5 Beautiful Historic Sites Waiting for Seniors in Coquitlam

Posted :
October 26, 2023
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SF Care Services
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The history of Coquitlam can be traced back to the original dwellers of this land, the Coast Salish people, over 9,000 years ago. We get the city’s name from “Kwikwetlem” from an old Coast Salish term translating to “red fish up the river”.

In 1808, the landscape caught the eye of British-American explorer, Simon Fraser. By the late 1800s, European colonizers began to settle the area. As the town grew it attracted French-Canadian workers from Quebec in the early 1900s. Weaving their stories into Coquitlam’s expanding narrative.

With its rich tapestry of the past, seniors with a curiosity for bygone times will find a serene yet invigorating landscape to explore. Whether it’s a leisurely stroll through a historic estate or a guided tour unveiling the tales of indigenous peoples. Coquitlam’s cultural nexus offers education and enjoyment, perfectly suited for the active and inquisitive senior.

Coquitlam Watershed Tours

Watersheds are a natural resource that cities use to supply drinking water to their residents. The Coquitlam Watershed Tour blends nature walks with historical exploration and education. Traverse through the heart of Coquitlam’s natural bounty, encapsulated in the majestic Western Red Cedar and Douglas firs.

Aerial photo of the Coquitlam Lake Reservoir and mountains

The highlight of the tour is a visit to the 1913 water intake tower. Here, you’ll have expansive views of the watershed, alongside Coquitlam Island and Coquitlam Lake. A beautifully serene backdrop to this enriching expedition.

This tour isn’t merely a visual feast, but a gateway to the history of Coquitlam. Each step is a step back in time. It’s an engaging chapter in the Coquitlam cultural exploration for retirees. Discover a renewed respect for these protected lands as you visit different locations and learn about the history of Coquitlam’s drinking water. By the end of the tour seniors will have a whole new understanding of how healthy ecosystems are vital to the quality of water you have at home.

While the tour is a peaceful retreat and an educational journey, there will be some light hiking involved. Seniors will need to be comfortable with stairs, walking on uneven ground, as well as going up and down sloped trails.

Mackin House Museum

Mackin House is situated across the street from picnic-worthy Mackin Park in the historic Maillardville neighbourhood. Built in 1909 for Henry James Mackin, the general manager of Fraser River Sawmill Company, it stands as one of the last remaining homes of the Fraser Mill executives. The Mackin House Museum is a testament to Coquilam’s early 20th-century heritage.

Today, under the aegis of the Coquitlam Heritage Society, it opens a fascinating window into the past with tales of a rugged industrial era. A tour through Mackin House, with its rotating exhibits and workshops, will immerse seniors in the history of Coquitlam. Edwardian era adorned rooms filled with period furnishings and early 1900s toys provide seniors a tactile journey through history. Making you feel part of its living community heritage.

The museum has been a beloved landmark since its inception, continuing to echo the rich industrial and cultural narratives of Coquitlam. Mackin House is a quintessential part of the city’s past, and should be on the list of historic sites for seniors in Coquitlam.

Adjacently, the Place des Arts arts and craft programs beckons seniors with a rich cultural experience.

Maillardville Walking Tour

Embark on a nostalgic journey through the quaint lanes of Maillardville in a tribute to Coquitlam’s rich history. The Maillardville Walking Tour narrates the tales of old Coquitlam and showcases the living remnants of a bygone era. Seniors will be able to touch, see, and feel the history of Coquitlam. Delve into two distinctive eras, Maillardville in the early 1900s and Maillardville from the 1930s onwards.

As you stroll through the same paths once trodden by French-Canadian pioneers, seniors will be tracing the roots of a community that thrived a century ago. The architecture, an enduring testament to Maillardville’s rich past, tells stories of hope, community, and resilience. Every building, every street corner holds tales of those early settlers who were drawn by the promise of a better future, making Maillardville a significant chapter in the Coquitlam cultural exploration for retirees.

Although the riverfront mill and many original homes have yielded to time, the handful that remain stand resolutely, defying the march of redevelopment. Seniors will walk through living history, stepping closer to the essence of Coquitlam.

The Maillardville Walking Tour is available in English or Mandarin and runs rain or shine. It’s a blend of exercise and education, so seniors must be capable of walking for an hour (some of it uphill). After the walk you’ll be served refreshments.

In the spring, you’ll find a double-dose of history with the senior-friendly Festival du Bois in Mackin Park.

Riverview Hospital Arboretum

Nestled amidst the ground of the historic Riverview Hospital, the Riverview Horticultural Centre Society oversees this world-class arboretum. The society is a custodian of the region’s botanical heritage, ensuring that the echoes of the past reverberate through the leafy corridors.

The arboretum was created in 1911 by British Columbia’s Provincial Botanist, John Davidson, as a therapeutic aid for the patients at Riverview Hospital. Back then, the hospital was for mental health and the verdant gardens were believed to have therapeutic benefits. Today, it stands as a vivid emblem of the history of Coquitlam. Weaving together the region’s horticultural past into a lush tapestry that beckons to be explored.

Each tree and each path tells tales of the days gone by, making it one of the cherished senior-friendly historic places in Coquitlam.

Autumn foliage at the arboretum

The Society for Preservation of Antique Radio in Canada (SPARC)

Embark on a nostalgic voyage at The Society for Preservation of Antique Radio in Canada (SPARC). Located in the serene Riverview Hospital grounds, this museum is a bridge to the past. With rich narratives describing the riveting journey of the evolution of electronic communications. Perfect for seniors to reminisce or discover radio history. It’s not merely a visit, but an enriching expedition back to the roots of modern communication.

3D illustration of an old fashioned radio on a wooden table

SPARC meticulously curates and preserves a plethora of radio and electronic artifacts, offering a tactile journey through the evolution of communication. The touch of vintage radios, the aesthetics of antique communication devices, and the stories they hold are bound to resonate with seniors. SPARC explores a heartwarming chapter in the Coquitlam cultural exploration for retirees. As they wander through exhibits, seniors can view devices from various categories such as military and marine to broadcast and amateur.

The past converses with the present at SPARC, making it a cherished destination for those keen or curious about retracing technological advancements. The blend of education, nostalgia, and interactive exhibits makes SPARC a quintessential spot among the senior-friendly historic places in Coquitlam. Where every artifact is a dialogue between the then and now, waiting to be explored and appreciated a new.

Furthermore, SPARC offers hands-on restoration and repair services for old radios. Inviting seniors to rekindle their own memories and experiences.

Coquitlam Cultural Exploration for Retirees

Coquitlam’s rich tapestry of history and nature offers a serene yet invigorating landscape for seniors to explore. The blend of historical narratives, verdant gardens, and community heritage makes it a coveted destination for those seeking a fulfilling and culturally rich retirement.

Whether through the whispers of the past at Mackin House Museum, the scenic beauty of Riverview Horticultural Centre, or the technological tales at SPARC, Coquitlam extends a warm invitation to delve into its vibrant heritage. Each site is a chapter in the city’s story, waiting to be discovered and cherished.

So, take a leisurely stroll through Coquitlam’s historic lanes, and let the city’s heritage touch your soul.