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Port Coquitlam is a municipality in the Regional District of Metro Vancouver and is located between Pitt River and Coquitlam River. It is known as "The City of Rivers and Mountains" because of the city's geographical features. Despite of significant growth in urban development, Port Coquitlam maintained its village-like atmosphere, authentic historic downtown core and the culture and values passed through generations.
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Prior to Europeans settlement in the region, the Coast Salish peoplefrom the Kwikwetlem First Nation were the first people that inhabited the area. They are used in hunting, fishing, and farming for thousands of years. In 1859, the first European settlers began farming beside Pitt River. Port Coquitlam was incorporated on March 7, 1913, due to the event when Canadian Pacific Railway moved its freight operations from Vancouver to Port Coquitlam in 1911 that brings surprising growth to the community. The World War II and the Great Depression slowed the economic development of the city, it was until the completion of Lougheed Highway in 1948 that the population and the business within the community increased. Port Coquitlam started building different infrastructure projects that includes the Hyde Creek Recreation Centre, Port Coquitlam Recreation Complex, and the renovation of City Hall in late 20th century. As of 2016, the City of Port Coquitlam has a population of 58,612 with a land area of 29.17km2. (Statistics Canada, 2016 Census of Population)
Port Coquitlam, oftern referred as "PoCo" is a community where residents engaged to the community and involved themselves to the projects and works of the city governement. It has a growing reputation for its innovative approach related to waste management, sustainable development and technology adaptation of the community. Port Coquitlam was named as British Columbia's third mose livable city and 33rd in Canada. Family-oriented services, accessible transportation, affordable housing, and the strong sense of community spirit are some of the qualities that makes the City of Port Coquitlam earned such national recognition. Wide range of dining options are available in the city since there are variety of shops, restaurants, cafe and local eateries located within the area.
The City of Port Coquitlam adheres to its vision to build a cultural facility that will support and celebrate arts, culture and heritage as an integral part of its growing community. People can learn more about the vivid and interesting history of Port Coquitlam in the the Museum and Archives operated by the PoCo Heritage. Port Coquitlam also has its own Leigh Square Community Arts Village, the city's centre for arts, culture and heritage. It is a home to art exhibitions and a cultural place for cultural programs, festivals and events. Some festivals includes May Day, Farmers Market, Summer in the City, and Christmas was held at Leigh Square. It also hosts exhibition, studio and program spaces for performing, visual and literary arts, as well as archival/historic display area and commercial space. It is operated by the Parks & Recreation Department in the City of Port Coquitlam in cooperation with its partners.
Coquitlam enjoys an oceanic climate like much of Metro Vancouver. They experience mild temperatures with sufficient precipitation. Summers are warm and dry while winters are usually wet/cool. However, due to Coquitlam's proximity to the mountain slopes, precipitation is especially heavy unlike other cities in the area. A process called Orographic Precipitation cause massive annual average precipitation of 1,969mm that the city experience every year.
The School District No. 43 is BC's third largest school district. It serves the Tri-Cities that includes the city of Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody. The school district administered fourteen elementary schools, five middle schools and two senior secondary schools. The city also has several private schools including Archbishop Carney Regional Secondary School and BC Christian Academy. Post-secondary institutes that are close to the city are Douglas College, Simon Fraser University, British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT), and University of British Columbia (UBC).
Eagle Ridge Hospital on Coquitlam City/Port Moody boundary is operated by the Fraser Health Authority (FHA). It serves the residents of Coquitlam as well as the community of Port Moody and Port Coquitlam. It opened in 1984 and offers wide range of health care services like 24-hour emergency department, ambulatory, long-term care and acute care programs.
Port Coquitlam has an easy access to main roads, rail, transit and river, being strategically located in Metro Vancouver. Two of its major roads are Shaughnessy Street and Lougheed Highway that are used to move goods and people. The public bus system in Port Coquitlam is operated by TransLink with a number of bus routes throughout the city, while other parts of Port Coquitlam is served by a network of Community Shuttles. Canadian Pacific Railway has a major rail yard that is centrally located in the City of Port Coquitlam. Residents and visitors can also use pedestrian lanes, bicycle lanes, transit and road networks to get around the city.
Since the City of Port Coquitlam begins as a small agricultural town on the Canadian Pacific rail line, farming and agriculture is the foundation of the city's economic development. Through the years, given the expansion of Vancouver and being a member city of the Regional District of Metro Vancouver, it has now been developed to meet the needs for suburban housing. Today, Port Coquitlam became a healthy base for businesses due to the city's diverse economy that includes industrial and commercial industries. The city's economic developments includes metal fabrication, high technology industries, and transportation.
The city's employment rate reached 66.6% on 2016 Census, while the City of Port Coquitlam's average household income is $89,955, 15.0% higher compare to $78,227 of BC based on CensusPlus, 2011.
The City of Port Coquitlam maintains a total of 266 hectares of parkland and natural areas as well as park sites, playgrounds, sport fields, tennis courts, sport courts, outdoor pools and 46km of trails. The 25km Traboulay PoCo Trail that completely surrounds the city is perfect for hiking and biking any time of the year. Port Coquitlam also provides urban amenities that includes pools, arenas, picnic facilities, athletic fields, ball parks, trails, meeting rooms and banquet facilities that promotes healthier lifestyle by making its residents and visitors engaged in sports and recreational activities.
The City of Port Coquitlam's Hyde Creek Recreation Centre is a recreational centre that provides amenities complete with a lap pool, leisure pool, river run, water slide, sauna, whirlpool, and steam room. It also has racquetball and squash courts, a gymnasium, a full service weight and fitness room, an aerobics/dance studio and a martial arts studio. On the other hand, Port Coquitlam Recreation Complex has two arenas, large multi-purpose hall, meeting room, skate shop and other amenities. It hosts on-ice and dry arena sports on its two rinks serves as a great venue for hosting skating parties. The city also maintains 16 sand and soil-based sports fields, 2 artificial turf fields, 1 artificial warm-up field and 23 ball fields that is perfect for football and baseball. Port Coquitlam is the home of notable athletes like Sukh Chungh, Canadian football offensive lineman for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League (CFL). Zach Hamill, Canadian professional ice hockey centre, drafted 8th overall by the Boston Bruins in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, and Terry Fox, an athlete and cancer treatment activist.