Travel To Vancouver

Flying to Vancouver

Vancouver International Airport (YVR) is a barrier-free North American airport that handles non-stop international flights daily to and from Europe, Asia, Oceania, the United States, and Mexico, and national flights within Canada.

Due to its proximity to Asia, Vancouver International Airport (YVR) is a barrier-free North American airport that handles non-stop international flights daily to and from Europe, Asia, Oceania, the United States, and Mexico, and national flights within Canada.

Due to its proximity to Asia, YVR is the major gateway between Canada and Asia, with more trans-Pacific flights than any other airport in Canada. For travelers from the United States, YVR is one of eight Canadian airports that have U.S. Border Preclearance facilities.

YVR operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

International flights to and from YVR include:

EuropeAir Canada, British Airways, KLM, Lufthansa Airlines, Scandinavian SAS
Asia/PacificAir China, Cathay Pacific Airways, Air Canada, China Airlines, Japan Airlines, Korean Air, Qantas Airways
United StatesAmerican Airlines, Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Northwest Airlines, United Airlines

For more information regarding airlines to Vancouver, including airline reservations phone numbers, please visit “Airlines at YVR & Destinations” at

Visas and Entry into Canada

Visitors from many countries do not require a visa to visit Canada (for example, United States, Japan, Australia, Italy, Switzerland, among others). For a full listing of “Visa exempt travelers”, see

However, citizens from some countries require a visa to visit Canada. For a listing of countries whose citizens require a visa, see

Other important information for all visitors to Canada may be found at

Letters of Invitation from the conference are given by request upon full payment for registration fees.

Airport Arrival

Vancouver Airport is ranked among the top ten airports in the world. It has been awarded the Skytrax Best North American Airport in 2010, 2011, and 2012, and The Best Airport in North America in 2012. Signage in the terminal buildings are in English, French and Chinese.

Green Coat Ambassadors: YVR Green Coat Ambassadors are available throughout the terminal from 6am-10pm every day to provide information and service to travelers. They are recognizable by their bright and distinctive green vests or jackets.

Getting to UBC

The conference venue and accommodations are located at The University of British Columbia (UBC), approximately 30 minutes from the airport. You can get to UBC by taxi, public transport, or car (rental). Taxis are the easiest and quickest way to get to UBC from the airport.

Conference Check-In Centre:
Gage Towers at UBC
5959 Student Union Boulevard
The University of British Columbia, Vancouver


Taxis to UBC take approximately 30 minutes. Taxis are queued outside the domestic and international arrival gates and are available 24 hours per day, 7 days a week. If you are arriving from an international destination or the U.S.A., the taxi departure bay is outside the building on the same level. The approximate fare (in 2012) to UBC is between $30.00-$40.00 CAD, credit card or cash.

All taxis that pick up passengers from the airport are fully licensed.

Take the taxi to the Conference Check-In Centre (Gage Towers Front Desk check-in area).

Rapid Rail, or “Canada Line Skytrain”

Alternatively, you can take the above-ground monorail rapid rail, called the Canada Line Skytrain, from the airport into the city of Vancouver. All Skytrains leaving the airport head towards “Waterfront” Station.

Once in Vancouver, you would need to transfer to a west-bound public bus to UBC campus. The final stop is UBC’s North Bus Loop, across the street from Gage Towers, where the conference check-in centre is located. The same ticket is used for both the Skytrain and the local bus.

The Canada Line Skytrain runs every seven minutes from YVR-Airport station during peak hours and every 15 minutes during off-peak hours. Total travel time from the airport to UBC is approximately 50 minutes.

The fare is $8.75 CAD (2012). Remember to keep your validated ticket for inspection purposes and to use as a transfer ticket. Tickets are valid for 90 minutes.

Information on where to purchase tickets and directions on how to get to the Canada Line Skytrain from the arrivals terminals can be found at

Information on current bus fares, schedules, and transit planning can be found at

After getting off the #99 Bus at its final stop at UBC (North Bus Loop), walk north across the street to the Conference Check-In Centre (Gage Towers Front Desk check-in area).

Car Rental, Limousines

For full information on other transportation, including car rentals and limousines, please visit “For Getting To & From YVR” at

Car rental facilities at the airport are located on the ground floor of the parkade. Companies include:

  • National /Alamo
  • Avis
  • Budget
  • Hertz
  • Dollar/Thrifty

Parking at UBC

Limited parking is available for guests staying in the conference campus accommodations for $9.00 per day plus tax. Visitor parking is available at various parkades around campus.

Information regarding rates and where to park can be found at “Visitor Parking”

TravelQuick Tips

Climate – and What to Wear

Vancouver enjoys warm, comfortable summers with moderate temperatures that are tempered by sea breezes.

August weather in Vancouver is warm and comfortable:

  • Average temperature: 17ºC / 63ºF
  • Average high: 23ºC / 74ºF
  • Average low: 12ºC / 54ºF

July and August are the least rainy months in a city famous for its rain. Visitors can expect rain about 7 days out of 31 in July and August. Evenings can be cool, so a light jacket or sweater is advisable. An umbrella is always handy.


Vancouver enjoys a reputation as being one of the most accessible cities in the world among travelers with special needs. Whether using wheelchairs, white canes, seeing eye dogs or hearing aids, Vancouver leads the way in making the area a more livable place for people with disabilities through its progressive transportation systems, innovative housing and recreational opportunities.


Canada has two official languages – English and French. English is the predominant language in British Columbia. Vancouver is multicultural and also multilingual. After English and Chinese, the most common mother tongue languages spoken are Punjabi, German, Italian, French, Tagalog (Filipino) and Spanish.

Time Zone

Vancouver is in the Pacific Time Zone. Daylight savings time is in effect from the second Sunday in March until the first Sunday in November.

Metric Measures

Canada follows the International Metric System. Temperatures, rainfall measures, distance, weights, velocity are expressed in metric units. Distance is measured in kilometres.


Outlets and voltage (120 volts) are the same as in the United States. Small appliances such as hair dryers, irons, razors, etc. can be used in Canada. For those from other countries, adapters are required for electrical appliances. The frequency of electrical current in Canada is 60 Hz.


The currency of Canada is the Canadian dollar (sign: $ or C$; code: CAD).

To avoid exchange problems, visitors are advised to exchange their funds to Canadian dollars at a bank or a foreign currency exchange outlet.


Paper bills: $5 (blue), $10 (purple), $20 (green) and $50 (red) denominations.

Coins include the nickel (5¢), dime (10¢), quarter (25¢), ‘loonie’ ($1) and ‘toonie’ ($2).

Electronic transactions

Credit cards, ATMs, and direct-debit cards are commonly used in Canada.

Visa, MasterCard, American Express and JCB cards are widely accepted in most stores and restaurants.


Banking hours are generally 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday to Friday. Some banks are open on Saturday.

ATMs (Automated Teller Machines or cash machines) are found at the airport, banks and in retail areas.

Time Zones / Daylight Savings Time

Most of BC is on Pacific Standard Time, which is one hour behind Mountain Standard Time (Alberta and some eastern areas of BC) and three hours behind Eastern Standard Time (Ontario/New York).


Tipping in Vancouver is normal and is around 10 to 15% of the bill.

Smoking and Alcohol

Smoking is restricted at many places in Vancouver, including public transportation, restaurants, places of work and enclosed public areas. The current legal drinking age in B.C. is 19 years of age.