The tight-knight community feel is a major reason people look to buy East Vancouver and North Burnaby real estate. One of the big factors behind the “neighbourhoody” feel of these areas is their numerous long-running community events.
Here are just a few of my favourite annual spring and summertime community events in North Burnaby and East Van.
If you own a piece of Commercial Drive or Burnaby Heights real estate, you know both these communities have a strong Italian heritage. You and your family can help celebrate this local culture in all its facets at this annual community event, where food, dance, and music transform Vancouver’s Little Italy into one big street party for an entire day.
Learn more about the vendors and acts on the Italian Day website at italianday.ca.
One of the best things about owning a North Burnaby home is your proximity to “Burnaby’s Biggest Festival,” which has also been voted Burnaby’s best festival for a decade straight.
Stroll along Hastings Street from Boundary Road to Gamma Avenue and take in the sights, sounds, and tastes of Hats Off Day. It all starts with the Family Fun Dash and a big parade, followed by a street festival with live music, street entertainers, and food vendors.
For details on how to enter the Family Fun Dash and other events and contests, visit the official Hats Off Day website at hatsoffday.com.
For a few days each year, some of Vancouver’s busiest and most popular streets shut down to car traffic and open up to pedestrians. The Car Free Festivals on Main Street, in June, and Commercial Drive, in July, see the streets lined with local vendors, stages for musical acts, stations where you can partake in family-friendly activities, and lots and lots of delicious food stalls.
Car Free Day allows you to take full advantage of the sunny months and really get to know your ‘hood from a unique perspective.
For more information, see the Car Free Vancouver website at www.carfreevancouver.org.
Watch as international cyclists zoom through the Burnaby Heights neighbourhood for the Giro di Burnaby, the largest professional cycling series in North America, which has been running for a decade and counting. The grand prize is $15,000 to the winner. If you’re not quite up for competing yourself despite the prize money, then get in on the action by cheering from the sidelines.
If you’ve got an active teen in your family, they can enter the Boffo Breve for youth aged 12 to 16, which takes place on the same 1 km track as the professional race.
For more information, visit the Giro di Burnaby website at www.girodiburnaby.com.
Situated right where East Vancouver and North Burnaby meet, the Pacific National Exhibition—better known as the PNE—has made for fun-filled local summer nights since 1910. While the PNE’s amusement park, Playland, is open year-round, the Fair at the PNE runs for a few weeks in late summer, from mid-August. In addition to amusement rides and carnival games, the Fair at the PNE hosts numerous exhibitors, a kids’ discovery farm, beer gardens for the adults, and big-name musical acts each night.
To find out what this year has up its sleeve, check out the PNE website at www.pne.ca.
When you’re deciding where to move your family and build your new home, one big factor in every parent’s decision is the schools your children will attend. When you buy North Burnaby real estate, you’re also securing access to some of the best schools in the Lower Mainland.
Elementary schools in North Burnaby
With 12 public and two private elementary schools, when you move into a North Burnaby home, you know you’re also moving into a catchment area with a wide variety of schools that can meet your kids’ needs, whatever they may be.
Fawkes Academy, which has a campus located in Burnaby Heights, offers individualized and specialized education for children with autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities.
Secondary schools in North Burnaby
There are two public secondary schools in North Burnaby, Burnaby North and École Alpha, along with two private, Carver Christian and Saint Thomas More.
Whether your child decides to pursue French immersion into their high school years at Alpha, wants to join an active theatre and music program at Burnaby North, or intends to meet the highest academic challenge available at Thomas More (an Independent School) or the BETA Mini School at Alpha, their education opportunities are manifold in North Burnaby.
You’ve had many good years with your North Burnaby house or condo, but now you’re moving on to the next stage of your life. Whether you need more rooms for your growing family or you’re a fresh empty nester who needs to downsize, the time to sell your home has come.
