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Coquitlam is a city situated in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, and it's the province's fifth largest city. It is 10 to 15 km east of Vancouver. Coquitlam's area is 152.5 sq km, making it the largest of the three Tri-Cities. Coquitlam made up of two large parcels of land, connected in the middle by a slender portion, forming a tilted hourglass shape.
Burke Mountain, Eagle Ridge, Coquitlam Lake and Coquitlam Mountain lie to the north. To the west of Westwood Plateau, in the large upper parcel, is the Anmore community. On the east, the upper parcel follows the west banks of the Pitt River. Highway 7A passes through the narrow centre portion of Coquitlam, with Port Moody to the west, and Port Coquitlam on the east. To the west of the large lower portion is the City of Burnaby, and Port Coquitlam lies to the east. New Westminster is to the southwest. On the south, the city follows the northern banks of the Fraser River. South of the Fraser River is Surrey.
Designated the "Regional Town Centre" in the Metro Vancouver Livable Region Strategic Plan, Coquitlam Town Centre is slated to become the city's strategic hub, with high concentration of high-density housing and offices; cultural, entertainment and education facilities; all linked by the TransLink rapid transit service. Many of the core public buildings like City Hall, the RCMP station, Coquitlam Library, the main fire hall, the David Lam Campus of Douglas College, the City Centre Aquatic Complex, the Evergreen Cultural Centre, Percy Perry Stadium and Town Centre Park are situated in the Town Centre.
Southwest Coquitlam is the original city core. It includes the Maillardville and Fraser River industrial area, as well as the large residential areas of Austin Heights. Austin Heights is Coquitlam's original walkable neighbourhood, with businesses along Ridgeway and Austin Avenues. The small community offers a great selection of shops, restaurants and services. The Austin Heights residential area — locally known as "The Bump" — includes Como Lake, a popular urban fishing and recreation area, and headwaters for the Como watershed. Many of the older homes on large lots in this area are being torn down and replaced with larger houses.
In Westwood/Burke, there's been a shift of the primary urban development to Burke Mountain over the past decade, reflecting the completion of development on Westwood Plateau — with 4,525 upscale homes and two golf courses — and the 2006 opening of the David Avenue Connector. The neighbourhoods of Mundy/Cape Horn include Ranch Park, Meadow Brook, Coquitlam East and Cape Horn. These neighbourhoods are family oriented, close to transit and shopping, and represent excellent value.
Coquitlam offers affordable housing options ranging from high-end apartments and new executive homes to smaller houses and duplexes, and a smaller selection of townhomes and condominiums.
Coquitlam began to develop as a community around 1889 due mainly to the efforts of Frank Ross and James McLaren, and their mill. Fraser Mills was one of the most sophisticated lumber mills in the area. At the time of its incorporation in 1908, the District of Coquitlam had 20 houses, one store, a post office, office block, hospital, barber shop, and pool hall. In 1910 a large group of French Canadian mill workers travelled across the country from Quebec to settle in the area now known as Malliardville. At one time, Coquitlam had the largest Francophone concentration in Western Canada.
Coquitlam is known for its large number of green spaces, with 80 municipal parks. In 2009 Coquitlam was designated as a Cultural Capital of Canada by the Department of Canadian Heritage. The city has a population of 150,144 (2019). From the 2011 to 2016 census, it grew 9.8%. It's a family-oriented city, with a median age of 41.1. Single-family houses with four or more bedrooms are the most popular type. Coquitlam experienced a twenty-year growth spurt beginning in the 60s, and 27.34 percent of the homes were built between 1961 and 1980.
Coquitlam's climate is warm and temperate, classified as Cfb by the Köppen-Geiger system. It's one of the warmest regions in Canada, where the average mean annual temperature is 10.2 °C (50.4 °F). July is the warmest month of the year. The temperatures in July average 17.7 °C. The lowest temperatures in the year occur in January, averaging 1.7 °C.
The average annual temperature is 9.7 °C. Coquitlam receives 1,969 mm (77.5 in) of annual average precipitation. Westward air moving off the Pacific Ocean is forced to flow up the Coast Mountains, causing it to cool and condense and fall as precipitation, in a weather process known as orographic precipitation. Coquitlam receives an average of 64.4 cm of snow each year.
