Introduction to Burnaby




Burnaby's history is deeply rooted in its indigenous heritage, with the Coast Salish people being the original inhabitants. The arrival of European settlers in the 1850s began a period of transformation. Named after Robert Burnaby, who explored the region in 1859, the city was officially incorporated in 1892. This era marked the beginning of rapid development, driven mainly by the expansion of the railway system, particularly with the advent of the Interurban tram line in the early 20th century, which played a crucial role in connecting Burnaby with neighbouring communities.
The mid-20th century brought significant changes with the establishment of BCIT and SFU. These institutions have become integral to Burnaby’s identity, contributing to its educational and cultural landscape. Over the years, Burnaby has balanced its modern development with preserving its historical and natural heritage, as evidenced by attractions like the Burnaby Village Museum and numerous parks that showcase the city's commitment to maintaining green spaces amidst urban growth.


With over 249,000 residents, Burnaby is the third-largest city in British Columbia. Its population is characterized by diverse ethnicities, languages, and cultures, making it a mosaic of global influences. The city attracts a wide range of demographics, including young professionals, families, students, and seniors, drawn by its mix of urban amenities and community-friendly environments.
Burnaby's growth strategy emphasizes the development of 'town centres' around its major transportation hubs. This urban planning approach is designed to create compact, walkable communities where residents can live, work, and engage in recreational activities within proximity. The city’s cultural richness is celebrated through various events and festivals, highlighting its multicultural fabric, contributing to a vibrant and inclusive community spirit.

Employment, Business, and Economic Development

Burnaby’s economy is characterized by its diversity and dynamism, with key sectors including technology, retail, manufacturing, and entertainment. The city has emerged as a hub for tech innovation, with many start-ups and established tech companies establishing their presence here. Major shopping destinations like Metropolis anchor the retail sector at Metrotown, one of Canada’s largest malls.
The city’s industrial areas are vital to its economic health, hosting various manufacturing and distribution businesses. Burnaby’s approach to economic development is centred around sustainability and innovation, with a strong emphasis on supporting small businesses and entrepreneurship. This has led to a robust local economy and a sense of community among business owners and residents.


Burnaby boasts a comprehensive transportation network that includes the SkyTrain rapid transit system, major highways, and a vast network of cycling and walking paths. The city continuously enhances its public transit and sustainable transportation options, reflecting its commitment to reducing its carbon footprint and promoting eco-friendly travel methods.
As a central transit hub in the Greater Vancouver area, Burnaby's strategic location facilitates ease of access and movement, making it an attractive destination for businesses and residents. Plans include expanding public transit options and improving cycling and pedestrian infrastructure to enhance the city’s transportation landscape further.


Burnaby's cultural diversity is one of its most celebrated aspects. The city is a melting pot of various cultures, creating a vibrant and inclusive community. This diversity is evident in the array of cultural festivals, culinary offerings, and community events throughout the year. These events provide entertainment and foster a sense of belonging and community among residents of different backgrounds.


Burnaby is renowned for its extensive parks and recreational facilities, which contribute significantly to its residents' high quality of life. The city is home to numerous parks, including the expansive Burnaby Mountain Park, offering stunning views and many outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, and picnicking. Deer Lake Park is another gem, featuring a serene lake, walking trails, and cultural facilities like the Burnaby Art Gallery and the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts. These green spaces provide residents a peaceful escape from the urban bustle and a chance to connect with nature.


In addition to BCIT and SFU, Burnaby offers a range of educational opportunities through its public and private schools, libraries, and community centers. These institutions play a pivotal role in fostering lifelong learning and personal development among residents of all ages. The city's commitment to education is evident in its well-funded schools and libraries, which offer a variety of programs and resources to support academic and personal growth.


How would you describe Burnaby?
Burnaby is a city that seamlessly blends urban living with natural beauty. It offers diverse neighbourhoods, from vibrant urban centers to serene suburbs, catering to various lifestyles. The city is celebrated for its cultural diversity, inclusive community, and active engagement in cultural and social events, making it a vibrant and welcoming place for everyone.

What is unique about Burnaby?
Burnaby's unique blend of urban development and natural preservation sets it apart. The city boasts numerous parks, recreational facilities, major shopping and entertainment venues, and prestigious educational institutions. Burnaby’s commitment to sustainable urban development and a thriving economy makes it an attractive destination for residents and businesses.

Why is Burnaby a desirable city to live in?
Burnaby's appeal lies in its balanced approach to urban living. It offers the amenities and opportunities of a large city while maintaining a sense of community and connection to nature. The city is known for its quality educational and employment opportunities, diverse housing options, and commitment to sustainability and inclusivity, making it an ideal place for many individuals and families.

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