Guide to the ‘Burbs: Port Moody

This 'burb is known for scenic beauty and small-town feel.

July 10, 2018

By Jennifer Van Evra / Photo: Hubert Figuiere

Hottest ‘Hood

Port Moody’s small-town feel is experiencing a big change as downsizers and first-time buyers flock to this picturesque village in search of oceanside living without the big-city prices—and the arrival of SkyTrain means it’s no longer as distant an outpost, although the commute is hardly a walk in the park. With their contemporary condos and townhouses and close proximity to restaurants, shops and waterfront trails, Suter Brook and Newbutnzport Village areas are happening spots, while those looking for higher-end options are heading up to Heritage Woods or to the Ioco waterfront. However, locals fear that the easier access and rapid expansion could diminish the serenity they enjoy, and, ironically, that newcomers seek.

Landmarks

Rocky Point Park: A long pier, a boat launch, an outdoor pool, a skate park, bike trails, a bandshell and a kids’ water park are just some of the amenities that make the 3.8-hectare Rocky Point one of Port Moody’s most popular destinations—as well as a starting point for endless aquatic adventures.

Buntzen Lake: Before a 1904 hydroelectric project was put in place, Buntzen Lake was known as Lake Beautiful—and it’s no wonder. The stunning freshwater lake and surrounding nature make it a must-visit spot for summer swimming, canoeing, kayaking, hiking or just floating along. A waterfront off-leash dog area makes it perfect for pooches, too.

SkyTrain: It took many years and many false starts, but one of the most significant additions to Port Moody has been SkyTrain service, which makes for easy access to Coquitlam, Burnaby and Vancouver—and for a less car-reliant community. Coming with that transit is a big dose of density for the sleepy seaside community, with several large condo and townhouse developments proposed or in the works.

Best Bites 

Brewers Row: It seemed like a funny fluke when two breweries opened on the same street, but now it’s home to four—Moody Ales, Parkside, Yellow Dog and Twin Sails—making this stretch a sudsy destination for lovers of carefully crafted brews and cheerful tasting rooms.

Spacca Napoli: For locals it was a slice of heaven when chef Marco Cresciullo, co-owner Davide Di Giovanni and brothers Danny and Paolo Pero—all with true Neapolitan roots—opened an authentic, wood-fired Italian pizzeria. Cresciullo focuses on quality ingredients, but the real secret is the slow-rising rustic crust, made from a recipe handed down for generations.

Rocky Point Ice Cream: Now in their 21st year, Rocky Point went from a tiny summer kiosk to a year-round hotspot for all sorts of frozen goodness—milkshakes, sundaes, mini ice cream cakes and bliss-producing double scoops, to name a few. Ninety percent of the ingredients are local, and the community-minded owners support a host of local causes, too.

Meat Craft Urban Butchery: Local free-range and ethically raised meats are what make this Port Moody butcher a cut above; make sure to try their house-made sausages, marinades and tasty sausage rolls, too. Custom cuts available.

Gabi and Jules: Named for the owners’ daughters, one of whom has autism, Gabi and Jules is a cozy place to buy sweet and savoury pies, as well as other baked treats. Owners Lisa and Patrick Beecroft are also committed to hiring people on the autism spectrum, so there’s a feel-good vibe that accompanies the stellar eats.

Original’s Restaurante Mexicano: If it looks like you’re heading into someone’s house, you’ve probably found Original’s Restaurante Mexicano, where locals can be transported to sunnier climes through tasty tostadas, burritos, enchiladas, ceviche and more. You’ll also find their food truck wisely perched outside the Parkside or Yellow Dog breweries every Tuesday and Wednesday.

Coming Soon

For more than a century, the 34-acre Flavelle sawmill operated just west of Rocky Point Park—but if a new development gets the go-ahead, it will be transformed into a massive residential hub, with 11 towers up to 38 storeys, retail and office spaces, a seniors’ facility, community amenities and more, as well as parks and a public plaza. Previous attempts to change the site’s industrial designation have failed, and even if the project is approved, construction is still years away—but if it does go ahead, the more than 3,000 new residential units would mean a seismic shift for the seaside community, and a huge population boost.

 

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