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Burnaby is a city in Metro Vancouver, situated with the City of Vancouver to the west and Port Moody, Coquitlam, and New Westminster on the east. To the north, it's bounded by Burrard Inlet, and to the south by the Fraser River. To the southeast lies the city of New Westminster. Burnaby is the third-largest city in the province of British Columbia by population, surpassed only by Surrey and Vancouver. The city has four distinctive town centres: Metrotown, Lougheed, Brentwood and Edmonds.
When British Columbia became a colony in 1958, royal engineers surveyed the province. Colonel Richard Moody led the survey in the region east of the City of Vancouver and decided to name Burnaby Lake after his private secretary, Robert Burnaby. The area now known as Central Park was logged to provide timber to build British warships. In 1891 a new Central Park interurban tram line connected Burnaby with Vancouver and New Westminster. Homes and businesses were hastily built around the line, and the city of Burnaby was incorporated in 1892.
Three primary developments helped Burnaby become the thriving city of gleaming skyscrapers, world-class shopping centres and lush green spaces we see today. In 1960 the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) was established, attracting tech companies into the area; and in 1965 Simon Fraser University was established on Burnaby Mountain. And then, in preparation for Expo 86 World Exposition, Skytrain suddenly made Burnaby a lot more accessible. In 1992, one hundred years after its incorporation, Burnaby achieved City status.
Burnaby has a population of 232,755 (2016 census), with a 4.3% increase over five years (2011 census). It is the third largest city in BC, and has a relatively young, family-oriented population, with a median age of 40.3. Single-family homes typically are selling for close $1M, with townhomes at just over $500,000, and condos for around $350,000. Particularly when considering the home prices, Burnaby's cost of living is lower than that of the City of Vancouver.
The City of Burnaby is a great place to own a business due to its central location and vibrant urban economy. Key business sectors include biotechnology, education, environmental technology/services, film, information technology (IT), life science, light industry, new media, professional services, retail and wireless. Burnaby's Environmental Sustainability Strategy (ESS) is a plan that assures the city's sustainable "green" future.
Burnaby's climate offers mild coastal temperatures, with temperate summers and cool winters, and rain throughout the year. The climate is classified as a Warm Mediterranean Climate (Csb) by the Köppen-Geiger system. The average annual temperature is 10.0 °C. The average summer temperature is 17.8 °C, and it occasionally climbs above 30°C. Annual rainfall is 1369 mm. The average January temperature is 2.3 °C. Burnaby Mountain is Burnaby's highest peak, and with its surrounding elevations, the area receives more snowfall than Vancouver's other suburbs.
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Burnaby has become recognized globally as one of North America's technology hubs, attracting major companies from around the world. The median household income is $64,737, and the unemployment rate is 6.4% (2016 census).
In the Alternative Energy/Environmental Technology/Services sector, some of the businesses that call Burnaby home are Ballard Power, Delta – Q, General Fusion and Schneider Electric. In the Biotechnology/Health/Life Science sector, some of the big names are Amgen, Life Labs, Tekmira, Sorin Group and Xenon Pharmaceuticals.
In the Film/Digital Entertainment/New Media sector, you'll find companies like Electronic Arts Canada, Bridge Studios, Global BC, Knowledge Network, Mammoth Studios and The Bridge Studios. And in the Information Technology/Communications/Wireless sector, notable players include Alpha Technologies, Creation Technologies, D-Wave, IBM, Nokia, Telus and Traction on Demand.
In the heavy industry sector, Chevron Corporation and Petro-Canada Petroleum have refineries on the shores of Burrard Inlet.
Burnaby public school catchment areas have been assigned by School District 41. There are 41 elementary schools (K - 7) and 8 secondary schools (8 - 12). The district has an enrolment of roughly 24,065 students. Burnaby's post-secondary educational options attract Canadian and international students to the city.
