50s Burgers on Edmonds is a classic Burnaby spot with an old-school flare. (50s Burgers)

8 spots in Burnaby to visit if you’re looking for a blast from the past

If you're looking for a blast from the past in Burnaby that will send you back to the '50s, '60s, '80s, or even the 1920s, this is the list for you.

By Simran Singh | November 4, 2021 |5:00 am

From new buildings to malls, Burnaby is a rapidly-changing city. But there are some classic places that stand the test of time. If you’re looking for somewhere in Burnaby that will send you back to the ’50s, ’60s, ’80s, or even the 1920s, we’ve got a list for you. From old-school eateries to one of the city’s most well-known mansions, here are some spots in Burnaby to visit if you’re looking for a blast from the past.

50s Burgers 

 

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This long-time Edmonds eatery is known beyond Burnaby for its legendary burgers with a side of ’50s flare. The interior and exterior of this spot will definitely transport you back in time. Head on down and grab a housemade burger, hand-cut fries, and a classic milkshake while enjoying this retro Burnaby gem.
Address: 7741 Edmonds Street

Parkcrest Diner

 

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This cute little diner near Holdom Station is a much-loved greasy spoon, with a Chinese twist. The interior transports you back somewhere between the mid- ’60s and ’70s, with its old-school furnishing. Folks who visit love the food; it’s simple, home-style fare that will fill you up and leave you feeling satisfied.
Address: 5901 Broadway

Burnaby Village Museum

 

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This list wouldn’t be complete without the Burnaby Village Museum. This immersive open-air museum features displays and exhibits that transport you back to the 1920s. With nearly 40 exhibits, the museum includes period-specific homes, businesses (Wanger’s Blacksmith Shop, Way Sang Yuen Wat Kee Chinese Herbalist, and Treble Clef Phonographs to name a few), and even a schoolhouse. The museum’s main attraction is its beautifully restored 1912 CW Parker Carousel. The attraction is closed until BC begins Phase 4 of its Restart Plan. The museum is currently closed for the season but take note of its registered fall programing for workshops and classes.
Address: 6501 Deer Lake Avenue

Glenburn Soda

 

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This vintage ice cream shop in Burnaby Heights is a highly-rated local favourite. Its indulgent sundaes and milkshakes pair perfectly with the retro decor, and its wide selection of sodas will have you planning the next visit almost immediately while reminiscing of the classic soda shops of the past.
Address: 4090 Hastings Street

Burnaby Art Gallery (Fairacres Mansion)

 

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The Burnaby Art Gallery is a beautiful and historic site in the city that features incredible works of art. However, if you’re unaware of the gallery’s unassuming past, we urge you to read on. The building the art gallery is located in is actually a home known as the Fairacres Mansion, which was built in 1912 by American businessman Henry Ceperley and his wife, Grace. With its grand Edwardian features, the mansion was known as one of the finest homes in the Lower Mainland at the time. However, in a series of twists and turns, the mansion is now reported to be home to haunted happenings. Despite these creepy rumours, the home is an incredible piece of Burnaby’s history that still remains intact. A visit to the Fairacres Mansion today will surely transport you back into the grandeur of the city’s past and you’ll be able to check out amazing art while you’re at it.
Address: 6344 Deer Lake Avenue

Balkan House

While a visit to this Edmonds spot won’t send you way back in time, Balkan House does have a hint of ’90s nostalgia to it. Maybe it’s the dark wood interior or the restaurant booths that remind us of family dinner outings back in the day. When it comes to the food, Balkan House has been serving up delicious European fare for years and is a staple in the community.
Address: 7530 Edmonds Street

Viva Sue Pizza

Like Balkan House, a trip to Viva Sue isn’t going to transport you far into the past, but when you step inside you can’t help but get a feeling that you’re in a pizza joint from the late ’80s or early ’90s. Viva Sue is a well-loved Burnaby gem that continues to serve up pies that have folks going back time and time again. It’s definitely a classic spot that doesn’t disappoint.
Address: 5115 Canada Way

The “swinging girl” sign 

 

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The iconic “swinging girl” neon sign was installed in 1956 for Helen Arnold’s Helen’s Children’s Wear shop on Hasting’s Street. Arnold announced her retirement in 2006 and the fate of the sign was unknown. In 2010, the sign was acquired by the city of Burnaby. It was refurbished and returned to the neighbourhood. Its neon letters now say “The Heights” and the sign is considered a Burnaby landmark. When you’re passing by you’ll definitely notice why the beautiful vintage sign is a nod to Burnbay’s past.
Address: 4142 Hastings Street

Simran Singh

Managing Editor at Burnaby Beacon

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