Residents in Coquitlam have a median household income of $74,383, and the unemployment rate is 6.1% (2016 census). Coquitlam is still considered a bedroom community, and the majority of its residents commute to work in Vancouver, Burnaby, and other Metro Vancouver suburbs. The City of Coquitlam's growing and the diverse business community is driving job creation and economic growth. Some of the largest employers in Coquitlam include the City of Coquitlam, Art in Motion, Art in Motion, Coca-Cola, Sony and Rolls-Royce's Marine Propulsion division.
Key business sectors include Professional Services; Retail / Wholesale Trade; Manufacturing; Technology; Public Administration; Transportation; and Construction. A significant percentage of Coquitlam's labour force is employed in professional service industries like accounting, education, engineering, finance, healthcare, legal and real estate. Retail / Wholesale has remained strong in Coquitlam over the past decade, as the population and investment have grown.
A significant portion of Coquitlam's jobs are with manufacturing firms, many of which export products to worldwide destinations such as the United States, Europe, Asia and Mexico. Technology now accounts for 7.6% of the BC economy, and Coquitlam's technology sector includes clean-tech, digital media and wireless, health and life sciences, and ICT businesses.
School District #43 is British Columbia's third-largest school district, with a student enrolment of over 30,000 students. It has the largest international educational program in Canada, supporting more than 1,500 students.
There are twenty-five elementary schools for students kindergarten through grade 7. Three of the elementary schools provide French immersion programs: Panorama Heights Elementary School, Porter Street Elementary School and Rochester Elementary School. There are seven middle schools for students grades 6 to 9. Two of the middle schools offer French immersion programs: Banting Middle School and Maple Creek Middle School. There are five secondary schools for students grades 10 to 12. There is one secondary school that offers a French immersion program: Dr. Charles Best Secondary School.
35% of Coquitlam's adult residents have a university degree. The most popular field of study is business administration. Coquitlam College offers rigorous coursework in English language studies, sciences, humanities and social sciences, developing a strong foundation for university degree completion. Graduates are eligible to enter the best universities in North America.
Concordia International College offers programs in language; business and accounts; arts and sciences; hospitality and tourism management; information technology; polytechnic studies; and health, sports and exercise sciences. Concordia's reputation for excellence prepares students for the workplace. Vancouver Career College - Coquitlam offers a range of 34 career training programs. VCC focuses on preparing graduates for careers in the business, healthcare, art and design, legal and skilled trades industries.
Located in Coquitlam Town Centre, the David Lam Campus of Douglas College offers university transfer, career-training and academic-upgrading programs. The original main campus building houses the Therapeutic Recreation, Hotel and Restaurant Management, and Animal Health Technology programs. The Health Sciences Centre is a state-of-the-art facility for Nursing, Psychiatric Nursing and other health career programs.
Other post-secondary options include the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) and Simon Fraser University (SFU) in neighbouring Burnaby, or the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver.
The city's shopping hubs include Cariboo Centre, Coquitlam Centre, Henderson Place Mall, and Westwood Mall Shopping Centre.
Located along North Road, Cariboo Centre is a covered mall with plenty of parking, located minutes from SkyTrain. There are 23 stores and services, representing a mix of national and local retailers, anchored by Extra Foods and Petcetera. Coquitlam Centre is the largest mall in the Tri-Cities area, offering more than 200 stores and services. The 2-level covered mall is located at the intersection of Lougheed Highway and Barnet Highway. Anchor stores are Best Buy, Hudson's Bay, London Drugs, T & T Supermarket and Walmart.
Henderson Place Mall is a Chinese themed 2-storey mall in the Coquitlam's Town Centre. The shopping centre has 26 stores and is conveniently situated across from Coquitlam Centre. Anchors are Henderson Supermarket and Kirin Seafood Restaurant. Westwood Mall Shopping Centre located on the Lougheed Highway and features 14 stores, including anchors Real Canadian Superstore, The Brick and Winners.
