Where to live when you're a student in Vancouver

Vancouver, British Columbia, is one of Canada’s most diverse, exciting and unique cities. With top level universities such as the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University, located just outside the city, its academic credentials are impressive. Ranked #10 student city in 2017, it’s no surprise that it’s a popular destination for students. Vancouver has beaches, forests and incredible mountains all within easy reach – and there are some great snowsport hotspots to try. With the outdoors close by, thriving city life and small town feel suburbs, Vancouver has it all and then some. Each neighbourhood offers something different: to help you decide, we’ve picked out a few very different options…

Kitsilano (Kits)

Beautiful beachside Kitsilano, or Kits as it is known by the locals, is a paradise for those who love to be active and love the high life. Like all places of this nature, it’s pricey. With yoga studios, cafes, Greektown and a serious yachting scene, it is home to young grads, families, and students who can afford it. It’s the dream for many Vancouver students to live in Kits, though the price of rents can often be a deterrent. Flat or house sharing can be one option to getting a cheaper room in a pricey place.


One of the most popular areas for UBC students and Vancouver citizens alike, Dunbar boasts decent rents and an incredibly safe atmosphere. While it might not have the vibes and hipster attractions of other parts of the city, Dunbar and Arbutus have a truly homely feel for those that choose to make it their home. Not far from campus and the west of the city, it is further to get to Downtown which can put some people off.

East Vancouver (East Van)

Encorporating Main Street and Commercial Drive, East Van has a great down-to-earth feel that is lacking in Downtown and other areas of the city. Although Downtown Eastside is one of the poorest areas in Canada, slightly further east is East Van which welcomes many who move to Vancouver. Commercial drive, known as The Drive and Little Italy, is a true melting pot of immigrant cultures, as exhibited in the unsurpassable variety of delicious restaurants and cafes that call it home. This is one of the best areas to find a houseshare in one of the many Edwardian-style houses. It’s near enough to Downtown that many students are happy to make the commute west each day.

Vancouver Canada student city

City of Burnaby

Technically a city in its own right, Burnaby is just to the east of Vancouver. Cheaper rents and convenient accessibility for Downtown Vancouver make it an attractive prospect for many who are willing to broaden their search radius. Popular with students at the nearby Simon Fraser University (SFU), Burnaby has a very large cultural mix and no single dominant group, making it an incredibly welcoming and exciting place to live. Great transport links, beautiful scenery and a distinct identity – with a focus on green living – makes Burnaby a great choice for the right people.


Kerrisdale has a more affordable trendy vibe than the peak trendy area, Kits. Home to a superb farmers’ market every Saturday and rows of locally owned shops, Kerrisdale is actually just outside Vancouver. Although there’s a significant elderly retired population, rents aren’t too expensive which draws a fair number of students. UBC students can get to campus with a quick bus journey, and transport links are good for getting to Downtown and Kits. The neighbourhood has a mix of beautiful older homes and more modern apartment blocks, providing a nice variety for prospective renters.

With so many areas to choose from, you still have to choose what type of accommodation will work for you! Roomlala has a range of spare rooms in Vancouver as well as flat and house shares. Both can be a great way of getting to know locals and learning about the area. If you’re not sure what type of accommodation suits you and your situation, why not check out our articles on flatsharing to see if it’s right for you!

Author: Roomlala