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.
Coquitlam borders Burnaby, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody and New Westminster. It is easily accessible from the Trans Canada Highway, Lougheed Highway, Barnett Highway, and North Road.
The Burnaby-based "TransLink" public transit system services all of Coquitlam with buses, and there are a few areas which are accessible via the "Skytrain" monorail system (however, other than the "Lougheed Town Centre" stop, which allows easy access to the Lougheed Mall (see below) the Coquitlam-based Skytrain stations are not particularly useful for anyone other than residents).
- 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 an annual Francophone cultre festival, with a variety of events held in nearby parks and community centers, mostly geared towards children.
- Como Lake is a small, man-made lake / 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.
- The Coquitlam Aquatic Centre is 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.
- Silver City Coquitlam is a massive "Famous Player's" movie theater, one of the biggest anywhere in the greater Vancouver area. With over 20 screens it is a great place to catch the latest Hollywood blockbusters. 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.
- Planet Ice is a large, state-of-the-art skating arena. Though it is used mostly for amature hockey teams, it is open for public skating Monday, Fridays, and Sundays from 1:45-3:45. Admission is $3 plus the cost of skate rentals, if you do not own.
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.
- Best Western Coquitlam Inn Convention Centre, 319 North Rd, ☎ (604) 931-9011.
The so-called "tri-cities" area of Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, and Port Moody are all very interconnected, and it is easy to come and go between the three.