In the late 1800s, Steveston Village was the busiest fishing port in the world with fourteen fish canneries packing over 195,000 cases of salmon each year. Every summer, the harvest of salmon would see the community’s population grow by the thousands as Natives, Chinese and Japanese labourers arrived seeking seasonal work. This hard working, hard living community had a rough and tumble lifestyle of gambling, opium-smoking and busy bordellos. Now over 100 years later, Steveston has evolved into a picturesque working fishing village that comes to life with plenty to see and do. Home to almost 1,000 commercial fishing vessels, Steveston is the largest commercial fishing harbour in Canada. Along the waterfront fishing boats and freighters ply the waters of the Strait of Georgia. At Fishermen’s Wharf, fish boat operators sell fresh salmon, crab, halibut and shrimp directly from dockside.
Located at the west end of historic Steveston (12015 7th Avenue/west end of Chatham Street), the park provides panoramic views of the Steveston fishing harbour, the Fraser River and the Gulf Islands. Originally the Coast Salish knew the area as 'place of churning waters' and pronounced it 'Kway-Ah-Wh'. Garry Point, as it is known now, is a magnificent waterfront park for walking, cycling, picnics, or flying kites. Alternatively, the day can be spent gathering stacks of driftwood, bleached and shaped by the elements, for a beachside barbecue over one of the open fire pits. Garry Point Park is also home to a Fishermen’s Memorial, a symbolic net-mending needle telling fishermen they are reaching their homeport after weeks at sea.
Although it can get quite crowded on a sunny weekend Steveston is a must. Originally a small fishing community, the town has built up quite a bit. There are still a couple of canneries and a museum, also a quay where the fishing boats come in. On the waterfront at Steveston Landing there are shops and restaurants and it is a great place to sit and watch the sun set and enjoy some seafood!
I took the trip out to Steveston not knowing much about the area, but having a recommendation from a work colleague. To get there I took a 98 bus to Richmond Centre bus exchange, and then a second bus to Steveston itself. As I was able to just transfer on the same ticket the cost of the journey was only $2.25 each way, and took about 1 hour each way. The Bus Driver was very helpful and suggested I get off a the stop just before the actual shops. This happened to be a shorter walk to the Historical Park which is where all the old Cannery buildings were, and also the location of the tourist information centre.
From the old area I took the walk down the boardwalk to the main boardwalk area which includes multiple restaurants, takeaways, and the Cannery Museum. The Cannery Museum operates during the summer from May. Unfortunately I visited the weekend before the cannery was operating, but the gift shop was open for business.
Past the Cannery you can take the walk out to Gary Point. There you will find a great park area for the picnic, or just fish'n'chips.
Personally I stopped in at 'Jake's on the Pier' for a salmon burger and chips out on their balcony area. After all it was a sunny day to enjoy.
For those interested, you can also pick up some fresh fish to go from the trawlers that setup on the pier for the tourists. The prices were somewhat good considering they were selling direct to the public in a tourist area.
Richmond is a neighbouring city, located on Lulu Island, just south of Vancouver. My family lives here, and they took me a few times to the friendly little port of Steveston. It's the local version of Granville Island: an old dock/fishing area that's be completely done up and now caters for the leisure market with pubs, restaurant and gadget shops. It's all very quaint and lovely and certainly not as overrun as Granville.
If you don't have a car the best way to get there is by bus: take the B-line 98 to Richmond and hop on the local line no. 1 to the very end.
I visited a little place quite 'off the beaten path' called Steveston. It's a modern touristy fishing village located in Richmond. It was very different from the fishing villages of Nova Scotia that I'm used to, but that just made it more interesting. There's lots of really nice shops and restaurants. You can also go down and buy fish right off the boats. If you're looking for a place outside of the city that shows another way of life in B.C. then this is a good place to go.
Steveston's a small historic fishing village located at the mouth of the Fraser River, in south-western Richmond. It's a great place to visit for an afternoon, for it gives visitors a unique maritime atmosphere unlike what you'd find in Vancouver. Steveston's like a small town hidden in the margins of a large city.
Steveston has Canada's largest fishing fleet. Though many fishermen and women work for commercial fisheries, they'll often be selling their catch off their boats along Fishermen's Wharf on the weekends. The sale is open to the public.
Another popular site is Steveston Landing. It's a waterfront boardwalk along the Fraser River overlooking the fishing boats. Many restaurants, cafes, and shops are located here. All offer beautiful riverfront views.
Moncton Street, located a block down from the river, is Steveston's main street. The buildings haven't changed much in decades, but the businesses have. It's on Moncton and its sidestreets where you'll find a mix of shops, restaurants, and local services.
Steveston's probably best known to locals because of its famous British-style fish n chips in newspaper cones. My personal favourites are Dave's and Pajo's. However, Steveston's grown up in the past 20 years for it now offers a multitude of cuisine, from casual diners to upscale restaurants. And like elsewhere, Steveston has a good selection of ethnic restaurants to choose from as well.
While some come to Steveston to shop, it's actually quite rich in heritage sites. The Gulf of Georgia Cannery is one of BC's few National Historic Sites. This federally-funded museum is definitely worth a visit if you're interested in the history of Steveston and the fishing industry.
However, while the fisheries are intrinsic to Steveston's identity, there's also a lot of preserved sites from the pioneer days such as London Heritage Farm, Britannia Shipyards, the Murakami Visitor's Centre, the Steveston Interurban Tram, and the Steveston Museum.
Therefore, an afternoon in Steveston can be very full indeed!
I would not go out of your way for this however a local told us to eat in this area after getting off theTsawwassen ferry . We were coming back from Victoria . This area is north of the ferry and south of Vancouver . It's a small waterfront area with a handful of restaurants coffee shop, ice-cream place and a few stores . Very nice and we had an excellent meal at Tapenade
on the pier there is a public sales float ,one time in the evening I have seen a seal visiting this area.Also the Garry Point park at Steveston is lovely in the evening.
Take a ride to Steveston on your way to catch the BC Ferry. It's a quaint little fishing village with an old cannery and plenty of restaurants.