Steveston Things to Do

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Most Recent Things to Do in Steveston

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    Visit Some Navy Ships

    by briantravelman Written Jul 11, 2014

    The town of Steveston is known for its spectacular Canada Day processions. One of these processions is a fleet of ships, lead by the Royal Canadian Navy. This year, they were lead by the HMCS Oriole, and two patrol ships, Moose and Orca. We weren't there during Canada Day, but we were there on Saturday, the first day of Canada Day weekend, and the 3 ships were docked at the harbor. What's great about these ships, is that they are ships that are currently in service. These are usually stationed in Victoria, but they sail into Steveston once a year, during Canada Day weekend. This is your only chance to see the ships up close. They are there specifically for visitors. You can take pictures of the ships, and even take a tour. Navy members will actually take you aboard the ships, and show you around. I don't remember if there is a fee or not. Unfortunately, by the time we got here, the last tour had just ended, and the ships were closed for the day, but if you get there before 6:00, you will be able to tour them.
    The ships, along with a few non Navy vessels, were already decorated for the parade. It would’ve been great to see the procession, but we were staying in Surrey, so Steveston was a bit of a drive, so we didn’t want to drive back out here, especially in traffic. If I ever return to the area, I will visit Steveston, just for the Canada Day, as they seem to have the most spectacular celebration.
    It was still cool to see the ships though. Again, they are only there during Canada Day weekend, than they gone.

    Navy Patrol Ships Navy Vessels HMCS Oriole
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    Britannia Shipyard

    by briantravelman Updated Jul 10, 2014

    This main attraction of Steveston, and it was one of my favorite places on the entire trip.
    The magnificent Britannia shipyard, is the oldest in British Columbia. Many of the buildings date as far back, as 1885.
    The shipyard was used to repair boats for Steveston's commercial fishing fleet.
    The museum tells the story of the shipyard's multi-ethnic residents and workers, most of which were Japanese, who were later put into internment camps, during World War II. The most famous shipyard resident, was Japanese picture-bride, Asayo Murakami, whose home now serves as the museum's visitor center.
    The coolest thing about Britannia is that, even though it's now a museum, it's still a functioning shipyard, and modern day boats, are still brought here, to be repaired.
    You can actually go inside some of the buildings, but we were there after 5:00, so they were closed.
    There is no fee, as far as I know, to visit the shipyard.

    My favorite part of the whole shipyard, were the colorful wooden huts, built right on the water, which was common back then. The area looks a lot like a Scandinavian village, in fact, I felt like I was walking through a village in Sweden. These huts once housed the shipyard workers, and were most likely painted different colors, so workers could identify their house, in heavy fog and snowstorms.

    Britannia Shipyard Boat House Colorful Houses Workers' Houses
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    Murakami House

    by briantravelman Written Jul 10, 2014

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    The Murakami House was built in 1885, and is part of Steveston's historic, Britannia Shipyard.
    The house was the home of Japanese picture-bride, Asayo Murakami, who lived here with her husband, and 10 kids. They made their living by fishing in the summer, and building boats in the winter.
    Asayo was most famous for her beautiful garden, which was the subject of a 2001 Canadian documentary. The famous garden has been recreated, for visitors to enjoy.
    The home was refurbished, and opened to the public in 1998, as a visitor center.

    Murakami House Asayo's Famous Garden
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    Gulf Of Georgia Cannery

    by briantravelman Written Jul 10, 2014

    At the turn of the century, this region was the canning capitol of Canada, with 49 canneries, running between Steveston to New Westminster. Steveston alone, had 15 canneries. The most famous, and best preserved is the Gulf of Georgia Cannery.
    The cannery opened in 1894, and buildings were added until 1964. In 1897, it was nicknamed, the “Monster Cannery”, because it packed more than 2.5 million cans of salmon.
    But as the saying goes, all good things come to an end. In the 70s, the region’s thriving fishing industry collapsed, and in 1979, the cannery permanently shut down.
    In 1994, the cannery reopened to the public as a museum, to remind people of the city's fishing heritage.

    We got there after 5:00, so it was closed, and I cannot find the cannery’s website, so I have no idea how much the entrance fee is, but I know that you can visit for free on Canada Day. I think you can only visit the cannery, with a tour.
    We wanted to get closer, but for some reason, the building was fenced off.

