kids encyclopedia robot

Burnaby facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
City of Burnaby
From top, left to right: Metrotown skyline, Brentwood Town Centre station on the Millennium Line, Metropolis at Metrotown mall, Deer Lake Park, Burnaby Mountain and the Burrard Inlet, Cherry blossom bloom on a residential street, Brentwood, Metrotown, and Edmonds skylines
Flag of Burnaby
Coat of arms of Burnaby
Coat of arms
Official logo of Burnaby
By River and Sea Rise Burnaby
GVRD Burnaby.svg
Burnaby is located in British Columbia
Location in British Columbia
Country Canada
Province British Columbia
Regional district Metro Vancouver
Established 1892 (municipality status)
Incorporated 1992 (city status)
 • Total 98.6 km2 (38.1 sq mi)
Sea level to 370 m (0–1,214 ft)
 • Total 232,755 (ranked 22nd)
 • Density 2,568.7/km2 (6,653/sq mi)
Time zone UTC−08:00 (Pacific Standard (PST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC−07:00 (Pacific Daylight (PDT))
Forward sortation area
V3N, V5A - V5C, V5E, V5G - V5H, V5J
Area code(s) 604, 778, 236, 672

Burnaby is a city in the Lower Mainland region of British Columbia, Canada. Located in the centre of the Burrard Peninsula, it neighbours the City of Vancouver to the west, the District of North Vancouver across the confluence of the Burrard Inlet with its Indian Arm to the north, Port Moody and Coquitlam to the east, New Westminster and Surrey across the Fraser River to the southeast, and Richmond on the Lulu Island to the southwest.

Burnaby was incorporated in 1892 and achieved its city status in 1992. A member municipality of Metro Vancouver, it is British Columbia's third-largest city by population (after Vancouver and Surrey), and is the seat of Metro Vancouver's regional district government.

The main campuses of Simon Fraser University and the British Columbia Institute of Technology are located in Burnaby. It is home to high-tech companies such as Ballard Power (fuel cell), Clio (legal software), D-Wave (quantum computing), General Fusion (fusion power), EA Vancouver and Capcom Canada. Burnaby's Metropolis at Metrotown is the largest mall in British Columbia and the fifth largest in Canada.

The city is served by SkyTrain's Expo Line and Millennium Line. Metrotown station in downtown Metrotown is the second-busiest station in regional Vancouver's urban transit system as of 2018.


At incorporation, the municipality's citizens unanimously chose to name it after the legislator, speaker, Freemason and explorer Robert Burnaby, who had been private secretary to Colonel Richard Moody, the first land commissioner for the Colony of British Columbia, in the mid-19th century. In 1859 Burnaby had surveyed the freshwater lake near what is now the city's geographical centre. Moody chose to name it Burnaby Lake.

In the first 30 to 40 years after its incorporation, the growth of Burnaby was influenced by its location between expanding urban centres of Vancouver and New Westminster. It first served as a rural agricultural area supplying nearby markets. Later, it served as an important transportation corridor between Vancouver, the Fraser Valley and the Interior and continues to do so. As Vancouver expanded and became a metropolis, it was one of the first-tier bedroom community suburbs of Vancouver itself, along with the city and district of North Vancouver, and Richmond. Burnaby has shifted in character over time from rural to suburban to urban.

Geography and land use

Burnaby occupies 98.60 square kilometres (38.07 sq mi) and is located at the geographical centre of the Metro Vancouver area. Situated between the city of Vancouver on the west and Port Moody, Coquitlam, and New Westminster on the east, Burnaby is further bounded by Burrard Inlet and the Fraser River on the north and south respectively. Burnaby, Vancouver and New Westminster collectively occupy the major portion of the Burrard Peninsula. The elevation of Burnaby ranges from sea level to a maximum of 370 metres (1,200 ft) atop Burnaby Mountain. Due to its elevation, the city of Burnaby experiences quite a bit more snowfall during the winter months than nearby Vancouver or Richmond. Overall, the physical landscape of Burnaby is one of hills, ridges, valleys and an alluvial plain. The land features and their relative locations have had an influence on the location, type and form of development in the city.