Coquitlam industrial areas include Mayfair Industrial Park, Kwikwetlem Business Park and the southern Maillardville/Fraser Mills area near the Fraser River.
Coquitlam has a large selection of restaurants, pubs, bars and coffee shops to choose from. If you're looking for a quick bite or lunch, you might enjoy Austin Fish House, C-Lovers Fish & Chips, John B Neighbourhood Pub, or Pappa Leo's Pizza. For fish and chips, Austin Fish House and C-Lovers Fish & Chips have you covered.
John B Neighbourhood Pub is a great place to stop for lunch, to unwind after work, or watch the game. John B has the largest back bar in BC, with over 465 different spirits, one of the most impressive draught selections in the province with 86 different taps, live music four nights a week and a unique spin on upscale bar food. At Pappa Leo's they make their dough fresh daily and use only the finest ingredients. Pappa Leo's use a generous amount of cheese and toppings, which explains why they've won so many awards.
For something a bit more substantial, or dinner, Coquitlam has many of the trusted favourites found in most Metro Vancouver cities: Mr Mikes Steakhouse, Milestones Grill + Bar, The Keg Steakhouse + Bar, and an Earls in neighbouring Poco. It's the many ethnic restaurants that make dining in Coquitlam a culinary adventure.
If you have a taste for Asian fare, there are plenty of options. Pho 99 Vietnamese Noodle House serves great salad rolls and authentic Vietnamese noodle dishes. For fresh sashimi and sushi, there are Hiraku Sushi, Mega Sushi and Nagano Japanese Restaurant. Chada Thai Fine Cuisine has been rated Best Thai Restaurant in the Tri-Cities area for several years. They serve all familiar, authentic Thai curries & stir-fries. Kulinarya creates delicious dishes in the traditional Filipino cooking technique of pinoy, with only the freshest, locally sourced meat and vegetables.
Smoking Pig serves a delicious menu of pork belly, smoked pork, and a mix of southern BBQ combined with trendy Korean creations. The Bombay Restaurant brings the authentic and rich flavours of the East to the West, with traditionally baked naan bread, chicken pakora, chicken tandoori, aloo gobi and prawn biryani. Lazzez's Grill Indian Cuisine offers delicious Indian cuisine with a warm, friendly ambience.
If you have a taste for the Mediterranean, The Golden Boot and My Greek Taverna are sure to please. The Golden Boot Caffe is home to authentic Northern Italian Trattoria cuisine, in a small, friendly, family-run environment. My Greek Taverna serves the traditional and delicious Greek dishes made with fresh ingredients, using tried and true recipes handed down through the generations.
For date night or a special occasion, Coquitlam has several romantic and fine dining restaurants. One example is The Wild Fig Restaurant + Lounge, located in the Executive Plaza Hotel in the heart of Coquitlam. Wild Fig chef Boban Kovachevich has been awarded Chef of the Year by the BC Chef's Association (BCCA). The Wild Fig offers a global menu, with creative cocktails, weekly live music and dancing.
71.35% of Coquitlam's residents are vehicle drivers, and personal vehicles are the most common means of transportation in the city. Downtown Vancouver is a 36 minute (31.6 km) drive, via Hwy 1 (Trans-Canada Hwy). The Vancouver International Airport (YVR) is a 43 minute (41.1 km) drive via Hwy 91.
Coquitlam's proximity to major transportation networks has made it a strategic choice for many of transportation, logistics, technology and manufacturing companies. It's within an hour from the Vancouver and Abbotsford International airports, deep sea and river ports, and the US border.
Coquitlam Central Station and Lougheed Town Station serve as major public transit hubs, connecting residents with scheduled TransLink buses, SkyTrain and the West Coast Express. SkyTrain's Evergreen Extension runs from Coquitlam Town Centre, past North Coquitlam, through Port Moody, and then re-enters Coquitlam on North Road. There it connects with the Millennium Line of Metro Vancouver's SkyTrain rapid transit system at Lougheed Town Centre.
