Visiting Burnaby for the weekend? Here’s 3 places you need to check out when you visit!
Deer Lake Park
Centrally located in Burnaby, Deer Lake Park is situated in the City of Burnaby’s arts and heritage district. This peaceful natural environment has often been described as an urban oasis, a hidden gem within the city. The boardwalk that encircles the lake follows the shoreline loosely through the trees, and provides a leisurely walking trail full of scenic views of the lake and surrounding mountains. On the north side of the lake, the festival lawn’s natural amphitheatre shape makes it a popular outdoor concert venue for performances and festivals of up to 10,000 attendees. Some examples annual events that take place at the festival lawn include the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s Symphony in the Park, the Burnaby Blue & Roots Festival and Livenation’s Concert Series. When there are no events taking place, the space is open to the public to enjoy. Overlooked by the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts, Burnaby Art Gallery, Burnaby Village Museum and Deer Lake Gallery, many people visit the lawn area after stopping in at these attractions to take in the view of the lake.
On the east side of the lake, there is a sandy beach and picnic area for visitors to enjoy, complete with a public washroom facility. Deer Lake Boat Rentals, located a short walk from the beach area, is a popular choice for park goers who are looking to take advantage of the temperate weather during the spring, summer and fall months. Patrons have the choice of renting canoes, kayaks and paddleboats to explore the lake from the water. The organization also runs popular spring and summer camps for children.
Deer Lake Park is also home to the Hart House Restaurant, a renowned fine dining restaurant and wedding venue. The three-acre estate on which Hart House stands was first purchased by New Westminster businessman Frederick Hart in 1906. The property was purchased by the City of Burnaby in 1979, and over the next eight years it was occasionally used as a film set for productions starring personalities including Bette Davis and James Brolin. The Hart House Restaurant opened 1988, and continues to enchant Hart House guests with its combination of a magnificent setting, outstanding cuisine, and warm, friendly service.
Burnaby Village Museum
Located in Deer Lake Park, the Burnaby Village Museum is a place where history comes to life. Established in 1971, visitors have the opportunity to stroll down the streets of the 1920s tram-stop community as townsfolk dressed in period costumes welcome them and provide demonstrations in the homes, businesses and shops. Popular stops include a chat with the blacksmith, a demonstration in the print shop and a visit with the clerk at the General Store. The property also features a restored Interurban #1223 train car and historic 1912 CW Parker Carousel, which still operates during the summer months. If you get hungry during your visit, the ice-cream parlour offers meals, snacks, and of course… ice cream! Admission to the museum is free, making it a fun and accessible choice for families.
Burnaby Central Railway
Operated by the BC Association of Model Engineers, Burnaby Central Railway is an outdoor recreational, miniature, passenger-carrying railway and an interpretive museum in Burnaby. Located on a seven-acre site in Confederation Park, visitors can enjoy a ride on any of the three battery-powered miniature electric and diesel locomotives, as well as a gas powered hydraulic engine. Whether steam, diesel or electric in appearance, all of the locomotives are built to look like ones that have been, or are, in service on railways around the world.
After you’re finished exploring the railway’s numerous tracks, why not take a walk down Hastings Street and explore Burnaby’s Heights District? The area is buzzing with local shops and eateries, including the Glenburn Soda Fountain, The Valley Bakery, Cioffi’s and Anton’s Pasta. The Heights is also home to Hats Off Day, Burnaby’s largest festival, which takes place annually in June. The event, which aims to celebrate the hard work of the local merchants and give thanks to their customers, is attended by over 60,000 people from all over the Lower Mainland. The Heights also has a number of family-friendly seasonal activities, including Light Up the Heights, Giro di Burnaby, Halloween on the Heights and Lunar New Year.