If you’ve never had your butcher offer you a free bag of bones for your dog, or had your barista warmly welcome you by your first name, you’re missing out on that neighbourhood that everyone should be searching for. We’re here to help you find it.
A strong showing.
Burnaby is growing at a rapid pace, reaching a population of nearly 250,000 according to the 2021 census. The BC Real Estate Association suggests that home sales are proving strong in the region, as well, with median sales and prices up. But the city is reaching new heights in other ways, too.
Developers are looking up in Burnaby, with new projects breaking ground every month and new heights being explored. In Season One of Real Tours, local real estate experts Phil Moore and Doris Gee take us through the growing communities of Metrotown to the south and Brentwood to the north, both of which are expanding at a rapid pace. In Brentwood, single-family detached homes sit next to 50+ storey towers, with Metrotown aiming for even taller buildings over the coming years.
If you’re considering a move to Vancouver’s original suburb, we’re here to help guide you on your adventure. Let’s take a look at Burnaby’s top neighbourhoods, schools, parks and businesses.
On the house.
With a wide variety of housing types to choose from, Burnaby is a place with much to offer homeseekers. And with SkyTrain connections running right through the city, you’re always just a few stops from downtown Vancouver, one of the major draws of moving to this important suburb.
Even with the number of listings available down from their all-time highs, there are plenty of available homes to peruse in Burnaby on REW, and the breakdown of the kinds of homes for sale might surprise you. Apartments make up the majority of total listings, with detached homes and townhomes taking up the remaining housing stock. Investors, families and first-time homebuyers all take part in Burnaby’s thriving real estate scene, from the condos at the Solo District to the large detached homes on Government Road.
Room for activities.
It may be a metropolis in the making, but Burnaby is far from a concrete jungle. If you’re an outdoor activity enthusiast, you won’t be short on things to do. During the summertime, the serene Deer Lake comes alive with the sound of music, hosting a series of concerts that draw both locals and visitors. For those seeking a more tranquil experience, the trails around Simon Fraser University at Burnaby Mountain provide a scenic escape, meandering through lush forests and offering panoramic views of the city below.
Beyond lakes and mountains, Burnaby boasts an array of outdoor pursuits. The city's numerous parks, such as Central Park and Robert Burnaby Park, serve as perfect spots for picnics, sports, and leisurely strolls. Golfers will love visiting Riverway and Burnaby Mountain Golf Course, along with two excellent pitch and putt courses at Central Park and Kensington.
Whether it's attending a live performance by the lake, embarking on a hike, or simply enjoying a day out in one of its beautiful parks, there’s always something to do in Burnaby.
New and improved.
Some residents rolled their eyes when they first heard about “The Amazing Brentwood”, but the work that’s been completed at Lougheed and Willingdon is truly incredible. If you went on vacation for the last decade and returned today, you probably wouldn’t recognize the area with all of the changes that have taken place.
The Amazing Brentwood features several brand new, 40+ storey towers that surround a wonderful plaza full of restaurant and shopping options, and, if we could be so bold, the nicest movie theatre in the province.
And while Brentwood might be two steps ahead, Metrotown is the next in line for a transformational shift. In our Burnaby episode of RealTours, real estate experts Doris Gee & Phil Moore give us a great overview of the area. While you may know the neighbourhood for its mega mall (the third largest in Canada) that was built in 1986, things are about to change. The 38 acres surrounding the mall are getting a massive makeover, including new streets, new towers, and even 80-storey buildings (you read that right).
This downtown core of Burnaby is attracting plenty of first-time homebuyers, with new construction booming in the Metrotown area.
Lots to love.
If a new one-bedroom apartment is too tight for your liking, there’s a quiet corner in North Burnaby worth taking a look at. Government Road, just south of the SkyTrain between Production Way and Sperling-Burnaby Lake, is home to some of the largest lots and most spectacular homes in the city. It’s not uncommon to see 10,000-square-foot lots here, with huge backyards, modern designs and fantastic schools nearby. You might even see a celebrity or two.
One of the major draws to the Government Road area, outside of the homes themselves, is access to Burnaby Lake. It’s a short 10-minute walk from pretty much anywhere in the area, offering a 10-kilometre loop that’s perfect for a bike or jog around. Feed the ducks, get some fresh air and hit the trails.
Down to business.
When it comes to coffee shops, restaurants, breweries and other local shops, Burnaby is full of options. Here are just a few of our favourite local businesses east of Boundary Road.
Because we all need one small victory a day to get things started. Small Victory has incredibly talented baristas behind the counter, ready to make your daily flat white a piece of artwork—that tastes just as good as it looks. Their baked goods selection is spectacular, and the staff is warm and friendly. Just like the caffeine they’re serving up.
The Rec Room
Now that you’ve shopped ‘til you’ve dropped, it’s time to unwind. This adult-focused fun centre has 43,000 square feet of great games, mouth-watering eats and amazing entertainment, all under one roof. We’re talking virtual reality, axe throwing, ping pong, bowling, pool tables, classic arcade games and everything in between. You can even get a beer while you play, but maybe stay sober for the axe throwing.
Just a five-minute walk from Production Way SkyTrain Station at the foot of Burnaby Mountain, Dageraad sits in an industrial corner of North Burnaby–not far from the previously mentioned Government Road, in case you needed another reason to move to the ‘burbs. It’s serving up the best Belgian-style beer in the province, including their signature Burnabarian table beer, and plenty of rotating taps with lots of that signature Belgian dank-ness that we love so much. Grab a flight and sit outside under their tents for an optimal beer-tasting experience. You’re going to love this place.
Dinesty Dumpling House
Cruise over to Metrotown for some of the best dumplings in the Lower Mainland. Located in the heart of the city, Dinesty features an extensive range of menu selections plus a sophisticated atmosphere on par with its flagship status. The Xiaolongbao, or Soup Dumplings, are traditional Chinese broth-filled dumplings, skillfully handcrafted and steamed in small bamboo baskets. Lift the dumplings, place them on a spoon, poke a hole in them to release the hot broth, and slurp away.
School’s in session.
Bordering the City of Vancouver on the west and Port Moody, Coquitlam and New Westminster on the east, Burnaby takes up a huge chunk of land (90.61 square kilometres, to be exact). To the north and south, it’s situated between two bodies of water, Burrard Inlet and the Fraser River. Within that area are 41 elementary schools and eight secondary schools, where 25,000 kindergarten to grade 12 students receive a wide variety of academic and athletic educations. That makes Burnaby the 4th largest school district in the province.
From Notre Dame to St. Thomas More, there are plenty of great private schools in the city as well, along with numerous French Immersion options. This is a city that receives high marks from the Fraser Institute in its annual report card.