Coquitlam, BC, incorporated as a city in 1992, population 126 456 (2011c), 114 565 (2006c). The City of Coquitlam is located on the north bank of the FRASER RIVER between BURNABY and NEW WESTMINSTER to the west and PORT COQUITLAM and PITT MEADOWS to the east. Northwest and northeast Coquitlam include the lower slopes of Eagle and Burke Mountains - with peaks up to 1600 m high.
The earliest residents of this area were the Kwikwetlem of the Central Coast SALISH. Coquitlam is derived from their name and means "small red salmon," which refers to the salmon that once travelled up the Coquitlam River to spawn in Coquitlam Lake. In 1889, the Ross, McLaren Mill (later Fraser Mills) - the most technologically advanced and the largest lumber mill operation of its kind - was constructed. Coquitlam was incorporated as a district municipality in 1891. Beginning in 1909, a large contingent of French Canadians from the lumber industry of Québec migrated to Maillardville, a historic community within Coquitlam.
Coquitlam was divided politically from Fraser Mills and Port Coquitlam, forming separate communities in 1913. Much of Fraser Mills was flooded in 1948. It has been part of Coquitlam since 1971. The Lougheed Highway was opened in 1953, resulting in increased development. Coquitlam Centre, a major regional mall, opened in 1979.
The city is mainly residential but has some large industries, including extraction (primarily gravel), wood products, wholesaling and warehousing, and transportation and trucking. There are numerous parks within the city, including Mundy, the largest civic park, 2 regional parks (Minnekhada and Colony Farm), a regional park reserve (Widgeon Marsh) and the southern portion of Pinecone Burke Provincial Park.
The city council consists of eight councillors and a mayor elected at large. Town Centre is the urban centre for the entire northeast section of Metro Vancouver and is the focal point for civic, cultural and educational services. The city hall, cultural centre, and educational and recreational buildings, together with commercial developments, serve the local and regional population.