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Local Community Profile: Burnaby

Introduction

Burnaby is the third-largest city in British Columbia. It is located immediately east of Vancouver, and has become a popular residential area, offering its residents an easy commute to Downtown Vancouver. Burnaby occupies a total size of 98.6 square kilometres and is bounded to the north by Burrard Inlet and to the south by the Fraser River. Named after Robert Burnaby, the well-known legislator, speaker, and explorer who surveyed the freshwater lake at what would become the city's center in 1859, Burnaby was incorporated in 1892 and finally received city status in 1992.

Burnaby is situated between the two urban centers of Vancouver and New Westminster, and the growth of the City of Burnaby during the first thirty to forty years after incorporation was due much in part to the expansion of its two neighboring cities. Although the city began as a rural, agricultural area, Burnaby quickly developed into a transportation corridor and soon became one of the first true suburbs of Vancouver.

Community Resources and Recreation

Burnaby is a bustling city with many outdoor activities and areas where people can enjoy the nature the city has to offer. Some of Burnaby's most popular outdoor areas include Central Park, Robert Burnaby Park, Deer Lake Park, Kensington Park, and Burnaby Mountain. Central Park is located just west of the city's popular shopping center, Metropolis at Metrotown, and its most popular attraction is its many walking trails and its preserved temperate rainforest ecosystem. Other activities offered at Central Park include an outdoor swimming pool, a children's playground, a pitch and putt golf course, tennis courts, and a lawn bowling facility.

Known largely for offering great mountain biking trails, Burnaby Mountain is another one of Burnaby's main outdoor attractions, where residents and visitors can enjoy the viewpoint at Centennial Park. Centennial Park is also home to totem pole carvings and a large rose garden which pay tribute to Burnaby's sister city, Kushiro, Japan. Deer Lake Park is another local attraction, where residents can pay a visit to history at Burnaby Village Museum, appreciate art at Burnaby Art Gallery, or see a performance at Shadbolt Centre for the Arts. The area is served by Burnaby Hospital. Burnaby Public Library offers four branches across the city, and receives 6,000 visitors daily.

Local Access and Public Transportation

The city of Burnaby is easily accessible from the surrounding cities of Vancouver, New Westminster, and Coquitlam with either the Trans-Canada Highway, Lougheed Highway, or Kingsway. The city's public transit system is quite advanced, and Burnaby is served well by the SkyTrain rapid transit system, which offers transportation across the city to the east and west. There are two separate SkyTrain lines: the Expo Line, which crosses Kingsway, and the Millennium Line, which follows Lougheed. Burnaby is also served by Metro Vancouver's Translink bus routes, which together with the SkyTrain, makes Burnaby a popular residential area for commuters.

Education: Elementary and Secondary Schools

There are a total of 41 elementary schools and 8 secondary schools under Burnaby School District 41, which collectively provide education to around 24,000 students. Simon Fraser University, located on Burnaby Mountain, and British Columbia Institute of Technology, commonly shortened to BCIT, are the two post-secondary educational institutions in Burnaby and are popular institutions for Vancouver and the Fraser Valley as a whole.

Income Demographics and Local Tax Rates

Burnaby, which is a multicultural city, had a population of 223,218 in 2011, which is roughly a 10% increase from the Canadian Census done in 2006. Burnaby has a population density of 2,463.5 people per square km. The median household income for Burnaby residents in 2005 was $50,205. The annual fees for sewer and sanitation for single-family dwellings is $511.60, and water is $543.65. Annual garbage disposal fees range from $25 to $385.

Annual Events and Festivals

Burnaby offers many events and festivals, including Burnaby Blues and Roots Festival which is an annual, one-day music festival. Burnaby also offers many fun and free programs such as arts and crafts and film-screenings for Culture Days at Civic Square, the Burnaby Art Gallery, the Burnaby Village Museum, and the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts. The annual Celebration of Light fireworks festival, which takes place at English Bay in Vancouver, is commonly watched from Centennial Park at Burnaby Mountain. With Halloween comes the Haunted Village at Burnaby Village Museum, which is transformed to a Heritage Christmas setting for the holidays.

Regardless of whether your ideal setting involves a private home surrounded by nature or the convenience of a bustling, urban center, Burnaby offers a wide variety of diverse enclaves suitable to many different residential ideals.