Burnaby Village Museum - History and Facts | History Hit

Burnaby Village Museum

Vancouver, Canada

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About Burnaby Village Museum

Burnaby Village Museum, located at Deer Lake Park, is a must-visit historical site in the Greater Vancouver Area. The open-air museum transports visitors back to a 1920s tram-stop community.

Burnaby Village Museum history

Burnaby Village Museum began in 1971 as part of the Burnaby Centennial Project with a specific goal, according to the museum’s website, to create “a small town reflecting the early history of British Columbia.”

Originlly named “Heritage Village,” the official groundbreaking began on 11 April, 1971. Construction lasted only a few months, during which time the main Hill Street storefronts were built at three-quarter size of regular buildings.

The official opening ceremony was 19 November, 1971. Approximately 15,000 people visited the village, which was only open to the public for three days. The museum opened with a blacksmith shop, buggy and bicycle shop, general store, land office, schoolhouse, manor house (Elworth), ice cream parlour, apothecary shop, barber shop, dentist shop, Chinese general imports shop, print shop and tram.

Burnaby Village Museum today

Spanning 10 acres of land, the museum today constitutes of a reconstructed 1920s village, containing 31 full scale buildings and costumed staff demonstrating traditional trades.

Watch for businesses of a bygone era such as Wagner’s Blacksmith Shop, Way Sang Yeun Wat Kee, Chinese Herbalist, Seaforth School and Treble Clef Phonographs.

Some of the buildings are original heritage buildings, moved from other locations in the community and restored. Others are replica buildings, created to house specific displays and artifacts, including a 1912 B.C. Electric Railway interurban tram. The Museum is also known for the 1912 C. W. Parker Carousel, available for visitors to ride.

The Museum also offers a space for visitors to learn about First Nations, whose relationship with the land predates the arrival of colonial settlers. At the Indigenous learning house, visitors will form a better understanding of the significance of the land from an Indigenous perspective.

Getting to Burnaby Village Museum

Burnaby Village Museum is easily accessible by vehicle or public transport.

If driving directly from the city centre, head south-east on Melville St towards Burrard St before taking W Cordova St, Powell St, McGill St and Trans-Canada Highway to Sperling Ave in Burnaby. From here, follow signs to the Burnaby Village Museum.

If travelling from the city centre via public transport, take the subway (Millennium Line) to Holborn Station before riding the 133 bus to Century Park Way. The museum is a 5 minute walk from this bus stop.

Note that there are two entrances to Burnaby Village Museum — at the Carousel Pavilion and the Main Entrance. Free parking is available in the Museum lot.

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