Life in Burnaby for Immigrants – Students, Workers, Visitors

Find out why individuals want to immigrate to Burnaby.

Life in Burnaby for immigrants can be an exciting and lively city, full of attractions and places you can relax in the middle of nature.

More so, outdoor activities are an important part of Canada and Burnaby makes no exception.

Here, you can spend your spare time by visiting a number of cultural and heritage sites as well as wander through many parklands and enjoy various sport activities.

In this guide, you will find out why people wants to move to Burnaby in British Columbia.

More importantly, you will get to understand what makes Burnaby stand out from other cities in Canada.

Where is Burnaby located?

Burnaby is a city in British Columbia, Canada, located to the east of the City of Vancouver.

Situated about 8 miles east of Vancouver city center, Burnaby is a part of a large and very populated metropolitan zone of Vancouver.

Crossed by several major railroads and highways and serving as the western terminus for an oil and gas pipeline from Alberta.

In addition, Burnaby is one of the province’s chief commercial and industrial centers.

More so, it has important trucking, warehousing, and petroleum-distribution facilities, as well as forest industries.

Population of Burnaby

According to the 2016 Census, Statistics Canada reported that Burnaby had a population of 232,755, a 4.3 percent change from the 2011 census.

Furthermore, it is British Columbia’s third-largest city by population after Vancouver and Surrey.

Burnaby promotes livable, vibrant and sustainable economy by strengthening the overall well-being of its residents.

How to immigrate to Burnaby

The British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) is the best option to immigrate to Burnaby.

Provinces have the option to submit candidates for permanent residency under the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP).

These immigrants will be required to live and work in the provinces for a minimum of two years before they are allowed to move to another province.

All you need to do is to create an express entry profile. Opening of this account is free if you visit IRCC official website.

Life in Burnaby for immigrants as regards cost of living

Burnaby is a top-rated and sought-after destination for immigrants because of its proximity to Vancouver.

Furthermore, the city has become a hotspot for people looking to escape the high costs associated with Vancouver.

However, to understand the cost of living in Burnaby, We will look at the cost of living in Burnaby in two (2) categories.

These two categories should be reasonably represent how an average family will spend their money and will, therefore, be indicative of what it is like to live there.

1. Cost of Rent

The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment is $1,600 per month. A two-bedroom unit costs approximately $2,500.

Each of these prices represents a 20% discount from what you would pay to be right in the city.

Having that extra $500 or so per month certainly makes the cost of living in Burnaby less, but you should still expect to pay a non-trivial amount of your income towards rent if you choose that path within this city.

2. Housing

Recent studies indicate that Burnaby is the third most expensive city to buy a home in Canada behind Vancouver and Richmond.

The average cost for a house in Burnaby is between $1,450,000 and $1,550,000.

How multicultural is Burnaby

Over half of Burnaby residents have a first language other than English, with large Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, Punjabi, Filipino, Italian, Persian speaking populations.

Moreover, these are just a few of the cultural origins that make up the strong multicultural mosaic of Burnaby.

The city has a significant number of whites and ethnic Chinese, it also contains solid portions of Filipinos, South Asians (mostly Indians and Pakistanis) followed by smaller groups of Vietnamese, Malaysians, Africans, Japanese, Latin Americans and Arabs.

Weather in Burnaby

In Burnaby, the summers are short, comfortable, and partly cloudy and the winters are very cold, wet, and mostly cloudy.

The warm season lasts for 2.9 months, from June 15 to September 12, with an average daily high temperature above 68°F.

Furthermore, the hottest month of the year in Burnaby is July, with an average high of 74°F and low of 56°F.

The cool season lasts for 3.6 months, from November 14 to March 1, with an average daily high temperature below 48°F.

However, the coldest month of the year in Burnaby is December, with an average low of 34°F and high of 42°F.

Indeed, the best time of year to visit Burnaby for warm-weather activities is from mid July to late August.

Life in Grande Prairie for Immigrants

Life in Burnaby for immigrants as regards to transit

Public transit is one of the most convenient and affordable ways to get around Burnaby.

Whether you have just moved to Burnaby or you are visiting there, you will probably have to rely on public transit to get around.

With 11 Skytrain stations in Burnaby, and many more bus stops, public transit is a convenient choice for moving around the city and beyond.

To ride transit you will need to purchase a daily, monthly, or one trip pass. Visit Translink for fares, trip planner, and more.

The cost for a monthly pass is from $98 to $177 month depending on how many zones you need it for. In addition, a single pass is $3 to $5.75 for up to 90 mins.

More so, if public transportation is not an option, you can always use a rental car or hire a taxi.

With options such as Avis Car Rental, Enterprise Rent-A-Car and Hertz. You can take your travels beyond Burnaby- exploring the nearby mountains or attractions.

Furthermore, if you prefer taking a taxi, Burnaby has many companies to choose from, including Bonny’s Taxi and Capitol Hill Taxi.

Additionally, Burnaby is a great city for bike travel. Bike routes connect Burnaby from north to south, east to west and to neighboring cities on all sides.

Schools in Burnaby

Undoubtedly, the city of Burnaby has many secondary schools and post- secondary institutions within its boundaries.

