Located on the southwest coast of Canada just north of the United States border, Burnaby is an integral part of Metro Vancouver. With a population of approximately 232,755 (2016 Census), Burnaby is a mature, increasingly integrated community and a central hub within Metro Vancouver. It serves as a regional focus for a variety of business, recreation, and education activities.

Occupying 98.60 square kilometers (38.07 square miles) on the Burrard Peninsula between Vancouver to the west and New Westminster and Coquitlam to the east, Burnaby’s elevation ranges from sea level to a maximum of 1,200 feet atop Burnaby Mountain.

Overall, the physical landscape of the city is one of hills, ridges, valleys and alluvial plain. Many natural features including two large freshwater lakes, naturally forested mountain parkland, an ocean beach, a multitude of neighbourhood parks and open spaces, many with fish bearing rivers and streams, provide for a breathtaking physical environment. A naval reserve was set up in the area that is now Central Park, and timber from surrounding forests was used to build British warships. Apart from that, the area remained predominantly rural until near the end of the century. Locals worked, for the most part, on berry and fruit farms.

Things changed in 1891 when the new Central Park interurban tram line connected Burnaby to Vancouver and New Westminster. Residential and business area sprang up around the new line, and Burnaby was incorporated in 1892.