Burnaby is the third largest city in Metro Vancouver with a population of over 230,000 residents, and it’s growing every year. It’s easy to see why: with fantastic schools, the best transit infrastructure in the Lower Mainland, and fantastic shopping and dining, Burnaby living is hard to beat.
What also makes Burnaby such a liveable city are its extensive recreational opportunities. 25% of Burnaby’s land area is dedicated to green space, and has over 200 parks! From salt-water sandy beach access to community centres, and picturesque lakes, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Here are some top picks:
1) The Trails at Burnaby Lake Regional Nature Park
Burnaby Lake Regional Nature Park is smack in the centre of Burnaby, but you feel like you are in the middle of a vast wilderness. No traffic noise – just lots of bird calls! Walk or jog part of the 11 km trail around the lake, and be rewarded with views of Great Blue Herons, bald eagles, and osprey.
2) Access to the Ocean – At Beautiful Barnet Marine Park
Barnet was an old seaside logging community at the turn of the twentieth century until the 1950s. Now it is home to Burnaby’s only salt water beach, and lush expanses of green space. Try kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) or go for a swim. Watch the freighters, tugboats, barges and pleasure boats go by. Or go out boating yourself, and try your luck fishing or catching crabs! (Just make sure you have a valid fishing license.) This is a spectacular, ocean-access park – and the sunsets from the beach in the evening are spectacular.
3) Deer Lake Park – A Cultural and Recreation Hub
Deer Lake Park is home to summer concerts presented every July by Live Nation (the biggest concert promoter in the world). It is also home to one of Burnaby’s finest restaurants, the Hart House Restaurant. Deer Lake used to be a summer home destination for wealthy residents of New Westminster and Vancouver in the early 1900s. Slowly, the city of Burnaby acquired the private land parcels to create a 304-hectare park for all to enjoy. The park is also home to the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts, the Burnaby Village Museum, as well as a lovely 5 km trail circling the lake.
4) Great Community Centres
Burnaby has 6 amazing community centres to serve its residents. The recently-built Edmonds Community Centre in southeast Burnaby opened to great anticipation in 2013, and has won international awards for accessibility and design. It offers a spectacular double gymnasium with floor-to-ceiling windows, an aquatic centre with lazy river, and fitness and gym facilities.
5) Excellent Hockey and Skating Programming
Burnaby is home to the largest indoor rink facility in Canada with 6 hockey rinks, one indoor soccer field and one dedicated figure skating rink! There are three other city-operated ice rinks as well. All these great sports facilities have made Burnaby famous for producing some of Canada’s top hockey players and figure skaters! If you want to get involved in skating or hockey programs, then Burnaby is the place to do it.
6) Indoor and Outdoor Pools to Stay Active Year-Round
Burnaby keeps swimmers happy with four indoor pools and four outdoor pools, which are open from May through September. Swimming programs for all ages, offered throughout the year, ensure that Burnaby residents can learn everything they need from proper strokes to safety and first aid.
7) Access to the Mighty Fraser River
South Burnaby borders the Fraser River, and the fantastic Burnaby Fraser Foreshore Park takes advantage of this incredible location and amenity. For a fabulous walk with great views of all the interesting marine traffic, the 3.9 km trail alongside the river bank is a great option.
8) The Views from the Top – Burnaby Mountain Conservation Area
The views at this expansive conservation area are well worth a visit. At the summit, visitors can view the stunning Kamui Mintara (Playground of the Gods) sculptures by Japanese artist Nuburi Toko. There are also vast hiking and cycling trails to enjoy.
You will never run out of recreational opportunities in Burnaby and will probably find a few special spots of your own to be active, unwind, and refresh. Enjoy!