Port Coquitlam, also known as “PoCo”, is one of the Tri-Cities that is in the northeastern part of Metro Vancouver. It is located south of Coquitlam, east of Port Moody and west of Pitt Meadows separated by the Pitt River.
Its name means “small red salmon” as the Coquitlam River is abundant in red salmon. It has a population of 61,000, just 30 kilometres away from Vancouver which is just about 30 minutes through the Trans-Canada Highway.
The first people living in the area are the Coast Salish, indigenous people. Under the command of Colonel Richard Clement Moody, who also founded New Westminster and Burnaby, he ordered the construction of a road in 1859. The winter during 1858 froze the river making him realize the military and supplies disadvantage because the supply boats can not ship through a frozen river.
In 1859 and 1860, the McLean family and Atkins family began clearing the land, building houses and started farming beside the Pitt River, establishing the city’s first European settlement. The road was then upgraded to a wagon road in 1861 then the Royal Engineers constructed the Pitt River Road in 1862 to connect the region to New Westminster.
After the end of World War II, the city began to undergo significant changes. There were a large number of railroad workers in the city at the time and a growing number of major corporations were choosing to locate in the area. These industries produced steel, copper, brass, and livestock.
Port Coquitlam became a city in 1913 after its incorporation.
There is a diverse selection of businesses, restaurants, and services in the downtown area of Port Coquitlam. The city’s efforts to promote, support, and advocate for the downtown community are ongoing and unwavering.
The city shopping centres; the Shaughnessy Station Mall, a 10,000 square metre shopping centre with more than 50 stores. The Prairie Mall is a small strip mall with lots of stores and pubs surrounded by many bus stops. Fremont Village is a large 24,000 square metre shopping mall that is soon to be the largest in Metro Vancouver (under construction to cover 52,400 square metres).
The Clock Tower Centre, a tiny strip mall. The Oxford Crossing, a 4500 square metre shopping centre and the Westwood Centre with about 40 tenants.
The city also has a wide food selection from breakfast to fine dining restaurants to Asian restaurants – the city has it all.
To start with Asian food, Wah Wing Szechuan Restaurant serves classic Chinese dishes and dim sums in a huge space decorated with chandeliers and aquariums. The restaurant’s design resembles that of a pretty standard Lower Mainland Chinese/HK restaurant.
The Sky Dragon Restaurant is another Chinese restaurant that has been around for a long time and serves up traditional Chinese fare and a buffet in a modest setting. Free food like fried rice and spring rolls are the best part of this restaurant.
Traditional Chinese cuisine is also served at a reasonable price at Rainbow Butterfly Restaurant. The food’s quality has remained consistent over the years. This restaurant’s beef noodle dish features perfectly cooked rice noodles.
There is a warm and welcoming atmosphere at Little Bangkok Thai Kitchen, which serves Thai staples like rice dishes, noodles, spring rolls and curries, as well as beverages.
Authentic Thai cuisine is all on the menu at Tip Thai Restaurant in a stylish setting and Ma Now Thai Kitchen is a cozy Thai eatery with a modern twist on classic dishes like noodle and rice dishes.
For fresh-baked bread and desserts, Tishin Bakery creates unique, innovative products that aren’t available anywhere else. Regular customers rave about their stuffed, home-baked cookies and specialty cakes.
A gluten-free bakery that doesn’t compromise on taste or quality is Delish Gluten Free Bakery. There are no wheat, gluten or nut ingredients used in the production of its products. Europe Bakery & Deli is another bakery that doesn’t use any preservatives in its bread. They’re known for high-quality baked goods and friendly, helpful staff, delicious and reasonably priced lunch.
When it comes to food and service, Samz Neighborhood Pub is a must-visit destination. The Cat & Fiddle Pub also is known for its lively atmosphere and an extensive menu of comfort food and the outdoor terrace at Orrange Kitchen + Bar serves classic comfort food, pub fare, beer and cocktails.
