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Photos: Huge 'F' goes up at entrance to Coquitlam's Fraser Mills

Beedie’s gateway ‘F’ to Fraser Mills, its new waterfront community along the Fraser River in Coquitlam, is made with Canadian steel, is 22’ wide and weighs more than 11 tonnes.

A giant ‘F’ now stands at an entry to the soon-to-be-developed Fraser Mills waterfront village in southern Coquitlam.

On Wednesday, Dec. 13, Beedie Living, the owner and developer of the 96-acre property along United Boulevard, erected its 27’ tall letter that will not only serve as the gateway landmark but will also be a public art piece for the future 10,000 residents, as well as visitors.

Robert Toth, Fraser Mills’ development director, told the Tri-City News yesterday, Dec. 14, that the ‘F’ symbol pays tribute to the property’s past as a thriving sawmill — once the largest in the British Empire.

More than a century ago, a white ‘F’ contained in a black circle with a white rim was prominently displayed on the grounds, including on the Canadian Western Lumber Co.’s archway to enter Fraser Mills and on a tower next to the Fraser River.

By comparison, Beedie’s gateway ‘F’ to its new waterfront community is made with Canadian steel, is 22’ wide and weighs more than 11 tonnes.

The $700,000 sculpture — located near the presentation centre that’s due to open in January 2024 — is balanced on a series of piles that are 15 m deep.

Toth said the 3D sign was dreamed up by Vancouver’s Cygnus Design Group to grab the attention of commuters along United and, once the landscaping goes in, lights will be cast from the ground up to create a dramatic effect on the ‘F.’

The four shapes that make up the ‘F’ were meant to reflect the area’s natural features, Toth said.

And he said the company is now consulting with the kʷikʷəƛ̓əm (Kwikwetlem) First Nation about more public art for the new Fraser Mills community; public consultation is also expected to launch in early February.

Development permit

The installation of the iconic piece comes a week after Coquitlam city council unanimously granted a development permit for Beedie to construct Encore, a 32-storey condo tower at 53 Kong Crt.

According to a report from Chris Jarvie, Coquitlam’s director of development services, the high-rise will have 306 residential units and a childcare facility for 69 kids.

Currently, Beedie has two active bids for council’s consideration: To build an industrial warehouse on the northern side of the property and a 47-storey residential tower with 461 homes (266 market rental units and 195 non-market units) on the northeastern side of the site.

The Encore high-rise will yield about $5.8 million for the city in development cost charges, Jarvie wrote.