Life in Maillardville
Maillardville's Early Years
Maillardville celebrated its 100th birthday in 2009. It all began on September 28, 1909, when a group of 110 French Canadians from Rockland, Ontario, and Hull and Sherbrooke, Quebec travelled via railroad to Coquitlam to work for Fraser Mills (Société francophone de Maillardville, “Maillardville’s History”). Quebec’s lumber industry was renowned for its work ethic and the mill workers were enticed to come by Fraser Mills’ owners with the promise of “access to land for their families to settle, wood for building a house and the freedom to preserve their language” (Société francophone de Maillardville, “Maillardville’s History”). More mill workers would arrive the following year and soon Maillardville quickly became a blossoming community.
By 1910, Our Lady of Lourdes church was built, making it one of the first buildings in the area. Two years later, in 1912, the community would be named after its first priest, R.P. Edmond Maillard o.m.i., who played a prominent role in the community. Soon, the first stores would soon open along Pitt River Road (which would later become Brunette Avenue), including the Proulx general store. Many roads in Maillardville are now named after these early pioneers.
Maillardville has always been a hub of cultural and social activities in Coquitlam. La Fanfare Canadienne Francaise was a popular band and played at all major functions in the community. The band, which was formed in 1913 and featured 12 to 15 members at any given time, included George Bouthot, Jean-Baptiste Dicaire Jr., Frances Spencer, and Émeri Paré Sr and his sons Émeri Jr., Arcade, and Alex Paré. Temblay Hall, at the corner of Brunette and Laval, was a popular hub of entertainment for many years. Sports teams, in particular baseball and hockey, were also popular in early Maillardville.
Coquitlam Public Library New Horizons for Seniors Committee. Coquitlam Then and Now. Coquitlam, B.C.: Coquitlam Public Library, 2011.
Pioneer Tales Book Committee. Coquitlam, 100 Years: Reflections on the Past. Coquitlam, B.C.: District of Coquitlam, 1990.
Société francophone de Maillardville. "Maillardville's History." Société francophone de Maillardville. http://www.maillardville.com/index.php/history