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Old 03-10-2012, 09:03 PM
 
21 posts, read 60,776 times
Reputation: 19
Default Port Coquitlam

hello, lovely city data forum-ites! you've been so helpful in the past i thought i'd pick your brains again...

my husband is nearing the final stages of an interview process for a position in Port Coquitlam. we were ideally looking to move to vancouver for several reasons, and are now wondering if we should consider living in the town where he might be working. we both would really like to avoid using a car at all, so walkability and public transportation are important to us. it looks to be about an hour commute by train/bus (at least according to google maps) from even east van/commercial drive area (that we were interested in anyway). we're trying to decide if that's too much to do each way every day, but in the meantime the other questions are:
-is there any kind of ride sharing that is pretty active to go out that way?
-do many people live in van and commute out there, or is it the other way around?

about Port Coquitlam:
-what kind of "feel" does the town have? suburban? neighborhood-y? walkable? independent shops or box stores? any kind of downtown area, or mostly sprawl?
-what are the residents there like? diverse and open minded or homogenous? liberal or conservative? active or stay at home? i know this is generalizing, but just to get an over-all feel of the place...i'm pretty open-minded and can get along with most people, but would prefer to be in a place where i might not have to keep my views to myself all the time at the local pub...and speaking of pubs...what's the social life like there? good restaurants, bars, arts scene?
-are rentals readily available there, or do most people own? (i saw far fewer rentals on padmapper than in vancouver proper...)
my fear is that if we live there, we'll be an hour away from the "good stuff" we liked about vancouver and won't take advantage of it...

thanks all!
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Old 03-11-2012, 12:29 PM
 
Location: Oakville, ON
379 posts, read 734,926 times
Reputation: 369
People have very polarized opinions on Port Coquitlam, some people may agree with what I'm about say, others may not. I grew up in neighbouring Coquitlam and Port Moody so take it for what it's worth.

Of all the cities in the NE sector (Port Moody, Coquitlam, Poco, Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows), I would say that Port Coquitlam is probably the least desirable of them all.

Historically, Poco is an old industrial port city (I'm not opposed to working class areas per say - you know, if people actually work) and it's demographics reflect that.

Pros:

- Most affordable community with a "bridge free" commute to downtown Vancouver.
- Close to mountains and outdoor activities.
- Good variety of housing stock

Cons:

- Very high crime rate. Poco was the murder capital of Canada a few years ago.
- Very high homelessness rate.
- Run down town core (although improving).
- Disconnected road connections (only 3 roads into the city from the west (Lougheed Hwy, Pitt River Rd, Mary Hill Bypass)

Personally, I would pick neigbouring Pitt Meadows or Port Moody, or even Coquitlam itself before I'd chose to live in Poco.
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Old 03-11-2012, 01:24 PM
 
3,591 posts, read 4,723,031 times
Reputation: 3550
My experience is from 10 years ago, and I was commuting from Maple Ridge (a town next to PoCo). It was h*ll. I was commuting to Richmond, and with carefully choosing time and various bypasses, it still took 1.5 hours. My trips to Vancouver had to be planned,too (1-5 - 2 hours) - not so bad approaching Vancouver, as traffic in Vancouver itself. The west coast train was already built then, but it just caboosed full speed to downtown Vancouver, which I didn't need. Just how far away you live from the train station also figures in your morning time.

PoCo itself is definitely a sprawl - houses everywhere, - a large extended family or established friends feel well there, visiting each other. Otherwise it was (note- WAS) not much else to go to. There was a small towny-feely "downtown". This is a tough position, having to choose between hellish commuting or sleepy community.
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Old 03-11-2012, 03:12 PM
 
21 posts, read 60,776 times
Reputation: 19
hmm. all good to know, thanks! i think we've definitely settled on NOT living in poco, and since we like the commercial drive area anyway will be concentrating on looking in there as well as more into carpooling as a commuting option.
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Old 03-11-2012, 03:24 PM
 
Location: Oakville, ON
379 posts, read 734,926 times
Reputation: 369
If you are hellbent on Commercial Dr or Vancouver proper, do not overlook Port Moody. It's an underrated and relatively unknown gem of a community on at the tip of ocean and the foot of the mountains. Loads of greenspace and active pursuits. Has a walkable town core with a good mix or residential and retail.

It is one of the most urban suburbs you'll find anywhere on the continent, and the vibe is a mix of North Shore/Yaletown with a small town sense of community thrown in.

