Deciding where to live is one of the first things you'll need to do after you've been accepted to SFU, and you may find yourself re-making this decision a few times during your stay in Canada. In this section, you'll find tips on finding housing for graduate students.
The generic term for Vancouver is the "Lower Mainland", "Greater Vancouver" or "Metro Vancouver".
Vancouver is divided into several municipalities: Vancouver, Burnaby, Richmond, New Westminster, Surrey, North Vancouver, West Vancouver, Port Moody, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Delta, White Rock, Langley, Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge.
Segal Graduate School of Business is located at 500 Granville St, downtown Vancouver:
Striking a balance between commuting time and housing options.
Note about living downtown: There are suitable options for graduate students in downtown Vancouver but it will take some research and maybe even luck to find a suitable place. Prices downtown are varied, but generally speaking this is one of the more expensive places to live in Vancouver, and more than likely you would be living in an apartment building. Yaletown is at the higher end of the price range; the West End area may be a little more affordable and is right on the water looking across to Kitsilano. Gastown, the oldest and most eastern part of the city, can be cheaper but is also becoming a very popular area. It is aesthetically very appealing and has a lot of history, and while older buildings come with their problems the area is being developed rapidly. With four skytrain stops across the downtown area (east to west: Stadium, Granville, Burrard, and Waterfront), transit is not far away. Many buses also traverse the downtown area, and Harbour Centre campus is right in the centre of downtown Vancouver, next to Waterfront skytrain station. The downtown eastside is probably one of the cheapest areas of the city but there is also a large homeless population in this area, so this should be kept in mind the further east you look.
As a graduate student you will have a U-Pass (A U-Pass BC gives students access to bus, SeaBus and SkyTrain services within Metro Vancouver, as well as discounts on West Coast Express); our recommendation is to live close to:
There are many important issues to consider when renting a Greater Vancouver apartment, house or townhome. You need to pick a location, decide how much rent you want to pay and consider the rules and policies of the apartment building. You want your new home to be close to places you visit frequently, like downtown, stores or transit stops. You need to compare rent prices in the neighbourhood so you don't end up paying too much, and you need to make sure that you can live with the landlord's specific rules. Since you will be competing with many others to get the place of your dreams, you should know how to increase your chances.
You’ll find a wide range of housing options, including rooms, apartments, houses and townhouses. It’s a good idea to arrive a few weeks before the beginning of term to give yourself time to find a suitable place to live and to get settled.
The following resources may help:
Online listings for both papers are available at househunting.ca/. Check these listings early in the morning and call right away because rentals go quickly, particularly in August and September.
Note: Simon Fraser University does not pre-screen advertisements for off-campus housing and assumes no liabilities for any disputes arising from tenancies or other services advertised here. It is the user's responsibility to check out the listings carefully. You are advised to familiarize yourself with the BC Residential Tenancy Act before signing a lease.
One big difference between Canada and Latin America is that most apartments, townhomes or houses include appliances like a: stove, refrigerator, dishwasher, clothes washer and dryers. Welcome to Vancouver!
When you are viewing places to rent, look for these important features:
* Water damage (yellow stains on walls and ceiling), mouse droppings or cockroaches are very bad signs; do not rent anywhere you see these things. If you rent a basement suite, ensure it is not too dark or damp.
* Bedbugs are an increasing problem in Metro Vancouver rental suites. Make sure to search the building's address in the Vancouver Bedbug Registry website before signing a rental agreement.
Landlords will often expect a security deposit (1/2 monthly rent) very quickly to secure a room, and there can also be a pet deposit if you are bringing an animal with you. A lot of places will allow cats and small dogs, but be sure to check beforehand. You should also expect to sign a lease for typically one year, with the contract switching to a month-to-month basis after the first year. Make sure you read your contract thoroughly, and know how much notice you are expected to give, if it is required in writing, and what other clauses are written in with regards to your damage deposit and the maintenance of the house.
TRAC Tenant Resource & Advisory Centre provides tenants with legal education and information about residential tenancy law through our tenant Infoline (604-255-0546), website, social media platforms, multilingual publications, and legal education workshops. We provide input about residential tenancy law into other organizations’ legal resources and train advocates on how to best serve clients dealing with tenancy problems. We also work with all levels of government, the media, other community organizations and the general public to promote the legal protection of tenants and the availability of affordable rental housing. TRAC is currently unable to accommodate drop-in visits.
SFU and Metro Vancouver are generally considered very safe. However, as in most big cities or on large campuses, property theft does occur. You are strongly advised to purchase private property insurance, either in Canada or at home before you leave. This should provide coverage for theft or loss of your belongings, as well as property damage due to fire, flood or other unforeseen incidents.
Newspaper ads and notice board postings often use abbreviations to describe the accommodation and its features. These are some of the most common abbreviations:
For a taste of what Beedie School of Business students are involved in both inside and outside of the classroom, please check out our student blog: afewgoodminds.ca