Living in Coquitlam
The sixth-largest city in the province, and one of the 21 municipalities comprising Metro Vancouver, Coquitlam is at the heart of what is aptly called the Tri-Cities. Located on nature’s doorstep, with endless opportunities for outdoor adventures, it’s where city life meets wildlife, offering the best of both worlds. Living in Coquitlam will make you a part of a vibrant and growing community, filled with strong, successful businesses in one of Metro Vancouver's best kept tourism secrets.
The City’s History
The name Coquitlam comes from the Coast Salish word “Kwikwetlem”, which means “red fish up the river”, acknowledging the importance of salmon to their culture. The Coast Salish peoples were the earliest residents of the Coquitlam region prior to European settlement. The Kwikwetlem people have long lived along the Fraser and Coquitlam rivers. Although Simon Fraser passed through the region in 1808, European settlement did not begin until the 1860s.
Coquitlam began as a “place-in-between” since the area was opened up with the construction of North Road in the mid-1800s. While the purpose of the road was to provide Royal Engineers in New Westminster access to the year-round port facilities in Port Moody, the effect was to provide access to the vast area between and to the east.
The history of the early years is one of settlement and agriculture. Growth was slow and steady and, in 1891, the municipality of the District of Coquitlam was officially incorporated. The young municipality got its first boost in the dying years of the 19th century when Frank Ross and James McLaren opened Fraser Mills, a $350,000, then state-of-the-art lumber mill on the north bank of the Fraser River. By 1908, a mill town of 20 houses, a store, post office, hospital, office block, barber shop and pool hall had grown around the mill.
A year later one of the most significant events in Coquitlam’s history took place. Mill owners, in search of workers, turned their attention to the experienced logging culture of Quebec and in 1909 a contingent of 110 French Canadians arrived, recruited for work at Fraser Mills. With the arrival of a second contingent in June 1910, Maillardville was born.
Maillardville, named for Father Maillard, a young Oblate from France, was more than just a French-Canadian enclave in Western Canada. It was a vibrant community, the largest Francophone centre west of Manitoba, and the seed for the future growth of Coquitlam. While the passing of time has diluted the use of the French language in BC, it is still heard on the streets and in the homes on the south slope of Coquitlam. Maillardville’s past is recognized in street names that honour early pioneers and in local redevelopments which reflect its French-Canadian heritage.
Schools In Coqutilam
Alderson Elementary School
825 Gauthier Ave, Coquitlam
Baker Drive Elementary School
885 Baker Dr, Coquitlam
Bramblewood Elementary School
2875 Panorama Dr, Coquitlam
Cape Horn Elementary School
155 Finnigan Ave, Coquitlam
Eagle Ridge Elementary School
1215 Falcon Dr, Coquitlam
Glen Elementary School (French Immersion)
3064 Glen Dr, Coquitlam
Hampton Park Elementary School
1760 Paddock Drive, Coquitlam
Harbour View Elementary School
960 Lillian St, Coquitlam
Leigh Elementary School
1230 Soball St, Coquitlam
Lord Baden-Powell Elementary School
450 Joyce St, Coquitlam
Meadowbrook Elementary School
900 Sharpe St, Coquitlam
Miller Park Community School
800 Egmont Ave, Coquitlam
Mountain View Elementary School
740 Smith Ave, Coquitlam
Mundy Road Elementary School
2200 Austin Ave, Coquitlam
Nestor Elementary School
1266 Nestor St, Coquitlam
Panorama Heights Elementary School (French Immersion)
1455 Johnson St, Coquitlam
Parkland Elementary School
1563 Regan Ave, Coquitlam
Pinetree Way Elementary School
1420 Pinetree Way, Coquitlam
Porter Street Elementary School (French Immersion)
728 Porter St, Coquitlam
Ranch Park Elementary School
2701 Spuraway Ave, Coquitlam
R.C. MacDonald Elementary School
2550 Leduc Ave, Coquitlam
Riverview Park Elementary School
700 Clearwater Way, Coquitlam
Rochester Elementary School (French Immersion)
411 Schoolhouse St, Coquitlam
Roy Stibbs Elementary School
600 Fairview St, Coquitlam
Walton Elementary School
2960 Walton Ave, Coquitlam
Banting Middle School (French Immersion)
820 Banting St, Coquitlam
Como Lake Middle School
1211 King Albert Ave, Coquitlam
Hillcrest Middle School
2161 Regan Ave, Coquitlam
Maillard Middle School (French Immersion)
1300 Rochester Ave, Coquitlam
Maple Creek Middle School (French Immersion
3700 Hastings St, Coquitlam
Scott Creek Middle School
1240 Lansdowne Dr, Coquitlam
Summit Middle School
1450 Parkway Blvd, Coquitlam
Centennial Secondary School
570 Poirier Street, Coquitlam, BC
Dr. Charles Best Secondary School (French Immersion) (FI)
2525 Como Lake Ave., Coquitlam, BC
Gleneagle Secondary School
1195 Lansdowne Dr., Coquitlam, BC
Pinetree Secondary School
3000 Pinewood Ave, Coquitlam
CARE (Alternate School)
1411 Foster Ave, Coquitlam
John B Pub
Boasting 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 4 nights a week featuring the best local bands & DJs, and a unique spin on upscale bar food, John B truly has something for everyone. And be sure to check out their amazing Brunch Buffet every Sunday!
