With a population of 234,000, Burnaby is the third-largest city in Metro Vancouver and in British Columbia. It has no single centre. City Hall sits in science fiction isolation beside tranquil Deer Lake and its park. Commercial and residential growth is focused in “town centres,” three of them anchored by enormous shopping malls: Brentwood, Lougheed and especially Metrotown.
Edmonds, a fourth town centre, is the runt of the litter. I travelled there to measure its shape and size in summer 2014, landing at Greenford Ave. and setting out along the south side of Kingsway. Other than a block of shops on the north side, Kingsway seemed kind of a mess, mixing automotive lots with ageing towers.
I held out hope that Edmonds Street, narrower and quieter, would offer more charm. The intersection of Edmonds and Kingsway was the site of the first Burnaby municipal hall, built in 1899 when this was still a rural district. Edmonds Street, five kilometres east of Metrotown, has the makings of a village shopping street, supported by decent public transit and a stock of nearby walk-up apartment buildings. Continue reading