Steveston Fishing Village: A Photo Essay

Steveston


The following photo essay was contributed by local Vancouver photographer Clayton Perry, exclusively for Inside Vancouver. In this photo essay Clayton takes a look at Steveston Village.

Steveston British Columbia is a small fishing village approximately 25 kilometers away from Vancouver at the south arm of the Fraser River. Ok, so I may be a bit biased here but I love Steveston….I always have since I started coming here as a young child. I remember jumping around in the massive sand dunes where Garry Point Park now stands…and seeing all the old decaying buildings of Steveston Fishing Village…slowly being dismantled and the landscapes changing forever with progress.

Steveston is named after Manoah Steves who came here with his family in 1878 from Moncton, New Brunswick. He and his family were a major part of developing Steveston into a town site in 1889. The Steves family still runs a small beef producing business along the dyke in Richmond and they produce Belted Galloways or “Oreo” cows.

Oreo Cows

Being situated right at the mouth of the Fraser River, salmon canning began at the site around 1881 and continued all the way up to the early 90’s with as many as 45 canneries along the river at one point.

Gulf Of Georgia Cannery

Although it has lost some of it’s charm over the years and most of the old fishing village canneries and buildings are now long gone, Steveston has still managed to maintain most of its small fishing village feel. I know this because I live here and have been living close to the village for the last twelve years. I believe this is one of the most photogenic areas in the lower mainland. It has so much culture and there is nothing quite like it in the middle of summer with the fishing boats at the dock, selling their fresh salmon, crabs and mussels to name a few pacific delicacies and not to mention boasting some of the most spectacular sunsets in the world.

Steveston After The Great Salmon Run 2010

Steveston After The Great Salmon Run 2010

Sunset

The architecture is some of the oldest in the lower mainland with the Gulf of Georgia Cannery (1894), the Steveston Hotel, originally the Sockeye Hotel (1894), Britannia Heritage Shipyard (1885), The Steveston Museum, originally the Northern Bank (1890’s) to name a few.

With new condo developments and shops coming into Steveston, the history still prevails, even if you have to search a little harder to find it.

The Boardwalk

The Boardwalk

Britannia Heritage Shipyard

Built in 1885, this site originally operated as a cannery and was converted in 1917 to a shipyard to support the boating and fishing industry along the Fraser River and continued until 1980. It has since been updated with fully restored Japanese stilt houses, the main ship building, Murakami House, boardwalks and other period buildings as well as a fully operational shipyard restoring old period boats.

Britannia Shipyard

Inside Britannia Shipyard

Little Red House

Steveston Fog

Swan

Master and Merrilee II

Finn Slough

A Finnish man named Mike Jacobson bought this land in the early 1890’s and moved his family and relatives to the area. Hence the area was nicknamed “Finn Slough”. They chose to settle in this area for the protection from the river and the easy access to their boats and houses…most of which they were able to float right up to. The site still remains a collection of eclectic houses occupied by artistic types.

Dinner Plate Island School

Finn Slough

Home

The Wreck Of The Mermaid III

Finn Slough

Loose Rails

Slough Bridge

Gulf of Georgia Cannery

Built in 1894, this location was once the leading producer of canned salmon in Canada. From sea to can in 3 hours…that’s how fresh the product that came out of this cannery was. The site consists of the main building, icehouse as well as several other warehouse type buildings that still operate today. The site is run by the Steveston Harbour Authority and is a National Historic Site.

In the early 90’s, this location was starting to shut down as a cannery and receiving basic conservation treatments to maintain this site as a national historic site. A great model of a 1930’s era canned salmon production line as well as many other artifacts can be found inside.

Gulf Of Georgia Cannery

Steveston In The Fog

Framed Sunset

Canadian Fishing Co.

Paramount

Paramount, like The Gulf of Georgia Cannery is run by the Steveston Harbour Authority. This site offers a number of on-site services including the Canadian Fishing Company, Mastercraft Boat Coverings, Steveston Seafood Auctions and the Fisherman’s Boot Café just to mention a few.

Paramount

Ocean Invader

London Farm

Charles London and his brothers came out west from Ontario in 1877 and purchased this land. In 1888 Charles London built the farmhouse that still stands here today. On this site once sat a thriving farm, general store, post office and wharf. The Londons lived and operated on the farm until the late 40’s after that it was rented out to several families over the years until the city of Richmond purchased the house and land in 1978. Since then it has been fully restored to its original early 1900’s era.