The amount of families that have left Vancouver to move into the area is staggering, and you'll probably feel right at home with the demographic mix.

It's also conveniently located if you are commuting to Poco, and is a reasonable distance from downtown Vancouver. Also the new Skytrain extension will be serving the community in a few years.
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Old 03-11-2012, 03:54 PM
 
21 posts, read 60,776 times
Reputation: 19
i will definitely look more into port moody. thanks!
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Old 03-12-2012, 04:37 PM
 
Location: Vancouver
72 posts, read 141,255 times
Reputation: 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by DustyButtons View Post
hello, lovely city data forum-ites! you've been so helpful in the past i thought i'd pick your brains again...

my husband is nearing the final stages of an interview process for a position in Port Coquitlam. we were ideally looking to move to vancouver for several reasons, and are now wondering if we should consider living in the town where he might be working. we both would really like to avoid using a car at all, so walkability and public transportation are important to us. it looks to be about an hour commute by train/bus (at least according to google maps) from even east van/commercial drive area (that we were interested in anyway). we're trying to decide if that's too much to do each way every day, but in the meantime the other questions are:
-is there any kind of ride sharing that is pretty active to go out that way?
-do many people live in van and commute out there, or is it the other way around?


thanks all!
To add on top of the great suggestions above:

A friend of mine moved out from Downtown Vancouver to Coquitlam last year. They now live in a newer development in the Burke Mountain neighbourhood. They love it. It's close to the West Coast Express (if they want to take transit to work), close to Port Coquitlam and Port Moody, and, from what they've told me, they love the neighbourhood.

I checked Translink's schedule and commuting from Broadway Station to Port Coquitlam Station could take an hour and 18 minutes in the morning. Car sharing may be quicker, but I still feel commuting an hour each way each day is too much. Yes, Commercial Drive is trendy place to be, but is it worth it if you can't enjoy much of it because you're in traffic 2 hours a day? If it is, then live on Drive.
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Old 03-13-2012, 07:48 AM
 
Location: TCP-IP, Cybernation
546 posts, read 915,514 times
Reputation: 490
Quote:
Originally Posted by DustyButtons View Post
hello, lovely city data forum-ites! you've been so helpful in the past i thought i'd pick your brains again...

my husband is nearing the final stages of an interview process for a position in Port Coquitlam. we were ideally looking to move to vancouver for several reasons, and are now wondering if we should consider living in the town where he might be working. we both would really like to avoid using a car at all, so walkability and public transportation are important to us. it looks to be about an hour commute by train/bus (at least according to google maps) from even east van/commercial drive area (that we were interested in anyway). we're trying to decide if that's too much to do each way every day, but in the meantime the other questions are:
-is there any kind of ride sharing that is pretty active to go out that way?
-do many people live in van and commute out there, or is it the other way around?

about Port Coquitlam:
-what kind of "feel" does the town have? suburban? neighborhood-y? walkable? independent shops or box stores? any kind of downtown area, or mostly sprawl?
-what are the residents there like? diverse and open minded or homogenous? liberal or conservative? active or stay at home? i know this is generalizing, but just to get an over-all feel of the place...i'm pretty open-minded and can get along with most people, but would prefer to be in a place where i might not have to keep my views to myself all the time at the local pub...and speaking of pubs...what's the social life like there? good restaurants, bars, arts scene?
-are rentals readily available there, or do most people own? (i saw far fewer rentals on padmapper than in vancouver proper...)
my fear is that if we live there, we'll be an hour away from the "good stuff" we liked about vancouver and won't take advantage of it...

thanks all!
Port Coquitlam is so close to the rest of Vancouver that its own "culture" (honestly, it has none) shouldn't be important.

You can easily drive to Burnaby or Vancouver for entertainment. Hmmm... well, if you want to enjoy the bar scene then you should really be living in Downtown or Vancouver. Burnaby, Surrey, Coquitlam, North Vancouver... are all devoid of any major night entertainment.
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Old 08-05-2012, 08:34 PM
 
Location: Surrey BC
1 posts, read 13,369 times
Reputation: 11
Go for Coquitlam , the travels from Poco and Vancouver would be long and draining .The transit from Coquitlam will be easier for you going to Poco and or Vancouver .
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Old 09-13-2012, 07:08 PM
 
1 posts, read 13,175 times
Reputation: 21
I have lived in PoCo for 12 years, but I grew up in West Vancouver where I spent almost all of the previous 29 years of my life except for a brief period where we lived in Point Grey. Needless to say, in the eyes of most Vacouverites I took a huge step down when I moved to PoCo but I have to tell you that I have enjoyed PoCo and its people infinitely more than the people on the North Shore (West Van and North Van) or Point Grey (another ritzy area of the city).

