IN DEPTH: PORT COQUITLAM
Updated: Nov 11, 2021
By Ali Kaya
Welcome to Port Coquitlam! Commenly reffered to as 'PoCo', this city offers its residents a ton of value. From great amenities, schools, transit, drive scores to a family friendly community; it has it all! It's the little brother of the Tri Cities (Port Moody, Coquitlam, and PoCo), and if you'd like more info on Coquitlam you can find it here and Port Moody here.
Moving into Port Coquitlam, you'll ask yourself a ton of questions and it may be challenging when starting your search; especially if you've never been here. That's the whole reason for these articles, to give you more knowledge on the area! It also helps that I've lived in the Tri Cities (Coquitlam and PoCo to be exact) for 95% of my life; so I'm speaking on a more informed stance of the area. PoCo is a beautiful city that has that great suburb feel where you feel comfortable and safe. With more and more development coming into the city, expect PoCo's growth to continue which is great for younger buyers and home owners alike.
Before we get into each specific area of PoCo (there are 10), let's view it as a whole. Starting with transportation, we'll go into diversity, the outdoors, schools, and investment! Let's go!
While Port Coquitlam doesn't have its own designated skytrain station, it has an amazing infrastructure of municipal buses that take you either to PoCo bus/railway station and Coquitlam Skytrain/Lafarge Skytrain Stations respectively. If you're in PoCo and want a quick ride into Downtown Vancouver look no further than the Westcoast Express located in PoCo station that takes you directly into Waterfront Station. Alternatively, you can take tons of buses into Lafarge Lake Skytrain and Coquitlam Station. The 701 is also one of the most popular buslines as it goes from Maple Ridge all the way to Coquitlam Station via Lougheed.
For the drivers of PoCo, you're very much well taken care of too! Depending on where you are, you can get to certain areas faster and with different commuting routes. No matter where though, you have access to major roads throughout PoCo and Coquitlam which can lead you either further east or west! Some of these roads include Shaughnessy St, Mary Hill Bypass, Pitt River Rd, Coast Meridian Rd, Kingsway Ave, Cedar Dr, and Prairie Ave.
Port Coquitlam is an amazingly diverse community, just like the rest of the Lower Mainland. With different cultures and people, the area has a great mix of local and international businesses. The community is made primarily of white/European, South Asian, Asian (primarily Chinese and Korean) and Filipino! However, you have a ton of other cultures and groups of people that call PoCo home! To add onto PoCo, you're also a quick drive into Coquitlam and Port Moody, where the diverse culture from those 2 communities can be experienced as well!
Port Coquitlam is an outdoor lover's dream! Much like its siblings Coquiltam and Port Moody, PoCo also has great trails and parks for you to adventure and explore. You're always 10-15 minutes from any park and trail in PoCo from your doorstep and can take advantage of the many outdoors that the other cities have to offer as well. The most notable parks and outdoors spaces are Castle Park, Colony Farm Regional Park, Peace Park and the boardwalk, Gates Park, Lions Park, The Coquitlam River, Chelsea Park, Hyde Creek Nature Park, Blakeburn Lagoon, as well as the famous Traboulay PoCo Trail! The possibilities are truly endless for your morning walk or next adventure!
Port Coquitlam is a great city to buy into not only because of the reasons listed above, but also because of the growth and development in the city. New developments, better infrastructures, roads, rec centers, amenities, etc play a role into the city's brighter future. PoCo is growing at a great rate because it is the least expensive city of the 3 and because of this, it's becoming more and more populated. Within PoCo there are developments of all kinds. Low rises, townhomes, side by side detached, and larger new built homes. Because PoCo is always in demand much like it's siblings, it's an investors dream. The prices stay neutral most times and are currently growing at a rapid rate. Depending on the area, the homes will differ greatly, so if you're in the market for your next investment, let's get started!
Now that we got a chance to look at Port Coquiltlam as a whole, let's dive into each unique area of PoCo and see what they have to offer. There are 10 distinct ares that we'll explore, let's list them out.
Lower Mary Hill
Looking at the map and going on a drive around PoCo are two very different things! So if you have the chance, drive around and really explore this beautiful city. Trust me, it's much easier to navigate through than it looks.
