What's Happening

Riverview Horticultural Centre Society was founded in 1992. Its mission is to preserve and protect the Lands and Trees of the Riverview Hospital site as a community oriented, financially viable centre for horticultural, educational and therapeutic activities.



April to October: Come out and join our tree tours in 2023. Each one is a bit different and always very enjoyable.
March 2023 - One of the Laburnum trees succumbed and fell in front of the Crease Building at Riverview recently. It wasn’t a giant, or even that old in comparison, but its spring beauty graced the building with its presence and also having being strategically planted in between two flowering cherry trees.

Native to Central and South Eastern Europe, it is otherwise known as the Golden Chain tree in reference to its profuse showy bloom of yellow flowers in dense, pendulous, wisteria like clusters. An additional name of Golden Rain is popular in Europe but not so much in North America.

In better times.


December 2022 - Celebrating 30 Years of Advocacy 1992 - 2022

In December 1992 the Riverview Horticultural Centre Society was founded as a non-profit group with a vision to save the trees and prevent further development on the 244 acres left of the original 1000 acres which was set aside in 1904 as a sanctuary and residential treatment facility for the mentally ill and for a BC Provincial Botanical Garden.

In December 2022 supporters gathered to celebrate 30 years of advocacy for the trees and for a centre for mental health excellence.
The highlight was the presentation by Douglas Justice, associate director of UBC’s botanical garden and a long-time supporter of the RHCS.
All three levels of government were represented and showed their support: Bonita Zarillo, NDP MP Port Moody-Coquitlam, Fin Donnelly, NDP MLA Coquitlam-Burke Mountain, and Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart.

November 9, 2022 - A large mound of soil in the northwest corner of the cemetary from soil excavated while building the Healing Centre. The mound was shaped to reflect the centre of the 'Coast Salish Eye' and is now being covered with native plants.

October 27, 2022 - RHCS met with BC Housing (BCH) and Kwikwetlem First Nation (KFN).

The main topics of the meeting were as follows;

Cost Concerns Regarding Tree Walks
RHCS offered suggestions such as an audit-based design for tree walks as a compromise, but BCH and KFN were firm in their decision to charge RHCS an $824.50 fee for every tree walk after the fifth one per year.
This is the requested cost breakdown they provided: special events fee of $510.00 ($127.50/hr x 4 hours) for a weekend event coordinator (liaison) and $275.00 for administration plus $29.25 GST. While evening and weekend walks beyond 5 walks will be charged, BCH offered to waive the special events coordinator fee for walks between 7am and 3pm Monday to Friday, excluding holidays. 
We see these special events fees as BCH imposed issues and costs that should not apply to our non-profit society.  RHCS has been doing tree walks on public lands for 30 years, with no issues and no need for an event coordinator/liaison or any administration.
Site Planning Update
Diamond Head Arborists are conducting an update on trees on the sumiqwuelu/Riverview grounds.
Planting has begun on the mound of soil that was recently placed there.
Gardening at Serenity
BCH said they were hoping to have the archaeological training session in December or early January 2023.  New volunteers must take this course every year to be allowed to garden in Serenity. This Training has now been successfully completed so RHCS can continue to maintain the gardens in Serenity.

August 2022 - In August BC Housing (BCH) and Kwikwetlem First Nation (KFN) jointly moved forward and removed the RHCS information KIOSKS. We were disappointed by this decision.

Tree tours were well-attended this year.

May 25, 2022 - Premier David Eby, while he was the Minister Responsible for Housing, toured sumiqwuelu/Riverview on a tree walk with RHCS.

January 2022 - Sadly, Valleyview Lodge was demolished.

Are more historic buildings awaiting the same fate?

2022 - RHCS is looking for information from the Public Advisory Group (PAG) which was created by BCH to gather information and ideas about the future of the Riverview Lands.
Feel free to contact your MLA and/or the Minister of Housing Ravi Kahlon for an update from this public committee: Hous.minister@gov.bc.ca

2022 - Informed by BCH that the number of Sponsored Walks would be reduced to 5 Walks.