I am a bit shocked by the assertion that PoCo has a high homeless rate, it actually has one of the lowest rates in the GVRD (less than 2% as of the 2011 count since the whole Tri-Cities which includes Port Moody, Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam is included in that rate) and is lower than the very desirable North Shore and the aforementioned Maple Ridge (5%). You can see the whole report here (page 53): [url]http://www.metrovancouver.org/planning/homelessness/ResourcesPage/2011HomelessCountFinalReport28Feb2012-FinalVersion-Tuesday.pdf[/url]

I am also shocked that it is cited as having a high crime rate. If you zoom in to PoCo (which is very small and surrounded like a letter "C" by Coquitlam) you will see that between 2009-2012 it had had NO murders. NOT ONE!
[url=http://www.cbc.ca/bc/features/homicide/map.html]Map of Homicides in Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley | Features | CBC British Columbia[/url]
Petty crime here is also among the lowest in the GVRD.

Port Moody by contrast has seen three gang shootings in 2012 alone.
[url=http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/port-moody-residents-press-panel-for-an-end-to-gang-to-violence/article4537820/]Port Moody residents press panel for an end to gang to violence - The Globe and Mail[/url]

People in PoCo are mostly working class, that is true. But this is also the case in Burnaby, Coquitlam, East Vancouver and frankly, North Vancouver as well. By working class I include non-managerial office workers as well.

The Tri-Cities (again, PoCo is part of this region) has the best public schools second only to West Vancouver. The French Immersion program in PoCo has been consistently rated as one of the best in the province.
[url]http://britishcolumbia.compareschoolrankings.org/pdfs/Fraser_Institute_Report_Card_on_Secondary_Schools_ in_British_Columbia_and_Yukon_2012.pdf[/url]

I think stereotypes die hard and people often want to pick on one region in order to feel better about where they live. This is definitely the case of those in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows. Maple Ridge is a Hell's Angel's haven and Coquitlam hosts a Hell's Angels clubhouse. A few years ago Pitt Meadows made international headlines after the gang rape of a 13 year old girl at a party was posted to Facebook. I don't think I need to remind anybody that Vancouver in general can hang its head in shame as a town of poor sports after it had riots after both of its Stanley Cup final losses.

As somebody who grew up in "the best" area of the city and chose to move to "one of the worst" I can say with absolute confidence that the only difference in the people and the safety of PoCo compared to West Vancouver is a positive one. People here are less snobby, the teenagers more independent and willing to work, and the family atmosphere is much better because in PoCo you can actually afford to live off of one income (so there are more stay at home Moms or Moms who work part time).

Commute wise PoCo has pretty decent transit compared to other parts of the city. It is one 40 minute train ride into Vancouver and the highway improvements are expected to make driving much easier as of 2014, right now it is a bit of a pain, but that is true all over Vancouver unless you live in the downtown core. In fact, Vancouver was rated the 2nd worst city for commuting in NORTH AMERICA in 2012. [url=http://www.theprovince.com/news/vancouver/Metro+Vancouver+second+worst+North+America+local+t ravel/6915886/story.html]Traffic congestion: Metro Vancouver second worst in North America for local travel[/url]

Burke Mountain in Coquitlam might as well be in Port Coquitlam. It borders very closely and if you can imagine Coquitlam surrounding PoCo like a "C" then Burke Mountain is at the top tip of the letter. Any social problems or crime in PoCo (which I have already shown are really low) will likely be felt up there as well. The homes are gorgeous because they are new and big, but the planning is very high density and a quick drive through the area after 7pm shows that it is very congested.

In PoCo you can get a nice sized home on a massive lot compared to other parts of the city for about half the cost of Vancouver proper. I love living here and am in no hurry to go back to West Van even though my husband and I could afford the move. PoCo is not perfect but is is very far from the hell hole some of the posters here would have you believe. Honestly, if your husband's job is in PoCo you should live there (or in Burke Mountain which is basically PoCo) and enjoy 10 extra hours with your husband each week that he won't spend in traffic!
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