Burnaby is home to many industrial and commercial firms. British Columbia's largest (and Canada's second largest) commercial mall, the Metropolis at Metrotown is located in Burnaby. Still, Burnaby's ratio of park land to residents is one of the highest in North America, and it maintains some agricultural land, particularly along the Fraser foreshore flats in the Big Bend neighbourhood along its southern perimeter.

Burnaby parks, rivers, and lakes

Major parklands and waterways in Burnaby include Central Park, Robert Burnaby Park, Kensington Park, Burnaby Mountain, Still Creek, the Brunette River, Burnaby Lake, Deer Lake, and Squint Lake.


Climate data for Burnaby (Simon Fraser University) 1981−2010 at 365 metres
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 16.5
Average high °C (°F) 5.8
Daily mean °C (°F) 3.6
Average low °C (°F) 1.4
Record low °C (°F) −13.9
Precipitation mm (inches) 280.9
Rainfall mm (inches) 256.5
Snowfall cm (inches) 24.3
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm) 20.5 16.2 18.9 16.1 14.9 13.5 7.4 6.8 10.3 17.1 21.6 19.8 183.1
Avg. rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm) 18.1 14.7 18.3 16.0 14.9 13.5 7.4 6.8 10.3 17.0 21.0 17.3 175.4
Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.2 cm) 4.0 2.5 2.0 0.54 0.04 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.09 1.8 4.5 15.5
Source: Environment Canada


Burnaby, seen from Highway 1

The SkyTrain rapid transit system, based in Burnaby, crosses the city from east to west in two places: the Expo Line (completed in 1986) crosses the south along Kingsway and the Millennium Line (completed in 2002) follows Lougheed Highway. The SkyTrain has encouraged closer connections to New Westminster, Vancouver, and Surrey, as well as dense urban development at Lougheed Town Centre on the city's eastern border, at Brentwood Town Centre in the centre-west, Edmonds-Highgate in the southeast, and most notably, at Metrotown in the south. Burnaby is also served by RapidBus line R5, and several other bus routes operated by TransLink.

Major north–south streets crossing the City include Boundary Road, Willingdon Avenue, Royal Oak Avenue, Kensington Avenue, Sperling Avenue, Gaglardi Way, Cariboo Road, and North Road. East–west routes linking Burnaby's neighbouring cities to each other include Hastings Street, Barnet Highway, the Lougheed Highway, Kingsway (which follows the old horse trail between Vancouver and New Westminster), Canada Way and Marine Drive/Marine Way. Douglas Road, which used to cross the city from northwest to southeast, has largely been absorbed by the Trans-Canada Highway and Canada Way. Since the 1990s, Burnaby has developed a network of cycling trails. It is also well served by Metro Vancouver's bus system, run by the Coast Mountain Bus Company, a division of TransLink.


Population history
Year Pop. ±%
1921 12,883 —    
1931 25,564 +98.4%
1941 30,328 +18.6%
1951 58,376 +92.5%
1956 83,745 +43.5%
1961 100,157 +19.6%
1966 112,036 +11.9%
1971 125,660 +12.2%
1976 131,599 +4.7%
1981 136,494 +3.7%
1986 145,161 +6.3%
1991 158,858 +9.4%
1996 179,209 +12.8%
2001 193,954 +8.2%
2006 202,799 +4.6%
2011 223,218 +10.1%
2016 232,755 +4.3%
2021 249,125 +7.0%
Source: Statistics Canada

Circle frame-1.svg

Religion in Burnaby (2011)      Christianity (42.9%)     Buddhism (4.8%)     Islam (4.5%)     Sikhism (2.9%)     Hinduism (2.2%)     Other or not religious (42.7%)

In the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Burnaby had a population of 249,125 living in 101,136 of its 107,046 total private dwellings, a change of 7% from its 2016 population of 232,755. With a land area of 90.57 km2 (34.97 sq mi), it had a population density of 2,750.6/km2 (7,124/sq mi) in 2021.

In 2016, the median age is 40.3 years old, slightly younger than the British Columbia median of 43.0 years old.

