A trip down memory lane… my university flat in Vancouver

my former Vancouver house

I was looking through an old photo album (remember those things?) and I found some pictures of the small stucco house in Vancouver where I rented the attic space while I was in school at the University of British Columbia.

My Vancouver rental house

The last time I was back in Vancouver was in 2008 for a friend’s wedding and, of course, we had to drive by my old house. It was still there – same as it looked 10 years before when I lived there.

So it was neat to find these long forgotten photos – very amusing to see how I lived during those formative years. No beer kegs or empty bottles – no sir, I was a serious student.

inside my Vancouver rental

The house was a 1930’s bungalow with a finished attic. I subleased the attic from a young Australian couple who rented the entire house. They had a little boy, and during the 2 years I lived there, they had another baby boy as well. So there I was up late at night trying to write a paper or something and all I could hear was a screaming, teething baby. Preparation for later in life, no doubt.

inside my college rental

My little space was the top floor which encompassed two rooms and tons of closet storage under the eaves. Life back then consisted of a futon on the floor, Ikea furniture that I put together myself, art posters, and a couple of portable plants.

There was actually a small sink and cabinet in the other room in the attic – which you can see in the center right of this photo:

attic apartment

Also note the ABBA poster and the laundry basket that I still own (and use) to this day. I also still have that wicker chair and some of the books.

Not much else from that time period of my life has survived. Keep in mind that after I lived in Vancouver, I moved across the continent to Toronto, then I moved south to Colorado. So things were given away, donated, or just wrecked along the way.

The house I shared with the Australians had some original character but it wasn’t very well kept…

college apartment furniture

It’s a testament to how expensive the real estate is in Vancouver, even 15 years ago. My housemates were a nurse and a physical therapist, respectively. They couldn’t afford anything else so a rented/shared house was the best they could do in Vancouver. They ended up moving back to Australia around the same time I left for Toronto.

My favorite part of the attic hideaway was the view out the north window:

Vancouver house - backyard view

In the distance you could see the coastal mountains, and if all those houses weren’t in the way, you could see the ocean. One of those “peek-a-boo views”.

I wish I had taken more pictures of the rest of the house – I remember there were some built-ins and original doors with glass handles.

So that’s my undergraduate pad – I lived on campus for my first couple of years of university, which was fun too. But it was nice to get out into the neighborhoods like a grown-up (or a broke, overworked, sleep-deprived student, as it were.)

A few months ago I did a post on the old house I lived in at the Beaches in Toronto when I did my graduate degree at the University of Toronto:


It is now an upscale restaurant. You can check out that Queen Anne Victorian here.


How about you?

Have any fond memories of your college digs?


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