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Coquitlam is an urban area east of Vancouver and is the sixth largest city in BC. Coquitlam is part of the Tri-Cities, an informal grouping with Port Coquitlam and Port Moody and two villages Anmore and Belcarra.
The Coast Salish people were the first to live in this area and archaeology confirms there was continuous occupation for at least 9000 years. Simon Fraser came through the region in 1808 and by the 1860's European settlers gradually settled in this area. In 1889 Frank Ross and James McLaren opened what would become Fraser Mills a then state of the art lumber mill on the north bank of the Fraser River and by 1908, it became a mill town with a post office, a store, hospital, office building, barber shop and pool. Over the next several years, French Canadian millworkers arrived from Quebec and Maillardville was born. Following WWII, Coquitlam experienced substantial population growth that continues today.
Como Lake in the Austin Heights neighbourhood is a renowned urban fishing and recreation area, and headwaters for the Como watershed. The watershed represents one of the last urban watersheds in the Tri-Cities that supports wild stocks of coho salmon as well as other species at risk such as coastal cutthroat trout (both sea-run and resident) and bird species such as the great blue heron and green heron. It also contains Mundy Park, one of the largest urban parks in the Metro Vancouver area.