Canada 2016 Census Population  % of Total Population
Visible minority group
South Asian 18,735 8.1%
Chinese 78,025 33.9%
Black 3,670 1.6%
Filipino 13,000 5.7%
Latin American 4,630 2%
Arab 1,700 0.7%
Southeast Asian 4,620 2%
West Asian 4,960 2.2%
Korean 7,790 3.4%
Japanese 3,655 1.6%
Other visible minority 690 0.3%
Mixed visible minority 4,840 2.1%
Total visible minority population 146,310 63.6%
Aboriginal group
First Nations 2,615 1.1%
Métis 1,365 0.6%
Other Aboriginal groups 225 0.1%
Total Aboriginal population 4,195 1.8%
European Canadian 79,575 34.6%
Total population 230,080 100%


The 2016 census found that English was spoken as the mother tongue of 41.33 percent of the population. The next three most common languages were Mandarin (14.53 percent), Cantonese (12.32 percent) and Tagalog (3.35 percent).

Mother tongue Population Percentage
English 91,850 41.33%
Mandarin 32,295 14.53%
Cantonese 27,375 12.32%
Tagalog 7,435 3.35%
Korean 7,010 3.15%
Punjabi 5,000 2.25%
Spanish 4,165 1.87%
Persian 4,080 1.84%
Italian 3,975 1.79%
Russian 2,650 1.19%

People and politics

While Burnaby occupies about 4% of the land area of the Greater Vancouver Regional District, it accounted for about 10% of the Region's population in 2001. It is the third most populated urban centre in British Columbia (after Vancouver and Surrey) with an estimated population of 205,261. Like much of Greater Vancouver, Burnaby has always had large ethnic and immigrant communities: to cite two examples, North Burnaby near Hastings Street has long been home to many Italian restaurants and recreational bocce games, while Metrotown's ever-sprouting condominium towers in the south have been fuelled in part by more recent arrivals from China (Hong Kong and Macau), Taiwan, South Korea, and the former Yugoslavia. According to the 2006 Census, 54% of Burnaby residents have a mother tongue that is neither English nor French.

Politically, Burnaby has maintained a left-wing city council closely affiliated with the provincial NDP (which recently completely eliminated the city's debt) and school board for many years, while sometimes electing more conservative legislators provincially (for the Social Credit and BC Liberal parties) and federally (for the Reform, Alliance, and Conservative parties). Its longest-serving politician had been Svend Robinson of the New Democratic Party (NDP), Canada's first openly gay member of Parliament, but after 25 years and seven elections he resigned his post in early 2004 after stealing and then returning an expensive ring. Burnaby voters endorsed his assistant, Bill Siksay, as his replacement in the spring 2004 Canadian federal election. In the May 2013 provincial election, residents of the city sent 3 NDP MLAs and one Liberal MLA to the British Columbia legislature. The NDP MLA for Burnaby-Lougheed, Jane Shin, faced controversy after the election for misrepresenting herself as a physician while not having completed a medical residency nor holding a license to practise medicine.

According to a 2009 survey by Maclean's magazine, Burnaby is Canada's best run city. The survey looks at a city's efficiency, the cost of producing results, and the effectiveness of its city services.


Burnaby South Secondary School features the Michael J. Fox Theatre, a community theatre seats 613 with 11 wheelchair spaces.


Burnaby's official flower is the rhododendron.

Sister cities

Burnaby has four sister cities (or "twin towns"):

Surrounding municipalities

Industry and economy

Metrotown Burnaby
Metrotown at sunset, as seen from Lochdale
See also: List of companies in BurnabyThe city features major commercial town centres, high-density residential areas, two rapid transit lines, high technology research, business parks, film studios such as The Bridge Studios, and TV stations such as Global TV.

Major technology firms such as Ballard Power Systems (fuel cell), D-Wave Systems (quantum computing), Clio (software company) (legal tech), Creo (imaging), and EA Canada (studio) (Electronic Arts) have their headquarters in Burnaby. Telus have relocated their headquarter from Burnaby to Telus Garden in Vancouver.

Metropolis mall located in Metrotown neighbourhood, the Downtown of Burnaby, is the largest mall in British Columbia with West Vancouver's Park Royal in the second place. It is the fifth largest in Canada behind the first place West Edmonton Mall located in Edmonton, Alberta. Despite its size, Metropolis mall was the second most visited mall in Canada in 2017 and third most visited in 2018.

Heavy industry companies including Chevron Corporation and Petro-Canada petroleum refineries oil on the shores of Burrard Inlet.

Best Buy, Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers, Pacific Blue Cross and Nokia have significant facilities in Burnaby.