Parks and Trails
Blakeburn Lagoons Park – an 11-hectare sanitation facility now turn into a public park and a nature preservation facility. It offers a 2-kilometre trail with nice scenery. Also, people can bring their dogs for biking and walking together.
Traboulay Poco Trail – a 25-kilometre trail that takes people around the city. It’s a well-known biking route on the mainland that’s a well-maintained, scenic, and easy route. It’s great for families because of the variety of trailheads and the fact that it’s easily accessible via sky train.
Colony Farm Regional Park – it covers an area of 260 hectares. Colony Farm used to be one of Canada’s most technologically advanced and productive farms. In the present day, it serves as essential wildlife for a wide variety of animals and birds, including more than 200 different species.
Gates Park – a park on the outskirts of PoCo’s downtown which has everything to expect from a neighbourhood park: restrooms, a concession stand, soccer fields, baseball diamonds, and tennis courts. Its location gives makes it more popular to the visitors as it is just adjacent to the Traboulay Trail, which is in turn next to the Coquitlam River. It also has dog off-leash areas.
Peace Park – a park that is an ideal spot for a small or medium-sized group picnic because it has a covered gazebo for rent, easy access to the Traboulay PoCo Trail, and a small lawn area for children to play. The city of Port Coquitlam charges a fee for the use of the picnic shelter.
Veterans Park – a nice little park at the downtown centre in front of the city hall of Port Coquitlam with gardens, as well as a slew of small businesses just a few steps away. During the summer, a public outdoor piano is available for anyone to use. And members of the Royal Canadian Legion, as well as veterans, gather there every November to remember their fallen comrades.
Lions Park – many “zones” for children of all ages make up this fantastically large playground. Large silver tube slides, rope pyramid, and musical instruments are just some of the many features. The water park and water feature of the park are open from May through September. There are also several picnic tables right next to the playground.
Aggie Park – a park encircled by historic trees that were planted in the year 1913. It was named after Agricultural Hall which was constructed by the Agricultural Society in 1912. The park features a playground and a soccer field and also has become a venue for events.
Westwood Park – a park that features tennis courts, a riverside trail through the woods, a footbridge across the river, beautiful woodlands, grasslands, playgrounds, and picnic tables. A great spot for people of all ages, as well as dogs.
The city also has outdoor pools the whole family will enjoy.
- Centennial Pool(Shaughnessy St and Lougheed Hwy (Aggie Park)
- Robert Hope Pool(Western Drive and Lamprey Street)
- Sun Valley Wading Pool(Hamilton Street off Lincoln Avenue)
- Routley Wading Pool(Western Drive)
Downtown Car Show – an annual car show event that started in 2005 displaying more than 500 cars and cruise of more than 100 cars in the downtown area. It also features great food, live music and entertainment.
May Days Festival – a community event that has been running since 1923. The event includes live music and performances, a parade, a marketplace featuring local artists and handmade crafts, food trucks, entertainment and family-fun activities.
Terry Fox Hometown Run – a marathon that became hope and a tradition across Canada. The event is about to commemorate Terry Fox and his life’s impact on cancer awareness. The event raises money to fund cancer research in Canada.
Other Interesting Places
PoCo Heritage Museum and Archives – located downtown near city hall. The museum aims to encourage the citizens in celebrating and preserving Port Coquitlam’s rich cultural heritage.
Port Coquitlam Recreation Complex – a 19,000 square metre recreation facility. The weight room at this facility has two levels with numerous options perfect for people interested in working out. It has a pool, a sauna, skating rink, children’s play area and a sports court.
Hyde Creek Recreation Centre – a recreation centre with a dedicated area for the youth’s program. People can swim in one of the many swimming pools or relax in one of the many hot tubs or saunas. The great viewing area and food concessions by the pool are among the center’s features with all the latest fitness equipment. Swimming lessons are offered at the facility.
Port Coquitlam is a fusion of known and up-and-coming commercial areas, making it an ideal place for businesses needing convenient access to public transport and well-trained workers.
As a growing and livable city with a sense of togetherness, low-cost housing, and a wide range of trails and parks, Port Coquitlam has earned a reputation in recent years.