British Columbia spans the entire West Coast of Canada. The City of Vancouver is a peninsula East of Georgia Strait, which separates Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland, as it is locally known. Boundary Road runs North-South, separating Vancouver from Burnaby to its East.
During my years there, from the 1950s to the mid-1970s, Burnaby was a Municipality with a stated population of 134,000, making it the largest unincorporated community outside of China. Not being a City was part of a plan by Burnaby to lower costs for its residents. Lower Property Taxes and unmetered water for $21 per year were just two examples.
Burnaby was divided into three areas:
- North Burnaby – Burnaby 1 (Post Office Zone)
- South Burnaby – Burnaby 2
- East Burnaby – Burnaby 3
New Westminster long eyed East Burnaby as its own, as a way to expand The Royal City. Unlike the rest of Burnaby, the roads were laid out to match New Westminster, which followed the bank of the Fraser River downtown. Well into the 1950s, mail to East Burnaby had to say “New Westminster” on it. School children got time off to participate in New Westminster’s May Day celebrations.