What Is It Like Finding an Apartment to Rent in Burnaby?

A city with trees and mountains in the background

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Life in Metro Vancouver has long come with a premium cost. The cost of living that Vancouverites deal with can be prohibitively expensive, and people are always looking for a way to cut down on those costs, especially rent.

Leaving the heart of Vancouver behind and going to live in other parts of the metropolitan area is a common move for both renters and homebuyers trying to take control of their budgets. It can still be expensive, but life outside the core is definitely more affordable, so we’re taking a look at what it’s like to find an apartment for rent in Burnaby.

Big City Life: Transit and Traffic

On its own, Burnaby is a city of 250,000 found just to the east of Vancouver, making it relatively central in the greater metropolitan area. With that location come two things: great public transit and lots of traffic.

Burnaby has 11 SkyTrain stops, with access to both the Millennium Line and the Expo Line. Unfortunately, the central location of Burnaby also means it gets a lot of car traffic clogging up the roads. That’s part of city life, though, and it’s hard to avoid in any central location.

Outdoor Recreation

People who love life on the West Coast often love it at least in part because of all the opportunities for outdoor recreation that exist for them, and Burnaby is no different.

In Burnaby, you’re just a short skip away from all of the same outdoor activities Vancouverites get to enjoy, like cycling on the seawall or hiking on the Grouse Grind.

Locally, there’s a gorgeous 5 km walk around Deer Lake or the waterfront Burnaby Fraser Foreshore Park, home to a number of animal habitats, creeks, and marshes. There’s also Burnaby Mountain, home to a golf course, places to picnic, and a great lookout spot with views of downtown Vancouver and the inlet.

Cheaper Rent Than Vancouver

Because of its location, Burnaby still ranks as the sixth-most expensive city in Canada when it comes to rent. There are much more affordable places to live in Canada, but if your work, school, friends, and family mean living in Metro Vancouver is non-negotiable, you’re going to find that Burnaby is significantly more affordable than Vancouver itself.

While rents are constantly changing, according to one report, a 1-bedroom in Burnaby was 20% cheaper than a 1-bedroom in Vancouver. That can make a significant difference in the average household’s budget.

World Class Food

Like many big-city Canadian suburbs, your dining options in Burnaby are incredibly diverse and come from around the world, with some truly sterling highlights that will quickly become your favourites. From Taiwanese comfort food to authentic Ethiopian tibs, sweet and sugary brunches to sushi made from locally sourced ingredients, you’re not going to go hungry in Burnaby. 

Renting in Burnaby is a great alternative to living in Vancouver. You still have to contend with heavy traffic, and it can feel a bit further from the great outdoors than places like North Vancouver or Coquitlam, but it has great schools, good public transit, amazing cuisines from the around the world, and you can find much better deals on rentals than in Vancouver.

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