11 Must-See Heritage Sites
Coquitlam, a place of old-growth forest and rivers teeming with salmon, was home to the Coast Salish people who have lived here for thousands of years. European settlers arrived in the 1860s – loggers, farmers, railway engineers and others were attracted by the opportunity to build a new life. With the building of the Ross McLaren Sawmills in 1889 (at a cost of $350,000), an important industrial site in the history of British Columbia, the town quickly grew. Many of Coquitlam’s most notable historic properties are from just after the turn of the century. Explore our neighbourhoods and take a trip down memory lane.
- Mackin House Museum A landmark in Coquitlam, it is one of the last remaining homes built for the Fraser River Sawmill Company and was first occupied in 1909 by Henry James Mackin, the mill’s General Manager, and his family. It is now a heritage house museum run by the Coquitlam Heritage Society, which restored it. The rooms include furniture from the Edwardian era and a large collection of toys dating from the early 1900s. Maillardville is where the Coquitlam Heritage Society offers its historic walking tours. Coquitlam Heritage Society
- Maillardville Walk Explore the historic neighbourhood of Maillardville, which is well worth visiting, including Carré Heritage Square, the Booth Farm House and the many heritage homes in the area. Starting at Mackin House, you can discover historic Maillardville on a self-guided walk – grab the walking tour brochure from Mackin House and hit the streets. Look for the large interpretive signs!
- Carré Heritage Square The heritage square marks the historic entrance to Fraser Mills, the lumber mill that dominated Coquitlam’s early years in the twentieth century. You’ll also find the Fraser Mills Station Museum and Place des Arts, Coquitlam’s community arts centre and music school.
- Ryan House Place des Arts began as a non-profit society in 1972 in Ryan House, a turn-of-the-century residence built by the Fraser Mills lumber mill. It is now a community arts centre and music school, that offers a variety of programming for all ages. Place des Arts
- Our Lady of Lourdes The current church was built in 1938 on the site of the original Our Lady of Lourdes Church, which was a focal point for Coquitlam’s vibrant French-speaking community who began to arrive in 1908.
- Hommage Aux Pionniers This amazing artwork tells the story of Maillardville and was commissioned for the 75th anniversary of this historic Coquitlam neighbourhood. It’s located in front of Our Lady of Lourdes Church.
- Colony Farm and Colony Farm Bunkhouse Colony Farm was purchased by the province in 1904 as the location for a new psychiatric facility. Opened in 1910, the facilities were a provincial demonstration farm with high quality living quarters, modern farm equipment and pristine grounds for the hospital now known as Riverview. The farm was partly staffed by patients. The lowlands of the farm were developed to provide opportunities to work in a healthy, supervised setting and also to provide food supplies for the hospital complex. The space is now a birdwatcher’s delight of grasslands, waterways and marshes crisscrossed by wide, flat trails.
- Minnekhada Lodge The name “Minnekhada” is derived from the Sioux language and means “rattling water.” The land was first granted to George Alderson in 1895 but reverted to the District of Coquitlam in 1920 and then sold at a tax sale in 1921. It had many owners until it was purchased in 1932 by Eric Hamber (President of BC Mills, Timber & Trading Co.) the 15th Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, who owned it until 1958. The Tudor Revival style lodge was completed in 1937 as a country retreat and hunting lodge. Hamber originally used the farm for polo horses and established the famous Greencroft lineage. Sold in 1958 to Colonel Clarence Wallace (President of Burrard Dry Dock and 18th Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, 1950-1955), it eventually reverted to the Crown in the late 1970s. Minnekhada Lodge was finally acquired by the GVRD in 1995 as an addition to the Minnekhada Regional Park.
- Lafarge Lake Thirty years ago, Town Centre Park was the site of a gravel plant and pit. Today’s picturesque Lafarge Lake is, in fact, a man-made excavated lake donated to the City by the Lafarge Company in the late 1970s. To help the City realize its vision of hosting the 1991 BC Summer Games, the Province gave the surrounding land to the City and it was developed into a state-of-the-art sport and recreation facility. Town Centre Park officially opened in May 1989, and the BC Summer Games, held two years later, were a huge success. Within the hundred acres of Town Centre Park, the legacy of sport, recreation and celebration continues as the host park for a number of events including the U-19 FIL World Field Lacrosse Championships and the 55+ BC Games.
- Oxbow / Steelhead Ranch The River Springs development sits on the site of the former Oxbow / Steelhead Ranch and several of the streets are named in honour of the stars who visited the ranch, which was originally owned by Alfred Carlyle “Carl” Jacobs (a Canadian-born Hollywood stuntman) and his wife Clara “Babe” Guiol Jacobs (a Hollywood actress). The ranch became a retreat for Hollywood celebrities such as Clark Gable, Carole Lombard, John Wayne and Will Rogers.
- Westwood Plateau / Racetrack The racetrack was the first purpose-built road racing track in Canada and ran 32 seasons from 1959 to 1990. Racing legend Michael Andretti set the fastest lap time on May 21, 1983 (0:58.795). Several street names in the Westwood Plateau area are named after parts of the track (i.e. Deers Leap Place and Carousel Court).