Outside, in the area between the museum and the cliff, you will find totem poles of the Kwakiutl, Haida, and Gitxsan people as well as two Haida houses, one for the living and one for the dead. From here you get a good view of the main building of the museum, a unique design if ever there was one. If you like Erickson’s architectural style, you may be interested in visiting the Burnaby Mountain campus of the other major university in Vancouver, Simon Fraser University, whose main buildings were also designed by Erickson.
The Nitobe Memorial Garden is an authentic Japanese tea garden where visitors can stroll past waterfalls, rivers, islands, and mountains. The highlights are the delightfully pruned maples and cherries, and of course all paths lead to the teahouse. The cherry blossoms in April or May and the iris blooms in June are spectacular. The UBC Botanical Gardens and Centre for Plant Research was established in the 1960’s and is a 70-acre coastal forest with plants from temperate regions around the world. For rhododendron fans, the Asian Garden features more than 400 species, while traditional gardeners will enjoy the physic garden for medicinal herbs, which is planted around a sundial in a geometric design. The Food Garden attracts many visitors simply because of the name, and I think some people are genuinely disappointed that it contains espaliered fruit trees and the latest varieties of vegetables. In the autumn a week-long apple tasting festival is held here. The E.H. Lohbruner Alpine Garden is the largest alpine garden in North America. The UBC Rose Garden was completed in 1994 and is on top of an underground car park. On a clear day, you can see the mountains along Howe Sound for miles. From the Rose Garden the campus stretches along tree-lined roads with a pleasing mixture of older and newer buildings. One of these is the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts, a beautiful theatre that holds regular concerts of classical music featuring distinguished artists from around the world.