Neighbourhood Guide: Burnaby

The city of Burnaby neighbours Vancouver to the east and is the third-largest city in British Columbia (after Vancouver and Surrey). Like most of Metro Vancouver, Burnaby is a dynamic, diverse, multi-cultural city with newcomers originating from all over. Once known as a bedroom community, this city has evolved into a metropolis of its own.

With a population of 249,197 residents, as well as many lush parks and expansive community spaces, the geographic layout of Burnaby is essentially broken up into 4 quadrants – Northwest, Northeast, Southwest and Southeast. The Trans Canada Highway serves as the North South divider for these areas. Each quadrant has one town centre but numerous neighbourhoods. The town centres are Brentwood (NW), Lougheed (NE), Metrotown (SW), and Edmonds (SE). The Southwest centre of Metrotown also serves as the Regional Town Centre, and is slated to undergo a massive transformation that will see it assume a role as the singular town centre for all of Burnaby in the future.

Domestic and International students flock to the city’s Simon Fraser University and BCIT to pursue highly acclaimed post secondary programs, while businesses are drawn to the competitive commercial rates and space. Burnaby is home to Electronic Arts, Capcom, Telus, BC Hydro, Amazon, Traction on Demand, Paladin Security, Best Buy and countless other companies and head offices.

Burnaby also has a vibrant arts scene centred around the beautiful Shadbolt Centre for the Arts by Deer Lake and the Michael J. Fox Centre for the Performing Arts adjacent to Burnaby South Secondary School. The latter is named after one of the city’s (and Canada’s) most famous exports, Canadian acting legend Michael J. Fox. Both venues host a wide variety of performances, festivals and classes that enrich life in this Vancouver suburb.

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What is it like to live in Burnaby, BC?

Burnaby is an excellent choice for single people, growing families, and retirees. There is a remarkable selection of housing, from urban high rises in Brentwood, Lougheed and Metrotown, to countless, leafy neighbourhoods in the Burnaby Heights area and Central Burnaby. The entire region is also well serviced by transit. Specifically, the Skytrain makes for a short 20-30 minute commute to downtown Vancouver from most areas of Burnaby. Lougheed Town Centre is also where the Skytrain extension known as the Evergreen line begins, transporting residents further east if they wish.

Not just a commuter city, Burnaby is also home to many scenic spots, fun attractions, and classic Vancouver eateries. In just one day, you could enjoy jaw-dropping views from the top of Simon Fraser Mountain, take your kids for a ride on the miniature railroad at Confederation Park, pick up some of the very best Italian sausage and burrata at Cioffi’s Meat Market and Deli, or Korean Barbecue at Brentwood’s Hello Sooda. Burnaby has a little bit of everything, including one of Canada’s largest shopping centres. Spend countless hours shopping at some of the region’s best boutiques at Metropolis at Metrotown.

Like much of Metro Vancouver, Burnaby features lovely outdoor trails and walkways. Take your morning walks or runs around idyllic Deer Lake or Burnaby Lake. Both offer bucolic scenery and extensive trail networks. For something more challenging, set your sights on Burnaby Mountain’s peak and hike the Simon Fraser University Loop Trail.

In addition, sports and recreational facilities draw athletes from around the Lower Mainland. Here you’ll find the Burnaby Lake Sports Complex with soccer, rugby, swimming, archery, hockey, cricket, field hockey, field lacrosse and rowing facilities. Swangard Stadium in Central Park has the best track and field facilities in the region and annually hosts the Harry Jerome Classic International Track Classic, attracting track and field talent from around the world. These are only two key facilities; there are countless others in each Burnaby region.

This is life in Burnaby – the perfect blend of urban vitality and suburban amenities.

Average Rent In Burnaby, BC

Burnaby offers residents a slight break on rental rates as compared to Vancouver. And, for the most part, you are also getting more space, possibly a yard, and easy access to transit.

Below are the average rental rates for Burnaby overall, and an infographic comparing rent per sq. ft. rates across Greater Vancouver.

1 bed 2 bed 3 bed
$1,690 $2,214 $2,600
average rent in vancouver
Burnaby Affordability based on rent per sq ft.


Pet Friendly Rentals in Burnaby

Pet owners are in luck. A number of Burnaby neighbourhoods have over 20% of rental listings permitting pets. It is an ideal suburb for dog owners, specifically, thanks to expansive city parks like Central, Deer Lake, Confederation and Burnaby Lake. North Burnaby neighbourhoods tend to be more pet friendly than the South Burnaby ones but all offer some pet-friendly rental options.