November 2021 - In an assessment done by Diamond Head Consulting, the arborist company hired by BCH, the removal of 12 trees near Lougheed Highway was recommended. These trees have since been removed. RHCS asked an arborist for an independent opinion. He did not dispute the removal of these trees.

March 30, 2021 - The Province and BC Housing were excited to join Kwikwetlem First Nation to honour the Nation’s historical and cultural ties to the lands by renaming the site sumiqwuelu (pronounced Suh-mEE-kwuh EL-uh).

2021 - 3 Tree Walks (due to Covid)


2020 - No Walks due to Covid.


September 18, 2019 - Finnies Garden Beautification Day hosted by BC Housing.
2019 - 10 Tree Walks were Sponsored by BC Housing.


2016 - 2017 BC Housing continues to Remove Trees with no repercussions.


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: Tricity News

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: Tricity News

July 9, 2015 - Panel Discussion topic (videos were removed by Gov.)
June 17, 2015 - Watch the 4th open house (video was removed by Gov).
May 20, 2015 - Third Open House Report (site removed by Gov.)


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 was the creation of Into the Future: The Coquitlam Health Campus

RHCS Presented to BC Housing & the Renewing Riverview Consultants:

See here for current


Rather than support the National Historic Site application, the BC Provincial Government hired a consultant to produce a “Heritage Conservation Plan” (HCP) for Riverview.

May and June 2012 - One of the objectives of the HCP was to survey the public to learn what we value about the Riverview Lands and why. Critical public consultations took place during May and June 2012. The resulting report was to be used to inform a Land Use Plan for Riverview that may be put forth within a year.

Heritage Canada Foundation Releases
2012 Top Ten Endangered Places


National Trust for Canada; Riverview 2012
or .pdf

OTTAWA, ON – June 27, 2012 - The Heritage Canada Foundation (HCF) (now National Trust for Canada) 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

Riverview NATURAL HERITAGE STEWARDSHIP ADVISORY GROUP no longer meeting? Without notice the government stopped participation.



It is important that each of us express our opinion:

We need to send a message that the 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.


Stay current & Ready to Act for the Riverview/sumiqwuelu Site.

Here is what you can do:

Like us on FACEBOOK - Post comments

Save Riverview Lands - Riverview Horticultural Centre Society
Follow us on TWITTER

  • Read our NEWSLETTER
  • Visit this Website
  • Attend TREE TOURS Details here
  • Visit the Lands & Bring others to see them
  • Visit Finnie's Garden.
  • Visit Serenity Garden; Volunteer to help the volunteer gardeners
  • Read the GOVERNMENTS HCP, 'Heritage Conservation Plan' here
  • Keep your RHCS Membership current & encourage others to join
  • Membership only $5 & DONATION online payments

If you cannot find the information you are looking for please
call us: 604-290-9910

Express your opinion:

  • Write to the PREMIER (premier@gov.bc.ca) & your MLA
  • Respond to articles about Riverview in the news (paper, radio, TV etc.)
  • Write Letters, e-mails & phone calls.
  • Attend any Open Houses announced by the Government.

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. 

The City of Coquitlam envisions a very different future for Riverview.
In the City's 2005 Task Force Report, the Guiding Principles for future land use state:

  • that the needs of the mentally ill are paramount;
  • that the lands must remain in public ownership and accessible to all;
  • that the trees, the heritage buildings, and the green spaces must be protected;
  • and that absolutely no market housing be built.

A Unique Collection of Heritage Trees ARBORETUM

in COQUITLAM, BC - 2601 Lougheed Hwy.

Riverview Horticultural Centre Society
Como Lake RPO, PO Box 64616
Coquitlam, BC, V3J 7V7

Site maintained by 'The Riverview Horticultural Centre Society 'Copyright 2007. All rights reserved

Save Riverview Lands - Riverview Horticultural Centre Society

Follow us on TWITTER