What Are the Best Neighbourhoods in Port Coquitlam?
Welcome to the Loyal Homes guide to the neighbourhoods of Port Coquitlam. This article will provide a brief overview of the city and the highlights and attractions available to residents and visitors to Port Coquitlam. We will then dive deeper into the ten distinct neighbourhoods of this area and conclude with some advice for choosing where to live in this thriving Lower Mainland community.
A Guide to Port Coquitlam Neighbourhoods
Port Coquitlam is a city in the Lower Mainland region of British Columbia. It is located 27 km east of Vancouver and is part of the Metro Vancouver area. As of 2021, the city has approximately 61,000 people living in around 23,000 private dwellings. Port Coquitlam is a youthful area known for having many families - 84% of the population is under 65. As such, many amenities are available for families and their children - it is known especially for its natural beauty, including the Coquitlam River, several parks and trails, and the coastal mountain range.
Port Coquitlam is also home to a diverse range of neighbourhoods, each with unique character and appeal. Although most dwellings are single-family homes, a surprisingly large percentage of people live in row houses, townhomes, or small apartment buildings. This guide will take a closer look at some of the city’s most popular neighbourhoods and what makes them special. Whether you’re a local looking to understand the parts of the city better or a visitor looking for a place to call home, this guide will provide an overview of the many wonderful communities that make up Port Coquitlam. Locals often colloquially refer to this city as “PoCo,” a sort of portmanteau of the two words.
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What Are the Best Areas of Port Coquitlam to Live In?
Initially, Port Coquitlam was primarily used for farming. Today, the economy is diversified, with various commercial and industrial developments, including high-tech sectors, transportation, and metal production. Given Vancouver’s growth and rising population, suburban housing has recently been created, particularly in the northern and southwestern parts of the city.
PoCo is very much a suburb, and residents and businesses rely on private vehicles to move people and goods around. Two major arterial roadways bisect the city, and it is one of the only major Metro Vancouver cities to not have a SkyTrain connection. Basic initial structures have been put in place that would allow an extension of the SkyTrain into its downtown. Still, there is little energy behind execution - no funding has been secured, and no formal plans have been initialized.
Most of the neighbourhoods in Port Coquitlam are defined by their proximity to nature. Forested areas border most parts of the city, and heavily treed neighbourhoods are common. Port Coquitlam neighbourhoods can be broadly divided into North and South, delineated by the separation created by British Columbia Highway 7, which splits the city diagonally. There are six neighbourhoods on the north side of the highway, which make up north PoCo.
First is Glenwood, which lies directly north of the highway in the central part of Port Coquitlam. The Coast Meridian Road defines Glenwood to the east and the Coquitlam River to the west. Much like Central Port Coquitlam discussed below, Glenwood was also an original area that’s development was catalyzed by the expansion of the CPR railyard.
Many homes here are older, offering quiet, treed residential streets to potential buyers. One should note the proximity to the railyard, as dwellings close to the trains may experience additional noise. A small commercial area to the east offers access to groceries and a few other small businesses for residents to use.
Through the forest and across the Coquitlam River to the west lies Woodland Acres. Woodland Acres residents enjoy access to several calm, forested walking trails that snake throughout this neighbourhood. This is the westernmost part of the city, and it borders Coquitlam proper. Most of the homes here are again single-family, although a few townhome-style developments are dotted throughout the area.
Moving further east, we find one of the largest neighbourhoods - Riverwood. Riverwood is one of the newer areas of the city, which is reflected in its more compressed development style. It contains some of the highest numbers of row houses in Port Coquitlam, offering more affordable residential options for potential buyers.
It also lies near a significant commercial area - residents can easily access a Walmart, Costco, and dozens of other commercial businesses. Riverwood is home to the Carnoustie Golf Club, a popular, public, parkland-style course. In contrast to its newer, denser development, Riverwood also extends east to the Pitt River and is home to most of the farming areas of Port Coquitlam, mainly known for its blueberry crops. A few luxury estates can be found on large acreages, although many are attached to working farmland.
Between Glenwood and Riverwood lies Birchland Manor, a small area with a mix of primarily single-family homes. Birchland is particularly appealing to young families, as it is home to two elementary schools, a middle school, and quiet residential streets that might make a walking commute possible! It’s bordered to the north by the Hyde Creek Nature Reserve, which provides meandering nature trails for residents to enjoy exploring. The eastern part is the densest and offers a few townhome options and row-house developments.
Lincoln Park & Oxford Heights
Lincoln Park is our next area, which lies northeast of Birchland Manor, also sharing a border with the Hyde Creek Nature Reserve. Lincoln Park was developed from the 1950s onwards and offers a mix of new and old single-family homes. Its eastern edge intersects with some fine examples of PoCo farmland, and the large backyards offer space for trampolines, pools, and plenty of outdoor space for an active family. This neighbourhood also partially borders Coquitlam proper.