There are 2 major districts of PoCo; North and South. As seen on the map, the border of the two is Lougheed Hwy running all the way throughout in the center. This can give you a much easier path to follow if you're wondering which area you're in. Now, let's get started!
Oxford Heights is a fantastic area because of one simple amenity; convenience. It's located in the most northern point just below Burke Mountain and lies directly on Coast Meridian Rd; one of the main roads in PoCo. With easy access to transit both on David Ave above and Coast Meridian Rd centrally; it's a dream for non drivers! Many great shops and stores all located at the base of Coast Meridian Road for all your shopping and necessities. Need more? Cross over to Coquitlam in 5 minutes or drive down to Riverwood via Coast Meridian for our Costco that serves more than 5 cities nearby! If you love the outdoors, look no further. With Hyde Creek Park, Coquitlam River Park, and Chelsea Park all within a 5 minute radius from you, you'll always have somewhere to go for your morning walks! This is a great neighbourhood for buyers that want to be centrally located for a more affordable price.
Woodland Acres is the most northwest border of PoCo that borders Coquitlam so residents here can enjoy the amenities that both cities have to offer. Transit is good in the area as you're bordering Westwood St and Lougheed Hwy and it's a commuter's dream! Located within 5 minutes is Glen Park, Westwood Park, the Coquitlam River, and Lions Park. A quick trip into historic Downtown PoCo for small boutique shops or 5 minutes either way into PoCo for Costco and all the surrounding amenities like Fremont Shopping Village or into the Coquitlam Centre Mall area. Most of the homes here are detached with a mix of townhomes and some back onto a greenbelt. The vibe here is quiet and calm and because you're so central between cities you have everything you could ask for!
Glenwood is a central area of PoCo to the right of Woodland Acres that features a whole lot to offer its residents. The majority of homes here are a bit older and are detached however there are a mix of attached properties as well. We're seeing more and more development in the area as land assemblies are common nowadays. The most common type of development is a family or small construction company buying an older home for its lot and re building a custom home on it. Although the homes are a tad older, the area itself is absolutely fantastic! You're close to Lougheed, Lincoln Ave, and Coast Meridian is the eastern border. Transit in the area is also amazing as there are a number of schools and main roads nearby. This area is great for the investor/builder/budget family. It offers a ton of value at an inexpensive price!
Welcome to Lincoln Park! Lincoln Park is a northern area of PoCo that borders Oxford Heights and Burke Mountain. Commonly referred to as 'Cedar' because of it's main road; Cedar Drive. The transit in the area is good but what really sets this area apart is the vicinity to outdoors spaces such as the famous PoCo Trail, Hyde Creek Park, and Minnekhada Regional Park! Homes here are mainly detached in the residential parts with most being a bit older in age. However the price definitely makes up for it! There are hidden gems here and most homes you can purchase relatively low and renovate or develop for your family. Further south west in Coast Meridian Rd, the main road in PoCo, which offers a ton of retail and shopping amenities as well. The best thing I love about Lincoln Park is how peaceful and quite it is, while being a couple minutes away from everything you need or want.
Birchland Manor is a small and friendly family - oriented area that borders just under Prairie Ave and to the left of Riverwood; the biggest area of PoCo. Residents here enjoy close proximity to great schools, transit, and retail amenities. Being centrally located in PoCo you can go north or south for all your retail needs and a quick trip down Lougheed to Coquitlam. Birchland is a great area for commuters who have a bit of a budget because a quick drive across the Coast Meridian Overpass takes you onto Mary Hill Bypass into Hwy 1. Be sure to check out Birchland Manor if you're looking for something more budget friendly yet still centrally located.
Riverwood, the biggest area in PoCo by land measurement. It's also one of, if not the safest and cleanest areas in PoCo,rivaling the Citadel and Mary Hill areas in the south. I'm always excited to talk about Riverwood as it's where I spent most of my childhood. Moving from the Glenwood area into Riverwood, into Westwood Plateau then back into Riverwood into Mary Hill/Citadel definitely has it's advantages. (Ya, I moved around a lot) In this situation, I got a chance to see each area for what it's worth. Riverwood is one of the top 2 areas in my opinion. With close proximity to amazing schools, outdoors spaces, and retail amenities; it has everything you want. Since the area is so popular and has great schooling, the transit is amazing. Buses taking you in every direction you could want to go and taking you to the multiple Skytrain stations in the area. The homes here are spacious and have an amazing family friendly vibe. The community is clean and offers a true neighbourhood feeling. Expect to pay a bit more for a home in the area however on average, your ROI is always better than most so it's really a no brainer. Riverwood is perfect for people of all walks of life, to young families, to growing ones, retirees, and even couples moving in together. You also have the Costco right at your doorstep and the brand new Fremont Shopping Village, as well as a ton of other retail shops. When it comes to PoCo, Riverwood is definitely top 3.
