Visitor Information

Quick links:
Vancouver Tours
Accommodation
Accompanying Guests
Travel and Transportation
Parking
Eating on Campus
Eating in Vancouver
Taxes
Customs/Entry/Visa Requirements
Currency/Money Matters
Insurance
Climate/Clothing
Campus Activities
Childcare

Vancouver Tours

The conference has made arrangements for delegates to be able to sign up for two tours, a Vancouver City Tour and a North Shore Tour. This has been arranged through a company called Venue West. Delegates wishing to find out about the tours and book them should go to the Venue West website.

Accommodation

The Accommodation page is accessible through the link on the left-hand side bar, or you can click here.

Accompanying Guests

The Registration page has the information you need about accompanying guests, or you can click here to go there now.

Travel and Transportation

There are a multitude of transportation choices for getting to and around Vancouver. The Vancouver International Airport (YVR) is the second busiest airport in Canada, with daily non-stop flights to Asia, Europe, the United States, Mexico, the Caribbean, and other airports within Canada. YVR is a world leader in international air travel and is consistently recognized as one of the best airports in North America. The airport is only a ~25 minute drive from either downtown Vancouver or the UBC campus. Delegates may also opt to fly into Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA), a scenic 2.5-3 hour drive from Vancouver.

To get to UBC from the airport, delegates may opt to take a taxi, a transportation bus or to rent a car. Taxis will be queued outside of the domestic and international arrival gates. There are a number of car rental agencies situated at the airport, and arrangements can be made prior to arrival via the web. Via bus, take bus #424 to Airport Station, transfer to bus #98 B-Line, get off at Granville St. at Broadway, and transfer to either the #17 UBC or #99 UBC buses.

For our delegates staying in downtown hotels, there is an airport shuttle available – the web information is available at www.yvrairporter.com. Delegates are responsible for making their own arrangements to and from the airport. Currently no such service exists for UBC.

Driving directions to the West Coast Suites, Gage Tower, and Totem Park and Ritsumeikan Residences are available; updates for ongoing construction projects are also available on this page. If you do plan on driving on campus, it is recommended to view the plans.

The UBC campus is easily accessible from downtown Vancouver, with multiple public transportation buses traveling between the campus and downtown in under half an hour. The campus bus loop is conveniently located directly beside the Student Recreation Centre, and within walking distance of the conference academic facilities. Bus schedules are available in the Student Union Building. Please visit the Venue page for a campus map.

Further information on public transportation can be found on the South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority, TransLink, website. Be sure to utilize the trip planning feature on the Translink website.

While staying at UBC, and for your departure, taxis are readily available in front of the West Coast Suites and Gage Towers. There is a direct taxi telephone in the Gage Towers Lobby. For your reference, we recommend Black Top Cabs at +1 (604) 731-1111 and Yellow Cabs at +1 (604) 681-1111. A courtesy phone is available at the Totem Park and Ritsumeikan Residences Front Desk; please make us of it to arrange for a taxi.

For more information on directions and transportation, we invite you to visit the Directions, Maps and Tours page on the UBC website.

Parking

Accommodation parking is available at the West Coast Suites, Gage Towers and Totem Park and Ritsumeikan Residences for $5.00 per day plus 5% GST. Non-guest parking is available at various parkades around the campus; please visit the Visitor Parking page on the UBC website.

Eating on Campus

Goldschmidt delegates staying at the Gage Towers, West Coast Suites and Totem Park and Ritsumeikan Residences will be offered daily breakfast, from Monday, July 14 to Friday, July 18, dinner on July 13 and public transportation tickets, via bus, to enjoy the local cuisine for evening meals. These services are included in the room rates.

For all Goldschmidt delegates, those staying on-campus and off-campus, the conference has arranged for a caterer to provide lunch on Monday, July 13 to Friday, July 18, but there is no lunch provided on Wednesday, July 15. Morning coffee breaks will be provided every day from Monday, July 13 to Friday, July 14. Afternoon coffee breaks will be provided on Monday, July 13 to Friday, July 18, but again there is no afternoon coffee provided on Wednesday, July 15.

Numerous restaurants and cafes are conveniently located all over the campus and in the nearby University Village and Marketplace. Please download a convenient reference of the food outlets available on campus, including a map. Summer dining hours are also available, including a map.

Eating in Vancouver

Dining options off campus range from casual to gourmet and feature cuisines from around the world that will suit every budget and palate. Vancouver's dining scene is truly an attraction in itself. The city’s diverse cultural background makes dining in Vancouver a delightful and delicious experience. Please download an extensive list of Vancouver’s finest, noted by location and price.

Taxes

GST (Goods and Service Tax): Non-Canadian residents may claim a refund of the 5% GST paid on all eligible goods and accommodation while visiting Canada. Save your receipts, and pick up a claim form at the Vancouver International Airport.

PHT (Provincial Hotel Tax): 8% PHT is charged on accommodation at the West Coast Suites, Gage Towers and Totem Park and Ritsumeikan Residences. All other accommodations, including the Sheraton Wall Centre, Sutton Place Hotel and Coast Plaza Hotel, in British Columbia charge 10% PHT.

PST (Provincial Sales Tax): 7% PST is charged on all goods except for food and beverage purchases, including restaurant meals.

Customs/Entry/Visa Requirements

Under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, as of January 31, 2008 all United States citizens traveling into Canada by air, land or sea must present a valid passport for entry into Canada. A driver’s license or birth certificate will no longer be accepted as proof of citizenship.

International visitors from countries other than the United States must have a valid passport for entry into Canada. Please view the online application for Temporary Visitor Visas (if required).

Please be sure to check with your nearest Canadian Embassy or Consulate well in advance of travel to obtain the appropriate documentation. If you require a letter of invitation, please contact the Goldschmidt2008 Conference Secretariat as soon as possible. A letter of invitation is issued solely for the purpose of assisting participants with visa applications and/or to obtain funding for their attendance at the conference. Such a letter does not imply any financial obligation on the part of the conference organizers.

Currency/Money Matters

It is recommended that all visitors use Canadian currency when traveling within Canada. Visitors can exchange currency at Canadian chartered banks, trust companies, credit unions, or at offices of foreign exchange brokers, but it is advised to have local currency on hand prior to arriving.

There are two banks on the UBC Campus. The Bank of Montreal (MasterCard) and the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (VISA) are located at the University Village (please see the ‘Venue’ page for a campus map). Both have 24-hour automated teller machines (ATMs). Some banks in the City of Vancouver are open on Saturdays, but all banks are closed on Sundays. ATMs are also available in the lobby of The Gage Towers at Walter Gage Residence, in the Student Union Building (SUB), and at the University Pharmacy in the University Village.

Insurance

Liability insurance is the responsibility of each individual delegate. The Canadian Medical Health Insurance Plan does not cover visitors to Canada and delegates should therefore have their own medical coverage.

Climate/Clothing

Vancouver enjoys warm, comfortable summers. July daytime temperatures are usually in the mid-20º Celsius, mid-70º Fahrenheit. Evenings can be cool, so it's best to pack a light jacket and/or sweater. We welcome you to check out Vancouver weather online, and plan ahead!

Campus Activities

Please download a document detailing the basic recreational activities on campus.

Childcare

For childcare services for Goldschmidt2008, we are recommending the following option, as we are not offering childcare services on-site for the conference:

The service, which is often utilized by visitors to our campus, is called Nannies on Call. Please select the following link to see further details and contact information for this reputable and fully licensed child care provider www.nanniesoncall.com.