Posted by: locaphile | May 5, 2013

Discovering the burbs: Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows and Port Coquitlam

There has been a bit of press discovering the delights of the suburbs of Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows and Port Coquitlam, BC:  Big Feast’s local hero award from Edible Vancouver and air time on CTV News as well as a great review for the curiously named Lava Lounge in Maple Ridge (“suburban gem worth the trip”).  Edible Vancouver states that Big Feast “Kind of makes us wish we lived in Maple Ridge.”  This has me thinking about all the other things that make living here fun and interesting.  The Top 5+:

  1. ACCESS TO NATURE.  We are surrounded by quick and easy access the the back country: Golden Ears Provincial Park, Minnekhada and Kanaka Creek Regional Parks, the Pitt, Alouette and Hayward Lakes and Rivers as well as the Fraser River.  Connecting with the Ridge Meadows Outdoor Club is a great way to get out and see the landscape.  For the less energetic amongst us, the dyke and trail systems cover some amazing countryside as well – the Traboulay PoCo Trail, the Blue Heron Loop, etc.
  2. FARMERS MARKETS.  We have active and caring communities.  The Haney Farmers Market runs from May through December in Maple Ridge’s Memorial Peace Park on Saturdays from 9 a.m to 2 p.m.  Like they say: “This is where it happens, at the market, connecting community around the table, reflecting the rhythm, the passion, uniqueness and diversity, nourishing the mind, body and soul.”  The Haney Farmers Market starts up next weekend, 11 May 2013.  The Port Coquitlam Farmers Market runs from June through September in Port Coquitlam’s Leigh Square on Thursdays from 3 to 7 p.m.
  3. FARM GATE SALES.  As you bike or drive around the more rural portions of the communities you will find signs for “Eggs,”  “Hay,” “Plants,” or “Manure.”  Seasonal sales from the farm gates can be found Hansra’s (18266 Old Dewdney Trunk Rd) and Never Say Die Nursery (east of Harris Road on Old Dewdney Trunk Road) in Pitt Meadows and Red Barn Plants and Produce at 13139 – 224th Street in Maple Ridge.  Red Barn is starting up its Farm Gate sales on Thursday, June 20th 2013 from 3 to 7 p.m.  Many other farms like the Laity Farm (21145 128th Avenue, Maple Ridge) open in season for spring plant sales, pumpkins, blueberries, christmas trees, etc.
  4. LOCAVORE SHOPPING.  Foodies will be delighted to visit Hopcott Meats (18385 Old Dewdney Trunk Road, Pitt Meadows), the Golden Ears Cheesecrafters (22270 – 128th Avenue, Maple Ridge) and Bruce’s Market (23963 Lougheed Highway, Maple Ridge).  Bruce’s Market is celebrating its Spring Festival on the 11th and 12th of May 2013 with its annual Wild Salmon BBQ as well as Halibut and Spot Prawn sales.  There is also significant pressure on our supermarkets to source local foodstuffs.
  5. EATERIES.  In addition to Big Feast, Lava Lounge and Bruce’s Market mentioned above, you really should stop in for the samosas at Bombay Sweets (2803 Shaughnessy in Port Coquitlam).  Kingfishers’ Pub (23840 River Road  Maple Ridge) offers a fantastic view of the Fraser River as does the historic Billy Miner Alehouse and Cafe (22355 River Road, Maple Ridge). Don’t miss stopping into Bean Around Books (22626 Lougheed Highway, Maple Ridge) for their unique selections of tea and coffee alongside books galore.
  6. Let me know what I’ve missed…
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