Skip to content

On Our Radar: Join səmiq̓ʷəʔelə/Riverview lands walk in Coquitlam this weekend

Learn about some of Coquitlam's most beautiful trees during a guided tour in this park-like setting.
Riverview hospital
Known as Place of the Great Blue Heron on Lougheed Highway, tours are offered of the trees planted over 100 years ago at the former Riverview psychiatric hospital.

One of Coquitlam's most beautiful tree collections is in full bloom and visitors can take in the sight this weekend.

On Sunday (Aug. 14), the Riverview Horticultural Centre Society (RHCS) is set to host a tour of the spectacular trees at the səmiq̓ʷəʔelə/Riverview site. 

This free family-friendly event will take place at 1 p.m., rain or shine, in the upper parking lot of the Henry Esson Young (HEY) Building on the property located at 2601 Lougheed Hwy.

Watch for directional signs at major intersections on the səmiq̓ʷəʔelə/Riverview property. 

Here's what you need to know about the tree tours:

  • Tours normally take about two hours and are led by a certified arborist
  • Participants are advised to dress appropriately for the weather and for walking
  • A stroll through the world-class collection of trees at səmiq̓ʷəʔelə/Riverview is an enjoyable way to spend the afternoon and they provide a cool relief from the heat  
  • Pre-registration is not required

"By fostering a deeper connection to the trees at səmiq̓ʷəʔelə/Riverview and expanding the network of folks who care about them, the Riverview Horticultural Centre Society hopes they can ensure this magnificent collection of trees will remain standing for future generations," a spokesperson stated in a news release.

This year is the 30th anniversary of the stewardship group, which aims to foster awareness and understanding about the lands.

History of property formerly known as Riverview

The 244-acre forner Riverview lands in Coquitlam, now known as səmiq̓ʷəʔelə or The Place of the Great Blue Heron, previously served as a home to patients at the Riverview Hospital (formerly Essondale) beginnning in 1913.

However, it closed in 2012.

Still, the property is known for its lush beauty as well as new mental health and addiction facilities located on site.

There are more than 1,800 tree specimens, including some of the first natives and exotics in B.C., some dating back to the site’s initial development in the early 1900s.

The trees at Riverview are the result of a number of influences, including a succession of committed planners, arborists and gardeners, coupled with access to seeds and plants from around the world.

Early construction of the hospital saw the addition of a botanical nursery, which produced ornamental trees for use in landscaping around highways and public, according to a public document about the tree collection.

Upcoming səmiq̓ʷəʔelə/Riverview tree tour dates for the fall of 2022 are: 

  • Sept. 11 @ 1 p.m.
  • Oct. 2 @ 1 p.m.

For more information about the tour, you're encouraged to call the RHCS at 604-290-9910.

On Our Radar is a thing we do when we're looking forward to an event or think the public should be aware of. Think you have something for it? Email us at

push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks