Coquitlam is a suburb of Vancouver and the fifth largest city in British Columbia. Mostly residential, it is a fast-growing community with a lot of shopping options. There aren't really any must-see attractions for the traveller, but there are a number of nice parks for walking or relaxing.
The Skytrain service from Vancouver and Burnaby touches the southwestern corner of Coquitlam at the Lougheed Town Centre and Braid St Stations (both on the Millennium Line). The Skytrain is currently being extended much further into Coquitlam, with expected opening in 2016. From Lougheed, the 97 B-Line bus provides a connection to Coquitlam Centre via Port Moody. From Braid St, the #169 bus provides a faster service to Coquitlam Centre via the Lougheed Highway. An alternative to the Skytrain from Downtown Vancouver is the #160 express bus.
Public transit from Vancouver to Coquitlam costs $5.50 on weekdays and $2.75 on weekends and evenings after 6:30PM.
Like many suburban communities, Coquitlam sprawls significantly and is geared towards cars. Traffic congestion can be a concern in some areas. Some parts of the city are also quite hilly, making cycling challenging.
The TransLink public transit system services all of Coquitlam with buses, although many routes operate somewhat infrequently and may not provide convenient access to all parts of the city. Local fares cost $2.75 for 90 minutes of travel, and most routes connect at the Coquitlam Centre bus loop.
Como Lake Park, Gatensbury St (just south of Como Lake Ave). A small, man-made lake and park located in the center of residential Coquitlam. Exactly one kilometer in circumference, the lake is a popular attraction for morning walks, joggers, schoolchildren and occasionally fishermen - though the latter will frequently go home empty-handed.(49.2604,-122.8583)edit
Maillardville is a small community originally inhabited by French migrants sent to work in local industry during the 19th Century. It is recognized as Western Canada's largest French-Canadian community outside of Manitoba, though the French population continues to decline. The area is preserved as something of a heritage site, but other than a few quaint street signs and commemorative archways, Maillardville is mostly just an ordinary suburban neighborhood and is not a particularly interesting attraction for tourists. From Feb 24th through March 4th the community holds the annual Festival du Bois, a Francophone culture festival with a variety of events held in nearby parks and community centers, mostly geared towards children.
Minnekhada Regional Park, Quarry Rd, ☎ 604 520-6442. Open during daylight hours. Gates close at dusk. 200+ acre park with 10 km of trails through forests and wetlands. Minnekhada Lodge, a heritage building where Queen Elizabeth once stayed, is open the first Sunday of each month from 1PM-4PM (except Jan).edit
Pinecone Burke Provincial Park, at the end of Quarry Rd, . Large park along Pitt Lake and Burke Mountain with hiking, camping, swimming and boating opportunities.Dayuse parking fee of $1/hour to a max of $3. edit
Coquitlam Aquatic Centre, 1210 Pinetree Way, ☎ 604 927-6999. A large public, indoor swimming pool. Appealing to both children and adults alike, it houses two distinct pools, one Olympic-sized, the other smaller and decorated with a jungle theme. The smaller pool also features an elaborate waterslide that twists outside of the building. Adults can make use of a full gym as well.$5.35. edit
Planet Ice, 2300 Rocket Way, ☎ 604 941-9911. Public skate: M F Su 1:45PM-3:45PM. A large, state-of-the-art skating arena. It is used mostly for amateur hockey teams, but the arena is open for public skating Monday, Fridays, and Sundays.$3.75-$4.50 plus the cost of skate rentals, if you do not own. edit
Silver City Coquitlam, 170 Schoolhouse St (one block north of Lougheed Highway), ☎ 604 523-2911. One of the biggest movie theaters in the greater Vancouver area with over 20 screens. The complex contains a number of fast-food dining options, but as these are quite expensive hungry visitors may be wiser to eat before the show at one of the surrounding restaurants in the area.edit
Coquitlam is home to a variety of shopping options and features two large shopping malls.
Lougheed Mall is located off of North Road, on the border between Coquitlam and Burnaby. Though technically located in Burnaby, it is surrounded by Coquitlam residential neighborhoods and remains a popular attraction for residents of both cities.
The mall is easily accessible from the Lougheed Town Center Skytrain station and is located across the street from a major bus depot. It features over 170 stores including a large drug store (London Drugs), a Bay, Wal-Mart, and Safeway, as well as a large food court.
Coquitlam Centre is Coquitlam's main mall. Located off the Barnet Highway it is found in the heart of Coquitlam's commerical district. Recently renovated, it features over 200 stores including a Bay, Zellers, Future Shop, London Drugs, T&T Asian supermarket, and Sears. There is a large food court and several connected sit-down restaurants including East Side Mario's and Montanna's Steakhouse.
Surrounding the Coquitlam Centre area are a variety of large chain stores in Pinetree Village and Sunwood Square, including Chapters, Save-On-Foods, Superstore, and Best Buy.
Just off the Lougheed Highway shoppers can visit the largest Ikea in North America.
Coquitlam and the portion of Burnaby that abuts it is home to a sizable Korean community, along with Surrey to the southwest. Authentic Korean food is readily available and an interesting experience, though it tends to be somewhat pricey. Most Korean restaurants will feed you well by providing banchan with every meal -- these appetizers and sidedishes are generally complimentary and can be refilled several times for free. Though selection varies from restaurant to restaurant, these usually include cold vegetables such as stewed potato in a sweet sauce, sesame dressed bean sprouts, and the Korean classic of lightly-fermented, pungently peppered cabbage known as kimchi. Popular dishes included bimbap (rice cooked in a red-hot stone bowl so the bottom becomes crispy, topped with egg, meat and vegetables), japchae (chewy noodles tossed in a sesame dressing with an assortment of vegetables and meats), various stews and soups, and so forth. For a cheap but filling meal, inquire about gimbap (kimbap, kimbop), the Korean equivalent of sushi. Gimbap is bigger, uses sesame as well as vinegar and sugar to season the rice, and has hardier meat and vegetable fillings. You can find dozens of Korean restaurants along North Road, one of the main roads of Coquitlam.
Kimbap Cheonguk, Unit A-341 North Road (Tucked away in a strip mall near the H-Mart.), ☎ (604) 936-0222. Beloved by local Koreans and especially Korean students. Good and cheap kimbap makes a filling and dirt cheap meal. You may also want to try the naengmyeon, a summer soup of cold noodles, vegetables, egg and meat in a sweet, spicy broth. Staff speaks limited English, but the menu has pictures and transliteration -- and you can always point. 5-25. edit
Insadong, 403 North Road, ☎ 604-936-3778. Well-regarded Korean restaurant that also offers Korean barbeque. Service varies wildly and is at worst forgetful and indifferent but usually decent. Japchae, bibimbap and the usual fare are available. The dumplings (mandoo) are also quite nice, either steamed or fried. 10-40. edit
Best Western Coquitlam Inn Convention Centre, 319 North Rd, ☎ +1 604 931-9011 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . checkin: 3:00 pm; checkout: 11:00 am. 4 1/2 star Canada select rated hotel that offers guestrooms, executive suites and 2 bedroom suites with full-size kitchens. Amenities and services include two restaurants and a lounge, indoor pool, whirlpool, sauna, an indoor tropical garden plus complimentary local phone calls, wireless, high-speed Internet access and parking.$139-$269. edit
The other cities in the "Tri-Cities" area -- Port Coquitlam and Port Moody -- are all very accessible. To the west, along Highway 1, is the North Shore with many outdoor recreation options, while to the east, along Highway 1 or Highway 7, is the Fraser Valley, which also offers more outdoor pursuits and some local wineries.
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