SFU is a super legit school. It's on top of a beautiful mountain. Has an amazing campus, a GREAT ski and snowboard club. Tons of stuff going on. It's built of concrete, but most everything is in Vancouver because of the insane amount of rain. SFU gets more snow days than anywhere. It has really legit pubs, tons of parties, tons of dorms. It's 25 minutes by bus downtown and the buses go really late in both directions. It's not a cop out for UBC. It's a really good and now really competitive school. It all depends on what you are going for. Sciences/Business (if you can get in) go to UBC. Arts, sports medicine, communications, etc. try SFU.
Vancouver on the other hand is amazing. I love it here. I grew up in Whistler, but I have been living in Vancouver since 2007. There is always tons to do. Right now, Science World has a Lego exhibit going on. There are shows, and sports, and skiing, and shopping and partying and just life. It was rated by the Economist as #3 in the World of most liveable cities. It's expensive if you don't do it right. If you want to live right down town, then ya you're going to pay out the butt for rent. But I live 20 mins by bus away from downtown and my rent is incredibly reasonable. You can shop at all the little asian markets an get your groceries super cheap and there are tons of second hand stores as well as big box stores for all your other needs.
If you wanna go to school here, apply for both UBC and SFU. You can't go wrong with either. Do your research. I'm sure you will find what you need.