>> Recommended Reading: November 2020 Vancouver Rent Report

Average House Prices in Burnaby

Below are the average house prices for various housing types throughout Burnaby. Statistics are from zolo.ca based on data from the MLS listings on their site.

Type of Housing November 2020 Average Price
Condo (1 bed)$490,000
Townhouse (2 bed)$720,000
Detached Home (3 bed)$1.4 million

Source: Zolo.ca


Burnaby Neighbourhoods

Here, we take a closer look at Burnaby’s neighbourhoods, offering a view of what life is like in various parts of this Lower Mainland city.


Burnaby Heights

Closest to Vancouver and comprised of the Vancouver Heights and Willingdon Heights neighbourhoods, this area is affectionately referred to as “The Heights”. Considered one of the best kept secrets of the Lower Mainland, The Heights boasts a strong sense of community, a vibrant history, a lively strip of shops and services, exceptional parks and recreational facilities and so much more. Vancouver Heights features some of the most beautiful heritage homes, post war bungalows and newer builds – almost all with unique, expansive westward views that span from the North Shore Mountains, across Vancouver, south to Richmond.

It is in this area that you will find one of the finest examples of restored neon signage that has come to identify The Heights neighbourhood – Helen’s swinging girl. Once upon a time, it served as the signage for Helen’s children’s wear store. Though the store has long since closed, the kinetic, swinging sign remains, celebrating the neighbourhood in its neon glory.

Next door you’ll find Cioffi’s, a go-to meat and deli market that offers an extensive and delicious selection of Italian food items. If you’d rather eat Italian than prepare it yourself, try Sopra Sotto Pizzeria and a dessert from Chez Christophe.

After you’ve indulged in the hidden foodie gems here, work it all off at the Eileen Dailly Leisure Pool and Fitness Centre. This world-class facility features a swimming pool with a deep tank, a beach-entry leisure pool with fun water features, plus a weight room, saunas, multi-purpose room and fitness classes. The adjacent Confederation Park features a Lacrosse box, lawn bowling, soccer pitches and tennis courts.

Average Apartment Rent:

1 bed 2 bed 3 bed
$1,150 $1,450 $1,900

Schools:

The community is well served with schools offering both public and independent options (indicated with an *). For more information and a comprehensive list of Burnaby public schools please visit the Burnaby School Board site and for independent schools visit the Independent Schools Association site.

Elementary Schools Secondary Schools
Gilmore Community School
Fawkes Academy*
Kitchener Elementary
Confederation Park
Ecole Capitol Hill
Brentwood Park
Holy Cross Elementary *
Ecole Alpha Secondary
Burnaby North Secondary

Transportation:

Proximity to Downtown Vancouver: 
– 20 minutes by car to Downtown Vancouver
– 45 minutes by transit to Downtown Vancouver

Sports & Recreation:

Brentwood

Located along the sides of Lougheed Highway just east of Vancouver, Brentwood has undergone a significant transformation in recent years introducing countless condominium residences to the rental market. Moreover, it is still developing with new shops and services appearing daily as part of this area nicknamed ‘Amazing Brentwood’. Ultimately, more than 250 shops and services, 11 new residential towers and over 6,000 new homes will populate this area. Brentwood currently has a Whole Foods, Brown’s Social House, Joey’s, Winners and much more – all within walking distance of Brentwood Town Centre Skytrain station.

In terms of parks and recreation, Brentwood and Beecher Parks are perfect for dog walking, featuring forested areas and views of the North Shore Mountains. Nearby Kensington Park has a pitch and putt course, soccer pitches, outdoor pool, skating rink and track.

Average Apartment Rent:

1 bed 2 bed 3 bed
$1,900 $2,575 $2,900

Schools:

For more information and a comprehensive list of Burnaby public schools please visit the Burnaby School Board site and for independent schools visit the Independent Schools Association site.

Elementary Schools Secondary Schools
Brentwood Park
Parkcrest
Ecole Alpha Secondary
Burnaby North Secondary

Transportation:

Proximity to Downtown Vancouver: 
– 20 minutes by car to Downtown Vancouver
– 30 minutes by transit to Downtown Vancouver (Millenium Line to Expo Line Skytrain)

Sports & Recreation:

Simon Fraser Hills

Simon Fraser University path

Located in Burnaby’s northeast corner, Simon Fraser Hills neighbourhoods climb the sun-drenched slopes of Burnaby mountain and feature a diversity of housing and people. Newer residential towers in the area near the top of Burnaby mountain, coined Univercity, offer 1, 2 and 3 bedrooms living with extensive building amenities available. Views of the Burrard Inlet and Vancouver are expansive. The area has all the necessary amenities and offers an ideal housing option for students at Simon Fraser University.