CUISINE: Bar, Casual Dining
MUST-TRY: Carnivore Combo Plate
WHERE: 1000 Austin Avenue, Coquitlam, BC V3K 3P1
PHONE: (604) 931-5115
Fairways Grill & Patio
Set on the mountain side, come enjoy Fairways’ locally sourced menu while taking in views of the Lower Mainland all the way to Vancouver Island from their panoramic patio. Savour on a delicious Pan Seared Salmon, bite into a Warm Goat Cheese Croquette, or take in their Weekday Brunch served Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
MUST-TRY: Grilled Marinated Ribeye
WHERE: 1630 Parkway Boulevard, Coquitlam, BC V3E 2Y5
PHONE: (604) 941-4219
With Canada’s largest Korean population making its home in Coquitlam, it’s no surprise to find a unique restaurant venture like the Smoking Pig pop up. Featuring an unbelievably delicious menu of melt-in-your-mouth Pork Belly, stunning Smoked Pork, and a mix of southern BBQ combined with trendy Korean. Come hungry and leave fat and happy!
MUST-TRY: Smoked Pork
WHERE: 1043 Brunette Ave, Coquitlam, BC V3K 1E7
PHONE: (604) 941-2947
MENU: Coming Soon
The Coquitlam Grill
Serving up a little taste of home with their mouth-watering home cooked food, The Coquitlam Grill is a place where you can relax and take it easy rather than worrying about which fork is which. And if you love breakfast but mornings are not your friend, never fear for they serve their extensive breakfast menu all day long.
CUISINE: Bar Food, Grill
MUST-TRY: Strawberry Cake Breakfast
WHERE: #108, 2635 Barnet Hwy, Coquitlam, BC V3E 1K9
PHONE: (604) 942-1337
The Golden Boot
A staple in Coquitlam’s vibrant restaurant scene for over 20 years, The Golden Boot prides itself on providing the best home-made Italian cuisine in the Tri-Cities area. Owner-chef David Azzi has always believed that there would be a market for traditional and high-quality Northern Italian cuisine. And so, at the Golden Boot, you will not find pineapples on your pizza, nor will there be any feta cheese in your salads!
MUST-TRY: Tortellacci di Modena
WHERE: #1028 Ridgeway Ave, Coquitlam, British Columbia V3J 1S5
PHONE: (604) 939-0855
What to do in Coquitlam
How does one begin to even detail the vast amount of things to do in a rich city such as Coquitlam? Well, this is by no means meant as a directory for everything there is to do, but we’ll break it into the sections of outdoor, recreation, shopping, and entertainment.
For those who enjoy the outdoors, Coquitlam’s plethora of parks each have their unique offerings. By far the largest and most expansive of them, Mundy Park is easily one of the city’s treasured locations. With over 178 hectares of forest, trails and its own lake, Mundy Park is a great place to go for a walk, a run or take in any of a number of recreational amenities. On its west side, you’ll find Spani Outdoor Pool, sports fields, ball diamonds, a lacrosse box, playground, a sheltered picnic area, and nine-hole disc golf course. If it’s park with bodies of water you fancy, Como Lake Park is a short drive away westward along Como Lake Avenue. East of Coquitlam Centre, Town Centre Park features Lafarge Lake in its centre, and is a stunning walk with views of Coquitlam vibrant high-rise residential area. And further east along Lougheed Highway lies one of the charms of the Lower Mainland – Minnekhada Regional Park. Originally a working farm and later a retreat for the wealthy, the 200-hectare park is stunningly wild, home to over 160 species, and the perfect spot to just get away from it all. Not just a destination for day-trippers and hikers, the park is also home to Minnekhada Lodge, a 1930s country estate that is a popular wedding venue due to its historical character and stunning views over the fields below. But if you’re more into smaller and charming parks, Blue Mountain Park, Mackin Park or Riverview Forest Park may be more to your liking. All in all, Coquitlam’s parks feature a mix of deciduous woodland and coniferous forest trees and are home to many bird, insect and mammal species, such as owls, butterflies and bats. Larger animals, such as deer and black bears also frequent the forest at various times of the year.
Hikers rejoice. You definitely won’t get complacent with having to go back to the same area for hiking. First of all, let’s dove-tail on the conversation above about Minnekhada Regional Park. Its hiking trails range from a flat path leading throughout the marsh to an uphill climb to the High Knoll, with incredible views looking over the wilderness and the Pitt River. If you want to stay closer to the city core, the Hoy Creek Trail is a short walk from the Lafarge-Lake Douglas SkyTrain Station. A peaceful 2.8km trail gives you a reprieve in nature, with a chance to spot salmon spawning in the creek. Over at Pinecone Burke Provincial Park, its stunning wilderness area is so incredibly wild and remote, you’ll feel like you’ve left civilization behind. Plenty of market trails and great views from the higher elevations make this a top spot. And if you really want to take in a serious hike, Westwood Plateau Trails is 23 km of trails that wind their way through city parks, natural areas, and greenways on Eagle Mountain.