Thus, below are lists of some secondary schools and post-secondary institutions in Burnaby, province of British Columbia.

Secondary schools in Burnaby

  • Gladstone Secondary School
  • Byrne Creek Community School
  • Burnaby North Secondary School
  • Cariboo Hill Secondary school
  • Burnaby South Secondary
  • Moscrop Secondary School
  • Burnaby Mountain Secondary School
  • Alpha Secondary School

Colleges and Universities in Burnaby

Fun things to do in Burnaby as an immigrant

Life in Burnaby for immigrants promises to be great if you know your way to the best locations in the city.

It’s well worth a visit, so be sure to check out these fun things to do in the city, which are perfect for immigrants, workers, students and visitors

Burnaby Village Museum

Burnaby Village Museum is one of the top museums in the Greater Vancouver area.

It is a little different from most museums, which is why it is popular with immigrants. It is where history comes to life.

In addition, you can visit the many businesses, such as the general store, school, barbershop, blacksmith and print shop, and see costumed townsfolk do demonstrations.

Central Park

Burnaby has a Central Park named as a tribute to the wife of David Oppenheimer, Vancouver’s second mayor, as she was born in New York City.

Burnaby’s version is a 90ha (222-acre) green space that’s home to a temperate rainforest ecosystem, lots of walking trails, a mini-golf course, tennis courts and small duck ponds.

It is popular with residents and local television and film crews.

Burnaby Art Gallery

The Burnaby Art Gallery dedicates itself to exhibiting “contemporary and historical art exhibits and events by local, regional, national and international artists,” according to the city of Burnaby’s website.

Deer Lake Park

Deer Lake Park is where you can find both the Burnaby Art Gallery and Burnaby Village Museum, as well as the Shadbolt Center for the Arts and Hart House Restaurant.

More so, there is a small beach and a popular walking trail that takes you around the lake. You can rent rowboats, kayaks, canoes and pedal boats too.

Attend an event in Burnaby Heights

Burnaby Heights is a neighborhood located in northern Burnaby. It does host some excellent events throughout the year including a Lunar New Year parade, Burnaby bicycle race etc.

More so,it is a street party is great for immigrants featuring games, parades and lots of fun.

Pros and Cons of Living in Burnaby

There are many reasons someone might be interested in immigrating to Burnaby, BC.

Nevertheless, there are also some cons that should be carefully considered before making decision.

Pros of living in Burbaby

1. Excellent public transit

Burnaby has some of the best public transit in the Lower Mainland. This is a great feature of the city.

The SkyTrain goes through Burnaby on the north and south routes, making it accessible to most people living in the city.

There are 11 SkyTrain stops in the city. Many buses run different routes in Burnaby. All of these public transit options make commuting easy and affordable.  

2. Awesome shopping centers

Two excellent shopping malls are located in Burnaby, Brentwood Town Center and Metrotown. Metrotown, specifically, is the largest mall in BC with over 400 stores.

You can find anything here, from high-end stores to casual west coast outdoor clothing.

In addition, between these two malls and the other shopping areas in Burnaby, residents are close to any store they might need.

3. Good education

We all need a good education, and Burnaby is a great city for high-caliber schools.

They are home to multiple post-secondary institutions, including the highly-regarded BCIT (British Columbia Institute of Technology) and Simon Fraser University.

Because Burnaby is a large city, there are also a number of great K-12 schools, both public and private.

In addition, there are many options for private schools, including religious private schools or specialized schools such as those for the deaf and hard of hearing.

Cons of Living in Burnaby

1. Lots of traffic

Even though the access to public transit makes commuting in Burnaby easy, the excessive traffic in the city can make it very challenging.

Some parts of the city, particularly around Kingsway Avenue or Marine Drive, are very slow-moving traffic corridors, which can be frustrating for those who rely on that route to get to work or school.

2.  Life in Burnaby for immigrants as regards high cost of living

One of the biggest cons of living in Burnaby is the high cost of living. In fact, research shows that it is virtually the same cost to live in Burnaby and Vancouver.

Consumer prices are similar, though Vancouver is still overall more expensive for housing, to rent and buy.

Recent data shows that the cost to purchase a home is currently averaged at $1 million.

3. Less natural beauty and access to mountains/oceans as surrounding cities

Generally speaking, to visit a beach, forest (hiking), or mountain (skiing), you need to travel outside of Burnaby to access it.

More so, residents with cars might find this not to be too challenging, but if you rely solely on public transit to move around, it is more difficult to access some of these nature getaways.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the big industry of Burnaby?

Burnaby is home to quite a few well-known companies. For instance, big technology firms like Electronic Arts, Eastman Kodak, Ballard, and Telus all have headquarters in Burnaby.

In addition, there are several other companies which have major operations in Burnaby including Pacific Blue Cross, Nokia, and Mercedes-Benz. 

What are the best places for nightlife in Burnaby?

These places are best nightlife in Burnaby for immigrants, .

Hop & Vine Tap House, The Moutain Shadow Pub and Arwaz Hookah Lounge.


Someone planning to move to the Lower Mainland of BC should definitely consider Burnaby, although it’s important to carefully consider the disadvantages of living there.

However, it still holds a beautiful and promising life in Burnaby for immigrants.