Older residential areas like Forest Grove and Montecito offer a mix of single-family homes and newer townhomes. Parts of Montecito encircle the beautiful 18 hole Burnaby Mountain Golf Course and Squint Lake with lush forest areas, streams, and walking trails.

Be sure to visit Barnet Marine Park on the north side of Burnaby Mountain for a stroll or a dip in Burrard Inlet in the summer months. Look across the water to the North Shore’s iconic Deep Cove neighbourhood!

Average Apartment Rent:

1 bed 2 bed 3 bed
$1,660 $2,000 $2,935

Schools:

For more information and a comprehensive list of Burnaby public schools please visit the Burnaby School Board site and for independent schools visit the Independent Schools Association site.

Elementary Schools Secondary Schools
University Highlands
Montecito
Lochdale
Forest Grove
Sperling
Burnaby Mountain
Cariboo Hill

Transportation:

Proximity to Downtown Vancouver: 
– 35 minutes by car to Downtown Vancouver
– 80 minutes by transit to Downtown Vancouver

Sports & Recreation:

Lougheed City

Lougheed City is one of Canada’s largest, most successful master-planned communities and features a variety of homes and hundreds of shops and services, restaurants, public plazas, a Costco and a skytrain station that will transport you quickly and easily to downtown Vancouver. The area covers roughly sixteen city blocks and features beautiful green spaces, as well as walkable access to restaurants and services. The Lougheed station also serves as the terminus for the Evergreen line, providing service to suburbs further east.

Be sure to check out the area’s excellent Korean restaurants just south of the station, such as Insadong and Hee Rae Deung, or some sushi at Sushi California just east of the station. And of course, there’s an Ikea and numerous other furniture stores nearby in Coquitlam for all your housing needs!

Average Apartment Rent:

1 bed 2 bed 3 bed
$1,700 $2,275 $2,470

Schools:

For more information and a comprehensive list of Burnaby public schools please visit the Burnaby School Board site and for independent schools visit the Independent Schools Association site.

Elementary Schools Secondary Schools
Stoney Creek
Roy Stibbs
Alderson
Lyndhurst
Cameron
Burnaby Mountain
Cariboo Hill

Transportation:

Proximity to Downtown Vancouver: 
– 40 minutes by car to Downtown Vancouver
– 40 minutes by transit to Downtown Vancouver on the Skytrain

Sports & Recreation:

Central Burnaby

Central Burnaby is the creative, cultural and administrative heart of Burnaby. Here you will find the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts, Burnaby Art Gallery and the popular Burnaby Village Museum where original heritage buildings recreate life in the early 1900s. It is also home to the 1912 C.W. Parker Carousel, transported from the Pacific National Exhibition Grounds in 1989. Burnaby City Hall and other civic office buildings are located in the beautiful Deer Lake neighbourhood.

This is home to much of Burnaby’s corporate tax base; BCIT and sizeable corporate offices including IBM, Electronic Arts, BCAA, Telus, Tek Systems, Paladin Security and Clio to name a few, all have offices in Central Burnaby.

Central Burnaby is also home to some of the best sports and rec facilities in the province. This includes the extensive Burnaby Sports Complex with its multi-sport fields for soccer, field hockey, lacrosse, rugby and football, as well as tennis courts and rowing facilities at Burnaby Lake. The Fortius Sport and Health Centre next door is an integrated athlete development centre focused on optimizing athlete performance.

This part of Burnaby offers residents access to remarkable urban oases at Deer Lake and Burnaby Lake. Forests, wildlife, mountain views and extensive trail systems envelop visitors in the perfect escape from city life.

Average Apartment Rent:

1 bed 2 bed 3 bed
$1,614 $2,145 $2,450

Schools:

For more information and a comprehensive list of Burnaby public schools please visit the Burnaby School Board site and for independent schools visit the Independent Schools Association site.

Elementary Schools Secondary Schools
Deer Lake
Gilpin
Brantford
Buckingham Heights French Immersion
Lakeview
Morley
Douglas Road
Burnaby Central
Moscrop

Transportation:

Proximity to Downtown Vancouver: 
– 45-55 minutes by car to Downtown Vancouver
– 65minutes by transit to Downtown Vancouver (bus to King George Station, Expo Line Skytrain Downtown)

Sports & Recreation:

Government Road

A quiet residential neighbourhood tucked between Burnaby Lake and Burnaby Mountain, the Government Road neighbourhood is home to larger detached homes and bigger properties, although there are a few duplexes and townhomes available. Most of the homes are owner-occupied so it is rare to find a rental property here; the ones you can find are typically secondary suites inside homes. Some of the city’s most luxurious homes are found in this little pocket including Burnaby’s own, Michael Bublé’s. Residents pop over to Lougheed Town Centre for shops and services and enjoy escaping to the wooded trails of Burnaby Lake.

