules, students will create a project for their peers. This project will focus on the importance of risk management while leading a group. For more information on the Social Responsibility and Leadership program, visit the UBC website.
Another great summer program is the Vancouver Summer Program (VSP). The VSP is a four week academic program that provides an opportunity for cohorts of students from cooperating universities to take an academic course through UBC. Some of the benefits of this program are the opportunity to study at a world renowned university, meet other students from other universities, to further improve your English skills while learning about Canadian values and society.
If you are looking for a great home near UBC to take part in their many offerings, view our listings or speak with one of our representatives today!
The University of British Columbia has given so much to the real estate community in the Vancouver area. Their presence has added a huge amount of intellect, culture and youthful excitement to Vancouver’s western side — all of which help sustain the growth of nearby UBC real estate.
In an effort to give back to this wonderful institution, the Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia (REFBC) has donated a massive $1 million grant to the CSFS facilities located at UBC farm. This grant will help CSFS expand its initiatives in sustainable agriculture, crop experimentation and community-based education. Together with other donors, the CSFS can also begin creating a proposed new eco-friendly facility.
Residents who buy homes in the UBC area can take pride in knowing that their home ownership can help contribute to amazing programs that promote a sustainable future and increase awareness for food supply safety.
UBC Farms: Training the Next Generation of Sustainable Farmers
Located on the south side of the UBC campus in Vancouver, the UBC Farm engages in vigorous efforts to train our next generation of sustainable farmers. Their Farm Practicum in Sustainable Agriculture trains students every year for eight months with small-scale farming methods and ways to begin a productive farm-to-table business. The number of students enrolled in the program can double from 12 to 24 thanks to the REFBC’s generous grant.
UBC’s practicum has inspired many students to take up farming as a professional interest. “This program made me realize that farming is a viable career choice, and I can actually do this,” says UBC conservation student Dave Semmelink. After completing the practicum, Semmelink was able to make real estate business connections that allowed him to lease 6 acres in Comox Valley. Semmelink already has his sustainable agribusiness running, called Lentelus Organics.
Starting an Evolution, One Farm at a Time
With the REFBC’s donation to CSFS, UBC intends to further agricultural understanding in a way that “transforms local and global food systems, from sustaining honeybee populations to promoting the next generation of farmers’ access to land.” The contribution is part of UBC’s “Start an Evolution” campaign to raise funds with alumni and local philanthropic organizations.
The proposed new facility will add research labs, kitchens, classrooms, community working spaces, added land for crop preservation efforts and meeting spaces for local groups and students to engage in hands-on learning.
These objectives fulfill the REFBC’s goal of advancing land use in British Columbia. The group obtains funds from interest garnered from real estate investment trusts. Almost every person who purchases a home or leases property in the Vancouver area contributes in some small way to this funding project.
Buying a beautiful home in the UBC area allows you to live in one of the most forward-thinking cities in the globe and also be a part of this amazing effort. Look at our UBC area home listings to join in.
A celebrated US NCAA football quarterback has had a change of heart. The Penn State star recruit was invited to tour the UBC campus and instantly fell in love.
Soon, Michael O’Connor will don the blue and gold uniforms of the UBC Thunderbirds and hopefully reinvigorate what used to be one of the top football programs in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport conference. His commitment is anticipated to bring more attention to UBC’s sport program and elevate the level of university pride to new heights.
This unexpected decision could have happy consequences for UBC area homeowners and property investors. The hype surrounding successful college football programs frequently correlates with a rise in prestige for universities and a greater demand for properties close to campus. As more people in Canada, America and around the world take notice of UBC’s football talent, the desirability of UBC real estate could easily increase.
Why O’Connor Came Back to Canada
A young, talented player transferring from one of the top college football programs in the US to attend a Canadian University is not your average headline, but then again Michael O’Connor is not your average football player. The 19 year old Ottawa native, whom his teammates portray as “very articulate, very mature and knows what he wants,” was ESPN’s number six high school quarterback pick in the country. He attended the prestigious John Madden program at IMG Academy in Florida, described by recruiting stats compiler MaxPreps as “the nation’s top high school football facility.”
After being drafted to Penn State, O’Connor quickly realized he did not quite fit in. His “redshirt” freshman season meant that he had to sit on the sidelines during games and practice doubly hard during the week, which makes him eligible for a five rather than a four year college football career. During this time O’Connor evidently had a lot of time to think.
“It’s just a different culture in Canada,” explained UBC head coach Blake Nill. “So for Michael to sort of see through the trees and realize that he can be satisfied with an athletic career here in Canada [...]and most importantly to see what a UBC education can do for him beyond his playing years, is a really mature outlook.”
O’Connor echoed this sentiment succinctly, saying, “It was a win-win.”
The Allure of Vancouver
When weighing his decision to transfer, UBC’s football program and future athletic prospects were not the only thing on O’Connor’s mind. “Another big factor was Vancouver,” he says. “It’s a big town, and I’ll be able to set myself up for a life after football.”
O’Connor will pursue a real estate degree from UBC’s lauded Sauder School of Business. His love of UBC, Vancouver and optimism towards the real estate industry are qualities shared by all area residents.
If you are considering being a part of this warm, contented community, you can view available area properties by looking at our UBC home listings.