The West Coast Express is a commuter train that stops at Coquitlam Central Station. The train runs Monday to Friday, five times a day, west into downtown Vancouver, and east as far as Mission.
Arts and Entertainment
Coquitlam was recognized in 2009 as the Cultural Capital of Canada by the Department of Canadian Heritage for the city's important contribution of culture to its community identity, quality of life, and economic development.
The Evergreen Cultural Centre is a venue for arts and culture, featuring a 264 seat black box theatre, rehearsal hall, art studio, and art gallery. The Evergreen hosts a wide variety of community events and arts programs each year, including professional theatre, dance and music performances, art exhibitions, and arts education programs.
Located in the historic Maillardville neighbourhood, Place des Arts is a not-for-profit arts education centre. Classes are taught by skilled working professionals in the visual, literary and performing arts. The centre's Artisan Shop and galleries support local emerging artists. The events and performances make the centre a cultural hub, encouraging more people in the Coquitlam community to experience the arts.
The Coquitlam Heritage Society seeks to preserve, honour and promote the rich heritage of Coquitlam, by organizing events and workshops, and through the operation of Mackin House Museum. Built in the early 1900s, Mackin House was once the home to the General Manager of Fraser Mills, which at that time was the largest lumber mill of its kind in the British Empire.
The Coquitlam Public Library has two branches: City Centre and Poirier, and also the Terry Fox Library. The Cineplex Cinemas Coquitlam and VIP is a multiplex cinema that screens the latest Hollywood films and some new independent releases. The VIP Cinema offers leather chairs, in-seat meal service and alcoholic beverages at the VIP bar.
Sports and Recreation
The City of Coquitlam has over 80 parks and natural areas, covering more than 2,200 acres, and over 90 km of trails, including a segment of The Great Trail (Trans Canada Trail). Como Lake Park features a 1 km loop trail around Como Lake. There area lakeside benches, open grass areas, a picnic area and playground. The lake is stocked with catchable-size rainbow trout.
Minnekhada Regional Park is 200 hectares in size, with a marsh area in the centre, divided into upper and lower sections, separated by a dike and small footbridge. There are three primary trails: the Quarry Trail, Mid-Marsh Trail and Lodge/Fern Trails, and five lookout points. The full perimeter trail hike of the Quarry Trail, Fern Trail, and Lodge Trail is 5.2 km in length. The 6.9 km High Knoll Loop Trail is popular with hikers and trail runners.
Mundy Park encompasses over 178 hectares of forest and trails. There's a 5.5 km path that encircles the park, within an hour on foot. Other shorter interior trails take visitors on a scenic loop around Mundy Lake, or to the Lost Lake viewing benches. The park includes sports fields, the 8-lane 25-metre Spani Outdoor Pool, ball diamonds, a lacrosse box, playground area, 9-hole disc golf course and a sheltered picnic area.
Town Centre Park was named Best Public Space in 2017 by the Canadian Institute of Planners. The park features a track and field sports complex that includes the Percy Perry Stadium. It's a popular venue for local, provincial and national sports events. In addition to the stadium, there are five lit synthetic turf sports fields, one grass field, three baseball diamonds, basketball courts, a roller hockey court, six sand volleyball courts, eight lit tennis courts, a practice wall, playground area with climbing equipment, water spray park and skate park.
There are over thirty public tennis courts in Coquitlam, and ten half-courts and twenty-seven of them are lit at night. Golf courses include Eaglequest Golf, Westwood Plateau Executive 12-Hole Course and Carnoustie Golf Club.
Investing in Coquitlam
The City of Coquitlam is situated in the very heart of Metro Vancouver, well connected by TransLink and its two highways: Lougheed and Barnet. With over 80 parks and natural areas, it's one of the greenest cities in the world. It's been rated the Cultural Capital of Canada. With excellent recreational facilities, schools, shopping and dining, Coquitlam is a great place to raise a family.
Coquitlam has also caught the eye of investors. As the third-fastest growing city in the Lower Mainland, demand for homes and rental suites in Coquitlam is high. The city's proximity to major transportation networks is attracting businesses in the transportation, logistics, technology and manufacturing sectors.
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