Other firms with operations based in Burnaby include Canada Wide Media, Doteasy, Telus, Teradici, AFCC, Mercedes-Benz Fuel Cell, HSBC Group Systems Development Centre, and TransLink. eBay ceased local operations in 2009.


The city's main stadium, Swangard Stadium, is located in Central Park (Burnaby). It was completed in 1969. The stadium was home to the Vancouver 86ers (now the Vancouver Whitecaps FC) in the Canadian Soccer League from 1986 to 2010, when the team relocated to BC Place to play in the Major League Soccer.

Burnaby Velodrome hosted the National Junior and U17 Track Championship in 2014.


Burnaby Central Secondary School, one of Burnaby's eight public secondary schools

Public education

The city has over 24,000 students across the 41 elementary schools and 8 secondary schools managed by School District 41. It also has a Community and Adult Education Department and an International Students Programme.

Higher education

Simon Fraser University's main campus, with more than 30,000 students and 950 staff, is located atop Burnaby Mountain (elevation 370 metres [1,210 ft]). In Maclean's 2020 rankings, the university placed first in their comprehensive university category, and ninth in their reputation ranking for Canadian universities. Burnaby gondola, operating between the main campus and Production Way–University station has been included in TransLink (British Columbia)'s 10-Year Investment Plan in 2018.

British Columbia Institute of Technology's main campus in Burnaby, home to more than 49,000 full-time and part-time students, was established in 1964. A new $78 million, net-zero emission Health Science Centre, expected to open in late 2021, will accommodate 7,000 students.

Notable people

Joe sakic
Joe Sakic, former captain for the Colorado Avalanche
Carrie-Anne Moss 07 TIFF
Actress Carrie-Anne Moss, known for movies such as The Matrix trilogy and Memento
  • Karl Alzner, NHL hockey player
  • Glenn Anderson, former NHL hockey player
  • Andrea Bang, actor best known for Kim's Convenience
  • Michael Bublé, singer
  • Christy Clark, former Premier of British Columbia
  • Eleanor Collins, jazz singer, TV host and civic leader
  • Kris Chucko, NHL hockey player
  • Ian James Corlett, voice actor, writer, and TV producer
  • Robin Esrock, South African–born Canadian travel writer, TV host and author
  • Michael J. Fox, Canadian-American actor
  • Kaleigh Fratkin (born 1992), professional ice hockey player
  • Jacob Hoggard, lead singer of Hedley
  • Joe Keithley, musician and Burnaby politician
  • Braam Jordaan, South African–born entrepreneur, filmmaker, animator, and activist
  • Eagle Keys, American-born CFL football player and head coach
  • Jason LaBarbera, NHL hockey player
  • Brad Loree, movie stuntman
  • Kenndal McArdle, former NHL hockey player and investment banker
  • John H. McArthur, Harvard Business School dean
  • Darren McCarty, NHL hockey player
  • Carrie-Anne Moss, movie, television and voice actress
  • Dave Nonis, former Senior Vice President and Director of Hockey Operations of the Toronto Maple Leafs
  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, NHL hockey player
  • Mark Olver, NHL and KHL hockey player
  • Tyler O'Neill, MLB player for the St. Louis Cardinals
  • Buzz Parsons, NASL soccer player and later CSL coach
  • Dugald Campbell Patterson, Scottish-born Burnaby pioneer
  • Colin Percival, computer scientist
  • Dick Phillips, American-born MLB baseball player and PCL team manager
  • Roy Radu, Rugby union player
  • Svend Robinson, former federal MP, arbitrator/advocate and parliamentary relations consultant
  • Cliff Ronning, former NHL hockey player
  • Joe Sakic, former NHL hockey player
  • Mike Santorelli, NHL hockey player
  • Murray SawChuck, Canadian-born Las Vegas-based magician
  • Gurv and Harv Sihra, Indian-Canadian professional wrestlers known as Sunil and Samir Singh
  • Josh Simpson, USL soccer player
  • Christine Sinclair, NWSL soccer player and captain of the Canadian Women's National Soccer Team.
  • Don Taylor, Vancouver-area television sportscaster
  • Patrick Wiercioch, NHL hockey player
  • Greg Zanon, AHL and NHL hockey player

Images for kids

kids search engine
Burnaby Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.