Notre Dame de Lourdes is the first Francophone workers’ community in British Columbia

The community takes root on the banks of the Fraser River east of Vancouver.

The parish known as Notre Dame de Lourdes grew and the community was given the name of Maillardville. The French-speaking population of Maillardville expanded, fed to a large extent by a stream of settlers from Willow Bunch (formerly Talle-de-Saules), Saskatchewan.

Military training centres were established on the west coast during the war and attracted large numbers of French-speaking recruits, many of whom settled permanently in British Columbia and helped to develop the province’s Francophone community.