Coquitlam is an attractive urban community in Metro Vancouver. It has beautiful parks, interesting festivals, shopping centres and nature.
City of Coquitlam
With a population of about 125,000, Coquitlam is the sixth largest municipality in Metro Vancouver. It’s one of the “Tri-Cities”, along with the neighbouring suburbs of Port Coquitlam and Port Moody.
Places of interest in Coquitlam include the Vancouver Hard Rock Casino (for gambling and live entertainment), IKEA (the giant Swedish housewares big-box store), Westwood Plateau (one of the Lower Mainland’s top golf courses) and Mackin House (a historic home built in the early 1900s).
Coquitlam is also home to Place des Arts (which offers visual and performing arts-related classes and events). The city is also where you’ll find Town Centre Park which is where a number of annual festivals and events take place.
Coquitlam Festivals and Events
Coquitlam is home to the annual Festival du Bois – BC’s largest francophone festival, which typically takes place in the spring each year. In early summer there is also the Coquitlam Food Truck Festival at Town Centre Park.
In mid-June, on the Father’s Day Weekend, Coquitlam’s Town Centre Park is where the BC Highland Games & Scottish Festival takes place. Also in June is the annual Teddy Bear Picnic and Parade.
In the summer the July 1st Coquitlam’s Canada Day celebrations are impressive with family-friendly activities and free concerts. Also, there’s the Kaleidoscope Arts Festival at Town Centre Park in mid-August.
A new event for Coquitlam as of 2022 is Caribbean Days. This festival used to happen in North Vancouver in late July. Its new home, however, is at Town Centre Park in Coquitlam. Sometime between early summer and early fall, American Crown Circus Circo Osorio also often comes to town.
In October there are a number of haunted houses in the city that are worth checking out. There is the Forestridge Haunted Yard and Macs House of Horrors on Forestridge Place. Both of these are at people’s homes and with admission by donation. At Coquitlam Centre there is also Vancouver Horror Nights which is a massive Halloween attraction (or at least it was in 2022).
From late November until mid-January each year the city is also home to Lights at Lafarge. That event features over 100,000 Christmas lights around Lafarge Lake just a few blocks from Coquitlam City Hall.
Coquitlam Farmers Market
Coquitlam’s Poirier Street Farmers Market takes place on Sundays from mid-May until late October at 624 Poirier Street. It’s worth checking out if you’re in the area and looking for some farm fresh produce.
Farmers markets are always interesting and a great way to support local farmers. The Coquitlam market is one of the Lower Mainland’s larger ones with usually at least five dozen or so vendors.
There is some beautiful countryside in the Tri-Cities area, including Belcarra Regional Park near Port Moody, and the stunningly beautiful Sasamat and Buntzen lakes. If you’re in the area, these are some of the Lower Mainland’s most gorgeous places. They are well worth visiting on any sunny day during the year. Also in Coquitlam is Minnekhada Regional Park.
The largest urban city park in Coquitlam is Mundy Park which is about 175 hectares in size. It’s an exceptional forested park with extensive gravel trails that are perfect for cycling and walking around. At the park there is also Mundy Lake, which you can easily walk around, with both dog and dog-free areas.
Also in Coquitlam, there is of course Town Centre Park. As mentioned above, it’s the site of numerous community festivals including Lights at Lafarge over the Christmas season.
Like other Lower Mainland municipalities, Coquitlam has a number of really good restaurants. A couple of the best include the following:
- Oz Korean Cuisine – a popular and reasonably-priced Korean restaurant located at 1190 Pinetree Way (so just a couple of blocks from LaFarge Lake at Town Centre Park). They are known for their double-fried Korean chicken. Oz is also usually open until midnight seven days a week.
- Shio Japanese Kitchen – a place that claims to be the “best Japanese and sushi restaurant in Coquitlam,” and many of their customers agree. They are known for their Osaka-style pressed sushi and are located at 1168 The High Street (which is less than a 10-minute walk from the LaFarge Lake-Douglas SkyTrain Stain at Town Centre Park).
To learn more about the community see the City of Coquitlam‘s website.
For information about neighbouring communities see our articles about Port Moody, Pitt Meadows, New Westminster, Burnaby and Surrey.
Other articles that might be of interest include the following:
- Metro Vancouver
- Vancouver’s Festivals & Events Calendar
- Metro Vancouver’s Top 100 Places
- Best Parks and Places in Nature