A day spent in the growing communities of Coquitlam
By Greg Waldock, Staff Writer
The completion of the Evergreen line and its stations in Coquitlam allows for new, young communities to grow around them. I decided to spend a day exploring each station, finding out what’s in walking distance, and seeing what I can look forward to in the future. The mission was an over-caffeinated success.
Burquitlam is a weird neighbourhood. The first thing you notice stepping out of the station is what looks to be a Korean pizza and karaoke joint. Going inside will reveal that it is, in fact, a Punjabi/Korean pizza and karaoke place with an Italian chef and a proud “Best Dressed” award at the counter—don’t ask, I’m not actually sure how this award is given out. The pizza is decent, but it’s worth visiting mostly to marvel at the wonders of globalism. There’s also the Connected Minds Café and Roastery, a lovely little coffee shop with great atmosphere and even better tea, as well as a very nice-looking but completely abandoned pub that’s been closed since early last year.
Moody Centre Station
Nestled in a forest of auto repair shops and strip malls is the most humble train station here. There’s not much going on—yet!—though it does offer an excellent view of the mountains, and of a guy drinking Everclear straight from a bottle in a park. Regulars to King George may find it to be a familiar sight.
Inlet Centre Station
For now, this whole area is just condos and car dealerships, but it’s going to be one of the fastest-growing areas in Coquitlam, as evidenced by all the development plan signs posted everywhere. For now, the only things worth seeing are the cool modern art statues speckled over the station.
Coquitlam Central Station
The main attractions here are a West Coast Express station, a really large parking lot. Although it is within walking distance of Coquitlam Centre, a fairly large mall that has many sit down restaurants, shopping, and a T&T, Lincoln Station is even closer to the mall. That means this station is mostly a high-traffic transit stop for other places.
Do you miss the slick veneer of the 1980s? Lincoln is the station for you. Surrounded on all sides by massive shopping malls, such as Coquitlam Centre and Henderson Place, and condos that look several decades out of date, it’s still a pretty cool place to wander around. There are a lot of niche stores hidden away inside those malls if you’ve got the time to look, including a Korean taco restaurant and endless knick-knack shops. The Coquitlam Public Library is surprisingly comfortable, and close-by to boot.
Lafarge Lake Station
The last and best stop (in my opinion) on the Evergreen Line. Cozy coffee shops and trendy restaurants are scattered around the area. Sleek apartment buildings loom over a grove of cedar trees. The eponymous Lafarge Lake is absolutely gorgeous with scenic benches, dozens of PokeStops, and art pieces from the nearby Community Centre. Wandering around this area was the highlight of the trip for me. Students who regularly trek it to the New Westminster campus can get a lot from taking a break from studying to walk around the water and enjoy the fresh air.