    Hours:
    1st February to 31st October
    Open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

    Gulf Of Georgia Cannery Historic Cannery
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    Steveston Village

    by briantravelman Updated Jul 10, 2014

    Steveston Village, was the original Steveston, that was founded in 1880, by William Herbert Steves. Although the original village was devastated by a fire in 1912, and all but one building, had to be rebuilt, is still worth visiting. Here you will find several shops, restaurants, and colorful wooden buildings. Unlike the over commercialized wharf, and modern apartment area, this part of the city still has that charm and atmosphere, that I look for in a coastal town.
    The town had a real Scandinavian feel to it, which I really liked.

    Downtown Steveston Steveston Museum Wooden Building The City's Famous Moncton Street
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    Wharf and Marina

    by briantravelman Written Jul 10, 2014

    The Steveston wharf, is the main commercial tourist area of the town. This is where you can find most of the shops and restaurants, but be warned, almost all the restaurants close at 5:00. Shops are open longer.
    You can also stroll the city's marina, which is the site of the historic Gulf of Georgia Cannery. The marina harbor's Canada's largest commercial fishing fleet. Over 600 boats. Quite an impressive sight.
    It's also the departure point, for the town's famous whale watching tours.

    There is parking at the marina, but we walked from the Brittania Shipyard. We got there a little after 5:00, so it wasn't too crowded.

    Shops At The Wharf Orca Restaurants At The Wharf Steveston Marina Commercial Fishing Boats
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    Steveston Community Centre

    by Carmanah Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Often thought of as one of the best community centres in the city of Richmond, the Steveston Community Centre has been an important part of the neighbourhood for decades.

    It's here where you'll find the Richmond Public Library's Steveston branch, outdoor and indoor tennis courts, a children's wading pool, a large children's playground, an outdoor public swimming pool, several gymnasiums, pool tables and games room, squash courts, fitness trails, a baseball diamond, a lacrosse box, a martial arts dojo, and really friendly staff!

    The Steveston Community Centre hosts many events throughout the years such as the Steveston Salmon Festival, car shows, wood working shows, and craft fairs.

    They also have a wide selection of leisure programs, whether it's sports, arts & crafts, dance, language, or camps. These programs are for all ages.

    I've been coming to the Steveston Community Centre ever since I was a little girl. I remember being a part of the library's reading club in the summer months. I remember taking swimming lessons here when I was 9, and then returning the pool as a 14 year old with friends to gawk at the guys. I remember taking art and cooking classes when I was 8 years old. I remember how my mom signed me and my best friend up for jazz dance lessons when we were 6 years old, and how I refused to participate! I remember their Easter egg hunts at Easter time. I remember taking tennis lessons with my grade 6 class. I remember walking here with my grade 4 class so we could draw the architecture of the then-newly renovated building. I have video footage of me as a 2 year old, going down the slide on my stomach, feet-first, as I was too afraid of heights.

    The Steveston Community Centre, as you can gather, has been a significant part of my childhood, and I will always associate it with fond memories! Perhaps it's more of a place you'd appreciate more if you lived here, or if you had kids, but to me this place is truly at the heart of the Steveston community and its environment has always been welcoming.

    Steveston Community Centre's sign
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    Moncton Street

    by Carmanah Updated Jan 14, 2008

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    Moncton Street is the historical heart of Steveston village. It's along Moncton Street, between No 1 Road and Third Avenue where you'll find a lot of quaint shops, restaurants, and historic buildings. You can easily stroll up and down Moncton Street within 15 minutes, however, you can easily spend an hour or two exploring the shops and side streets along the way.

    Some buildings of note on Moncton Street:

    The red, brick building on Moncton and 2nd Avenue. This is one of the only buildings that survived the Steveston fire of 1912. Located inside this building are two local gift shops: Pieces and Nikaido Gifts. Across the street, Marine Garage hasn't changed, ever.

    The Steveston Cannery Café building used to be an old bunk house for cannery workers in the late 19th century. It used to be a radio repair shop up until the 80's when it was turned into the restaurant that still exists today. Across the street was once Marine Grocer - a grocery store owned and operated by a local Japanese family. It then ran as a convenience store and donut shop throughout the 90's and only recently has turned into an old school Romanian bakery complete with fire pit oven and smoke billowing out the chimney.

    The Steveston Museum used to be Steveston's first bank in the 1890's. Now it's a museum and a functioning post office.

    Funktion Junktion used to be a barber shop and residential unit after WWII. My great-grandfather was the barber and my grandfather lived in the back end of the bulding. It was turned into an antique shop in the 80's then turned into an art shop in the 90's. In 2003 my uncle turned it into a second hand store. It was a florist for a short time after, but now my cousin runs a bike repair and sports consignment shop there.

