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Making Vancouver Brighter

Coquitlam: A Rich History in the Heart of Metro Vancouver

2 min read

Coquitlam is a thriving city located in the heart of Metro Vancouver. With a population of over 150,000 people, it’s one of the largest cities in the region. But before it became a bustling urban center, Coquitlam was a quiet and peaceful land with a rich history that dates back thousands of years.

Indigenous History

The area that is now known as Coquitlam has a rich history of Indigenous culture and heritage. The Coast Salish people have lived in the region for thousands of years, and their presence is still felt today. The Kwikwetlem First Nation is one of the five Indigenous communities in the area and has been an integral part of Coquitlam’s history.

Early Settlement

The first non-Indigenous settlement in the area was established in the mid-19th century. The construction of the North Road, a wagon road that connected New Westminster to the interior of the province, brought settlers to the region. In 1889, the City of Coquitlam was officially incorporated, named after the Coquitlam River that runs through the city.


Coquitlam’s economy began to thrive in the early 20th century with the arrival of the Canadian Pacific Railway. The railway brought industries such as logging, sawmills, and brickworks to the area. In the 1950s, the opening of the Lougheed Highway and the Trans-Canada Highway further opened up the region to industrial development.


In the 1970s and 80s, Coquitlam underwent a period of rapid growth and modernization. The opening of Coquitlam Centre, a large shopping mall, and the expansion of SkyTrain, Vancouver’s rapid transit system, brought new residents and businesses to the city. Today, Coquitlam is a thriving urban center with a diverse economy that includes technology, healthcare, and education.

Preserving the Past

Despite its rapid growth and modernization, Coquitlam has made efforts to preserve its rich history and cultural heritage. The Kwikwetlem First Nation Cultural Centre, located in Coquitlam’s Maillardville neighborhood, showcases the history and culture of the region’s Indigenous people. The Coquitlam Heritage Society also maintains several historic buildings and sites in the city, including Mackin House, a restored 1909 house that offers a glimpse into early settler life.

In conclusion, Coquitlam’s rich history and cultural heritage are an important part of its identity as a thriving urban center. From its Indigenous roots to its modernization and development, Coquitlam’s history has shaped its present and will continue to shape its future.