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Burnaby Geography

Burnaby is the geographic centre of the Greater Vancouver Regional District. This big, diverse municipality covers 98.6 sq. Km./38 sq. mi. It borders directly on Vancouver to the west: the north-south Boundary Road is the dividing line. South Burnaby is separated from Richmond by the Fraser River, British Columbia's longest river at 1,375 km./854 mi. To the north is Burrard Inlet with New Westminster and Coquitlam to the east.

Just 12 kilometres east of downtown Vancouver, by car or the SkyTrain rapid transit link, it takes approximately 20 minutes to travel from downtown Vancouver to the Metrotown shopping complex, which many consider the heart of Burnaby.

Burnaby's geography is varied. The terrain is diverse with hills, valleys and alluvial plains. Burnaby has an agricultural district along Marine Way that produces market garden crops. It's dynamic urban development has occurred around two large fresh-water lakes, forested parkland and hills, rivers and streams, and Pacific shoreline along the Burrard Inlet including a saltwater beach (Barnet Marine Park).

Burnaby's elevation varies significantly, from sea level to 365 m./1,200 ft. at the summit of Burnaby Mountain. Dynamic views of the Coast Mountains to the north can be enjoyed in many areas of Burnaby. Burnaby has abundant green space with close to 160 parks. In fact, 25 percent of this municipality is designated as green space.

One big advantage of Burnaby is its excellent road connections to the rest of the Greater Vancouver Regional District. Both the Millenium and Expo lines of the SkyTrain rapid transit system run through it. SkyTrain links Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, Surrey and the south east corner of Coquitlam. Future plans include extending the Millenium line through Port Moody to Coquitlam Centre.

Burnaby grew from farms and forests to Vancouver’s suburb to a major regional centre in its own right. Today the city is a thriving residential area containing major commercial, industrial, and educational activities.

Photo of Burrard Inlet