The Story of Burkeville

As I mentioned, yesterday I drove out to the Vancouver Airport south terminal. As you head out that way, you pass the tiny community of Burkeville (here’s a map). I never hear anybody talk about this hamlet, so I did some research. I found this fascinating paragraph on its history:

Burkeville was laid out and built by the federal government during the Second World War to provide 328 houses for workers employed at the Boeing Aircraft plant. It was named for Stanley Burke, president of Boeing. The streets are named after airplane manufacturers. The plain, no-frills dwellings came in several standard sizes. Most have been altered to fit the needs of two generations of residents. After the War, Boeing sold the houses to returning veterans. The tightly-knit community, already encircled by airport uses, is currently threatened by the intended further expansion of roads and runways.” Ironically, the “plain, no-frills dwellings” were designed by McCarter and Nairne, who gave us the Marine Building. The name of the development was chosen in a competition among Boeing employees.

The entire community has about six streets, and flanked on one side by the airport runways and the other by a tributary of the Fraser River. Next time I’m out there, I must go early to stop and have a look.

5 comments

  1. I live practically right next to Burkeville and I have to admit that I’ve only wandered in there once, during a stormy evening.

  2. Did you know that if you Google “Burkeville,” this entry is the second result and the first one that actually relates to the Burkeville in Richmond? I had to research it for work today and they don’t have any website or useful info, so thank you… you just saved me a big headache.

  3. Burkeville is a friendly warm family oriented community. The community has it’s own park, amazingly well equiped children’s playground, school, fire hall, and tennis courts.

    Parents can walk their children to the Sea Island school which is only a couple of blocks from most
    Burkeville homes. No school bus rides required here. The maximum posted speed limit in the entire community is a low 30KM-H. No speeders tolerated in Burkeville.

    The community celebrates a summer fest during the “Burkeville Daze” in July. The community park (complete with extensive playground) serves as the perfect warm summer grassy venue with shady trees to compliment the BBQ.

    Halloween is a time when the community really gets into the seasonal spirit. Burkeville’s “Spooky Jordan’s” haunted hose is a Halloween attraction that is so popular that the City of Richmond temporarily restricted traffic on a few local streets for a couple of hours to facilitate “Trick-or-treaters”. Typically a burkeville house will receive about 150 – 200 “trick-or-treaters” during Halloween. After trick-or-treating the family can enjoy the Burkeville community Fireworks in the Park!

    During Christmas time it is not uncommon for the local “Sea Island” fire hall to drive through
    Burkeville with Santa riding on the fire truck throwing candies to the children. Don’t forget breakfast with Santa at the community hall.

    Burkeville also has the lowest crime rate in the lower mainland. The community neighborhood watch program is very strong and effective. An e-mail alerting program advises residents of any suspicious activity.

    An active community association offers interactive programs for all ages including adults at either the community hall or the local school. These programs include activities like Yoga, karate, chaperoned evenings out for youths, adults evenings, etc. (far too many to list here.)

    A local news paper published monthly keeps
    Burkeville community members in tune with many of the events and activities.

    As a long time lower mainland resident, I have found the Burkeville is pretty much the only “true neighbourhood” left in existence today. Most of todays modern residential areas are impersonal and disconnected, and don’t really qualify to call them selves a Community. On the other-hand, Burkeville is a true community with a real soul, where families live and thrive. If you’re looking for a lower mainland “Mayberry” in which to to raise your family, then Burkeville is the place for you.

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