Now, let’s for a moment duck inside and let’s say you want to spend the day shopping instead of being of being at the park or on the trails. Coquitlam Centre is at the heart of the city’s main district. Built in 1979 and expanded in 2001, it offers 910,000 sq. ft. of retail space, including key brands such as Hudson’s Bay, Guess, Sport Chek, London Drugs and even T&T Supermarket. Across the way from Coquitlam Centre lies Henderson Place Mall, which is a Chinese themed mall with unique restaurants and one-of-a-kind retailers. Then, if you take a drive westward on Lougheed Highway towards Vancouver, you’ll come across the Lougheed Shopping Corridor, which offers mega stores like IKEA, Canadian Tire, Staples, Canadian Superstore and Homesense. And over in Austin Heights is where you’ll find a larger number of the city’s professional offices for accountants, doctors, deli stores, medical service, and physiotherapy/massage therapists. Finally, if you’re an early riser on Sunday mornings, be sure to take in the Coquitlam Farmers Market. Launched in 1996, its Poirier Street location opens in early May every year and runs until October. As the longest running suburban farmers market in the Lower Mainland, you’ll find a wide variety of vendors gathering to showcase their products – made, baked, grown, or raised in BC.
After a day of shopping, it’s time to take in Coquitlam’s entertainment scene. Over at the Evergreen Cultural Centre, music, dance, theatre and comedy shows run every year from September through May. Offering a diverse roster of talent from across the city, and the country, the Evergreen is now in its 21st year and always presents something for everyone’s taste. Across Lougheed Highway and Highway 1, the Hard Rock Casino Vancouver is a great place to escape for a bit of Las Vegas in the Greater Vancouver area. Aside from the standard games on its casino floor, their entertainment brings in some of the world’s biggest entertainment acts, such as Matchbox Twenty, Trisha Yearwood, Sandra Bernhard, Chicago, Jann Arden and more. The nearby Cineplex Cinemas Coquitlam & VIP is one of the few movie theatres in the Lower Mainland offering VIP service that gives ticket holders access to an adults-only section. Order wine or a spirit of your choice, and enjoy seat-side-service for nibblies before the movie starts. If you want a competitive night out with your friends, Zone Bowling is the perfect to see who takes home the trophy, and Climb Base Five will challenge you and your friends to take in Metro Vancouver’s largest indoor climbing gym. There are, of course, seasonal entertainment events, such as the Summer Concert Series at Lafarge Lake. The annual Festival Du Bois, now running for almost 30 years, is the largest and most attended Francophone festival on the west coast of Canada and is held in the Maillardville neighbourhood. And around Christmas time, the Lights at Lafarge Lake becomes a magical wonderland to stroll through on a cool night.
What about recreation, you say? Don’t worry. We’ve saved the best for last! Let’s start by taking in a round or two of golf at either Eaglequest Golf, the Westwood Plateau Golf & Country Club, or the Vancouver Golf Club. If golf isn’t your forte, the Coquitlam Tennis Club offers lessons for juniors, adults, and hold tournaments from its outdoor club near Town Centre Park. Lawn bowlers will meet friends, new and old, at the Coquitlam Lawn Bowling Club. With over 150 members enjoying the sport from April through September, its extensive facilities include an attractive clubhouse, equipment shed, lockers, & one of the finest natural grass greens in the lower mainland. And lastly if you want a choice of a number of things to do in a day, the Poirier Sports & Leisure Complex is definitely the place to spend a morning or afternoon. At a staggering 190,000 square feet, this multi-purpose all-season complex features ice and fitness facilities with a lap pool, a leisure therapy pool, a relaxation area with whirlpool, steam room and dry sauna, diving boards and a number of accessible features. It also offers a variety of ice skating, aquatic, fitness and dry floor programs as well as drop-in classes. And for sports history buffs, the Poirier Sports & Leisure Complex is home to the Coquitlam Sports Hall of Fame.
Oh, and don't miss…
The Tri-Cities’ answer to Vancouver’s Grouse Grind, the Coquitlam Crunch is a steep urban trail offering a fantastic workout in a spectacular greenway setting. Described as “popular and somewhat challenging,” the Crunch runs from Guildford Way to the top of Westwood Plateau at Eagle Mountain. Originally part of the mid-1990s “Green Links” Initiative, the 2.2km trail lets hikers gain 794 feet in elevation – the equivalent of about 80 storeys. Don’t miss this exciting challenge, and be sure to come prepared!
Did you know that Coquitlam is home to one of the largest Korean communities in Canada? North Road is a hub of Korean business and activity, from restaurants and cafes to clothing shops and pharmacies. Here you can shop for everything from culinary delicacies to trendy clothing while checking out unique imported goods to food items you won’t find anywhere else!