Coquitlam is located on the north side of the Fraser River approximately
40 minutes driving time east of Vancouver. Coquitlam is a neighbour
and is bordered by the municipalities of Anmore,
Moody, Port Coquitlam and New
Coquitlam was initially established with the building of the North
Road by the Royal Engineers from New Westminster to the port facility
of Port Moody. The North Road passed through a vast area that was
later developed with agricultural, forestry and business interests.
Eventually Fraser Mills, a modern sawmill at the time, was established
and the community of Coquitlam followed housing the workers.
Fraser Mills soon developed into one of the largest wood mills on
the Fraser River and needed to attract more workers. Large contingents
of experienced forestry workers from the province of Quebec were
recruited between 1909 and 1910 to come and work for Fraser Mills.
The workers banded together and a small settlement in Coquitlam
called Maillardville Village was eventually established.
Maillardville is named in honour of Father Edmond Maillard who,
as an Oblate missionary, built the first parish outside of New Westminster.
Father Maillard helped assist and counsel the newcomers arriving
from Quebec. In time Maillardville became the largest French Canadian
settlement in British Columbia and the largest francophone community
west of Manitoba.
During the 1960's and 1970's, Coquitlam's housing was a little more
affordable and served as a bedroom community for the workers commuting
to work throughout Vancouver and other parts of the Lower Mainland.
The community experienced a large expansion and required big infrastructure
projects being built such as the original Port Mann Bridge in 1964
crossing over the Fraser River to Surrey.
Mills Station Museum
To view some of this history try visiting the Fraser Mills Station
Museum located in Heritage Square in Maillardville. Situated permanently
at the Place des Arts, the Fraser Mills Station Museum highlights
this proud French Canadian past. Open by appointment only, you can
call (604) 466-1555 to arrange a visit.
Another museum that focuses on Coquitlam's mill history is situated
at Mackin House located at 1116 Brunette Avenue. Mackin House Museum
features a large collection of historic photos by long-time Coquitlam
historian Tony Paré.
Today Coquitlam is further developing areas such as the master-planned
community called Westwood Plateau. Built on the grounds of the old
2.9 km (1.8-mile) Westwood road-racing track that operated from
1959 and eventually closed in 1990, Westwood Plateau has developed
an area of high-end residential homes for up to 25,000 people on
1,400 acres of land.
Westwood Plateau is being developed by Westbild who is headed by
the highly successful Iranian entrepreneur, Hassan Khosrowshahi.
Hassan Khosrowshahi had previously developed the electronics giant,
Future Shop, now part of the Best Buy chain.
Two highly visible Street of Dreams events were hosted by Westbild
and participating builders, in 1992 and 1994. Homes of up to $2
million were built in conjunction with these events. The 'Street
of Dreams' concept helped launch the master development plans that
include an 18-hole golf course called Westwood Plateau Golf.
Located near Westwood Plateau is Coquitlam Centre, Coquitlam's largest
shopping mall. The mall is situated on 57 acres of land and is located
at 2929 Barnet Highway just east of Port Moody. At Coquitlam Centre,
you can find a London Drugs, Sears, Sport Chek, Starbucks, The Bay,
T&T Supermarket, Zellers, H&M, Coast Mountain Sports, Future
Shop and a Golf Town.
Hwy 7 and United Boulevard
The two other large shopping districts that have some large warehouse
style shopping in Coquitlam are on either side of Trans-Canada Hwy
1 just west of the Port Mann Bridge from Surrey. You can go towards
north either to the Lougheed Hwy 7 which has IKEA, automotive-related
products or on the south side United Boulevard which has the large
warehouse-style furniture and retail stores.
Some major retail stores located nearby include: Home Depot, Ethan
Allen, ScanDesigns, Couch Potato The Sofa Co, Ashley Furniture Home
Store, Jordans Interiors, Eq3 Furniture, House Of Chippendale, Home
Delight, La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries, M J M Furniture Centre Ltd,
Norwalk The Furniture Idea, Rob's Furniture, Roma Furniture and
Sandy's Furniture Ltd., Sofa Unlimited, United Furniture Warehouse,
and Vancouver Furniture Emporium.
Rock Casino Vancouver
For adult entertainment, Coquitlam is home to the Hard Rock Casino
Vancouver that, besides gaming, has a main attraction, called The
Theatre. Bringing in top acts from all over the world, The Theatre
at the Hard Rock Casino Vancouver is worth the visit especially
if you are a fan of photos of famous entertainers.
For entertaining the kids make sure you visit Crash Crawly's an
adventure fun centre for kids located by Office Depot. Crash Crawly's
offers a great spot for birthday parties featuring laser tag, ball
pits and Café Sante Fe.
Also located near the Boulevard Casino is Maquabeak Park where you
can get the most amazing view of the Port Mann Bridge crossing to
Surrey over the Fraser River. There is ample parking plus access
to the Coquitlam River Trail system which offers wildlife and bird
The mouth of the Coquitlam River has been the traditional hunting
grounds of the Kwikwetlem First Nations. The Kwikwetlem First Nations
have two reserves along the Coquitlam River. One in Coquitlam, called
I.R. #1, which is near the mouth of Coquitlam River at the Fraser
River. Then, on the east side of the Red Bridge across the Coquitlam
River in Port Coquitlam, resides I.R. #2.
Coquitlam has a hidden jewel of a park called Mundy Park. If you
can, try not to miss visiting Mundy Park which is set in an area
of urban forests with self-guided nature walks that form loops around
Mundy Lake. Other trails lead you to the east side of Mundy Park
near Lost Lake.
Lake Park and Buntzen Lake
Coquitlam has a number of other parks found throughout with a couple
of favourites including Como Lake Park and Buntzen Lake in nearby
Anmore. Como Lake features outdoor pool, trails Buntzen Lake is
the site of a dam owned by the electrical utility BC Hydro featuring
trails, beautiful sandy beach area, picnic spot and great canoeing.
Coquitlam belongs to a larger area called the Tri-Cities which include
two other communities of Port Coquitlam and Port Moody. With these
two other communities, parks the outdoor recreation pursuits are
unlimited. Some favourite pursuits include cycling the Traboulay
Poco Trail, exploring along the Pitt River and boating in Burrard
Inlet and Indian Arm.
Burke Provincial Park
For provincial parks near Coquitlam Pinecone Burke Provincial Park
is very close. Featuring wilderness trails and campgrounds Pinecone
Burke Provincial Park also has great canoeing and kayaking especially
into Widgeon Slough and Widgeon Valley from Grant Narrows in Pitt
Meadows and Minnekhada Regional Park north of Port Coquitlam.