Emerging Neighbourhood to Watch: West Coquitlam
In the early 1950s with the opening of Lougheed Highway, which set the stage for accessibility, this neighbourhood of Coquitlam began to see residential growth in the area, West Coquitlam or Burquitlam is now an emerging neighbourhood with an increasingly diverse population. Lately, young professionals and families have been drawn by the promise brought by the Evergreen Line’s Burquitlam Station. New developments, such as 567 Clarke + Como, are giving the area a renewed vitality, and increased shops and services will be quick to follow. Burquitlam Transit Village, for example, will soon be coming to serve the daily needs of area residents, making this neighbourhood just that much more walkable.
As Vancouver’s thoroughfares become increasingly clogged, transit access is becoming all the more attractive. As a result, the recent opening of Burquitlam Station on the new Evergreen Line has put Como Lake on the (transit) map, allowing stress-free commutes across the Lower Mainland to students and professionals alike.
This up-and-coming area is home to great schools for all ages, from Little Scholars YMCA Child Care, which cares for children up to the age of five, to the French Immersion programs at Porter Street Elementary School, Banting Middle School, and Port Moody Secondary School, all the way up to post-secondary at Coquitlam College and Simon Fraser University.
The YMCA coming in highly anticipated and a big asset to the neighbourhood, which currently doesn’t have a community centre.
There are various parks in the vicinity—Burnaby Lake Regional Nature Park, Como Lake Park, Blue Mountain Park, Burns Park, Mackin Park, Cottonwood Park, and Burquitlam Park, to name a few—but the views from Burnaby Mountain Conservation Area simply can’t be beat. Sunset over the city is especially breathtaking from the perspective of the Kamui Mintara, or Playground of the Gods, wooden poles carved by father and son sculptors, Nuburi and Shusei Toko of Japan.
Opportunities for outdoor recreation are practically boundless at Burnaby Conservation Area, too, from cycling and hiking its myriad trails to taking some time to smell the roses at Centennial Rose Garden or over a picnic lunch on the grass.
Como Lake is a renowned urban fishing and recreation area and headwaters for Como watershed. It’s one of the last urban watersheds in the Tri-Cities, supporting wild stocks of coho salmon and other species at risk such as coastal cutthroat trout, and bird species such as great blue heron and green heron. Mundy Park is also one of the largest urban parks in Metro Van.
The Poirier Sport & Leisure Complex is a state-of-the-art, 190,000 sq.-ft.-integrated aquatic, ice, and fitness facility that offers a wide variety of programs for all ages. It’s also home to the Coquitlam Sports Hall of Fame, which honours people from Coquitlam who have made contributions and achievements in the field of sports.
Shops and Services
Shop ’til you drop at nearby Lougheed Town Centre, where you’ll keep on trend with such stores as The Bay, H&M, Urban Planet, Tip Top Tailors, and Aldo. Sports geek? SportChek and Foot Locker have that covered, while Ming Wo and House of Knives can make sure your kitchen accessories are up to snuff. On your way home, you can run all of your errands at Northgate Village, which has a Price Smart Foods, Shopper’s Drug Mart, and Signature BC Liquor Store.