Did you know that UBC’s Vancouver campus wasn’t always at Point Grey? Although Point Grey was selected as the site for the university in 1910, the outbreak of World War I necessitated the creation of a temporary campus, which opened in Fairview in 1915.
Except for the Arts building, the buildings at Fairview were temporary wooden constructions, nicknamed the “shacks” by students and faculty. The entire campus was contained within what is now the site of Vancouver General Hospital, between Laurel St. and Willow St. just south of 10th Ave.
The UBC Archives Photograph Collection contains many photographs of the Fairview campus buildings, shown below in order of construction. More buildings had to be added to accommodate the growing UBC enrolment, but even that was insufficient; professors resorted to holding classes in their own homes, or repeating the same lecture because rooms could not accommodate the entire class.
In 1922, students protested the deficiencies of the buildings and the lack of progress with Point Grey campus construction. This demonstration was known as the Great Trek, and successfully prompted construction to resume on the Point Grey campus.
Physics Building (1911)
Machine Shop (1911)
Arts Building (1914)
Geology Building (1915) and Mining Building (1915)
Chemistry Building (1916)
Assembly Hall (1916)
Engine Building (Garage) (1918)
Students’ Cafeteria (1918)
If you’re looking for a more in-depth look at early UBC history, check out the essay “From Humble Beginnings” from UBC Archives.
- Chronological Index of UBC Buildings (UBC Archives)
- A Brief History of UBC (University Archives Blog)
- The evolving campus: Fairview 1915-1925 (UBC Archives)
- From Humble Beginnings (University Archives Blog)
- The Great Trek Remembered (Chris Hives, UBC Archives)
- The Great Trek (Chris Hives, Trek Magazine)