At one time it was the largest pocket of Canadian Francophones west of Manitoba and today, Maillardville is historic cultural community in Coquitlam.
In 1891 the District of Coquitlam was incorporated and toward the end of the century, Frank Ross and James McLaren opened Fraser Mills, a $350,000 state-of-the-art lumber mill on the north bank of the Fraser River.
“By 1908, a mill town of 20 houses, a store, post office, hospital, office block, barber shop and pool hall had grown around the mill. A year later one of the most significant events in Coquitlam’s history took place. Mill owners, in search of workers, turned their attention to the experienced logging culture of Quebec and in 1909 a contingent of 110 French Canadians arrived, recruited for work at Fraser Mills. With the arrival of a second contingent in June 1910, Maillardville was born. Maillardville, named for Father Maillard, a young Oblate from France, was more than just a French-Canadian enclave in Western Canada.” [source]
Maillardville hosts annual events such as the Festival du Bois, a community garage sale, Christmas party, nighbourhood walks, and a barbecue. It is also home to historic churches, shops (including the box stores on the flats such as Ikea), theatre productions, a children’s festival, Mackin Park and the Mackin House Museum.
While the French language and culture has faded away over the years, you can still see evidence of its impact in the street names, architecture, and the continuing SociÃ©tÃ© francophone de Maillardville.
You can check out local event listings or upcoming activities on the Place des Arts website, or follow Place des Arts on Facebook and Twitter.