BC’s History Comes to Life at the Britannia Mine Museum

The history of Britannia Mine is fascinating. Located between Vancouver and Whistler on the Sea-to-Sky highway, this once thriving mine is now home to a National Historic Site and museum.

DSC_0091Once the lifeline of Britannia Beach, a “company” town, home to the workers of Britannia mine, this was the largest copper mine in British Commonwealth during the late 1920’s/early 1930’s.DSC_0106

There’s plenty of things to do here: One of the neatest activity is the mine train. This guided tour takes you deep into a tunnel, where you can learn some of the history of mining. Even on this day of age, mining is one of the most dangerous trades in the world. I can’t even imagine how hard it must’ve been (and dangerous!) back in the 1930’s.


Inside the tunnels you get to see some really neat equipment in action, including drills.


My favourite activity at Britannia is panning for gold at the Gold Panning Pavilion. It was so much fun! Best part? I found gold! Gold flakes anyways, but at least I got to keep them!


The impressive building that can be seen from the Sea-to-Sky Highway is Mill 3. It was once considered the heartbeat of the Britannia community. Here, ore was processed. The cathedral-like industrial interior is awe inspiring.


Britannia Mine Museum is open year round. Hours of operation are 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Tour Times

Monday – Friday: Every hour from 10:00 AM to 3:30 PM (last tour).
Saturday, Sunday, and Holidays: Every half hour from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM (last tour).

Most visitors spend an hour in addition to the tour to view the Museum in its entirety including exhibits, gold panning, the award-winning film and historical buildings on site. You may want to allow 1 to 1 1/2 hours for your visit, although many people stay for longer! Also is a good idea to bring a sweater, the underground tour can get a little chilly!



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