the history of burke mountain
The earliest residents of the Coquitlam area were the Coast Salish people including the Kwikwetlem First Nation. Prior to the region’s European settlement, the area’s rich forests produced towering trees—some more than 1,000-years-old. European settlement came in the 1860s, and Coquitlam began as a place-in-between, with an early history of settlement and agriculture and slow but steady growth. A flourishing logging industry developed on Burke Mountain and a growing community soon followed. Among the homesteads, a general store, barbershop, post office, and pool hall thrived, doubling as social hubs for neighbours. Progress spurred the advent of logging throughout the first half of the 20th Century, driven by increased railway access in the 1920s. Burke Mountain was also briefly home to a ski resort and lodge for two winter seasons.
Today, with reverence for environmental sensitivities, Burke Mountain’s open spaces and natural beauty have endured. The City of Coquitlam’s Master Planned community will bring the future new build full circle: a return to engaging commercial amenities and the verve of gathering places fuelled by community camaraderie. This storied spot will become a destination as the new urban beating heart of North East Coquitlam: Burke Mountain Village, a rare coming together of homes, pedestrian-friendly community and unspoiled nature—amplified by fresh mountain air and soaring views.
A special thanks to long-time Burke Mountain resident and historian Lyle Litzenberger who has contributed to the creation of the timeline below. Lyle’s book, Burke and Widgeon – A History (Volume 1) chronicles the historic beginnings of Northeast Coquitlam’s Burke Mountain and, beyond its slopes, the Widgeon Valley.