Simon Fraser University (SFU) - Burnaby offers a wide variety of program options that enable students to build their own undergraduate degree, with majors, minors, and certificates that can be combined to create a unique experience. More than 100 undergraduate major and joint major programs and more than 45 graduate degrees are available at SFU. The 170-hectare (420-acre) main campus on Burnaby Mountain enrols more than 30,000 students, with approximately 950 faculty members. Undergraduate and graduate programs at SFU operate on a year-round, 3-semester schedule. Simon Fraser is the only Canadian university which competes in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). In Maclean's 2019 rankings, SFU placed first in their comprehensive university category, and ninth in their reputation ranking for Canadian universities.
British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) - Burnaby Campus is one of British Columbia's largest post-secondary institutions. It offers programs for full-time and part-time students. The large Burnaby Campus is split up into four quadrants; the NorthWest (NW), Quadrant, NorthEast (NE) Quadrant, SouthWest (SW) Quadrant and SouthEast (SE) Quadrant. BCIT offers applied Bachelor Degrees and a range of certificates and diplomas. The school works with industry to ensure that their training remains on the cutting edge of current practices, and engages their students in the classroom, in the lab, and in the field; building a broad and relevant spectrum of skills. When BCIT's students graduate, they're ready to jump in and contribute—right from day one.
Burnaby has become British Columbia's number one shopping destination. There are five distinct shopping districts: Metropolis at Metrotown, City of Lougheed, The Heights, Brentwood Town Centre and Crystal Mall.
Metropolis at Metrotown is a three-storey shopping mall complex with more than 450 shops and services. Anchor stores Apple, Hudson's Bay, Indigo, Real Canadian Superstore, Sears, SportChek, Toys R Us and Winners. The City of Lougheed is becoming Canada's largest new master planned community with a shopping centre. It offers more than 100 shops and services, including H&M, Hudson's Bay, London Drugs, Sport Chek, and Walmart Supercentre.
The Heights Merchants Association (HMA) is a Business Improvement Area (BIA) that consists of more than 350 merchants and over 150 property owners. The Heights shopping district is an eclectic mix of locally owned businesses, with one of a kind shops, services and restaurants. Brentwood Town Centre is newly renovated and in the process of being rebranded as "The Amazing Brentwood." The 11-hectare (28-acre) site is undergoing major redevelopment that includes a master-planned neighbourhood of luxury high-rise condos.
The Crystal Mall is an ethnic shopping mall, with over 200 stores on two floors, oriented towards the Burnaby Chinese community. The mall has a unique circular design with shops all around its two central hubs.
Burnaby's business parks include Burnaby Business Park, Cariboo Business Park, Glenlyon Business Park, New Haven Business Park, Prospero Centre and Riverbend Business Park. For light industry, two options are Glenwood Industrial Estates and IntraUrban Brentwood.
The city of Burnaby has an impressive selection of restaurant options. If you're hungry for a quick bite or pub fare, a few popular choices are Burgers Etc. BBQ House, Cockney Kings Fish & Chips, Little Minh's Kitchen, Lougheed Village Bar & Grill and Safari Snack House.
Burgers Etc. BBQ House is known for their platters, piled high with classic barbecue fare, from St Louis-style smoked ribs and beef brisket to pulled pork. Cockney Kings Fish & Chips was voted "Best Fish & Chips in Burnaby and New Westminster" for ten years running, and counting. Cockney Kings cuts their chips fresh daily. Little Minh's Kitchen offers authentic Vietnamese cuisine, with pho, vermicelli, and rice. They focus on serving the best broth in Burnaby.
Lougheed Village Bar & Grill serves up classic breakfasts and pub fare in a game environment. It's the perfect place to take in a game of billiards, shuffleboard, darts, skee ball or bubble hockey. Safari Snack House's unique Indo-African fusion cuisine makes it one of Burnaby's trendy hot spots. Tasty snacks make up much of the restaurant's menu, from crispy fried mogo and vegetarian pakoras to Ismailia bhaji, tandoori chicken and beef mishkaki, and award-winning samosas.
For something a bit more substantial, a few of the diverse dinner restaurants in Burnaby include Atlas Steak + Fish, Chad Thai, Cotto Enoteca Pizzeria, Cristos Greek Taverna, e.b.o., The Keg Steakhouse + Bar, Personas, L'Artista Italian Restaurant and Saffron Indian Cuisine.
