Coquitlam (population 112,890) is a suburban city located in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia and is one of the 21 municipalities comprising Metro Vancouver. The city is situated some 10 to 15 km east of Vancouver, where the Coquitlam River connects with the Fraser River and extends northeast along the Pitt River towards the Coquitlam and Pitt lakes.
Centred in the heart of the Lower Mainland on the West Coast of British Columbia, Coquitlam is just a 30-minute drive from downtown Vancouver, BC's largest city, and about 20 minutes from the US border. Coquitlam borders Burnaby and Port Moody to the west, New Westminster to the southwest, Port Coquitlam to the southeast, and the Coast Mountains to the north.
Coquitlam's Town Centre is a newer, 720-hectare community. It provides a dynamic focus as the Regional Town Centre for the northeast sector of Greater Vancouver. When planning for the Town Centre began in the mid-1970s, the area contained only a handful of homes and a small neighbourhood centre. Today, there are over 9,400 homes and a wide variety of commercial services.
The Town Centre core is also a focal point for civic, cultural and educational services. The City Centre Aquatic Complex, Town Centre Stadium and Park, Evergreen Cultural Centre, Public Safety Building, Coquitlam City Hall, the David Lam campus of Douglas College, Pinetree Secondary School and the Pinetree Community Centre, can all be found in the Town Centre area.
While the Town Centre area is a thriving commercial and residential area, it also offers a direct link to nature, with hiking trails along Hoy Creek and
Coquitlam is served by School District 43 Coquitlam, and offers four public secondary schools, several more middle schools, and dozens of elementary schools.
There are two major universities, University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University, located in the nearby municipalities. Capilano College, Langara College, Vancouver Community College (VCC), Kwantlen University College, and Douglas College have campuses throughout the Greater Vancouver, with Douglas College maintaining a campus in Coquitlam's Town Centre; these serve the local post-secondary education needs with career, trade, and university-transfer programs. The British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) in neighbouring Burnaby provides polytechnic education and grants degrees in several fields. Vancouver is also home to the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design and the Vancouver Film School.
Being in close proximity to Vancouver and surrounded by the rest of the Lower Mainland, Coquitlam residents have access to virtually unlimited choice in arts and entertainment. Within the city itself are several venues that bring these choices closer to home.
A partnership of the city, the arts community, private business and senior governments, the Evergreen Cultural Centre in the Town Centre area is a venue for arts and culture, a civic facility designed to host a wide variety of community events. It features a 264-seat black box theatre, rehearsal hall, art studios and art gallery. Nearby proscenium theatres include the 336-seat Terry Fox Theatre in Port Coquitlam, and the 206-seat Inlet Theatre in Port Moody.