Though it still feels umbilically connected to Vancouver as a suburb, Burnaby is very much a city in its own right. In fact, with a population exceeding 225,000, it is the third largest city in all of British Columbia (only Surrey and Vancouver are larger). Accessible by both the Millennium and the Expo lines of the Skytrain, it is home to many excellent parks, cool shops, a wide and representatively diverse range of restaurants and several outstanding cafes.
GIRL SWINGING – THE BURNABY HEIGHTS NEON SIGN
A SOLID SELECTION OF READING AT COMPANION BOOKS
THE VIEW FROM BURNABY MOUNTAIN
THRIFTING AT THE SALVATION ARMY
SUMMERTIME KAYAKING AT DEER LAKE PARK
EXHIBITIONS AT THE HAUNTED BUT CULTURALLY CUTTING EDGE BURNABY ART GALLERY
PLAYS AND PERFORMANCES AT THE SHADBOLT CENTRE
A METICULOUSLY BUT TOTALLY RIDABLE 1912 CAROUSEL AT THE BURNABY VILLAGE MUSEUM
JAPANESE CULTURE AND COMMUNITY AT THE NIKKEI MUSEUM
Burnaby Lake was named after Robert Burnaby who had explored the region around Burnaby Lake in 1859. The city of Burnaby was incorporated as a municipality in 1892 and was named after Burnaby Lake.
With 25% of Burnaby’s land designated as parks and open space, the city’s ratio of parkland to residents is one of the highest in North America. Burnaby boasts over 200 parks!
An icon of Burnaby Heights shopping district, the “swinging girl” kinetic neon art sign was installed in 1956 above Helen’s Children’s Wear shop. When the shop closed in 2007 negotiations began and the neon sign was approved as a civic heritage landmark in 2010. The sign was modified and retained and now reads “Heights” rather than “Helen’s”.
In 1964, Jim Howe opened The Lamplighter nightclub in west Burnaby. In an era when most clubs were still bottle clubs and clubgoers still packed illicit bottles, The Lamplighter held BC’s first liquor license. The Lamplighter featured country radio stars like Waylon Jennings and Bobby Bare.
The Cascades Drive-In Theatre on Grandview Highway in Burnaby was the first drive-in theatre in Canada. It opened August 30, 1946 and closed in 1980.
Built circa 1891, the Wintemute House is a large two-storey wood-frame Victorian era country farmhouse and has the distinction of being Burnaby’s first protected municipal heritage site. It was built by Joseph S. Wintemute who operated the Wintemute Furniture Factory in New Westminster, the first furniture plant established on the mainland of British Columbia.
Simon Fraser University on Burnaby Mountain was designed by noted Canadian architects Arthur Erickson and Geoffrey Massey and was nicknamed the “instant university” because it was built in an 18-month timeframe, opening on September 9, 1965 with an enrolment of 2,628 students.
In 1971 the Burnaby Centennial ’71 committee marks the BC Centennial with the creation of Heritage Village (Burnaby Village Museum) – “a small town reflecting the early history of British Columbia.”
Now the home of the Burnaby Art Gallery, “Fairacres Mansion” located in Deer Lake Park was built in 1911 for Grace Ceperley and her husband Henry Ceperley. Built in the British “Arts and Crafts” style, Fairacres was designed by English trained architect Robert P.S. Twizell and was once the largest home in Burnaby. It also may be Burnaby’s most haunted.
When Brentwood Shopping Centre (now Brentwood Town Centre) opened in 1961 it was the largest mall in B.C.