By: Jennifer Low, Peak Associate
Despite a reputation of being a prison fortress, SFU is undeniably beautiful. With lush courtyards, stunning works of public art, picturesque views of the city skyline, and magnificent forest scenery, SFU is an Instagrammer’s paradise.
SFU Burnaby Campus
AQ Garden: A selfie in the Academic Quadrangle garden located at the very heart of SFU’s
Burnaby campus is the classic, MUST-HAVE photo for your Facebook profile picture that shows off your school pride. Some great spots in this area include:
- The Reflecting Pond: Located at the center of the AQ’s interior courtyard, the Reflecting Pond serves as one of SFU’s most defining features. Beautiful at all times of the year, it is often home to koi fish during the spring, summer, and fall. It is also known to freeze over completely during the winter months, often looking as if it could be the school’s unofficial skating rink.
- The Mosaic Mural: Composed of two tile mosaics by Vancouver Painter Gordon Smith, the mural is located
within the Academic Quadrangle and is a great place to showcase your appreciation of SFU’s beautiful collection of public art. This spot is very popular during Convocation, known for providing a background for cap and gown photos. The mural is located undercover making it possible to take perfect selfies rain or shine.
- The Avocado The Egg Oval Reflections: The infamous sculpture by Carlos Basanta, located within the Academic Quadrangle garden, is a must-have photo backdrop. Its reputation precedes it, and no SFU student can seem to resist walking by without taking a photo with the concrete egg. With its polished inner surface inscribed with SFU’s core values, one might even call it the greatest mirror selfie on campus.
West Mall Centre: The rooftop of West Mall is one of my favorite spaces on the Burnaby campus. With scenic views of the city skyline and the surrounding forest, it is a perfect place to capture a picture from the very top of Burnaby Mountain.
Convocation Mall: Located on the west of the Academic Quadrangle and walled by the
Maggie Benson Center, Traffic Center and W.A.C. Bennett Library, this glass-roofed open area is where it’s at. While your Wi-Fi signal might not be strong, your selfie game will be. Between the numerous events and various holiday decorations, the Convocation Mall is a dynamic backdrop guaranteed to make any selfie an amazing one.
Terry Fox Field: Home to the Simon Fraser Clan and located next to the Lorne Davies Complex, Terry Fox Field is a great spot to get that coveted athletics selfie. Whether it’s a
post-work-out photo or one taken at an SFU sporting event, Terry Fox field never fails to deliver on providing a great background.
The Rotunda bus loop: Just a hop, skip, and a jump up the stairs from the transportation centre, there is a fantastic little spot just beneath the Rotunda study area. Nestled between the stairs leading to the Convocation Mall and the stairs to West Mall, the Rotunda bus loop features a great plant centerpiece that will make any photo amazing. Sometimes the fire pits are located in this spot, making the ambience even more Instagram-worthy. It can get a little bit dark in this space, as cloudy days and limited natural light make these shots tricky, but the extra effort of turning on your camera flash is completely worth the results.
Trottier Observatory and Science Courtyard: The Trottier Observatory and Science Courtyard, located between the AQ and the bus loop, is a great place for catching amazing
pictures both during the day and at night. During daytime, the walk through the courtyard is stunning especially during autumn when the space is filled with the season’s vibrant colours. Of course, construction these days makes it a little tricky, but this just gives you another opportunity to let your creative side out through strategic angles and cleverly selected filters. At night, the observatory is host to “Starry Nights,” a popular public outreach program that is free and open to the public. The observatory is lit up beautifully, creating a great opportunity to make all your friends jealous of your Instagram feed.
SFU courtyards: We’ve already discussed the beauty of the Academic Quadrangle garden,
but if you haven’t done it yet, be sure to check out the various little courtyards scattered all over campus. From the one featuring a secluded pond near Robert C. Brown Hall to the fountains near Saywell Hall, SFU is simply filled with photo opportunities in these little pockets of nature. These spots are prime locations year-round. For example, the courtyard located just off the South Concourse of the AQ has the most amazing tree blossoms in the spring and summer months while also proving to be a great quiet spot for photos with the snow that SFU is so well-known for during winter.
SFU Surrey Campus
Galleria: My favorite selfie spot at SFU’s Surrey Campus has to be the view of the Galleria. Between the natural light streaming in through the floor-to-ceiling windows and the modern, vibrant architecture, there is no better place to take a back-to-school selfie. This space can be amazing from just about every angle, whether you want to capture the Central City Shopping Center below, aim the lens upward towards the boat-shaped roof, or just capture the intricate bridges and circular collection of study rooms and lecture halls, the Galleria has it all.
Mezzanine: It’s your first point of contact at the Surrey Campus and it definitely makes a great impression. This large space is basically the indoor equivalent of Burnaby’s Convocation Mall, as the Mezzanine hosts a large number of Surrey Campus events. With an abundance of natural lighting and wooden accents, the Mezzanine should definitely be your next photoshoot location.