TREE TOUR Schedule

'Treefest 25' - Sept. 9, 2018


The Riverview Horticultural Centre Society, (RHCS). A non profit organization established in 1992 by a handful of enthusiastic Tri City residents, profoundly concerned at the time for the future preservation of the unique architectural beauty and a century of tree and plant evolution existing on the Riverview Lands. It was the original haven for mental health.

The decades have witnessed many changes on this beautiful 244 acre site and with the passing of time our executive has stood strong in our resolve to protect this site from the growing threat of development. However, today the majority of our executive are looking for an infusion of new energy to carry the torch we have kept burning for the past 25 years . In our hearts our love for the Riverview Lands will never wane and that is why we are now reaching out for your help.

We need new ideas, new leadership, we need an infusion of youthful energy, enthusiastic in the realization that the value of this incredible oasis of unique tree and animal diversity in the midst of an exploding population must not to be lost to further development.

Please, if you are able to share your time, if you have leadership skills, if you have youthful energy and if preservation of green space within city limits is important to you… please call us today!

We need your help to realize a successful conclusion to this very important cause.

Thank you, RHCS Executive
Telephone 604-290-9910 or email

As we wait for the new Government to learn & get established the same bureacrats at BC Housing are going ahead with their previous plans that we strongly disagreed with!

This is NOT a good thing. Trees are disappearing left & right.
No Explanations about why a lot of the trees are coming down other then 'Risk Management', they do not care what we think anymore.

They stopped all Communication with us about THEIR "Vision" over a year ago.

Announcements of 'Re-Opening' Riverview are Misdirection

BC Housing held a press conference at which it announced the provincial government was “restoring” mental health care to Riverview. You've probably heard at least one of the announcements, they've used the same story to re-announce the same 'news' a few times.

As with many such announcements, the devil is in the details. The very serviceable Valleyview hospital building was demolished and two new buildings will be built to provide a net gain of only 17 new beds for mental health care at a cost of $175 million. These are not NEW services, only existing services they are moving from other areas.

The reality is the provincial government intends to now restrict mental health care facilities to only a small northern portion of this splendid 100-hectare site. The rest of the lands will be given over to intensive development, including a general residential area, a so-called “high street” — highrises? — and a large “economic development zone” right in the middle of one of the most beautifully landscaped areas at Riverview that is now graced by mature trees and many of its heritage buildings.

When BC Housing assumed management of the Riverview site for the province, it promised to maintain all the existing open space. Members of the community were relieved to hear this as it meant the impressive tree collection would receive full protection.

BC Housing is now reneging on its promise to protect all existing open spaces at Riverview. Its promise now is to maintain as much of the site’s existing open space “as possible,” whatever that means. Furthermore, protection of the tree collection has been reduced to a vague promise to preserve the “core collection” of trees, with no definition of what constitutes this core.

A map included in the BC Housing’s vision document (available at shows only a very small portion of the site will remain a “priority” for tree protection, with even smaller areas designated only for “consideration.”

Anyone who has attended one of the tree tours at Riverview understands this tree collection is integrated into the entire site. In fact, it is these wonderful trees, so thoughtfully planted by arborists, who were truly landscape artists, which create the essence of what presently constitutes Riverview. To suggest anything less than full protection of these trees is tantamount to petty vandalism of a unique heritage site in the Lower Mainland.

BC Housing is also claiming its intensively developed vision of Riverview is what this community wants.
We disagree.
A couple years ago, BC Housing conducted a web-based survey of activities people wanted to see at Riverview. Strangely, BC Housing has never analyzed the results of this input received from about 600 people. Consequently, Elaine Golds of the BMN undertook
a detailed analysis of the complete list of participant responses (as posted to the Renewing Riverview website). Her analysis can be viewed by clicking here.

Briefly, public input clearly indicates 93% of those surveyed want mental health care to continue on site along with preservation of the tree collection (91%). More than 80% of participants supported a vision for Riverview that has residents who are mental health care patients, protects the environment through learning opportunities and provides skill-building activities for people with disabilities.
People were also very clear about what they thought did not belong at Riverview; this includes residential townhouses (69% opposed), retail mixed with residential (83% opposed)
The future (or the destruction) of Riverview?
January 7, 2016: Greens Scene-Elaine Golds-Tricity News

Read a short summary of what is wrong with the BC Housing vision results: click here

As a Society we were very disappointed with the BC Housing document,
lets stop market housing & commercial construction that is not directly related to Mental Health issues.

