Getting to Know Burnaby, British Columbia

Burnaby

Boundary Road in East Vancouver is named as such because on the west side of it is Vancouver, while to the east of it is Burnaby. Burnaby is Vancouver’s next-door neighbour, and the first of 3 satellite cities (New West and Coquitlam being the others) that make up the Tri-Cities area of Greater Vancouver. Burnaby is actually the 3rd largest city in British Columbia, with a population of approximately 234,000 and a total area of just over 98 kilometres. The city of Burnaby has always made greenspace a priority, and its ratio of park land to residents is one of the highest in North America.

Like Vancouver, Burnaby boasts a very multicultural identity and residents benefit from this aspect of the city’s fabric. It has grown to be decidedly urban and residential, but there is still some agricultural lands in South Burnaby in the Big Bend Area along the Fraser River. At the northernmost part of Burnaby is Burrard Inlet and Burnaby Mountain, at the top of which Simon Fraser University is located.

Much of Burnaby sits at a higher elevation than other areas of Greater Vancouver, and as a result the city has slightly cooler temperatures and a little more snowfall accumulation each year. Warmer winter and cooler summer temperatures and higher precipitation / rainfall levels in comparison to other areas of the Province to the East apply to Burnaby the same way they do for other areas of the GVA and Vancouver Island.

Transportation

The Tri-Cities area, including Burnaby, is very well served by public transportation. The host of different bus routes that serve every corner of the city with regular bus service are joined by Skytrain’s Millennium line connecting Burnaby with downtown Vancouver to the West and Port Moody / Coquitlam to the East. Accessibility to Highway 1, the Barnet and Lougheed Highways, and Kingsway make Burnaby better suited for motor vehicle transportation in comparison to other cities in the Tri-Cities.

Burnaby also contains part of Vancouver’s Central Valley Greenway network – a dedicated paved cycling pathway that allows cyclists to ride from the Fraser River in New West to False Creek in downtown Vancouver separated from vehicle traffic the entire way.

Amenities

The extensive array of living, entertainment, and lifestyle amenities make up a big part of Burnaby’s appeal. Metropolis at Metrotown Mall is the 2nd largest mall in Canada and with more than 450 shops having every type of retail option you could want.

Swangaard Stadium is in Central Park and hosts all sorts of sporting and cultural events throughout the year, and at the south end of the park is the Central Park Pitch n’ Putt golf course. It’s also a popular spot, and Burnaby has an extensive network to facilitate sports and recreation. First and foremost in this regard is the Burnaby 8 rinks complex, with 7 ice hockey rinks and an indoor soccer field that are used by youth and adults alike.  Deer Lake Park is popular with naturalists, and bird watchers in particular, and the Metro and Confederations Skate Parks are great for skateboarders.

The Burnaby Farmer’s Market goes every weekend from May to October at Burnaby City Hall, and in addition to the fresh produce you have live music, entertainment, and plenty of stuff to keep the kids engaged. Arts and culture enthusiasts will appreciate the Burnaby Art Gallery, Shadbolt Centre for the Arts, and the Burnaby Village Museum. Lastly, as mentioned above the main campus for Simon Fraser University is situated atop Burnaby Mountain and accessible by bus from Production Way Skytrain Station. The British Columbia Institute of Technology is another highly regarded post-secondary learning institution located in Burnaby along a regular transit route.

Attractions

Burnaby Lake is the largest freshwater body in the Greater Vancouver area, and is a nice walking and cycling park enjoyed by residents during the spring and summer. Central Park is the largest park in Burnaby and it’s central location makes it popular with the many people who live nearby. Deer Lake Park is popular with naturalists, and bird watchers in particular. Plus, the park also features an outdoor live music venue. The Burnaby Blues and Roots Festival is there every summer, along with a good number of touring acts.

Pitch and putts aren’t the only option for golf enthusiasts in Burnaby. There is also Riverway Golf Course in South Burnaby and Burnaby Mountain Golf Course. The Burnaby Lake Rowing Pavilion and Sports Complex West are next to Burnaby Lake, and Trout Lake closer to the border with Vancouver is also a really nice spot to spend a summer’s day with your family. Barnet Marine Park in North Burnaby lets visitors get up close with the coastal shoreline of Burrard Inlet and all that is unique about it.

The Grand Villa Casino is located in Burnaby off Willingdon Avenue just south of Highway 1, and it’s popular with people who enjoy testing their luck and enjoying the atmosphere.

Real Estate

Much as it is in Vancouver, the story with Burnaby real estate is that detached homes are extremely expensive and often beyond the means of most would-be homeowners. In fact, recent studies has shown Burnaby to be the third most expensive city in Canada for buying detached homes, behind Vancouver and Richmond. However, there are a number of ongoing condominium and townhome developments in Burnaby that are designed to increase housing stock while adding density in a smart and forward-thinking manner.

Those of you with interest in Burnaby homes for sale are encouraged to speak with a reputable real estate agent before beginning your search for the property that suits you best.

Getting There

Burnaby is just a short 15 to 20-minute drive from Vancouver along Highway 1 or Lougheed Highway beginning at Boundary. As mentioned above, it is also easily accessible with a number of different city buses or Skytrain to Patterson, Metrotown, Royal Oak, Edmonds, Gilmore, Brentwood, Holdom, Lake City, Production Way / University, and Lougheed Town Centre stations.

The city is accessible from YVR Vancouver International Airport via Skytrain’s Canada Line and transferring to either the Millennium or Expo Lines in downtown Vancouver at Waterfront Station. The 91E Highway (aka the East-West Connector) will quickly move motorists or those travelling in taxis from YVR to Burnaby.

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