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Mystery smell not dangerous, Port Moody fire chief says

Fortis ruled out a gas leak and local industry wasn't the source of the smell, however, people are encouraged to contact Metro Vancouver if they have further complaints
A noxious smell permeated the neighbourhoods of College Park and Seaview
A noxious smell permeated the neighbourhoods of College Park and Seaview late Saturday and Sunday but the source of the stench has not been identified.

Port Moody residents who woke up Sunday with a noxious smell pervading their homes and yards can rest assured the stink wasn’t dangerous, says the Port Moody fire department.

But Chief Ron Coulson told The Tri-City News he still doesn’t know what caused the smell that wafted through College Park and Glenayre late Saturday night through Sunday.

“It’s a mystery — it could be anything, it could be organic,” said Coulson, “Some have even suggested it could be environmental materials in the inlet.”

The chief spent Sunday trying to source the smell, but it was not from any of the local industries, such as Suncor, Pacific Coast Terminals or Imperial Oil.

Fortis was also called and the natural gas company said it was not a natural gas leak, according to Coulson.

“They eliminated that possibility early on.”

Still, the smell was strong enough to generate dozens of calls to the Port Moody police department either directly through the non-emergency line or via 911.


Resident Sandra Niven said she was relieved to learn the issue was not life-threatening, and for her the stench was more like mangos while for others it smelled like onions or sulphur.

“It is troubling that it has been more than a day,” said Niven, who noted that even Monday morning she could detect the scent although by mid-morning it seemed to have dissipated.

At one point in the day Sunday the smell was very thick in the air, she said.

Because Port Moody fire could not turn up a source that was dangerous, Metro Vancouver’s air quality monitoring department was put on the case.

As of Monday morning, an exact cause had not been determined, according to Coulson.

To complain about odour, dust or other air contaminant in future, he recommended residents call Metro Vancouver’s complaint line at 604-436-6777.