Some of you have started the new year with a winter wedding. Others may be exchanging vows this Valentine’s Day weekend (congrats to all by the way!). The next big life transition that often arrives after a marriage is finding a new home, especially if adding a bundle of joy (or two, three, four?) is on the near horizon. In the spirit of this coming romantic weekend, or for any of you getting hitched in the future, I have decided to use my UBC real estate blog to provide you with a few casual tips to help guide you through the process of finding a new home together as newlyweds.
5 Tips for Newlyweds Looking for a New Home
1. Get Rid of Your Cumulative Debt
It can be tempting to start the house hunting fresh out of the gates but do yourself a favor, be patient, and pay off your debt first. With your combined incomes (when applicable) you can accomplish this quite possibly within the first year of your new union. Once you’re working with a cleaner financial slate, you can find a home and mortgage that works on your terms.
2. Consider Future Income
You may be combining incomes as newlyweds but before you take on that long term mortgage ask yourselves if it will stay that way. Many newlyweds start a family and buy a new home around the same time. When doing so, they often assume that after maternity/paternity leave both will return to the workforce. However more often than one may assume the initial “stay at home” parent becomes a long term “stay at home” parent. They realize they prefer to focus on raising their children – it can be tough to leave a one year old in the hands of daycare. All of a sudden your dual income becomes one, weighing a bit heavier on your finances.
3. Consider School Catchment
For those newlyweds with a family on the horizon moving into a favorable school catchment is essential when considering a new home. The UBC area for example is one of the most popular school catchment districts of Greater Vancouver, offering access to some of the best educational institutions around, from kindergarten to secondary school to post-secondary school.
4. Consider Community
School catchment alone does not a good neighborhood make, for newlyweds planning well in advance. Find your new home in a community that suits both your current and future lifestyle. Everything from the shops, cafes, entertainment, and indoor/outdoor recreational access is important to your quality of life. You’re integrating your entire life as a couple into the community, make sure it’s a good fit for you both.
5. Select a Real Estate Agent Specializing in Finding Homes for Newlyweds and Young Families
There are real estate agents that get into the game only to make a buck. There are others that enjoy more than the career aspirations of it all. There's an intangible reward that comes with finding the perfect home for a young couple that may very well make their new abode a place where many generations of their lineage will grow up. Finding a real estate agent that has worked with newlyweds, young couples, and families is essential to the success of your new home purchase. Having served the family friendly UBC real estate community for many years I am sensitive to the needs of newlyweds and young families considering a home in the area. Feel free to contact UBC Homes anytime and we can start with a casual conversation about taking the next exciting step in your life together.
As the Thanksgiving long weekend arrives I thought it a good time to stay true to my word in keeping you all up to date with fun events taking place in and around the UBC area at the onset of autumn. While the most important one this month involves sitting around the dining room table (moving to the sofa afterwards) with loved ones over a hearty helping of tryptophan there is still plenty to do starting today and for the remainder of the month.
October Events In & Around UBC:
2013 UBC United Way Great Pancake Race @ MacInnes Field, UBC (Oct 10, 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM)
One of the most popular events of recent years at the UBC campus is the Great Pancake Race, entering its 5th year. Born from good will, the event is put on by the United Way in support of children and seniors within our community. As fa as the details go, the Great Pancake Race is what it sounds to be - you will get messy, but you will have FUN! For more information please visit the website.
UBC Apple Festival @ UBC Botanical Garden (Oct 19-20, 11AM - 4PM)
Make no assumptions about an event titled Apple Festival. While it indeed is everything you may expect from the moniker, it is also so much more and is actually a great way to get out there and enjoy the autumn harvest season. In addition to the farmers market setting that allows you to stock up on BC's most cherished fruit, there are activities abound for children, including face painting, story telling, and puppet shows. Adults also get a kick by becoming impromptu apple connoisseurs with the apple tasting portion of the event. The botanical garden is also home to a tree top canopy walkway which makes for some magnificent photographic opportunities. Last but certainly not least, the hot apple cider and warm apple pie served at the affair makes it more than worth the $4 (kids free) admission. For more information visit the Apple Festival Website.
Thunderbirds Hockey @ UBC Thunderbirds Arena (October ongoing)
What better way to immerse yourself in the community in the fall than by getting out there and supporting the local hockey team? You may be very well be watching future stars of the NHL/WNHL. With both the men's and women's UBC Thunderbirds Hockey teams slated to play locally this month you will have plenty of opportunity to get out there and cheer along with your neighborhood. View the schedule here.
Great Trek Race @ Great Trek Cairn, UBC Campus (Oct 26, 10AM)
This 10 KM run is both for hardcore runners and those who are simply looking to get some exercise along with the community, all the while celebrating the 1922 student march that led to the building of the UBC campus in Point Grey. You can participate in two ways depending on your constitution for events such as this. You can either run the 10 KM as an individual or as part of a four person team, each running a 2.5km relay portion. After the fitness affair there will be an awards ceremony along with food (put those calories lost back on!) and celebrations.
You're probably wondering why I concluded this blog without mention of Halloween, right? Fear not fans of the eve of October 31st. Next week I will detail the recommended Halloween events in the UBC / Point Grey area here in my UBC realtor blog. If you have happened upon this page while seeking homes in the UBC area, please do feel free to contact my UBC real estate office anytime.
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