We’ve already speculated that Burnaby is going to take over from Vancouver as the cool place to live in the Lower Mainland. But Burnaby is a big place, and has many different areas, and it is organized much differently than its neighbours Vancouver and Coquitlam. Unlike Vancouver’s East/West/Downtown divide, Burnaby has four main centres: Metrotown and Edmonds in the south, and Brentwood and Lougheed Town Centre in the North. All are connected by the Skytrain to Vancouver City Centre as well as Surrey and New Westminster. If you do move to Burnaby, you will discover all of Burnaby is civically very well managed, and there are beautiful parks, lakes and green spaces everywhere. So where do you want to set down your roots in this large and diverse place? Well, it depends on what your priorities are.
Metrotown has a lot of Asian-owned and focused shops and services, and a lot of great Asian (and other) dining options. It is very urban, with many strip malls and of course, the very large Metrotown Centre and Metropolis Mall right in the middle. Because of all the commercial and shopping activity nearby, Metrotown is great for younger people and singles who like to be close to the action. It’s not exactly beautiful or tranquil, but it is beside Central Park, it is on a ridge so there are some great views to be had from upper floors, and there are all the amenities at your front door. It takes 25 minutes on the Skytrain to get downtown, and the average price of a one-bedroom condo is around $730 per square foot.
BlueSky Metrotown (Bosa)
Station Square (Anthem and Beedie)
Edmonds is the sleepiest of the four town centres, and the one with the most upside potential right now. Parts can seem a little run down, but it’s one of the most ethnically diverse neighbourhoods in Canada, and most importantly, it is affordable. (Especially compared to the rest of Vancouver and Burnaby.) It’s up and coming, right now filled with low-rises and single family homes, but these will soon be making way for more density in the form of new townhome and condo communities. It is 35 minutes to downtown by Skytrain, and prices are around $650 per square foot.
King’s Crossing (Cressey)
Southgate City (Ledingham McAllister)
Brentwood is all abuzz with construction at the moment, but if you can stand a little noise and traffic interruption for the next couple of years, you will find yourself surrounded by one of the most vibrant and well-designed master-planned transit-oriented communities Canada has ever had. And if you buy pre-sale you can wait out all the hub bub and take possession when it’s brand-new. With the redevelopment of Brentwood Town Centre by Shape Properties, and another huge master-planned community right on the other side of Lougheed Highway by Concord Pacific aimed at creating a “second Yaletown,” this area will become a walkable, ultra-modern shopper’s paradise. New schools, parks, community centres and public amenities are also all part of the plan, and Onni is redeveloping the corner of Lougheed and Gilmore into an office/residential complex with even more retail. It takes 22 minutes to get downtown on the Skytrain (you have to transfer at Broadway Station). Homes average around $750 per square foot, and there are a lot of different options available at the moment.
The Amazing Brentwood (Shape Properties)
Escala (Ledingham McAllister)
Gilmore Station (Onni)
Concord Brentwood (Concord Pacific)
The Dawson (Amacon)
Fulton House (Polygon)
Lougheed Town Centre is right on the southeastern border of Burnaby, and as it is next to Coquitlam this area is also known as “Burquitlam”. This area was formerly known for an undistinguished mall, similar to Brentwood Town Centre, also owned by Shape Properties, and also slated for a dramatic redevelopment. Lougheed is the beginning of the new Evergreen Line going to Coquitlam, and it is also very close to Simon Fraser University, making it a great choice for students and instructors, not to mention as an investment opportunity. Many new buildings are springing up along the new Skytrain stations, yet the area retains a natural and green appeal, with ravines and large green spaces. It’s about 40 minutes from downtown on Skytrain and homes are going for about $620 per square foot in some places. Keep your eye out on this area, there’s a lot going on here and a lot more to be announced soon.
The City of Lougheed (Burnaby)
Union (Square Nine Developments)
Simon (Otivo Developments)