Average Apartment Rent:

1 bed 2 bed 3 bed
$1,450 $2,000 $2,450

Schools:

For more information and a comprehensive list of Burnaby public schools please visit the Burnaby School Board site and for independent schools visit the Independent Schools Association site.

Elementary Schools Secondary Schools
Seaforth ElementaryBurnaby Central
Cariboo Hill

Transportation:

Proximity to Downtown Vancouver: 
– 25 minutes by car to Downtown Vancouver
– 40 minutes by transit to Downtown Vancouver

Sports & Recreation:

Metrotown

Metrotown is centrally located, offers commanding views from higher elevations, and quick and easy transit connectivity to downtown Vancouver via Skytrain. Metrotown has long served as one of the region’s key commercial and residential centres evolving from a post-war industrial hub to a vibrant and ethnically-diverse mixed-use community today. Metrotown’s evolution has been impressive but its future is even brighter as it is poised to turn into Burnaby’s singular, civic and regional centre according to the City of Burnaby’s master plan.  

Known as a shopping and entertainment destination, here you’ll find hundreds of boutiques and stores at Metropolis at Metrotown Mall which is anchored by a Hudson’s Bay, and a Great Canadian Superstore as well as a Cineplex multi-screen movie theatre complex.

Reconnect with nature at the 90 acre Central Park. Located on the western edge of the neighbourhood, Central Park offers some spectacular, old-growth forest bathing as well as tennis courts, an outdoor swimming pool, pitch and putt golf course, and Swangard Stadium with its world-class track and field facilities and soccer pitch.

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Average Apartment Rent:

1 bed 2 bed 3 bed
$1,900 $2,420 $2,750

Schools:

For more information and a comprehensive list of Burnaby public schools please visit the Burnaby School Board site and for independent schools visit the Independent Schools Association site.

Elementary Schools Secondary Schools
Maywood Community School
Chaffey-Burke
Marlborough
South Slope
Ecole Brantford
Ecole Inman
Burnaby South
Burnaby Central

Transportation:

Proximity to Downtown Vancouver: 
– 40 minutes by car to Downtown Vancouver
– 25 minutes by transit to Downtown Vancouver

Sports & Recreation:

South Burnaby

South Burnaby, also knowns as South Slope, overlooks the Fraser River south towards Surrey. The area features three Skytrain stations – Royal Oak, Edmonds and 22nd Street – as well as direct bus links to Vancouver and other neighbourhoods in Burnaby, while Marine Drive and Marine Way offer efficient driving routes to Vancouver and New Westminster.

Here you’ll primarily find neighbourhoods of single-family homes and townhomes. Closer to the river, South Burnaby’s economic engine is on full display in this region’s commercial and industrial areas featuring big box stores, movie studios, office parks and warehouses.

The historic Riverside district along Willard and Meadow Avenue features family homes, family farms and some of the Lower Mainland’s best nurseries including WIG Gardenshop and GardenWorks at Mandeville. While by the river, enjoy a stroll through Burnaby Fraser Foreshore Park .

Hit the links at the Riverway Golf Course and Driving Range which takes up a significant portion of this neighbourhood’s real estate. The nearby Riverway Sports Complex features 8 natural turf fields, 6 softball diamonds, and a regulation size lacrosse box which will hopefully be home field for your kids, reducing carpool times!

For more forested walks, try Byrne Creek Ravine Park where you’ll find a mix of easy and more challenging trails – another evergreen oasis in Burnaby.

Average Apartment Rent:

1 bed 2 bed 3 bed
$1,680 $2,200 $2,350

Schools:

For more information and a comprehensive list of Burnaby public schools please visit the Burnaby School Board site and for independent schools visit the Independent Schools Association site.

Elementary Schools Secondary Schools
Taylor Park
Glenwood
Clinton
Byrne Creek

Transportation:

Proximity to Downtown Vancouver: 
– 25 minutes by car to Downtown Vancouver
– 25 minutes by transit to Downtown Vancouver (from Edmonds Station)

Sports & Recreation:


Burnaby is a bustling Vancouver suburb with thriving and varied communities, a vibrant business scene, unparalleled parks and recreational facilities and a dynamic arts scene. It is an attractive and more affordable city to consider when choosing a place to live in Metro Vancouver.


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