Posted by: cherylyoung | March 14, 2012


Down on the southwestern shore of Richmond sits

 the historic Steveston Village, a once-boisterous frontier

 seaport and principal port on the Fraser River, founded

 in 1880 by William Herbert Steves.


At the turn of the twentieth century, Steveston was the

 busiest fishing port in the world, with fifteen salmon

 canneries, six hotels, numerous saloons and gambling

 dens, and up to fourteen windjammers simultaneously

 loading canned salmon for world markets.

 On a Saturday night, 10,000 people thronged the

 boardwalks, including Native Indians, Japanese, Chinese,

 European immigrants, and sailors from the seven seas.


Now over 100 years old, Steveston has evolved into a

 picturesque working fishing village, home to Canada’s

 largest commercial fishing fleet, home base to more

 than 600 seiners, gillnetters, trawlers and other vessels

 that line the docks two, sometimes three, abreast.

The village, with its ambient fishing village atmosphere,

 comes to life each summer, with plenty for visitors

 to see and do.


 Heritage sites and parks, fresh seafood, great local

restaurants and colourful gift shops and markets all

 await the lucky visitor.




One of the oldest remaining buildings in Steveston is

The Cannery Cafe, built before 1900 to serve as a

 cookhouse for the Lighthouse Cannery, and now one

 of the longest- running restaurants in the village.



The Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site on 

 Fourth  Avenue directly behind Canfisco, is operated

by  a group  of community members and

 representatives  of  the local fishing industry and

contains relics from the past, when  the canneries

 operated day and night.


 A model of a 1930s production line is set up along one

 long L-shaped counter.


Murals of fish and trawlers cover the walls; showcases full

 of glass net floats from Japan, various shiny salmon tins,

 and model boats help convey a sense of Steveston’s



 Mountains of fishing gear and nets are arranged outside.


 The interpretive centre is open from May to mid-October.


 Admission includes a 20-minute film presentation in

the Boiler House Theatre.


 Visitors can take a self-guided walking tour of the National

 Heritage Site of Britannia Heritage Shipyard, at the south

 foot of Railway Avenue.


Britannia is one of the few surviving examples from

 Steveston’s rich past, when a mix of canneries, net lofts,

 boatyards, residences, and stores defined

 the neighbourhood.

 Restoration of the site is in the development stage, and

over the coming years much of its former glory is slated

 to be restored.


 At present, the Britannia Shipyard augments a walking

 or cycling tour of the Steveston harbour.


Also on site is the Murakami Visitor Centre, the 1885 home

 of a 12-member Japanese family and their boat works,

 where the family built gillnetters during turn-of-the-

century winters.


 In the heart of old Steveston Village is the Steveston



 Surrounded by board sidewalks, this former Northern

 Bank building reflects the community’s heritage as a

 busy  commercial centre.


 On the main floor the Bank Manager’s office displays the

 nineteenth century furniture, business machines, and

 other displays reflecting the services of the old

 general stores.


 Upstairs, the dining room and bedroom represent the

 living quarters of the earliest bank staff who also

doubled as night watchmen and caretakers.

 Japanese and Chinese artifacts illustrate the impact of

 these cultures on the history of Steveston.


 Photo displays capture some of the heritage of one of the

 oldest fishing harbours on the Canadian west coast.


Visit Fisherman’s Wharf on The Landing, and the

 Information Centre Kiosk, where a caretaker is on hand

 on sunny weekends to answer visitor’s questions.


Constructed in 1894 as the Sockeye Hotel, the Steveston

 Hotel was one of the many hotels that flourished in the

community during the early decades of the century, and

 is the only hotel to survive both fire and flood.

Time stands still as you venture through the doorway

of the historic London Heritage Farm.


Built during the 1890s, this fascinating heritage site on

 nearly 5 acres overlooking the south arm of the Fraser

 River offers the visitor a hands-on experience of rural

 life  in the early development of Richmond.


West of Steveston Village is the popular Garry Point Park,

 a short walk from the Gulf of Georgia Cannery Museum.


 Smooth walking and biking trails offer wonderful sweeping

 views of Steveston’s fishing harbour and the Gulf Islands






SIDNEY BC.         


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