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Search thousands of images depicting the growth and development of Burnaby from the late-1800s to the present.

Copyright note: Images provided on this website are intended for research purposes only. Further use of any image is subject to the terms of the Copyright Act of Canada.

Repositories: BVM, CBA


Textual Records

Access documents that record the story of Burnaby from the late 1800s to the present. Textual records include records created by the City of Burnaby, as well as Community Records created by local businesses, organizations, and individuals.

Repositories:  BVM, CBA, OCC


Sound Recordings

Listen to the sounds of the past. The collection features recorded interviews featuring the voices of people who have shaped Burnaby’s history.

To search by a specific Oral History Project go to Search by Project > Burnaby Oral History Projects below.

Repository:  CBA, BVM


Moving Images

Watch history on film. The moving images collection includes home movies and produced films that offer a vivid look at the community’s more recent history.

To search for home movies from the Digney Family, and Freeman George McLean, as well as the Burnaby School Board’s “Investment in Youth”, and the Civil Defence Board’s “Operation Mink Farm”, go to Search by Project > Moving Images Project below.

Repositories:  CBA, BVM



View historical objects from the collection of the Burnaby Village Museum. The collection includes thousands of objects that illustrate Burnaby’s history.

Repository:  BVM



Search a catalogue of books and published material, including several fully searchable digital books. The collection includes out-of—print books related to Burnaby, as well as general historical topics and rare books. 

To search for nine newly searchable digital books about Burnaby’s history, go to Search by Project > Book Digitization Pilot Project below. 

Repository:  BVM



City Bylaws

Access every bylaw ever adopted by the City of Burnaby from its incorporation in 1892 until the Present.

Repository:  OCC


Council Minutes and Council Reports

This collection contains proceedings of City Council, including minutes, reports and public hearings from 1894 to present.

Council records from 1892-1893 are unavailable.  These records were destroyed in the Great Fire of New Westminster in 1898.

Access to in camera minutes is restricted in accordance with Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act legislation. Contact the City Archives for details or find out more about FOIPPA and the City of Burnaby here

Council minutes and proceedings from 2015 to present are also available on the City of Burnaby website.

Repositories:  CBA, OCC


Landmark Descriptions

Learn about Burnaby’s heritage buildings. The Heritage Landmarks collection includes both protected heritage buildings and structures, and an inventory of other heritage sites and resources in the City that do not have legal protection, but nevertheless, contribute to the heritage and character of the City.

Protected Heritage Resources

Heritage Resources Inventory

Repository:  BHP


Cartographic Materials; Architectural & Technical Drawings

Cartographic Materials

Access maps and plans that document the geographic land use,  land settlement, transportation and development of Burnaby and British Columbia from the late 1800s to 2000s. Cartographic materials include records created by the City of Burnaby as well as Provincial Land Surveyors, property owners, Government Departments, Real Estate developers  and publishers.

Repositories: CBA, BVM

Search Cartographic Materials

Architectural & Technical Drawings

A small collection of Historic Architectural and Technical Drawings are made available by the Burnaby Village Museum.

Repository: BVM

Search Architectural & Technical Drawings

For Building Plans and Permits, see Building Department Brochure for information on how to access Building Department Records or for assistance, visit the City of Burnaby's Planning and Building Department.

Search by Neighbourhood

Search by current neighbourhood Search by current neighbourhood
Search by historic neighbourhood Search by historic neighbourhood

Search by Project

Heritage Burnaby was created to make it easy for people to learn about the City of Burnaby’s heritage resources. The project was developed under the guidance of the Community Heritage Commission with the support of City Council. The Burnaby Historical Society provided access to thousands of documents and photographs from their collection, and provided the original vision to see Burnaby’s history preserved and made available to every citizen. The project also received support from the BC History Digitization Program of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, University of British Columbia. Shortly after the site was launched, during Heritage Week in February 2008, it received a Provincial award from the Heritage Society of BC.

In 2015, the Heritage Burnaby website was upgraded to meet changes in technology and provide users with a higher level of performance that they enjoy today. To learn more, go to the “About Us” page under “Awards”.

With support from the Community Heritage Commission and Burnaby City Council, nine books of Burnaby’s history have now been made fully searchable as part of the 2015 website upgrade.  


The donation of a collection of 8mm films by Burnaby Freeman George McLean was the impetus behind a moving images digitization project.  With support from the Community Heritage Commission and Burnaby City Council, several films were digitized that can now be watched through the Heritage Burnaby website.  The collection includes home movies from the Digney Family, and produced films such as the Burnaby School Board’s “Investment in Youth” film, and a film called “Operation Mink Farm” created by the Civil Defence Board in 1955.  Though a relatively small collection, the films offer a rare glimpse into our community’s past in vivid moving images.


In 2012, with support from the Community Heritage Commission and Burnaby City Council, twenty-eight interviews were completed, featuring current Burnaby residents.  These digitized and indexed recordings of their memories of Burnaby in the 1940s and 1950s are available to listen to here.


This project consists of a collection of oral history recordings that were digitized in 2010, allowing them to be accessible on the Heritage Burnaby Website. The oral history interviews were conducted by Burnaby Village Museum staff and Burnaby Historical Society members as well as Simon Fraser University history students during the 1970s and 1980s and focus predominantly on Burnaby in the 1930s. The project was initiated by the Community Heritage Commission with support from City of Burnaby Council and the BC History Digitization Program of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, University of British Columbia. It was recognized by the Heritage Society of BC with an award in 2012.


The Charting Change atlas created an interactive map-based search featuring photographs, landmarks, and artifacts. It can be searched by neighbourhood, and by time period, to provide a fascinating look at how Burnaby has developed.  The atlas received top recognition from ArchiveNext’s “Best Archives on the Web” for “Best Re-Purposing of Descriptive Data.” The atlas was the culmination of a project initiated in 2001 by Burnaby’s Community Heritage Commission.  Financial support of the Department of Canadian Heritage through the Canadian Culture Online Program made the project possible. The Charting Change Atlas was updated in 2016 to enhance user experience utilizing the storytelling app, Story Maps.



This project consists of a collection of interrelated interviews with 23 people with the purpose to explore the history of Burnaby Mountain. A wide range of topics are covered such as recreation and other uses made of the mountain, the history of setting aside and managing parkland on the mountain, the mountain as home, and values assigned to the natural features of the mountain. The time period covered is primarily between 1930 and 2015.