In 1889, Frank Ross and James McLaren opened what would become Fraser Mills, a $350,000, modern lumber mill on the north bank of the Fraser River. By 1908, a mill town of 20 houses, a store, post office, hospital, office block, barber shop, and pool hall had grown around the mill. A mill manager's residence was built that later became Place des Arts. A second mill manager's residence was built in 1909 and is now known as Mackin House, a historic house museum operated by the Coquitlam Heritage Society. In 1909, Ross and McLaren, in search of workers, recruited a contingent of 110 French Canadian mill workers from Quebec. With the arrival of a second contingent in June 1910, Maillardville was born. Named for Father Edmond Maillard, a young Oblate from France, it became the largest Francophone centre west of Manitoba.
In 1971, the City of Coquitlam and the Village of Fraser Mills were amalgamated, which gave the city a larger tax base. The mill closed in 2001, and is now rezoned into a residential area. Maillardville's past is recognized today in street names, the Francophone education system and French immersion programs, French-language guides and scouts, and celebrations such as Festival du Bois.
Maillardville celebrated its 100th birthday in 2009.
They Dream, a Canadian feature-length film, set in and around Maillardville, including Place des Arts and Mackin House Museum, was shot over the Summer of 2012. Written and directed by Vancouver filmmaker Gord Stanfield, They Dream is the story of a 20-year-old art student, David Dubois, his love affair with a mysterious woman Lisa Reese, and his tragic past. Jean Ory reminds David he can’t escape the truth. "Lisa and Jean were lifetime residents of Maillardville. They Dream's lead cast includes Jason Mireau, Delia Tatiana and Moishe Teichman.
- Lucille Starr who was inducted to the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame in 1987 began her musical career in Maillardville with the group Les Hirondelles. A street in Coquitlam "Lucille Starr Way" is named in her honour.
- Shawn Farquhar is a highly-esteemed magician who has earned some of the world's top honours in magic and lives in Maillardville. From his website: "The Canadian Association of Magicians awarded Shawn the MAGICIAN OF THE YEAR in 2003 and 2010, the Pacific Coast Association of Magicians awarded him the GRAND PRIX D’HONNEUR, the International Brotherhood of Magicians awarded him both STAGE MAGICIAN and SLEIGHT OF HAND MAGICIAN OF THE YEAR, making him the ONLY magician in history to win BOTH world championships and the Olympics of Magic in Beijing, China awarded him the highest award in magic, the GRAND PRIX WORLD CHAMPION OF MAGIC in 2009."
- Fraser Mills: HistoryArchived 13 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 15 February 2009
- City of Coquitlam: History and Heritage Retrieved on 15 February 2009
- CitySoup.ca: Coquitlam Regional History Archived 5 August 2009 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 15 February 2009
- Maillardville100.com: 100 Years of History Archived 28 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 22 February 2009
- Festival du Bois
- Scouts Francophones (in French)
- Maillardville, a francophone community in British Columbia
- Les Archives Authentiques de Maillardville (in French)
- They Dream Film
- They Dream Film