If you’re eyeing the West coast for all its beauty but maybe not quite so much hustle and bustle as a place like Downtown Vancouver, Burnaby might just be the answer. Burnaby spawned from the expansion of Vancouver but has since carved out its own little piece of paradise.
Burnaby was named in 1891 and it was incorporated not long after in 1892. The town was first populated by fortune seeking gold miners in 1858, but little did they know the real fortune was the stunning beauty and locale of the earth beneath their feet.
Burnaby has come a long way since its time being viewed as an expansion of Vancouver’s suburbs. It has blossomed into its own entity and is in fact the home to the regional district government of Metro Vancouver. Impressive, right?
Burnaby sits square in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, in between Vancouver City, District of North Vancouver, Coquitlam and New Westminster. It’s perfectly poised to be a central hub for anything in the Greater Vancouver Area and is actually host to the largest number of SkyTrain stations outside of Vancouver City itself. Skytrain is Metro Vancouver’s answer for a subway system with fully automated trains running both above and below ground ensuring that you are never too far from the action.
Burnaby has all the amenities of a big city with a slightly scaled back skyline. The city encompasses nearly 100 square kilometers but has less than half the population density of Downtown Vancouver. Despite being a little smaller and slightly less populous than Vancouver city this town still has a lot going for it. It has an active social scene with events that run almost all year only to be held up by a slightly colder climate than neighbouring locations.
Burnaby is higher in elevation making the winter temperatures more conducive to seeing snow coming in from the nearby mountains. But who doesn’t like a picturesque snowstorm blowing in from a stunning backdrop. Thankfully the winter temperatures still average above freezing despite the tiny increase in snowfall. In the summer Burnaby stays balmy around 20+ degrees Celsius keeping you warm enough to ditch the coats and scarves but cool enough to get out and enjoy what the city has to offer!
Being the central hub that it is, Burnaby is the base of operations for a number of large industries and businesses. Its technology firms alone do not cease to impress. Ranging from quantum computing to software development and beyond it’s no wonder that Burnaby is a cutting edge city. T
hanks to this, shopping has been made an absolute treat as well. Metropolis Mall is the largest mall in all of British Columbia and the third largest in the country. Located in the Metrotown neighbourhood at 4700 Kingsway Street, this colossal 3 story shopping goldmine has enough stores that you’re bound to find something to your liking. The entire complex houses over 450 shops, a full food court, and is serviced by both a bus loop and the Expo line of the SkyTrain we talked about earlier. Talk about a truly elite consumer experience!
As of late, we have all most likely been indoors more so than usual, so it wouldn’t be surprising if some social events pique your interest. During the warmer months between May and October you will find a Farmers’ Market offering fresh, locally grown produce and prepared foods. It gets set up in the Burnaby City Hall parking lot so it is a great way to get a little fresh air and support local businesses!
More towards fall there are some performances to make note of. Scaredy Cat Cabaret falls right around Halloween and is sure to get you in the spooky spirit. Eight local performers will come to share their own fears and hopefully not scare anyone too badly! The Scaredy Cat Cabaret is taking place at the Shadbolte Centre for the Arts but can be enjoyed in person or live streamed from the comfort of your Burnaby residence for a reduced fee. The same goes for the music production “O, Come All Ye Soulful”, a performance that puts a soulful twist on your holiday favourites.
This goes on at the beginning of December in the Shadbolte Center for the Arts too. So mark your calendars and get ready to soulfully slide into the holiday spirit! Don’t forget you can also hop on the SkyTrain and be in Vancouver City in a jiffy for the huge number of major events happening there as well.
Make sure to check in with the Burnaby Board of Trade at 4555 Kingsway Street to find out even more about the must-see events taking place. Burnaby is the answer for anyone wanting the city experience without all of the in-your-face aspects that come along with it. It is a central, tight knit community that beckons you to come visit, and hopefully stay awhile!