While it’s no secret the North Burnaby real estate market is hot, to give yourself the edge and get the best price for your home, you’ll want to make sure it looks its absolute best. This is what’s known in the real estate biz as “staging.” There are professional companies who specialize in this, but you can also definitely take on the job yourself.
If you’re planning on doing the staging of your home yourself, here are a few key points to keep in mind.
1. Less is more
We all know moving can be stressful. Luckily, you can actually use home staging as a way to get some of the bother out of the way nice and early. Decluttering makes your home much more appealing for potential buyers, who can better see the bones of the property. It also means you’ll finally get rid of that box of old clothes you’ve been meaning to donate for one, two … maybe five years. Get rid of any extra furniture you’ve accumulated over the years, and definitely don’t have stacks and piles of anything anywhere.
2. Keep it neutral
You’ve lovingly chosen the colour palette for each room of your beautiful North Burnaby home, and it can be hard to paint over all that work. However, the fact is that buyers have an easier time imagining what they’d do when presented with a nice clean slate. To help you get through it, just think of the fun decorating challenge your next home will offer!
3. Show off the goods
You know your home better than anyone. In the same way you highlight your best features with the clothing or makeup you wear, the same principle applies to your home. Have original hardwood floors? Make sure they’re not covered up during viewings! Do you have that coveted southern exposure? While your teenager may fight you, make sure the blackout curtains are removed from the bedroom windows for the duration of the sale process.
4. Spruce up the kitchen
There are a few rooms that can make or break a sale: the kitchen is one of them. While you don't need to buy all new appliances, make sure yours have been deep cleaned and polished up. This is one area where it’s worth splurging on a cleaning service to make sure every nook and cranny is spotless. Someone else’s grime is on no one’s “must have” home buying checklist.
5. Don’t skip the details
While so far the advice has been to remove items when staging your home for sale, there are a few key spaces where you should add a touch or two. From getting the bathroom tile regrouted to updating the yellowed light-switch covers for something more polished, small DIY or low-cost fixes can be the thing that give your North Burnaby real estate that je ne sais quoi that elevates it over the property down the street. Make a list of worn-out or dated elements and figure out which fixes fit into your budget. Taken all together, these little changes can add up to a facelift.
3 Things to Love about the Parks of North Burnaby
You already know that Burnaby is one of the best places on earth to live, but did you know it also has one of the highest ratios of parkland to residents in North America? There are more than 200 parks! . When you buy North Burnaby real estate, that means a whole lot of nature right on your doorstep.
The enclave of North Burnaby has more than its fair share of those 200 parks, where all of its residents jog, play, picnic, and soak up the incomparable nature of British Columbia.
Here are our three favourite things about North Burnaby’s parkland.
1. Have you seen the water? (But seriously, have you?)
If you’re lucky enough to live near to Montrose Park, right on the border with Vancouver, you’ll get to enjoy strolls along the waters of Burrard Inlet whenever your heart desires. There’s even a railroad track, to make your Instagram snaps even more picturesque. The Trans Canada Trail, which is one big long recreational trail that spans the entire country, also runs through this park.
If you hit the trail on your bike and head west, you’ll soon arrive in Scenic Park and Stratford park, which offer their own stunning views of the shoreline and North Vancouver across the way.
2. The pure wilderness of Burnaby Mountain Conservation Area
Not only does this massive, 576-hectare park of mostly forested lands preserve the ecosystem that sustains the area’s diverse animal and plant life, but it also offers some stunning views from the top of the mountain—views that people travel from all over the world to come see. (And you might even be able to spot your own piece of North Burnaby real estate from there!)
3. North Burnaby’s parks are dog heaven
Within the Burnaby Mountain Conservation Area, your furry best friend will be glad to learn that they can be let off leash along a 1.1 km-long hiking trail, which takes you on an easy hike through the forest. Can’t trust your critter not to go chasing after a squirrel? The Burnaby Heights Park off-leash area (416 N Ingleton Ave) offers an enclosure so big that Spot will think he’s out on the trails.