Port Moody | The Canadian Encyclopedia


Port Moody

Port Moody, British Columbia, incorporated as a city in 1913, population 33,535 (2021 census), 33,551 (2016 census). The City of Port Moody lies at the head of Burrard Inlet, 20 km east of Vancouver. It is a member of the Metro Vancouver Regional District and part of the Tri-Cities with Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam.

Port Moody's foreshore contains abundant evidence of pre-European occupation by the Central Coast Salish peoples. It was named in 1859 after Richard Clement Moody, who came to British Columbia as a colonel with the Royal Engineers. The townsite originally constituted crown grants to two sappers of the Royal Engineers.

A land boom began when the first steel arrived for construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway(CPR) on 12 March 1883. In 1879, Port Moody had been officially named western terminus of the CPR. The first passenger train to reach the Pacific from Montreal arrived 4 July 1886, marking the first transcontinental crossing of a passenger train. Port Moody's boom ended in 1887 when a new western terminus was announced farther west at Vancouver.

Port Moody was the link to the Far East silk trade (see also Silk Train) and many of the famous square riggers were early visitors. From the early days to about 1950 lumbering was the main industry. After the Second World War, Port Moody's industrial base expanded with a steel-pipe mill, chemical plants and a major oil refinery. Its economy has since shifted away from heavy industries and towards service industries, light manufacturing and wholesale distribution. In 1960, a deep-sea port, equipped with highly automated bulk-loading facilities, was completed. The port specializes in sulphur and ethylene glycol. Large ocean-going ships can reach Port Moody via Vancouver Harbour.

Port Moody promotes itself as the "City of the Arts" as it has a high concentration of employment in arts and culture. Cultural venues include Inlet Theatre in the Civic Centre, Port Moody Arts Centre in the original city hall (built 1913) and the Station Museum in the CPR station (built 1905). Festival of the Arts and Port Moody Canadian Film Festival highlight regional and national artists. Golden Spike Days commemorate the arrival of the CPR to Port Moody.