Burna-Boom 1925 - 1954

1925 pop. 20,000
1954 pop. 75,000

The Great Depression of the 1930s was devastating financially for many of Burnaby’s citizens and for local government. The Provincial Government assumed direct control of Burnaby in 1932 and with it the burden of welfare payments to the unemployed.

Under the control of a Commissioner, the municipality attracted several new large industries, such as the Standard Oil Refinery and the Ford Auto Plant, with land grants and tax relief.

This early industrialization set the stage for the most dramatic economic boom in the city’s history following World War II and the return of an elected Council in 1942. This period also saw the creation of significant park conservation areas on Burnaby Mountain, Burnaby Lake and Capitol Hill.

With its abundance of undeveloped land adjacent to the metropolis of Vancouver, Burnaby was a favoured site of post-war housing subdivisions, drive-in theatres, commercial retail and service centres and industrial parks. This new era of growth was marked by the construction of an “ultramodern” new municipal hall, centrally located to serve all residents.

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