Atlas Steak + Fish is a flirtatious and modern twist on the iconic North American steakhouse, exploring global flavours, showcasing unique cooking techniques, and engaging table-side service. Chad Thai has regularly been voted Burnaby's favourite Thai restaurant. It's a cozy, casual, family-run eatery in The Heights, known for deliciously authentic Southeast Asian food. Cotto Enoteca Pizzeria specializes in Neapolitan brick oven pizza & Italian entrees with a local and seasonal focus.
Cristos Greek Taverna serves authentic Greek starters and entrees like sikotakia, spanakopita, paidakia, and moussaka. Regular live Greek music, belly dancing and plate smashing lend to the taverna's Greek ambience. e.b.o. executive chef Keith Pears brings his love of fresh, local ingredients and creative flair to this chic restaurant, focusing on Pacific Northwest and West Coast cuisine.
The Keg Steakhouse + Bar offers premium casual dining at a fun and relaxing atmosphere. The Keg is known for its perfectly aged beef, shellfish & happy-hour specials. Personas is a favourite laid-back restaurant that serves American fare and their signature and craft cocktails. L'Artista Italian Restaurant is considered by many to be Burnaby's best authentic Italian restaurant. Chef / Owner Federico Murruni was born in Italy and studied cooking in Milan. Saffron Indian Cuisine serves authentic Indian dishes. Saffron has been voted Burnaby's Best Indian Restaurant for nine consecutive years.
For date night or a special occasion consider Hart House Restaurant, Horizons Restaurant or The Pear Tree Restaurant. Hart House Restaurant offers romantic lakeside dining in a gorgeous, Tudor Revival-style spot in beautiful Deer Lake Park. Executive Chef Mike Genest's menu is packed with Pacific Northwest-inspired fare. Horizons Restaurant is situated in Burnaby Mountain Park, amongst the lush green trees, beautiful rose gardens and majestic Japanese totem poles. Chef David Knight offers a delightful menu of inventive West Coast dishes. The Pear Tree Restaurant is an acclaimed Burnaby eatery that brings together world-class cuisine and downtown elegance. Chef Scott Jaeger and his wife Stephanie deliver a menu inspired by locally and sustainably sourced organic ingredients.
Burnaby's central location and transportation infrastructure are the envy of many cities. Downtown Vancouver is only 27 minutes (13.6 km) via E Hastings St. Vancouver International Airport (YVR) is 36 minutes (19.8 km) via SE Marine Dr. Highway traffic in and out of Burnaby is handled by Highway 1 (Trans-Canada Hwy), Highway 7 (Lougheed Hwy), Highway 7A (Barnet Hwy), Highway 1A (Kingsway) and Marine Way.
The TransLink's multi-modal transit system in Burnaby is excellent. SkyTrain's Expo and Millennium lines connect Burnaby with Downtown Vancouver and the cities of New Westminster and Surrey. And the recent Evergreen extension to the Millennium line now connects Burnaby with the cities of Port Moody and Coquitlam.
TransLink uses connect Burnaby with its neighbourhoods and neighbouring cities. Some of the most popular routes are the 110, 130, 135 and 144. #110 connects Lougheed Mall with Metrotown Mall. #130 runs between Downtown Vancouver and Brentwood Mall. #135 travels between downtown Vancouver and Simon Fraser University. #144 connects Simon Fraser University with Metrotown Mall.
Arts and Entertainment
There are several cultural facilities located in or around Deer Lake Park, including the Burnaby Art Gallery, Shadbolt Centre for the Arts, and the Burnaby Village Museum,
Burnaby Art Gallery is a beautifully and authentically restored Arts and Crafts mansion. The building features leaded glass windows, a grand fireplace with inglenook, and a wide veranda that looks out over the park. It is the only public gallery dedicated to works on paper; collecting, preserving and presenting a contemporary and historical visual art program by local, national and internationally recognized artists.
Situated amongst the heritage buildings and the grassland of Deer Lake Park, Shadbolt Centre for the Arts hosts a wide variety of events including conferences, meetings, award ceremonies, press conferences, gala dinners and festivals.
