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Aug 12, 2019 Return to Headlines

Coquitlam Archives Celebrates Coquitlam Centre 40th Anniversary

by Colleen Smith |

COQUITLAM, B.C., Aug​. 12, 2019 – Coquitlam Centre: 40 Years in the Community is the latest in a series of online exhibits from the City of Coquitlam Archives.

Available at www.coquitlam.ca/coquitlamcentre the online exhibit explores the history of the iconic shopping mall by showcasing some of the photographs and newspaper records preserved by the City of Coquitlam Archives. 

Slide Back in Time to View the Area in the ‘60s
Readers can see what Coquitlam’s Town Centre area was like in the sixties compared to today using the ‘Slide Back in Time’ map viewer and read about the initial proposal in 1973 by the City’s Director of Planning for the development of a new Town Centre  covering more than 3oo acres. This was followed three years later in 1976 by a proposal for Coquitlam Centre by Ira Young & Associates for the mall to ‘act as a catalyst’ for the new Town Centre. 

Photographs and Newspaper Clippings Capture Those Early Years
The online exhibit features historical photographs of the construction, and includes details about the innovative design elements of the structure as well as internal landscaping and artistic elements.

The mall had its grand opening on Aug. 15, 1979 with the 4,200 stall parking lot full immediately and traffic backed up by eager shoppers. The mall evolved over its 40-year history with celebrity visits in its early days like fashion designer Bob Mackie, hockey legend Phil Esposito and Olympic gymnast Nadia Comaneci, and in later years, as predicted, the area growing around it to include City Hall, Douglas College, Evergreen Cultural Centre, City Centre Aquatic Complex, and Town Centre Park.

Additional Online Exhibits
Previous online exhibits from the City of Coquitlam Archives (still available for viewing at www.coquitlam.ca/archives) include the history of Westwood Racetrack, historical aerial photography of Coquitlam, an overview of the importance of plywood to Coquitlam’s history, and a commemoration of a First World War soldier who died at the Battle of Vimy Ridge, among others. 

Artefact Display – “Start Your Engines: Westwood Racetrack 1959 to 1990”
In addition to online exhibits, the City of Coquitlam Archives’ is currently showcasing artefacts from Westwood Racetrack including a racing suit, helmet, programs and racing banners, and even a piece of the former track, which will be on display at the Pinetree Way location until the end of 2019. 

New Drop-in Hours
The Archives will have expanded opening hours effective Tuesday, Aug. 27 with drop-ins available Tuesday – Thursday from noon to 4 p.m., and appointments available Monday – Friday from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Email archives@coquitlam.ca or call 604-927-3900 to book an appointment.

Since the inception of the program, the Archives has been raising its profile to encourage people to use its services and discover the trove of records in the collection. 

In addition to online and artefact exhibits, other outreach initiatives include weekly #TBT posts on the City’s social media platforms and a collection of historic photos at www.historypin.org. Thousands of archival records, including hundreds of historical images, are available in digital form through the Archives’ online search portal, Quest searcharchives.coquitlam.ca.   

For more information about the City of Coquitlam Archives and to view the online exhibits, visit www.coquitlam.ca/archives.