London Farm

London Farms

Moncton Street

Moncton Street in Steveston still maintains most of it’s early charisma with the old Steveston Drugs block and the numerous period buildings, most dating back to the early 1900’s.

Steveston Museum

Seppo's Automotive

Moncton Street

Village Bikes

1954 Chevy Bel Air Sedan

Steveston At Night

Dining in Steveston

Steveston is famous for its Fish & Chips…there are several fantastic restaurants and cafes in the area. All serving great fresh food from the region…and of course, lots of seafood.

Cannery Cafe

Pajo's

George's Taverna In Steveston

Sockeye City Grill

Hollywood North

Steveston has been used in numerous Television and Movie Productions including Supernatural, Charlie St. Cloud with Zac Efron, Lost Boys – The Tribe, The X – Files, Scary Movie, Shooter with Mark Wahlberg and a long list of others including ABC’s new television series Once Upon A Time coming this fall and being filmed right now in Steveston or “Storybrooke” as it is better known in this fairytale from the producers of Lost.

Jennifer Morrison in ABC's Once Upon A Time

Storybrooke Hardware & Paint

Sunsets and Garry Point Park

Garry Point Park offers some fantastic views of the Fraser River, Salish Sea, Gulf Islands and the North Shore Mountains. It also offers a great vantage point for spectacular sunsets, no matter what time of year.

Salish Sea Sunset [Explored]

Sunset

Shrimp Boat

Fraser River Sockeye Salmon Run 2010

Boats…Tons of Boats

Steveston still has the largest fleet of fishing boats on the west coast.

Early Morning In Steveston

Steveston Harbour

Steveston In The Fog

Winter On Scotch Pond

You Can't Always Get What You Want

Tall Ships

Steveston was home port in 2002 and once again in 2011 for a display of some of the most amazing tall ships on the Pacific.

Ship To Shore 2011 [Explored]

So next time you are out in Richmond, don’t forget to come out and re-discover The Steveston Fishing Village.

Sunset On The River
Tagged: , , , , , , , ,

Comments / Pingbacks

ADD YOUR REMARKS BELOW

33 Responses to Steveston Fishing Village: A Photo Essay

  1. Kathy

    These photos really capture the beauty and uniqueness of Steveston!

    • Julie Hauxwell

      absolutely stunning, masterpieces of photographic work,what passion. Inspiring and beautiful.

  2. Bryce

    Amazing photos. Steveston really is a jewel on the West Coast!
    Did you know that the fishing fleet isn’t just the largest in the West, but the largest active fleet in Canada? It’s nice to know that so much of what gives Steveston its charm is part of it’s Present, as well as its History!

  3. vicky

    These are amazing! Well done Clayton Perry, I remember your photographs from years ago, I’m so happy for you that you are doing so well!
    Cheers!

    v

  4. Just one correction: the Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site is owned by Parks Canada and operated on their behalf by a local non-profit group, the Gulf of Georgia Cannery Society.

    Great photo study!

  5. Rosie

    Gorgeous photos! Even though I’ve lived in Richmond all my life, I haven’t spent quite enough time in Steveston!

  6. Holly Compton

    Well done! I know that our next trip to Vancouver is definitely going to include Steveston, very interesting and beautiful~ I love coastal villages, its only about 8 hrs. from my house, but now we need Passports to go to Canada!

  7. Melissa

    These photos are amazing and I would love to see a gallery to perhaps purchase one or two. How do I get in touch with the artist?

  8. Melony

    What a great Photo Essay Clayton. You captured Steveston well.. This would make a great book!

  9. Thanks for all the comments…it is a beautiful place to photograph. If you get the chance, get out there before summer is over. =)
    @Rob Hart…thanks for the info =)
    @Melissa …you can send me an email at clayton@claytonperryphotography.com =)

  10. Pat

    I love the pictures. I grew up in Richmond and have seen Steveston transform over the years. I remember as a kid hearing the horn blast from the canneries indicating the start and end of shifts. …and I will never forget the smell when they were operating and the wind was blowing into town. I don’t live there anymore, but these pictures brought back some good memories. Thanks.

  11. This is the best photo essay I have seen depicting Steveston. My sister is lucky enough to live in Steveston and I look forward to seeing the quaintness of the fishing village.

  12. Sharon

    Beautiful pictures. I can’t wait till my sister Jo-Ann comes to visit again. I get to discover my community all over again when she comes.

