Severe weather

Given the geography and high elevation, the Burnaby campus is more susceptible to snow and severe weather that can affect campus operations. The Vancouver and Surrey campuses may also experience severe weather but are not as susceptible to operational disruptions as the Burnaby campus.

Know before you go

Before you head out to any SFU campus, get the latest information regarding conditions and class statuses:

  • Twitter @SFU
  • SFU Snap app
  • Campus Public Safety number: 778.782.4500 (Urgent Response / First Aid). If fire, ambulance or police are required, always call 9-1-1 first. 

Check your local media, Environment CanadaEmergency Info BC and your local municipality for additional supports during periods of severe weather.

Extreme heat

Get prepared for extreme heat

Here are some tips to help manage the heat and reduce your personal health risk:

  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
  • Wear light or loose-fitting clothing.
  • Reduce your strenuous outdoor activity and know the signs of developing a heat illness.
  • Download the SFU Snap app or search for "water fountains" or "drinking water" on the SFU Room Finder page. For printable pdfs: Burnaby campus, Vancouver campus and Surrey campus
  • Save Campus Public Safety Urgent / First Aid number to your phone (778.782.4500)

Working on campus? Learn how you can do your part to stay safe in the heat.

To learn more information on WorkSafeBC regulations, visit this page.     


Extreme heat alerts

Get the latest information regarding campus conditions and class statuses:

Buildings with cooling systems

Please note most Vancouver and Surrey campus buildings have been built to include air conditioning (AC), however 611 Alexander does not have AC. Charles Chang Innovation Centre has AC in the 2nd floor RADIUS space and common areas.

If you're on Burnaby campus, the following buildings have cooling systems and study spaces for students:

  • Blusson Hall (map)
  • Saywell Hall (map)
  • Shrum Science Centre - Chemistry (map)
  • Maggie Benston Centre (map)
  • Applied Sciences Building (map)
  • West Mall Centre (map)
  • South Science Building (map)
  • TASC 1 (map)
  • TASC 2 (map)
  • Discovery 1 (map)
  • Discovery 2 (map)
  • Dining Commons (map)
  • Student Union Building (map)
  • All buildings (printable pdf)

Note: The above map links open up on your SFU Snap app and desktop browser. 

If you’re not on campus, check with your local municipality for information on community cooling centres: BurnabySurreyVancouver.

Winter conditions

Get prepared for winter weather

  • Dress appropriately for the weather.
  • Drive slow!
  • Choose main access paths when walking on campus and use indoor travel routes as much as possible
  • Build emergency kits for your home, office and car
  • Make back-up and emergency plans for childcare, elder care and pet care
  • Be familiar with the priority snow clearing routes

Winter conditions alerts

Should campus closure be deemed appropriate, communications will be sent to the SFU community: SFU Alerts channels. 

  • Download the SFU Snap app on your mobile device and enable push notifications.
  • Updates will be provided on these channels by 6:00 a.m. during severe weather conditions
  • Follow and @SFU on Twitter for updates. 
  • Visit the SFU Road Report for the status of road conditions.

Should conditions dictate that individuals will need to remain on campus overnight, essential functions such as dining services will be available.

Should you be stranded at Vancouver or Surrey campuses, visit the Campus Security kiosks to access warming shelter locations until transportation services resume operation.

Winter campus or class cancellations

The university will rely on reports from Environment Canada, TransLink and observed conditions at each campus to determine if it is safe for the normal operation of university services.

Decisions related to class cancellations and campus closures are made by the SFU President as per GP 04 Unscheduled Cancellations of Classes.