Steveston, at the mouth of the Fraser River, is the largest fishing port in Canada. It was once home to more than 15 fish canneries, an industry that brought economic prosperity and jobs to British Columbia’s lower mainland. The Gulf of Georgia Cannery was the largest among them and the greatest producer of canned salmon in British Columbia. The Cannery was built in 1894 and was once known as the “Monster Cannery” due to the sheer volume of its production. The cannery finally closed in 1979.
Today, visitors to Richmond’s historic and still-vibrant fishing port of Steveston can tour the Gulf of Georgia Cannery, which is a National Historic Site of Canada and an extensive museum. Through interpretive and interactive exhibits and a children’s learning area, visitors learn about the immigrant communities that depended on the Cannery for a livelihood, the labor involved in processing and canning fish before and after automation, and the fish species that were processed there and are still commercially fished in local waters.
Visitors will also learn about the demise of the fish canning industry and its effects on the communities that had depended on it.
Visit the Gulf of Georgia Cannery’s website at gulfofgeorgiacannery.org to find out about visiting and upcoming events at the Cannery. For information about travel to Richmond, go to visitrichmondbc.com.