The final neighbourhood in PoCo north is Oxford Heights, in the northern part of the city. This neighbourhood is known for its quiet - it lies far from any of the main highways, thoroughfares, and commercial zones that are in proximity to other parts of the city. Oxford Heights borders the Coquitlam River Park and the nature reserve referred to above. A small commercial zone is found in the south area - it is also home to many of PoCo’s high schools. Although Port Coquitlam is not generally a luxury area, most of the larger homes can be found in this neighbourhood.
There are neighbourhoods on the south side of the highway that make up Port Coquitlam South:
Central Port Coquitlam
A few distinct areas define the southern portion of Port Coquitlam. Central Port Coquitlam is an interesting area composed of residential living and large industrial and commercial areas. The Canadian Pacific Rail Yard is located here, a significant marshalling yard and transfer station serving dozens of railcars daily. This station has existed for over 100 years and was the catalyst for the development of this community.
As such, Central PoCo has great examples of original homes, and many of the suburbs have large trees that have been growing for many years. Some of those trees were planted on March 7th, 1913, to celebrate the city’s incorporation. Unlike the more modern suburban planning standards, this area contains many unique winding roads and small cul-de-sacs. It also has a large light industrial portion, with unique businesses such as one of Metro Vancouver’s only indoor gun ranges! The Coquitlam River defines the eastern boundary, providing residents access to winding trails and natural beauty.
Moving further south, we find Mary Hill and Lower Mary Hill, which experienced development from the 1950s onwards. Mary Hill borders the Pitt and Fraser rivers and is also defined by the Mary Hill bypass, a major through road that offers access to Highway 1 and 7. Mary Hill offers more separation from the industrial areas that define Central, particularly as you move west. The large homes here offer multi-car garages and significant front and backyard space.
Many parks, including Castle Park, give residents easy access to comfortable places to walk and play. A few small businesses are dotted throughout the area, but residents will need a car for most daily needs. It is almost impossible to live in Mary Hill without vehicle access, which should be noted for any potential buyer who prefers a more walkable area.
Citadel is the newest neighbourhood in the southern part of PoCo, with most development occurring onwards from the 1980s and 1990s. Citadel is in the most southwestern part of the city, bordering the Colony Farm Regional Park. In this regional park, there are over 200 different bird species that can find home in the open fields, hedgerows, and wetlands. The Coquitlam River, mountains, and farmland may all be seen from the trails accessible to both bicycles and walkers. Near the public gardens are picnic areas and restrooms. Citadel shares many of the characteristics of Mary Hill, although the newer developments mean that many of the homes here are closer to each other on smaller lots.
Looking forward, the city is keen to encourage a small commercial development, providing additional pedestrian-oriented businesses to serve residents and reduce a complete reliance on cars for handling daily needs. As one PoCo plan participant said - “Walking should be possible if we want a jug of milk!” On the other hand, the Official Community Plan (OCP) calls specifically for “no intensive residential buildings” in Citadel, ensuring that a neighbourhood character of single-family residential remains.
Where to Live in Port Coquitlam, BC
So, what do we know about Port Coquitlam? A quaint area perfect for young families, it offers several distinct neighbourhoods. This is the stereotypical Lower Mainland suburban energy, with a few small apartments and row houses mixed in with the primarily single-family housing developments.
Whether you choose to purchase a home on the north or the south side of Highway 7, you are deciding about your proximity to the industrial and commercial zones that are centralized around the Canadian Pacific Rail Yard. As such, expect property values to steadily increase the further the home is from these sources of noise and industry. To help you choose the right neighbourhood in Port Coquitlam, here are some tips:
- Consider your lifestyle and what you’re looking for in a neighbourhood. Do you want to be near amenities and commercial businesses, or do you prefer areas with more places to enjoy a calm forest walk?
- Are you commuting regularly to another part of the Lower Mainland? If so, consider some areas closer to the main arteries to reduce your commute time. If you are working remotely or for a local business, you may instead look to other areas to take advantage of the forested areas that border many neighbourhoods.
- Think about your budget and housing preferences. PoCo offers mostly single-family homes, but townhouses and apartments are available that can fit many different budgets and needs. Look elsewhere if you are seeking high luxury - most homes here are built with young, working families in mind!
- Research the neighbourhood’s amenities and facilities. Check out the schools, parks, and other community amenities to ensure the neighbourhood has everything you need. Depending on where you choose to live, your children could either be walking to school or will require mum or dad to drop them off.
- Take a look at the neighbourhood’s safety and crime rates. Port Coquitlam is generally a safe city, but it’s always smart to research the neighbourhood’s safety before moving in.
Port Coquitlam is an exciting area for investors and potential owners alike. It offers large swathes of single-family homes and is spread out over a relatively large area. It is considered safe and family-friendly. For those who might be wondering about the value of their home, we are here to help. Connect with our Client Care Coordinators to meet a team of experts who are always available to answer questions about the market. Or, if you’re considering buying in PoCo, we can help with that too!
Our team is integrated with a team of experts across the province who can offer you an even deeper level of detail about specific neighbourhoods or homes. If you have any questions, please let us know. We are always keen to share our knowledge and prove our commitment to a high level of integrity and customer service to our readers.
We hope you've found this information about Port Coquitlam neighbourhoods helpful. For your convenience you can easily search all Port Coquitlam Houses for Sale here.
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