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A day in Steveston Harbour

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By Joanne Sasvari (Courtesy of Tourism Richmond)

Steveston Village, in the southwest corner of Richmond, is a great place to browse for unique gifts, savour fish ‘n’ chips by the seaside, listen to lively entertainment, or slip back into the past at one of Canada’s most unusual historic sites. Best of all, it’s just a short drive from downtown Vancouver, so it’s an easy escape for an afternoon of dockside fun.

Steveston started back in 1878 when Manoah and Martha Steves and their six children settled in this corner of Lulu Island. Shortly after the first cannery opened on the waterfront in 1882. By 1890, the town was booming: with 15 canneries along its shores, and by 1901 it boasted several hotels, an opera house and several saloons. It became one of the most multicultural communities on the west coast, with Japanese, Chinese, First Nations and Europeans working side by side.

Steveston is still home to Canada’s largest fishing fleet. One of the best ways to enjoy this community’s attractions is by sitting on a dockside pub patio on a sunny afternoon, watching the fishing boats bobbing gently in the water and maybe wandering down later to buy just-caught fish from the Public Fish Sales Float at Fisherman’s Wharf. There are many options for dining in Steveston.


Visit the Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site; once the largest of the canneries, where as many as 2.5 million tins of salmon were packed each. Now it’s a museum commemorating the fishing industry through a variety of fascinating interactive displays.

Walk or bike to London Heritage Farm, a four-acre historical site that aims to recreate life in Steveston from 1880 to 1930 and which has a lovely heritage garden. Enjoy afternoon tea, stroll through the herb gardens and be entertained by a plethora of special events. 

Go biking or walking in Garry Point Park, as well as on Steveston’s extensive trail system or shopping at the great little boutiques dotting the streets. 

You could go on an excursion with an outfitter like Steveston Seabreeze Adventures, which conduct whale watching and ecological tours.

Or you could buy your dinner fresh from the fishing boats that dock at the Public Fish Sales Float in the marina. You won’t find any fish fresher than these!