The type of development BC Housing is proposing would be the eventual death of the trees in our World Class Arboretum. This type of development has no place on these lands. Why can the government not be forward thinking & see that our needs as a society will only multiply over the years. Our need for mental health space & a space where these beautiful old trees in a parklike setting can become a place for all to enjoy the serenity.
Once it is gone it can NEVER be replaced. How would Vancouver feel if they started to build a complete Community in Stanley Park?

Not enough time to read the very long Report?
Have a look at this 1 page of possible comments to submit or use as a starter for your own comments.

The future (or the destruction) of Riverview?
January 7, 2016: Greens Scene-Elaine Golds-Tricity News

It is important that each of us express our opinion while critical decisions are still to be made. Once again, we need to send a message that the Riverview Lands should remain in public ownership and accessible, that they should continue to be dedicated to the needs of the mentally ill,
and that the Heritage Trees, Buildings, and Landscapes should be preserved.

In the past, people have spoken strongly against market housing on the Riverview site - we hope the provincial government is listening as an important ecological, horticultural, and historical treasure would be lost forever.  We can’t allow this to happen.
Stay current and Ready to Act for the Riverview Site.

You might feel you have submitted similar comments many times before (and, hopefully, you have!). But remember, BC Housing’s strategy is to “consult with the public” until the point of exhaustion as they hope that eventually, people will stop submitting comments. At that point, they could declare that, having heard no negative comments, everyone must approve of what they want to do! Thus, we must be relentless in sending comments to them! Silence on our part could lead to the loss of the Riverview we know, love and value.


2016 - 2017 BC Housing continues to Remove Trees for Safety, Construction areas etc.!

December - Announcement of BC Housing Vision for Riverview Lands: Vision

September - GREEN SCENE: Save the trees, save the buildings, save Riverview - The extreme drought of this summer — which now, thankfully, seems to be over — has posed challenges for the fabulous tree collection at Riverview. - See more at:

September - LETTER: Neglect hurt trees on Riverview site
The Editor, On Saturday, Sept. 19, I attended the Riverview Horticultural Centre Society’s 2015 Treefest celebration, not having visited Riverview since the drought/windstorm of the summer.
See more at:

July 9, 2015 - Panel Discussion topic videos now available-site removed by Gov.

June 17, 2015 - Watch the 4th open house video! -site removed by Gov.

May 20, 2015 - Third Open House Report Now Available -site removed by Gov.

Presented to BC Housing & the Renewing Riverview Consultants:

2014 COQUITLAM Health Campus:
The City of Coquitlam retained Dr. John Higenbottam to translate their long-held vision for the Riverview Lands as a place for healing and caring into required programs, services and associated facilities.
The result is the creation of Into the Future: The Coquitlam Health Campus

BC Housing Visioning Process
To View what BC HOUSING is Planning - go to RENEWINGRIVERVIEW.COM

Heritage Canada Foundation Releases
2012 Top Ten Endangered Places -

- Riverview top of list for the 2012
The Heritage Canada Foundation (HCF) June 27 released its Top Ten Endangered Places and Worst Losses Lists drawing attention to architectural and heritage sites in Canada either threatened with demolition or already lost.
June 27, 2012 - The Heritage Canada Foundation (HCF) has released its Top Ten Endangered Places and Worst Losses Lists drawing attention to architectural and heritage sites in Canada either threatened with demolition or already lost. The Endangered Places List, compiled from nominations received as well as from news items that HCF has been following and reporting on throughout the year from west to east.- Tricity News

Val Adolph has written a very imformative article in the 'BC History Magazine'
To Read a Preview of the Article click here

Visit our FACEBOOK SITE for more Riverview in the News

Please see Appreciating the Heritage of Riverview Hospital,
an article published in Elaine Golds’ biweekly columnin the TriCity News on May 4, 2012

Stay current and Ready to Act for the Riverview Site.
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25th Annual

- September, 9th 2018 SUNDAY 10:45 to 4

Visit our FACEBOOK SITE for more Riverview in the News

PO Box 64616
RPO Como Lake
Coquitlam, BC
V3J 7V7
A Unique Collection of Heritage Trees - Arboretum in COQUITLAM, BC - 2601 Lougheed Hwy. Site of Riverview Hospital
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