Where Rails Meet Rivers
by Chuck Davis
The colourful, definitive history of Port Coquitlam.
Book DescriptionPort Coquitlam is one tough little city with a colourful history. From its beginnings as a humble settlement on the crossroads of two CPR lines, it grew to become one of the five fastest growing cities in Canada, with a population of just over 50,000.
In the early years it survived a tragic depression, only to be hit with the Spanish influenza epidemic of 1918. The city then pulled through the devastating - and embarrassing - fire of 1920, which destroyed almost the entire downtown shopping district. (The fire started in the kitchen of the fire chief, who had never fought a fire in his life. The first building to burn down was the fire hall.) One disaster followed another when the Coquitlam River flooded and swept away many notable buildings.
The advent of the Coquitlam Mental Hospital, now known as Riverview, provided a much-needed economic boost to the struggling city, and Port Coquitlam continues to prosper. Its most famous citizen is the late Terry Fox, a genuine Canadian hero whose Marathon of Hope raised millions of dollars in the fight against cancer. The Terry Fox Run
has become the largest one-day cancer fundraising event in the world, with thousands of people in more than 50 countries participating.