Saturday, April 9, 2016

Coquitlam Makes Good

 Transcribed article from the,
British Columbia Magazine Vol IVIII, No.11  November 1912   pages 823-825

 Coquitlam Making Good
By Max Enos

 NATURE first fashioned a plain, locating it on a broad, deep magnificent river—the Pitt—surrounding it with mountains, and scenic effects unparalleled. A railroad, the Canadian Pacific, traced its main line across the plain into Vancouver, seventeen miles away, and made of that city the largest and most prosperous in Western Canada. Eight miles away on the Fraser River, into which the Pitt flows, was New Westminster, a municipality throbbing with real Western energy and progressiveness.

Less than two years ago some of the shrewdest railway experts in the country decided upon this plain as the location of a railway terminal in which would be combined all of the experience of the past five decades of railway building. Following this decision approximately $1,000,000 has been spent by the C. P. R. to establish on this splendid location the first unit of the vast scheme evolved.

Following this move by the great transportation company in the world, industries have located there, buildings have been erected, houses have been constructed, roads have been built, the acres surrounding the railway holdings have been cleared and graded, and a city has been designed on broad, generous and far-sighted lines. That is COQUITLAM.
Less than two years ago a little hamlet called Westminster Junction marked the parting of the C. P. R. main line and the New Westminster branch. About this 

Building the great C.P.R. Terminals at Coquitlam ( Flickr Image )

 Typical scenes in busy Coquitlam  ( Flickr Image )
 (1) New block, corner Simpson and Broadway.  (2) Starting work on the Call Switch factory.  (3) Paving Simpson Street.  (4) Scene in Shaughnessy Division. (5) Building Dewdney Trunk Road. (6) Pitt River Road. 

 wooden station-house sprang up the typical Western community. This small cluster of houses looked out upon the broad, welcoming plain, the only one offering any inducements to the great railway builders of Canada. The dreamers dreamed and the prophets told of the future, but the Canadian Pacific experts acted on the wisest counsels and with the best brains money can buy. They said, “This will be the greatest railway terminal in Canada— yes, it will rival any on the continent,” and on this plan they have proceeded.

On December 15 about two hundred and fifty employees of the C. P. R. will be moved to Coquitlam, there to operate what the railwaymen are pleased to state is but the first unit, which consists of twenty miles of yards, a round house, car repair and construction shops, machine shops, coaling stations, and the latest and most improved of railway terminal equipment.

These men are but forerunners of the employees to come. They are to operate only this first unit, which is to he expanded as rapidly as time, money and labor will permit. When the terminals are completed there will he thousands of railway employees placed on the ground to manipulate the immense facilities provided.
Looking to the future, the Canadian Pacific is now extending a long industrial spur track to the property of the Coquitlam Terminal Company, where have been located industrial sites suitable for any industry that wishes location near big markets, on a large transcontinental railway line and with adequate deep-water facilities.
Already there are reservations made for a long list of industries. Another large group of manufacturers are busy building their machine shops, their warehouses and their plants. Others are now in operation. 

Vancouver is the logical solution to the wheat congestion of the eastern Canadian cities—it is the only port in Canada of any size which is open twelve months of the year. All of the other ports, with the exception of Prince Rupert, which has as yet no transcontinental railway connection, are frozen up during the winter. The elevators are filled to the brim and storage space for the fruits of the bountiful prairies is at a high premium. Wheat and grains of all kinds can flow through Vancouver to the markets of the world during the entire year. But in the city of Vancouver waterfrontage and dock facilities are not available in sizes sufficient for handling this tremendous business.
Coquitlam solves Vancouver’s congestion.

The new Coquitlam mental hospital  ( Flickr Image )

With deep water, immense railway terminals connecting with all of the cities and territory of the greatest railway line in the country, it offers unparalleled opportunity for grain elevators and other facilities for the handling of the prairie products. Coquitlam has been investigated by the C. P. R. as a location for the grain elevators which that company intends to build. Elevators in themselves do not bring such large numbers of employees, but they are conducive to the establishment nearby of other industries such as flour mills, cooper shops, bag manufacturing works and others of kindred sort.

A shipbuilding plant has been located on the banks of the Pitt River on one of the large industrial sites of the Coquitlam Terminal Company. The first keel will be laid by the middle of November. The company is incorporated at half a million dollars and has as much more money to use when the time comes. Other industries besides the shipbuilding plant and the C. P. R. terminals located at Coquitlam are: Vancouver-Prince Rupert Meat Packing Co., B. C. Electric Power House, Fraser River Mills, Dominion Match Co., B. C. Paper & Pulp Mills, McKay, Brown Lumber Co., Crabb Lumber Co., Lamont Shingle Mills, Call Switch Co., Coquitlam Shipbuilding & Marine Railway Co., J. A. Dewar gravel pits, and the Western Canada Power Co., Ltd.

The C. P. R. is building a $2,000,000 double-track railway bridge across the Pitt River and has double-tracked the distance between Coquitlam and Vancouver, preparatory to the doing of an immense business. The provincial government of British Columbia will within the next few weeks begin construction on an electric railway and vehicular bridge to cross the Pitt a few rods north of the C. P. R. structure.

The old village of New Westminster junction is being absorbed in the new city, which will soon be incorporated under the name of Port Coquitlam. The new Port Coquitlam station, which is to cost about $30,000, is about 3,000 feet east of the old station, while the new business district is to be located in the centre of First Division.

With the development of the C. P. R. Western terminals, the establishment of industries and the building up of the district comes a general influx of minor industries which are locating close to the C. P. R. holdings. All of these are to be provided by the Coquitlam Terminal Company with track and yard facilities to be found on no other industrial sites near Vancouver. Another important factor in the consideration of Coquitlam is that workingmen can secure sites for homes at prices very much cheaper than in Vancouver By the same token sites for industries can be secured cheaper at Coquitlam and with much bigger, broader and better facilities than at Vancouver.

Coquitlam is, as one railway man declared, “to be the distributing point of Western Canada. It will form the working portion of Greater Vancouver. There will be located the industries, the life, the pulse of the Canadian Pacific coast. 

 In the same issue an advertisement for the Coquitlam Terminal Company, this company operated for at least five years, and extensivley  promoted themselves. I have an extensive collection of information about this company.

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