    Shops along Moncton Street People walking down Moncton on July 1st The Steveston Salmon Festival parade on Moncton The Steveston Museum on Moncton Moncton Street before Christmas 2005
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    The Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site

    by Carmanah Updated Jan 14, 2008

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    The Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site is a wonderful museum located inside of a restored cannery. Unfortunately it's only open between April and October, however, if you're in town when it's open, go!

    This cannery in particular is one of the oldest structures in Steveston. Hanging over the mouth of the Fraser River, it used to function as a real working cannery from the 1890's until it closed permanently in 1984.

    The museum highlights BC's role in the fishing industry, such as what kind of fish was caught, what boats/techniques were used, and how the fish were processed. Yet, it also focuses on the social history of commercial fishing. For example, you'll learn how certain job tasks were segregated to specific races and sexes, and how the Canadian government treated Steveston's Japanese fishermen during WWII.

    Being a national historic site, the museum's displays are both in English and French. They also offer guided tours in both languages.

    Ideally, you'll spend 1-2 hours here.

    While you can purchase admission tickets at the door, there are discount tickets available at Tourism Vancouver's tourist info centres. There's also a 2 for 1 coupon in the Vancouver edition of the Entertainment Book. And if you visit on July 1st (Canada Day), admission is free!

    The Gulf of Georgia Cannery in Steveston The front entrance to the Gulf of Georgia Cannery The Gulf of Georgia Cannery and the fishing fleet Two fishing boats next to the cannery The Gulf of Georgia Cannery on the Fraser River
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    Japanese Fisherman's Memorial

    by Carmanah Updated Jul 15, 2007

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    This is a memorial monument located east of Steveston village, nearby the western entrance to the Britannia Shipyards. It is devoted to the many Japanese fisherman who contribued to both the commercial fishing industry and British Columbia. Prior to 1944, Japanese men made up the majority of Steveston's workers. In World War II, this changed, as anyone with Japanese heritage was forced into internment camps, their belongings, homes, and boats confiscated by the government.

    Japanese fisherman's memorial Japanese Fisherman's Memorial statue Japanese Fisherman's Memorial
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    Fisherman's Wharf

    by Carmanah Updated Jul 15, 2007

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    Fisherman's Wharf is a public fish sales wharf located at Steveston Landing. The idea is that you can come here and purchase fish off the boats from the fishers that caught them. There is no scheduled time when boats will be there - it's completely dependent upon the fishers and what's in season. I've noticed that there's more activity on the weekends than during the weekdays, as it's more profitable for the fishers to bring their boats then.

    Note that the fish on these boats have all been frozen at sea before coming back to shore. Most of these fish have actually been thawed. Some of the things you see on these boats vary depending on what's in season. While salmon and prawns are standard, sometimes you'll see halibut, tuna, octopus, cod, shark, and all kinds of oddities you would never expect to find.

    Even if you have no interest in purchasing fish, most people take the short stroll down the wharf just for the view. It makes a great place to enjoy fish and chips or frozen yogourt. The wharf heads into the Fraser River and gives you beautiful views of waterfront and Mount Baker in the distance. Sometimes, depending on the season, you can see wildlife such as harbour seals or sea lions. There are sometimes swans, ducks and geese as well. There are always crows and seagulls hanging around, trying to steal food.

    Although fishing boats are allowed to use this wharf, it is not a wharf that can be used for pleasure boating. You must speak with the Steveston Harbour Authority for details on that kind of information.

    You may also see Vancouver Whale Watch zodiaks docking at Fisherman's Wharf (or their orange life-suit clad passengers!) No, there are no whales in Steveston - they don't come up the river. These whale watching vessels leave from Steveston and head way out to These trips take 3-5 hours.

    At the very end of Fisherman's Wharf is the River Queen harbour tour - a short narrated tour of Steveston harbour.

    Fisherman's Wharf on Canada Day People looking at the daily catch Steveston' Fisherman's Wharf Fishing boats at Fisherman's Wharf Fisherman's Wharf on Canada Day
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    Britannia Heritage Shipyards

    by Carmanah Updated Jul 15, 2007

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    This is a really beautiful heritage site located on the Fraser River just east of Steveston village. It's a series of heritage structures dating back as early as 1885 - some of them built on wooden stilts over the river - most of which were used back in the early 20th century as a place where boat builders would construct and repair fishing boats for the commercial fishing fleet in Steveston.

