As per usual whenever I go someplace I try to find something off the beaten track. Especially when I know the place I’m in well. As I come from Vancouver, I did some searching while I was staying in Burnaby (1 of the suburbs of the city). I found a nice little treasure in the Tian-Jin Temple.
It was a cool and slightly drizzly afternoon, but definitely worth the chance to learn something new about the area.
In 2012, it became a Taoist Temple that took over a church space and turned it into a beautiful place open to all and very tranquil. There is even a lovely garden which they have built around the structure. It is the only Kuan Kung temple in Canada.
The main altar mural is set in the old alcove of the church. It was painted in 2 weeks and it shows the sun, moon and stars with the Polaris star right in the heart of it. There is a lot of symbolism in the temple, it doesn’t seem like there is a space which doesn’t represent something or someone or sometime in their calendar year. Best to pick up 1 of their brochures which explains everything or ask anyone who is there.
I managed to go on a special talk which was organised through the local Burnaby library, but you can visit anytime and even sit in on their services. Their doors are open to all. A key part of what the temple does is to support the local community with various charity, events and out reach to help those in need in and around them.
It really is a special place and they are so friendly and welcoming, it’s worth a visit to understand this form of Toaism and to see how wonderfully multi-cultural Vancouver is.