In recent years the concept of social capital has gained great currency in discussions of community development, but connections to notions of place have not been widely addressed. This article considers the quality of place and its centrality to social capital. The authors draw from the experience of a small rural community in British Columbia, Canada. The research has been drawn from interviews and focus groups. In describing social capital conditions, community residents referred to quality of place to frame the discussion and illustrate local conditions. This suggests that the qualities of spatial organisation have a relationship to and enhance social capital. If they are weakened, then it may be difficult for communities to adapt to change, develop new opportunities or maintain community well-being. Descriptions of place quality may emerge as a proxy for relating or representing the conditions of social capital, thus place can be seen as a materialisation of social capital. For planners and other practitioners seeking to enhance social capital and advance community development, there is a need to acknowledge and manage relationships between public policy makers and the private or public forces that determine the shape of places.