Steveston Things to Do

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Best Rated Things to Do in Steveston

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    Steveston Martial Arts Centre

    by Carmanah Updated Mar 20, 2003

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    Steveton Martial Arts Centre

    This authentic Japanese dojo has been a part of Steveston's landscape for many decades now. Home to the Steveston Martial Arts club, this is where you'll find the local karate, judo, kento and other martial artists practicing throughout the week.

    Surrounding the dojo are traditional Japanese rock gardens. If you're going to be visiting the Steveton Community Centre, give these gardens a visit. They may be small, but they're beautifully maintained.

    Also, during the Steveston Salmon Festival, the Martial Arts Centre hosts a variety of displays, from traditional Japanese tea ceremonies and martial arts demonstrations, to Japanese doll-making, bonsai exhibits, and Japanese paper art shows.

    Keep an eye out for the photographs of the Steveston Japanese community on the walls. Look back in time to an era when the majority of the residents were Japanese.

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    Steveston Landing

    by Carmanah Updated Nov 2, 2006

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    Busy restaurant patios at Steveston Landin
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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.

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    Fisherman's Wharf

    by Carmanah Updated Jul 15, 2007

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    Fisherman's Wharf on Canada Day
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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.

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    Steveston Museum

    by Carmanah Updated Sep 17, 2006

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    The Steveston Museum on a glorious April evening
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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.

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    For the newbies

    by spitball Updated Apr 9, 2006

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    Down by the docks
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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.

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    Take a Walk!

    by aqazi Written Sep 14, 2004

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    pic from their website

    Steveston has a busy and thriving fishing industry which is great to see. Pedestrianised walkways extending for 10km follows the coastline from east Steveston to North Richmond. There are plenty of museums to visit along the way including Canneries and local history exhibitions. Great for kids and adults alike. There are plenty of oppotunities to stop and whatch the boats go by and also to have something to eat or drink.

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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 in Steveston
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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!

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    Richmond Dyke Trails

    by Carmanah Updated Jul 23, 2005

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    Low tide at the south arm of the Fraser River
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    The City of Richmond is located on Lulu Island, a delta island made of built-up sediment at the mouth of the Fraser River. Essentially, Lulu Island is a vast tidal flat. When it was first inhabited, its perimeter had to be completely dyked, otherwise it would flood as the tide came in. These dykes were put into place in the late 1800's and have been continually rebuilt over the decades.

    Due to the massive size of the dykes, some of them have been turned into scenic river-front roads, such as Dyke Road on Richmond's southern shore, or River Road on Richmond's northern shore.

    On the western shore, the dyke is a large gravel pedestrian and cyclist path, connecting Steveston's Garry Point Park all the way north to Richmond's Terra Nova neighbourhood which is just across the north arm of the Fraser River from the Vancouver International Airport.

    The dykes on Lulu Islands's perimeter host an elaborate system of trails, and they're officially called the Richmond Dyke Trails.

    Steveston is located at the south-west corner of Lulu Island. As a result, it's considered to be a popular starting point in the Richmond Dyke Trails. You can start at Garry Point Park and head north along Sturgeon Banks - an estuary mud-flat home to all kinds of species of migratory birds and songbirds, offering panoramic views of the Strait of Georgia, the Gulf Islands, Vancouver Island, and the Coast Mountains up the western shore of the BC mainland.

    You could alternately head east from Garry Point, through Steveston Landing, and walk along the newly-built waterfront walkways along the south arm of the Fraser River (as seen in my photo here). You can see Shady Island, an uninhabitated sandbar island, or enjoy the local estuary ecosystem at low tide. It's here where all the canneries once stood, and as a result, there are a lot of historic sites along this part of the dyke, such as Britannia Shipyards, and London Farm House.

    The Richmond Dyke Trail system goes on for 80km and is an excellent location for walking, jogging, or cycling.

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    Gulf of Georgia Cannery

    by meteorologist1 Written Dec 12, 2004

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    Gulf of Georgia Cannery

    A national historic site, the Gulf of Georgia Cannery offers visitors a look at the history of the West Coast fishing industry. Worth a visit if you're into fishing machinery, tools, and other artifacts. Tickets are $6.50 for adults.

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    Fresh seafood everyday

    by meteorologist1 Written Oct 23, 2004

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    Steveston Fisherman's Wharf

    From the fishing boats straight to you, the Fisherman's Wharf in Steveston offers you fresh seafood at bargain prices. Every morning you will find the best catches and they sell very quickly. Too bad we couldn't buy any of those jumbo shrimp because we didn't have anywhere to cook them.

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    The Buddhist Temple

    by meteorologist1 Written Nov 20, 2004

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    Buddhist Temple
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    The Buddhist Temple located near Steveston is definitely a must-see, even if you've been to China. The architecture is amazing and accurately reflects that of temples in China. There are also many amazing statues of Buddhas. The park belongs to the International Buddhist Society. If you're heading to Steveston, you will probably pass by this place and it's worth it to see it. The admission is free.

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    Britannia Heritage Shipyards

    by Carmanah Updated Jul 15, 2007

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    Britannia Shipyards on a summer evening
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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.

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    Moncton Street

    by Carmanah Updated Jan 14, 2008

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    Shops along Moncton Street
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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.

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    Japanese Fisherman's Memorial

    by Carmanah Updated Jul 15, 2007

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    Japanese fisherman's memorial
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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.

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    Commercial Wharves

    by Carmanah Updated Dec 21, 2005

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    The fishing fleet at the Commercial Wharf
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    It's here where you'll find Canada's largest fishing fleet. These commercial wharves were essentially the only publically-accessible wharves in Steveston before the 1990's. Back then, it was here where people would come to purchase fresh salmon, prawns, and halibut off the local gillnetters, seiners, and trawlers.

    Nowadays fish is no longer sold off the boats here, but it's here where all the fishing boats stay moored in and out of season. The public is still welcome to walk down each wharf to observe the boats. Chances are you'll run into a local commercial fisherman and women along the public wharves, going about their daily lives.

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