Noah L.

Vancouver, British Columbia


The Coaster

The Coaster at Playland in Vancouver, BC is Canada's oldest wooden roller coaster. It is not only an important part of Canada's Heritage but is also an important part of the Heritage of my family. This project looks at the designer, construction, features and operations, maintenance, fame and recognition and my family's stories of riding the Coaster over 5 generations.


What was the most interesting thing you learned about your topic?

I think it is really interesting that the ride time on the roller coaster varies depending on the weather. This is a unique feature to a wooden roller coaster. In hot dry weather the coaster speeds up reaching up to 75km an hour and a ride time of 90 seconds. On wetter days the wood expands and the ride can take up to two minutes. As a rider you can have different experiences on the coaster each time you go!

What important lessons have you learned that you want to share with other Canadians?

I have learned that there are so many people and places that are important to Canada's heritage. The stories are interesting and we can learn a lot by sharing them. I have also learned a lot about my family through this project and how it shares a heritage with Canada. I learned how 5 generations of my family also loved the Coaster which is the topic of my project. I learned stories about my family I can share for for generations to come. I also learned the importance of protecting our heritage. The Coaster was almost torn down before I was born. It was because people cared about it and it was named a heritage place that matters that helped keep it from being torn down. We can all help protect our heritage.

How would you compare your life today to the lives of those studied in your project?

My project was on a heritage landmark, the Coaster, not a person. Through my project I learned that the Coaster has been ridden by almost 30 million people over 60 years. That is about the same as the population of Canada. What is really interesting is that riders today have the same experience riders had 60 years ago. That is because the ride is maintained to its original design. The Coaster is my favourite ride. What makes the Coaster really special is that 5 generations of my family have ridden the Coaster. Their stories inspired my creative writing project "Diary of a Coaster". When I compare my story from today with my family stories from the last 60 years they are very similar. We all made memories with our family and friends and the stories are still shared in our family today. The ride is as thrilling now as it was in 1958. Over 60 year, 5 generations of my family all had the same experience. We all rode the same ride with its drops and twists and turns.I hope this will be the same for future generations of my family.