Coquitlam - British Columbia

For city whose name means "smells like fish," the city of Coquitlam is actually a diverse natural landscape of mountains, forests, creeks, lakes, and streams. The city's name comes from the word "Kwikwetlem," which is in the Halkomelem language originally spoken by the native Coast Salish people.

Coquitlam is the geographical centre of the Lower Mainland-it's close enough to excitement and attractions of Vancouver, BC's largest city, but far enough away to have some piece and quiet when you need it.

When Coquitlam was incorporated in 1908, they only had 20 houses, a store, post office, hospital, office block, barbershop and a pool hall but the city has grown tremendously in the past 100 years. In 2005, there were about 113,000 people who call Coquitlam home and there are now four golf courses, six community-sponsored community centres, many malls and shopping facilities, 10 pools and spray parks, two ice-skating areas, and wealth of sports and recreation fields, parks, and trails. For beach lovers, there are several beaches in the nearby community of Anmore, only a few minutes drive from the Coquitlam city limits.

North Coquitlam prominently features Westwood Plateau-570 hectares of residential developments including single family homes, townhomes, two golf courses, several public schools, and a myriad of forested areas and hiking trails. This area is home to 15,000 people.

Part of South Coquitlam, known as Millardville, is home to many French-Canadians. In 1909 mill owners in the area recruited French-Canadians from Quebec to work in their mills. After several waves of workers arrived in Coquitlam, Millardville was the largest French-Canadian settlement in Western Canada. Today this area of the city is also home to many historical sites which are open to the public.

To commute within the city, Translink-the Greater Vancouver public transportation company-is planning to build the "Evergreen Line," an above ground light rail service throughout the area. Currently, you can take the city's many community shuttles, public busses to travel throughout the city, or travel to the City of Vancouver during the morning and evening rush hours on the West Coast Express train.

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