Burnaby Village Museum & Carousel is an open-air museum of a 1920s Canadian village, located at Deer Lake Park. The museum is open seasonally and for special events. Period costumed townsfolk welcome visitors. There are live demonstrations in the homes, businesses and shops.
There are four branches of Burnaby Public Library, and the SFU Library and Burnaby North Secondary School Library.
Sports and Recreation
Burnaby is known for its beautiful parks and lush green spaces. Twenty-five percent the city's land mass is preserved as parkland and a system of walking and biking trails weave through its 98.6 square kilometres. Burnaby Mountain Conservation Area attracts visitors from around the world. There are cycling trails, the Velodrome Trail, picnic areas, seasonal Tancho Crane Eco-sculptures, the Centennial Rose Garden and "Playground of the Gods" Kamui Mintara sculptures. Central Park is an 86.4-hectare urban park known for its large old growth Douglas fir, western hemlock, cedar, poplar and maple groves. A lit perimeter pedestrian and cycling trail have recently been added to the park. This park also offers an outdoor swimming pool, playing fields, playground and push-button spray pad, lawn bowling green and an 18-hole pitch and putt golf.
Confederation Park is a favourite place with families. A model steam railway operates on weekends during the summer months. The outdoor water play area and indoor pool are a great place to cool off. There are ball diamonds and playing fields, a track, off-leash dog trail and enclosure, picnic sites, tennis courts, lawn bowling, lacrosse box and skate park. Kensington Park is best known for the Kensington Complex, and ice rink. The park also features a running track, tennis courts, pitch & putt golf course, turf fields, outdoor pool and picnic areas.
Robert Burnaby Park offers a network of quiet trails in a forested creek ravine. The park features a baseball diamond, off-leash dog area, picnic area, outdoor swimming pool, tennis courts and playground. Taylor Park is a small urban park that features a picnic area, sports field, bike park, basketball court, ball hockey court and disc swing. Willingdon Linear Park is a multi-use green space for walking and cycling that extends 13 blocks along the east side of Willingdon Avenue between Brentwood Town Centre and Hastings Street. The park features two pocket parks and showcases public art.
Burnaby also offers several excellent recreational facilities. Edmonds Community Centre provides a 6-lane swimming pool, leisure pool, hot tub, sauna and whirlpool, two full-size gymnasiums, weight and cardio rooms, active studio and indoor playground.
Bill Copeland Sports Centre is a multi-purpose arena with an NHL regulation size ice rink and 2,000 seat spectator capacity. The centre is used primarily for hockey and lacrosse and is home to the Burnaby Lakers of the Western Lacrosse Association. Canlan Ice Sports Burnaby 8 Rinks is a state-of-the-art, 250,000 square foot facility features six NHL-sized ice rinks, one indoor soccer field, and one dedicated figure skating rink. Burnaby Winter Club features three ice surfaces for hockey, figure skating and curling.
Burnaby has two golf courses: Burnaby Mountain Golf Course and Riverway Golf Course. Burnaby Mountain Golf Course offers 5,800 - 6,400 yards and features gently rolling terrain, lined by trees. Golf Digest rated the course "One of the Best Places to Play" in North America. Recreational golfers find the course forgiving, and accomplished golfers find it challenging to achieve par. Riverway Golf Course is an 18-hole championship 5,400 - 7,000-yard golf course. The links-style fairways, bunkers and hazards are strategically placed to make each hole challenging.
Investing in Burnaby
Burnaby's population has been growing at an average of 1.26% per year over the past 15 years, attracting young families, startup businesses, and established corporations. Burnaby is home to some of the biggest names in the technology and entertainment sectors. It offers two highly-respected post-secondary educational institutions, an enormous body of creative talent, and two rapid transit lines.
Burnaby offers the amenities of the City of Vancouver, with a more affordable cost of living. Small businesses thrive as a result of effective civic policies established by the City and entities such as the Burnaby Board of Trade (BBOT). Burnaby is a fantastic place to work, live, raise a family or build a company.
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