The Vancouver eastern suburbs are a group of municipalities to the east of Vancouver in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, Canada. This region lies north of the Fraser River and west of the Pitt River. The region is fairly urban and defined by its relationship to Vancouver.
- 1 Burnaby — home of the expansive Metropolis at Metrotown shopping mall, and the equally expansive Burnaby Central Park
- 2 New Westminster — a small town that never grew up, it has a nice riverfront promenade and beautiful old neighbourhoods
- 3 Coquitlam — suburban sprawl with some beautiful parks
- 4 Port Moody — includes Belcarra and Anmore; more sprawl, but the 3-km Shoreline Trail provides some nice views
- 1 Pinecone Burke Provincial Park — it has canoe access to Widgeon Slough and from there hiking trails that lead to Widgeon Lake, and a network of old logging roads, hiking and mountain biking trails on Burke Mountain
Get in and around
Highways 1 and 7 (Lougheed Highway) are the main roads connecting the eastern suburbs with Vancouver to the west and Surrey and the Fraser Valley to the south and east. Highway 91A connects New Westminster to Richmond and Delta in Vancouver southern suburbs.
By public transit
Translink, which provides public transit to the much of the Lower Mainland, provides bus and Skytrain service to the eastern suburbs. Skytrain provides reliable transit from Vancouver and Surrey to Burnaby, New Westminster and through Port Moody to central Coquitlam where you can connect to the limited West Coast Express train service out to the Fraser Valley communities of Maple Ridge and Mission. Travels times are approximately 20-30 minutes to Vancouver and 10-20 minutes to Surrey.
Buses provide service from Vancouver, Surrey, Richmond, the North Shore and Pitt Meadows. Visit the Translink website to get current fare information. The Translink system is described in more detail in the Vancouver "Get around" section.
These communities are situated between Vancouver International Airport (YVR) and Abbotsford International Airport, although YVR has much better transfer options if you do not have a car. The drive from either airport to the eastern suburbs is 20-60 minutes, depending on where you are going. Public transit (bus route #100) provides a direction connection from the airport to southern Burnaby and New Westminster. Transfers to other routes will be necessary to go elsewhere. Airport taxis and limo services also provide connections from the airport to the cities in the region. Please see the Vancouver article for further details.
The eastern suburbs are smaller tourist destinations than central Vancouver or the North Shore areas, but there are some wonderful pockets to make it worth venturing out if you want to explore beyond Vancouver. There are a number of parks that are worth visiting as well as some small museums and galleries. One great destination in Burnaby is Deer Lake Park which has pleasant walking trails, boat rentals, the Burnaby Art Gallery and Shadbolt Centre for the Arts, public gardens and Burnaby Village Museum and Carousel.. Towering over Burrard Inlet is Burnaby Mountain Park, provides wooded walking trails, including a segment of the Trans Canada Trail, a manicured rose garden, views of Vancouver and the Burrard Inlet and a fine dining restaurant, Horizons. Further north, where the mountains start in Coquitlam, Pinecone-Burke Provincial Park is a much more rugged experience. Its difficult to decide if the best park in the region is Coquitlam's Mundy Park, Belcarra Regional Park or the Buntzen Lake Hydro Recreation Site in Anmore, with its pretty lake, beach and varied hiking trails. The Port Moody waterfront with its bandshell, museum and string of craft breweries have become a local hub of activity and a great place to visit with easy transit access.
If you want to do some walking or hiking, there's no shortage of trails in the region. Good spots for a gentle stroll are the boardwalk in New Westminster, the Shoreline Trail in Port Moody or the Traboulay Trail in Port Coquitlam. Buntzen Lake in Anmore offers a variety of hikes from short and easy to day-long climbs to ridge tops. And if you're looking for something more mountainous, Pinecone-Burke Provincial Park has many miles of trails with day and multi-day hikes.
Many of the parks also have water activities. There are sandy beaches and boating options at Buntzen Lake and Belcarra Regional Park in Belcarra. Boat rentals are available in the summer at Rocky Point, Belcarra and Deer Lake. Swimming is also available at some of the city parks in Port Moody. Pinecone-Burke Provincial Park is a good spot for trout and salmon fishing.
For arts and culture, you can visit Burnaby Village Museum, the Port Moody Station Museum, or Irvine House in New Westminster.
Port Moody is home to what is referred to locally as Brewer's Row. You have your choice of four breweries along Murray St, three of which are across the street from Rocky Point Park with views of the Burrard Inlet. There is typically at least one food truck near by, so grab a beer and enjoy the scenery. The easiest way to get there is to use the Skytrain evergreen extension, and get off at Moody Centre.