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Coquitlam encourages its residents to have a strong sense of community and to be active participants in the world around them. A suburb of Vancouver, the city was first settled in the 1860s. The Coquitlam Heritage Society's Mackin House, set downtown, was built in 1909 as a home for members of the Fraser Mills Company; in 1999, it was opened to the public as a heritage museum. The Society now hosts monthly historical book club meetings and seasonal events.

A variety of indoor and outdoor sports facilities are available to keep Coquitlam visitors and residents active. The 200,000 square-foot Poirier Sport and Leisure Complex, a five-minute drive northeast of downtown, offers ice skating, swimming, and fitness courses, seven days a week on a drop-in basis. The complex is also the home of the Coquitlam Sports Hall of Fame, where Coquiltam visitors will be able to view more than 1,000 square feet of tributes to local athletes and teams.

Hiking and bicycling are also popular Coquitlam activities. There are more than 90 kilometres of trails around town, including a portion of the Trans Canada Trail, which spans all the way across Canada, from west to east. Adjacent to the Mackin House, Mackin Park also has many outdoor activities Coquitlam visitors will enjoy; amenities here include sporting fields, a playground, a baseball diamond and a tennis court, as well as hiking trails of its own. In 2010, the park hosted the Olympic Torch Relay Celebration.

The city also has a strong public arts program. "Pioneer Spirit", a stainless steel multimedia sculpture can be found in Mackin Park; it was a gift from the City of Coquitlam to commemorate the Centenaire de Maillardville. Near the Poirier Complex stands a totem pole commemorating Canada's centennial year, and another piece, "Return of the Sockeye," is 15 minutes northeast near the Douglas College campus.

Nearby, the Evergreen Cultural Centre is the place to catch live theatre productions (Cadence, The Kerplunks, and The 39 Steps are recent productions) and to view contemporary art; artist talks and workshops are also available to visitors. The Place des Arts is an art centre and music school which offers traditional studio classes for children, youth and home learners, as well as theatre and literary arts classes. Throughout the year, the centre sponsors a number of open houses and performances.

Take a break from sightseeing over a treat from Clever Cupcakes, located just minutes from Evergreen. Choose from a wide variety of flavours—or a different featured flavour each day—and indulge in a cup of locally-roasted coffee. The Cactus Club Cafe, southeast of the Makin House on Schoolhouse, is a popular venue with plenty of ambience; in addition to a Pacific Northwest-inspired menu highlighting sustainable ingredients, this café offers plenty of signature cocktails, a large wine list and Andy Warhol's original artwork, "Sitting Bull." The café is surrounded by many shopping opportunities and attractions, including Ikea and the Zone Bowling Centre.