Port Coquitlam Recognized for Livability as it Turns 100
Port Coquitlam’s come a long way, baby.
In the same month as its 100th birthday, one of Metro Vancouver’s smaller cities has received external recognition for its livability. Port Coquitlam was ranked the third most livable city in B.C. and 33rd out of 200 across the country in Moneysense magazine’s annual Best Places to Live ranking - something that comes as little surprise to Mayor Greg Moore.
“Although this is just one magazine’s view of our city, it does underscore what we in Port Coquitlam already know – that there is something unique and special about our city,” Mayor Moore said. “We’re still one of Metro Vancouver’s best-kept secrets – people can still afford to buy a home or set up a business here, our jobless rate is one of the lowest, and our property taxes are among the lowest in the region. Not to mention, we still have that old-fashioned community spirit that you don’t often find in an urban setting.”
The Moneysense ranking took into account factors such as income, employment, housing prices, weather, crime, access to medical treatment and cultural activities. Only Saanich and the District of North Vancouver placed ahead of Port Coquitlam in B.C.
Port Coquitlam also scored high with its own citizens last fall in a statistically valid survey by Ipsos Reid. The survey showed 99 per cent of residents feel their city offers a good or very good quality of life, 97 per cent were satisfied with municipal services, and 97 per cent feel Port Coquitlam is a safe place to live.
The timing of the ranking comes in the midst of Port Coquitlam’s year-long 100th birthday celebrations. A century ago on Mar. 7, Port Coquitlam officially split from Coquitlam to become a city in its own right. The population at the time was estimated at 1,200-1,500 and was centred around the Canadian Pacific Railway’s Westminster Junction, near Kingsway Avenue. The city continued to grow and thrive over the decades as both residents – including hometown hero Terry Fox - and businesses made Port Coquitlam their home.
Today, Port Coquitlam is a community of approximately 57,000 people – seventh smallest among Metro Vancouver’s 18 cities and district municipalities – with a strategic location in Metro Vancouver, well-established neighbourhoods, new commercial and industrial areas, a vibrant cultural scene, a historic downtown core, a tradition of community pride and involvement, and 271 hectares of parkland including the 25-km Traboulay PoCo Trail, a regional attraction.
The city continues to grow, with more than $100 million in new development and renovations in 2012 – the bulk coming from mixed use (residential and commercial), institutional, single-family and multi-family projects. More than 3,200 business licences were issued in 2012, with manufacturing and general contractors consistently ranking among the top business sectors.
Residential growth also continues, with an 8.6 per cent increase in the number of private dwellings from 2006 to 2011, based on recent census data.The average single-family home in Port Coquitlam was valued at $526,175 in 2012.
The city’s enduring tradition of community spirit can be seen in this year’s centennial celebrations, which have attracted involvement from all facets of the community.
For information about Port Coquitlam’s centennial events and projects, visit www.portcoquitlam.ca/100. City photos are available at www.portcoquitlam.ca/photogallery.
Pardeep Purewal, Manager
Communications & Administrative Services
City of Port Coquitlam