    The buildings you see are all the original structures and are all made out of wood. Some of the buildings are closed to the general public as they're undergoing restoration (while awaiting funding). Other buildings are open to the public, but only during specific hours on specific days.

    The Murakami Visitors Centre is also located on the Britannia Shipyards site. While there is visitor information, it is also the original home and boatyard of the Murakami family (see my Murakami House tip for more information).

    The Britannia Shipyards are located on Steveston Channel - the narrow Fraser River channel between Richmond and Shady Island, so the water's very sheltered. You can often see bald eagles nesting across in the trees on Shady Island - it's hard to miss their gigantic nest! In the summer the walkways are in bloom with wild flowers while the smells of the wild grasses are intoxicating. You'll often see swans, ducks, and other waterfowl foraging in the tall grasses at the water's edge. Though the water is too murky to see any fish, this estuary is an important part in what's one of the most important salmon producing rivers in the world.

    One of my favourite times to be here is during the evening when the sun is setting, casting an orange glow over the land and a pink hue in the sky and the distant Mount Baker. It's definitely one of Steveston's most picturesque spots.

    Britannia Shipyards on a summer evening The old boat houses The Railway Avenue entrance Britannia Shipyards Britannia Shipyards
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    Steveston Landing

    by Carmanah Updated Nov 2, 2006

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    In the span of Steveston's 100+ years, Steveston Landing is relatively new. Built in the 1980's, it rejuvenated Steveston from an old, run down, commercial fishing town into a beautiful, thriving village. This is what started to bring tourists back into Steveston.

    Steveston Landing is nowadays what most visitors remember most when visiting the village. It's a collection of restaurants and shops located on a boardwalk at the edge of the Fraser River. However, Fisherman's Wharf is also located at Steveston Landing - a public wharf where you can purchase fresh seafood off the boats on weekends.

    In the summer time Steveston Landing can be a busy place. The restaurant patios are full of people, seagulls are everywhere, the smell of fish & chips is in the air, there are musicians busking, the wharf is full of fishing boats selling fresh seafood, people in orange life suits are seen getting ready for a whale watching trip, and it's generally a lively area with people meandering through, just soaking up the atmosphere. In the winter, however, Steveston Landing tends to be a lot more quiet.

    While Steveston Landing doesn't actually hold any real historical signicance, it's seen as a focal point to the rebirth of Steveston's new commercial identity as a tourist-friendly village.

    Busy restaurant patios at Steveston Landin Fisherman's Wharf and Steveston Landing The boardwalk along Steveston Landin Steveston Landing in the winter
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    Steveston Museum

    by Carmanah Updated Sep 17, 2006

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    One of the few original buildings from Steveston of the early 1900's, this used to be the Steveston bank. From the 1980's and onwards (and perhaps even earlier), this building has been used as the Steveston Post Office and the Steveston Museum - all in one building. The main floor is a museum. There's shelving full of old grocery products and tins from the early 1900's; it represents what a general store in Steveston would have looked like at the beginning of the 20th century. Upstairs, there are various displays showing what the living quarters of the bank looked like, complete with the parents bed, a children's bed, toys, books, gramaphones, and the chamber pot! There's also a display illustrating what Steveston used to look like in the late 1800's and early 1900's. Various historical photographs portray Steveston as this hustle and bustle city-to-be. Spending a few minutes in this museum will teach you a lot about Steveston's historical past.

    Side note: this building has been used in dozens of movies and TV shows.

    The Steveston Museum on a glorious April evening The Steveston Museum on Moncton Street The Steveston Museum on Moncton Street
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    For the newbies

    by spitball Updated Apr 9, 2006

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    Take a stroll along the old heritage site, and learn some local history of Steveston. The Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site, and the London Heritage Farm.

    Steveston has a long history on the West Coast here, open the link for some pertinent information related to this area.
    There's an open-air fish market, where you can choose what you buy directly off the boats. On a sunny day, this can be a pleasant place to spend a few hours. There are a few drinking establishments here to refresh your taste buds.
    During the summer hours, live music on the docks, and featured Community events happen. Right up until the last month of the year.
    There are a lot of new Apartments and Condo's being built down here, so the increase in population is sure to be noticed, but from what I've seen, it's being done with some good taste.
    Want to live in a somewhat sleepy community?
    Move to Steveston.

    Down by the docks Guarding his boat On the way to a hopeful big catch Britannia  Heritage Shipyard 604- 276-4300 Preparing for the work day
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