In 1912, the Canadian Pacific Railway decided to move its main marshalling yard out of Vancouver to Coquitlam, which had plenty of raw land and much cheaper taxes.
Real estate speculators went wild. An ad in the Coquitlam Star newspaper declared, “What Pittsburgh is to the United States, so will Coquitlam be to Canada!”
A fabulous colour poster in a “Progress Number” of the same paper shows what civic boosters envisioned. There are vignettes of the coming city’s industrial factories, its railway, its busy port, and its lush farms. The Panama Canal was being built at the time and people thought the west coast would soon benefit from increased trade.
But the local money men quickly realized that the real estate boom was only around the CP Rail yards. They decided to separate the booming part from the larger district.
So, 100 years ago today — March 7, 1913 — Port Coquitlam was incorporated.
The population of the fledgling city was less than 2,000, but Alderman John Langan boldly predicted that by 1917 it would be 18,000 to 20,000. He even stated that “Port Coquitlam will advance to meet Vancouver, and probably absorb that city.”
Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/business/Port+Coquitlam+turns/8058871/story.html