4 Places to Enjoy Fall Foliage at UBC

Relaxing on Main Mall at UBC.

There’s something comforting about slowing down to appreciate the change of seasons. At the University of British Columbia, autumn crackles with the potential of a new school year. You can feel change in the air — and see it on the leafy campus.

So where should you go at UBC to see the best fall foliage? And when are the leaves likely to be at their best?

“October is the month for fall colour,” says Douglas Justice, associate director of horticulture and collections at UBC Botanical Garden. “It might sneak up in late September, and some of the colours will last into November, but October is the time.”

Here are four places where you can feast on fall at UBC. Opening hours of the attractions vary; check garden hours in advance.


Nitobe Memorial Gardens

Nitobe Memorial Gardens
Red fall leaves at Nitobe Garden at UBC Vancouver
Photos: Daniel Mosquin, UBC Botanical Garden
Red fall leaves at Nitobe Garden at UBC

This traditional Japanese garden is a classic place to contemplate the beauty of Japanese maple trees. Look for the best red and gold shades from the beginning of October until the second week of November.


UBC Botanical Garden

A close-up of red leaves at the UBC Botanical Garden
Photos: Daniel Mosquin, UBC Botanical Garden
Bright orange tree leaves at the UBC Botanical Garden

The diverse UBC Botanical Garden contains collections of plants from around the world. In autumn, the Carolinian Forest Garden is the place to go for spectacular fall colours. You’ll find a small concentration of many of the hardwood trees you might see in Eastern North America, which is known for its impressive fall foliage.

The UBC Botanical Garden also hosts the very popular annual Apple Festival on October 19 and 20, 2019.

Red apples on a tree at UBC Farm during the fall harvest season.

UBC’s Main Mall

UBC's Main Mall in the fall.
UBC’s Main Mall
A cyclist rides through the autumn leaves of UBC's main mall in the fall.

On weekdays, this is where the action is. Red Oak trees line the Main Mall, making a colourful backdrop for the hustle and bustle.

Just east of Main Mall, look for a row of Raywood Ash trees on Crescent Road, which runs south of the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts towards the Peter A. Allard School of Law. According to Justice, the leaves of these trees turn a magnificent red-purple for a few weeks starting in early October.


UBC Farm

Farm workers walk through a field at UBC Farm with their equipment to a backdrop of fall foliage.
Pumpkins at UBC Farm
UBC Farm
Roosters at UBC Farm.

While this 24-hectare working farm is not known for its fall foliage, it’s a great place to visit if you’re in the market for a fall feast. The Saturday farmers market runs through November 30, 2019, where you’ll find seasonal produce such as apples, pumpkins and winter squash. Weekday markets also run through October; find a schedule here.