Since water flows downhill, a logical place to start is to understand the hills in my neighbourhood.

A topographic map of the Burrard Peninsula.
A topographic map of the Burrard Peninsula.

Three main topological features define how water flows in the Vancouver-Burnaby-New West area:

These features divide the Burrard Peninsula into four watersheds, which determine where a falling raindrop will flow

A topographic map of the Burrard Peninsula, divided into four coloured regions as described above. Arrows indicate the flow of water within each region.
The main watersheds of the Burrard Peninsula.

(More detailed watershed maps can be found on the websites of the City of Vancouver and the City of Burnaby.)

Most of the historic streams of Vancouver have been developed over, so rainwater now is mainly conveyed through storm drains and groundwater. In contrast, Burnaby still has plenty of streams carrying rain through its watersheds.

This summer, I’ll be exploring these streams and attempting to trace them from source to mouth. Stay tuned for more!