Monday, February 10, 2014

The Mystique of the University Endowment Lands

[Image: 640px-University_Marketplace.jpg]

The Mystique of the University Endowment Lands

By Anna Hendrix
The Daily Magi
September 11, 2062


The University Endowment Lands (UEL) is an unincorporated area that lies to the west of the city of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, surrounding the University of British Columbia. Pacific Spirit Regional Park lies within the UEL, and although geographically located within the UEL, the University of British Columbia and private housing on university land are not under the administration of the UEL. This housing, comprising 6000 residents in 2009, is administered by a partnership between the University of British Columbia and the University Neighbourhoods Association (UNA), with the UNA providing most municipal functions. The UEL is part of Metro Vancouver and sometimes considered part of Vancouver (for example, Canada Post uses Vancouver for UEL addresses). The governance arrangements for these three areas are different, however.

The UEL is administered directly by the province and landowners pay their property taxes directly to the provincial government. In a 1995 referendum, UEL residents voted against establishing a municipal governing body.

The University Endowment Lands are located immediately west of the City of Vancouver. Statistics Canada reports a total land area of 14.13 square kilometres (5.46 sq mi). About half of the UEL is made up of Pacific Spirit Regional Park, a mostly forested land that was originally set aside for development which never materialized. Located on Point Grey, the UEL also boasts tall cliffs near the water, with steep drops of approximately 70 metres (230 ft) down to the beaches below.

Because of its isolated location and the nature of the steep cliffs next to the beaches, Greater Vancouver's only nude beaches are located in the University Endowment Lands, the best known being Wreck Beach, located near the western tip of the peninsula.

Because many films require university scenes, the UBC/UEL area is a desirable filming location. Combined with the fact that the Vancouver area is the third-largest film production centre in North America, this has made UBC a popular location for many productions. Production companies that wish to shoot on-campus must pay a fee to the university, which goes to the film and theatre departments.

Some notable movies and television shows shot in the UEL include:
  • X-Men Origins: Wolverine: Buchanan Tower
  • The Exorcism of Emily Rose: UBC's MacMillan Building as the courthouse,
  • Kenny Building as the dorm and Buchanan Building
  • 88 Minutes: UBC's Koerner Library area
  • Taken: UBC's General Services Administration Building for hostage scenes
  • Try Seventeen: UBC's Chan Centre for student orientation scenes
  • She's the Man: UBC's Thunderbird Stadium for soccer stadium scenes
  • The Butterfly Effect: Koerner Library area, Room 100 of the UBC Geography Building as the lecture hall, and the main mall.
  • Wind Chill: UBC's Main Mall
  • The 4400: Chan Centre as "The 4400 Center," University Marketplace
  • Antitrust: Chan Centre
  • Smallville: Koerner and Main Libraries, for exteriors
  • Battlestar Galactica: Rose Garden and Chan Centre exterior for "Cloud Nine"
  • MacGyver: Various campus exteriors
  • Fringe: Flagpole Plaza, Chan Centre exterior and interior, Macleod and Brimacombe Buildings exterior


The UEL is home to the University of British Columbia (hence the name "University Endowment Lands"), the Vancouver School of Theology and Regent College. UBC owns approximately half of the University Endowment Lands; its share forms the university's main campus and research facilities, and those living on UBC property (for example, students) do not pay taxes like non-UBC residents in the UEL. In addition, the UEL is served by the Vancouver School Board and is zoned to University Hill Secondary School and University Hill Elementary School.

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