Monday, June 5, 2023

1931 Census

So the 1931 Census has been released, still waiting for more features to be added though :(

 Public Hospital for the Insane, New Westminster 192 male; 210 female. Total population 402.  10 pages.

     Colony Farm  244 male; 6 female. Total population 250.          6 pages

     Provincial Industrial School , Coquitlam.  158 males; 9 female. Total population 167.           5 pages 

      Provincial Mental Hospital ( Essondale )  1209 male; 813 female; Total population 2022.   42 pages


 Provincial Mental Home, Colquitz     264 males; 1 female. Total population 265.   8 pages

 Provincial Home, Kamloops.  153 male; 1 female. Total population 154.  5 pages.
 Tranquille Sanatorium.  329 male; 239 female. Total population 568.   13 pages.

Sunday, January 9, 2022

Another building to be removed

EXCLUSIVE: 100-year-old building at səmiq̓ʷəʔelə/Riverview to be razed

 Will be sad to see this building go, it played an important part in the early history of the,  Boys Industrial School of Coquitlam, aka ( BISCO ) There were a few errors in the article...

Most of the BISCO buildings were taken over in 1936,not the 1950's as stated in the article, and converted into the Homes for the Aged.
 At that time the children were relocated on the site to the area where their school was, ( today an empty field ) and the nearby area where the Hillside unit is today, into a ramshackle collection of rapidly built buildings, that were primarily converted farm buildings. This situation created at least decent housing for the seniors; but caused huge problems for the children, who were supposidly under the governments care.  The children and the Riverview patients had actually built large portions of the buildings, and the extensive landscaping of the site; in 2022, very little remains to remind us of what occurred on these lands in the past.

From 1936 onwards the children many would escape into the neighbouring areas and create even more problems, primarily because of their loss of community, that had been created by them. the escape problems became progressively worse until a new institution was built at Brannan Lake, near Nanaimo, and  the children and many of the staff moved there in 1954. Brannan Lake in turn was closed in 1983, and converted into the Nanaimo Correctional Centre.

 What it looked like when new.

This photograph circa 1929, note the extensive landscaping, and also the Kitchen Block in the upper left hand corner, This building was removed in the 1950's and made into a parking lot; which is probably what is going to happen the Administration building, front and centre, in 2022.

A collection of Boys industrial School of Coquitlam images at Flickr

It has been obvious for many years that there would be no attempt to save these buildings; since no attempts were made to waterproof the rooves, and the buildings were totally sealed up, without allowing any air to freely circulate. Destruction by neglect, typical  government and developer policy.

By totally sealing up the buildings, the moulds in water infiltration become a huge problem and a HUGE HEALTH HAZARD to those who will be tasked to finally remove these buiildings, not to mention the greatly increased costs associated with this instilled behaviour.

Sunday, September 12, 2021


After a long wait, we finally did a treewalk; I missed the first one. At least 74 souls participated, a good turnout. 

a few photos from the September 12th event : the walk was led by arborist, Paul Buikema

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Mary Steinhauser book

 So a book will be available...

Port Coquitlam author reveals sister's hostage-taking, death at B.C. jail

Previous posts about Mary Steinhauser  

May her memory live on....

Thursday, March 11, 2021

New name for the lands

 Riverview Hospital is renamed 'səmiq̓wəʔelə' as master planning starts on the Coquitlam site.

It will always be Riverview/ Essondale to me...


Save the Riverview Hospital lands

The Riverview Hospital lands, are under pressure to be developed into market housing. Help to save the lands as a healing sanctuary for the mentally ill of OUR Province.

Please join the Riverview Horticultural Centre Society,( RHCS ) Facebook page. Twitter too!

Please sign the On-line petition or download a Word document petition ,which is a more official type of petition.
Blogs, about the hospital grounds
Mike Farnworth,MLA; Facebook forum " Protect the Riverview Lands"
And another Facebook group: Riverview Preservation Society
this group also has a petition to sign.

Click-able Map of the Riverview site

BISCO -- Brookside-Leeside-Roadside -- Centre Lawn -- Colony Farm
Crease Clinic -- East Lawn -- Essondale Hospital
Finnie's Garden -- Henry Esson Young -- Hillside unit
Home for the Aged-Valleyview -- North Lawn
Nurses homes -- Pennington Hall -- TreeFest -- West Lawn
John Davidson; "Botany John" blog. He was the first Provincial Botanist, who created British Columbia's first Botanical Garden at Riverview.
Other groups involved Riverview Horticultural Centre Society
Who also have a media NEWS Blog
You can also download a 42 page report titled, For the future of Riverview created by the Riverview Task Force.
Or Burke Mountain Naturalists, report: The Riverview Hospital Site, Respecting its Past,Realizing its Future
Coquitlam has designated the buildings and grounds, as a heritage site.
Download the Statement of Significance; SoS report PDF

Tour through the grounds

Paul Buikema, of Progress Landscaping, created this video.

Treefest 2011 slideshow

A slideshow of images from the Tree festival of 2011. Created in HD. Enjoy.

Riverview trees

Finnie's Garden -- slideshow

Finnie's Garden -- Pond restoration slideshow

TreeFest -- slideshow