  13. janice

    Amazing photos. I am so proud to live here! I agree that this collection would make a great book. Would love to also see some photos capturing the Japanese heritage of Steveston.

  14. carol

    What beautiful photos! I grew up and still live very close to Steveston and you made me notice new things about our little town with your camera…very well done!

  15. Thank you for showing how beautiful Steveston Village is. We are so fortunate to call it our home. Well done!

  16. I’ve heard so many good things about this place and you’ve just confirmed it all for me. You’ve got some great shots here. That last image of the sunset is stunning!

  17. Robert

    Wow! Some great pictures that really depict a bit of the heart and soul of Steveston! Nicely done.

  18. Agreed this is an amazing photo essay – love the pictures because they are fantastic, thank you.
    Love Steveston Village too!

  19. Judy

    Outstanding photos capturing the true essence of Steveston Village. It is a treat to view them. It’s been several years since visiting there but it still maintains it’s charm.

  20. Kathy Schwab

    I’ve lived in Steveston for 33 years and I’ve also noticed a transformation over the years, but I think it’s for the better, as the unique buildings are still part of the Village, and now people have much more access to the shoreline with the boardwalk. This is the first place I take out-of-towners to when they come to visit. Your pictures are absolutely beautiful, and I am very lucky to have a son-in-law who is also a photo buff, and has taken similar pictures for us all to enjoy. Two of my three children have chosen Steveston as their home as well, as they grew up there.

  21. Donalda

    Wonderful pictures and display of them. Congratulations on work well done. Our family has lived for many decades in Richmond and have always loved Steveston even when they were packing fish. We would look forward to the train going down Railway to Steveston on Wednesdays and returning on Saturdays (or vise versa) and loved the small village it used to be. In spite of the increase in population, Steveston still has the small town atmosphere and we love it. The pictures are so very true and descriptive of the area.

  22. madun

    I found the pictures extremely well done, but a very major part of Steveston’s history was left out. In the 30’s&early 40’s Steveston was mainly a Japanese village. They were the main fishermen at that time. My sister taught at Richmond Jr. Sr. High School and a large portion of her students were Japanese. I think this omission should be corrected.

    • Thanks for you comments Madun…always appreciated. I don’t disagree that the Japanese were a major part of the history of Steveston but my essay was not a history lesson as such but more of a photo essay of what is there today and how I see things now.

  23. Pingback: After The Fishing, There’s More… : Fishing for Beginers and Advanced – General Fishing tips and Information

  24. What a wonderful phto essay and series of commentgs. My husband and i frequently go out to Steveston to cycle on the dykes and just to hang around. We are very faamiliar wioth most of the buildings and areeas you have photographed so beautifully. We’ve even taken some of the very same photographs with nowhere near the same effect. I am an ESL instructor of advanced level immigrants at VCC and I plan to have my students look at and read your comments as part of a project for them to get to know the major arfeas of the the Lower Mainland. This will be a wonderful addition. Would it be possible for me to use one or two of your photos as an enticement for them? Thank you.

    Michelle Morissette

  25. Absolutely stunning photos. I will contact you as well in regards to possibly purchasing some from you too. My family has been in Steveston for 4 generations and I can’t think of anywhere else I would want to live, work and relax! You’ve captured all that I love ( except for maybe the wonderful food, wine and craft beers that can be enjoyed whilst looking upon one of your fine scenes)! Keep up the great photography!

  26. John L. Young

    Beautiful photos! As a member of the Spirit Runners we run all the trails and byways of Steveston and the South Dyke area and know the area very well. You have captured the beauty of the Steveston area. Well done!
    It is a shame that we will be losing the attractive and well placed Wind Wave sculpture at Garry Point. Many people do not realize that developers and not the tax payer paid for it.

  27. AJ

    Wow. Great photography here. Steveston truly is a beautiful place to live or just spend an afternoon. Check out this other site with some good Steveston photos. http://bit.ly/gJUoom

  28. Pingback: Cheap Playstation 3 Move Bundle

  29. Scott

    Thanks. This really takes me back.

  30. Pingback: Cycling in Richmond, BC | Velo-city Global 2012 Conference Blog Vancouver Canada

  31. Pingback: Cycling in Richmond, BC | CycloTouringBC

Say Your Piece

Please be nice, we delete offensive and mean spirited remarks.