Are you thinking about moving to Burnaby this summer? Are you looking for some pros and cons of moving to Burnaby?
The Lower Mainland of British Columbia comprises 21 municipalities and ranked #3 in a worldwide survey on the top cities for quality of life.
Vancouver is the most well-known of these, and right next door is Burnaby, a city of about 250,000 people. Burnaby is a thriving urban centre known for its sound public transit system, great shopping and restaurants, and excellent family-friendly communities.
It is sandwiched in between the Fraser River and the Burrard Inlet, and has the Canadian Rockies as a stunning backdrop!
There are many good reasons you might be thinking about moving to Burnaby. It’s right in the middle of the metropolis area and has a lot more to it than just being a suburb of Vancouver.
However, there are also some cons that should be considered. Overall, moving to Burnaby can be a great decision for anyone of any age!
Here’s a list of some of the Pros and Cons of moving to Burnaby.
Six Pros of Moving to Burnaby:
- Great public transit
Traffic in Burnaby can be quite slow-moving in some of the more dense neighbourhoods. Considering this, the fact that it has some of the best transit in the Lower Mainland is a great feature of the city.
The Sky Train runs through Burnaby with 11 stops, second only to Vancouver, which makes it accessible to most of the city. There are also many bus routes throughout the city.
The team at Robust Move has performed hundreds of moves to Burnaby. They know exactly how to cope with heavy traffic.
- World-class shopping
You can find anything here, from high-end shops to casual west coast outdoor clothing. Burnaby has two world-class shopping malls – the Brentwood Town Centre and Metrotown. Metrotown is the most well-known, as it is the largest in BC with over 400 stores!
With these two malls and a fantastic array of outdoor shopping areas in Burnaby, you will always find the store you need nearby.
- Excellent schools
A good education for yourself or your family is important, and Burnaby has many high-level schools. It is home to several post-secondary institutions, including Simon Fraser University and the highly-regarded BCIT (British Columbia Institute of Technology).
Burnaby is a large enough city to have a number of great K-12 schools, both public and private. There are religious private schools and specialized schools such as those for children with physical or learning disabilities. Altogether there are many options for choosing the best school for your kids to attend.
- Amazing parks and outdoor recreation spots
There are many great urban parks and trails in Burnaby for walking, running or biking. Visit Burnaby Fraser Foreshore Park, located on the Fraser River, and home to meadows, creeks, marshes, and wonderful animal habitats. Or take a 5 km stroll around beautiful Deer Lake.
Both parks are very popular and people of all ages and fitness levels enjoy them regularly.
Burnaby Mountain is a great place to spend an afternoon. Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy the view from the top of this 370-metre-high mountain that overlooks the Burrard Inlet and downtown Vancouver.
If you’re looking for a great place to swing your golf clubs, there’s the Burnaby Mountain Golf Course, located in north Burnaby. It has been rated by Golf Digest as “One of the Best Places to Play” in North America!
- Great History, Culture, and Community
Burnaby is made up of many smaller communities and neighbourhoods and has a great number of community centres, libraries, and recreation centres.
Burnaby residents can get involved in a wide variety of cultural and community events. There are plenty of recreation opportunities, such as swimming classes, local art classes, and visiting a library.
Burnaby Village Museum is another great draw to the city and provides a historical and cultural experience for both visitors and residents to enjoy.
Spread over ten acres in Deer Lake Park, the museum depicts what life was like in the 1920s era.
Stroll down the streets and admire buildings like Tom Irvine’s House, Bell’s Dry Goods, Vorce Tram Station, and Central Park Theatre. Afterwards, take a ride on the famous C.W. Parker Carousel.
- Amazing Restaurants
A very large number of Burnaby residents were born outside of Canada which makes for a very multicultural city. This diversity is reflected in the many great restaurants!
There is a large Chinese community in Burnaby, and a great number of world-class Chinese dining to experience.
Mostly concentrated around the Metrotown area and Kingsway Highway are amazing restaurants serving noodles, dim sum and other delicious ethnic food.
Some of the top-rated Chinese restaurants in Burnaby include the Burnaby Palace Restaurant, Double One Chinese Restaurant, and Chong Qing.
5 Cons of Moving to Burnaby
- Heavy traffic
Although access to good public transit makes commuting in Burnaby fairly simple, the excessive traffic in the city can make it quite challenging.
Particularly the areas around Kingsway Avenue and Marine Drive have very slow-moving traffic, which can be frustrating if you need to take that route to get to work or school.
However, Highway #1 runs through Burnaby and can be a quicker way to bypass the city itself. The highway can also get extremely backed up with traffic, particularly during rush hour.
The extremely heavy traffic might be something to consider if you’re thinking about moving to Burnaby.
- Less accessible nature spaces than the surrounding cities
While there are definitely some great outdoor spaces and beautiful areas in Burnaby, there is not the same access to the mountains and ocean as in other Lower Mainland communities.
To visit a beach, the forest for hiking, or to go to a ski hill, you need to travel outside of Burnaby to do so.
If you have a car you may not find this too hard, but if you rely solely on public transit to get around, it can be pretty difficult to access a lot of what nature has to offer.
If you happen to be a serious nature lover, moving to Burnaby may not be the right choice for you.
- Not a very walkable city
Burnaby is a large spread-out city with no downtown core. There are a few neighbourhoods that have somewhat of a downtown area and can be walkable, but the city as a whole is not great.
The city has a relatively low walk score of 60, which means that many areas are not too walking-friendly.
If you’re considering moving to Burnaby, it’s important to consider which area you live in if you plan on doing a lot of walking on a day-to-day basis.
- High cost of living
The cost of living in Burnaby is virtually the same as living in Vancouver, which is the second most expensive city in Canada. This is one of the biggest cons of living in this city.
Most consumer prices are similar to Vancouver, but renting or buying is still more expensive in Vancouver. The average cost to purchase a home in Burnaby is currently $1 million.
If you’re looking to buy an affordable home, the higher average cost can be very prohibitive. You should consider carefully whether it is worth if for you and your family.
- Some unattractive neighbourhoods
Burnaby is a big city, and some of the neighbourhoods can be pretty unattractive. Some areas are fairly run-down with litter, graffiti, and old ugly buildings.
While there has been a significant amount of gentrification (replacing older buildings with new more expensive ones) and development in the city, there are still some neighbourhoods that are less than desirable to look at.
This might be important if you are looking to move to Burnaby to live in a more upscale and visually aesthetic neighbourhood.
Burnaby is a great city to move to, with excellent transit, fantastic shopping and dining choices, great schools and excellent community resources.
The many parks, outdoor spaces, and entertainment attractions make it a fun and vibrant city to live in.
It is a truly culturally diverse city, with opportunities to experience and learn about other cultures on a daily basis.
However, there are some negative aspects to living in Burnaby. They include the high cost of living, bad traffic, the lack of a downtown core and walkable areas, and some pretty rough-looking neighbourhoods.
You should definitely consider the pros and cons, but overall, if you’re planning to move to Burnaby you’ve made a great choice!
If you’ve made the decision to move to Burnaby, and you’re looking for a reliable, professional moving service to get you there, look no further than Robust Move.
We’re five-star rated local Vancouver movers, with the experience and expertise to help make your move to Burnaby a smooth, worry-free experience.
Whether you’re moving from Nanaimo, Kamloops, or Surrey, we can get your family moved to Burnaby safely and securely.