Welcome to the central hub of PoCo! As it's name states, it's the dividing line between the north and south areas. This area is the downtown scene of PoCo with lots of historic buildings, retail shops, and great walk, drive, and transit scores. There is a mix of townhomes, single family homes, and low rises in the area. While PoCo has never been known for it's condos, we are seeing much more development in low rises which in turn make the area more sought after. The best part I love about Central PoCo is the proximity to other areas. You're a short trip to Coquitlam via Westwood St, into the Prairie area, right by Lougheed Hwy or further down south into Mary Hill. As mentioned, transit in the area is great. The closest is PoCo Station that includes the very popular Westcoast Express Train that takes you directly into Vancouver. You're also very close to Coquitlam Skytrain Station which can also aid in your commute. The biggest and most popular park in the area is Gates Park for all of your family activity needs. You're also minutes away from the Coquitlam River walk and Lions Park. Central PoCo is ideally for the retiree looking to downsize or the young buyers looking for their first or second condo.
Lower Mary Hill
When looking at the map of PoCo above, Lower Mary Hill is the portion of Mary Hill that's on the right of Pitt River Road. This beautiful area is made of detached homes that vary in size and shape. You have a great mix of modern, older, small lots, big lots, and other varieties that give buyers choice when buying into this beautiful area. With amazing drive scores for commuters and such a peaceful and quite feel, residents tend to stay for 10+ years. The homes in the area have seen such a surge in prices over the last 2 years because of the neighbourhood and what it has to offer. Great nearby schools, transit, quick drive scores, a quite and friendly community and homes that are truly worth the price. The Citadel and Mary Hill areas are top 3 in PoCo, going against only Riverwood in the north. If you have a bit more to spend, but want one of the best areas not only in PoCo, but in the Tri Cities, then look no further.
Mary Hill is the same as Lower Mary Hill as the neighbourhood, homes, and amenities match. However these homes sometimes are sitting on more flat and larger lots. The area has a mix of newer and older homes where the older homes may need some work done to them however the price is respective of that. Residents in the area again tend to stay for quite a while. This area is the main connecting point between the central and southern points of PoCo. Great transit and drive scores make this area highly popular and a great place for commuters. There's a ton of outdoor amenities for you to enjoy and tons of more value. This area definitely checks off every box.
Welcome to Citadel, the most prestigious and wealthiest community in PoCo. Being higher in elevation, homes here enjoy amazing views of the Northern Mountains and Mt Baker as well as other views of PoCo and beyond. The homes here are usually bigger in size and have great sized lots. Price ranges vary quite a bit but expect to pay more on average than any other area of PoCo. The homes are a mix of older and newer but are generally bigger in size and offer great outdoor space. The community is friendly and transit is really good in the area. The main feature of the area is the drive score. Residents here enjoy the quick jump onto the highway and can go either east, west, or south into the Fraser Valley. While homes are priced more than average in the area, the demand for a home in Citadel and it's neighbouring area is almost always constant, which makes the area a great investment. However as said about Mary Hill, residents here don't generally like to leave. Having lived here as a teenager, it was definitely one of if not the nicest places I've lived in, and like I said, I've moved around a lot. If you have a bit more to spend but really want value and more bang for your buck, look no further than Citadel.
Well, that's it for Port Coquitlam. This beautiful city has so much more to offer than what was in this article and if you're looking to buy here, please look around and I promise you'll love it. If you are looking to buy or sell in the area, give me a call or text anytime and we can have a short conversation about your options. As I said, PoCo is getting a ton of development and has made for a great investment. I'm always available for your questions and look forward to meeting you. Thank you for checking out this article and be sure to check out others like IN DEPTH: COQUITLAM AND IN DEPTH: PORT MOODY. Talk to you soon and have a wonderful rest of your day!
By Ali Kaya