Gulf Of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site

Last Updated on May 15, 2023

Gulf Of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site

Located in picturesque Steveston Village (Richmond), British Columbia, the Gulf of Georgia Cannery was built in 1894 and is one of Canada’s oldest surviving cannery sites. Between 1894 and 1979 the Gulf of Georgia Cannery operated as a salmon cannery, a raw fish depot, a net loft and repair facility for the Canadian Fishing Company, a herring cannery, and a herring reduction facility.

This historic industrial complex has been designated as a National Historic Site by Parks Canada because of its strong historical associations, its status as an exemplary example of industrial architecture and its importance to the Steveston’s waterfront.

Visitors to this stunning landmark can explore how fishing has impacted the local area for more than 100 years through interactive exhibits and take part in educational programs about the local fishery and its history. Through careful preservation over the years, the Gulf of Georgia Cannery remains one of Canada’s most iconic architectural gems, proudly showcasing its vast history for many generations to come. Wandering around the cannery will help you learn about turn-of-the century methods used to catch and process fish from the rich waters of the BC coast. You’ll also see artifacts from over 100 years ago such as equipment used to make canning possible.

Don’t miss a chance to learn more about Canadian history and culture at this fascinating historic site.

Why Is The Gulf Of Georgia Cannery Site Important?

The Cannery stands as a powerful testament to Steveston’s past, with its historical importance being the most enduring fish canning and processing plant in an entire string of such establishments that used to adorn the riverbanks.

Not only does the Cannery represent a part of BC’s industrial heritage, but it also serves to symbolize the contributions of many generations of workers and their families who have dedicated themselves to making the fishing industry an integral part of our province’s culture. As such, the site has become a major tourist attraction, offering visitors an opportunity to learn about the history of the area, as well as to interact with its diverse ecosystems.

Not only does it represent an integral part of our past, but it also serves to foster appreciation and understanding of our unique cultural identity.

Is The Cannery Still In Use?

The Cannery is associated with other structures on the site, such as the net lofts, which are still in active use by the fishing industry.

It Is The Only Surviving Cannery Of Its Type In The Area

The old cannery in 1894 was a special sight to behold. Serving as a gateway to the local economy for many years, it provided employment for hundreds of people. The salmon industry was at its peak during this time and the cannery operated around the clock throughout the week. It is incredible to think that such a long-lived structure withstood many years of wear and tear from being used daily. In 1979, the cannery finally closed its doors and went out of business, but its historical significance and cultural heritage will always remain intact.

Not many cannery complexes have been preserved, and this one has remained in its original state from the time of B.C. Packers’ takeover of 1902 – a testament to its roots!

The style and massing of the buildings relate directly to their function as a cannery and processing plant; they are intact and well-maintained. Additions to the buildings over time are significant in that they reflect changes in fishing and processing on the west coast.

Today, It Is A Museum That Tells The Story Of The Canadian Fishing Industry And Its Workers

The Canadian fishing industry, and the people who made a living off it, have long been integral to our national culture. Today, Parks Canada is helping preserve their memory by offering visitors a look into this exciting world. The museum showcases the industry’s rich history and its remarkable accomplishments. Through interactive displays, videos and audio presentations, guests gain an appreciation for the hardworking individuals that kept this vital sector afloat over time. The museum is a must-see destination, offering a unique insight into an important part of our country’s past and present.

The Gulf Of Georgia Cannery Is One Of The Best Examples Of Industrial Architecture In Canada

Built in 1894, the Gulf of Georgia Cannery was once among B.C.’s largest fishing centers and is now one of its longest standing historical sites. Not only does the Cannery showcase Canada’s industrial past, but it offers a striking representation of our nation’s architectural history too.

Displaying characteristics such being constructed in an L shape, with a wood piling foundation, board-and-batten construction, and associated wharves, this industrial wonder ensures that the timelessness of hard work lives on inside us all. It is a reminder that our buildings can be inspired by nature as much as they draw parallels to our more mechanical past.

Visiting the cannery today is sure to leave a lasting impression on anyone determined to unravel both its historical and aesthetic mysteries.

It Is One Of The Most Popular Tourist Attractions In Richmond BC

Richmond, BC is a major tourist destination, boasting breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and majestic mountains. Each year, hundreds of thousands of people flock to the bustling city to get a taste of its unique culture, cuisine and attractions. One of the most popular sights in Richmond, BC is Steveston Village, historically known for its fishing industry and now an archaeological site with a variety of museums and landmarks. Located along the Fraser River waterfront, visitors from all over can admire the stunning beauty that each side of the river has to offer. From traditional Japanese gardens to incredible seafood restaurants to charming hiking trails, there’s something here for everyone!

The Gulf of Georgia Cannery is a must-see for anyone interested in Canadian history or industrial architecture. It’s one of the best examples of its kind in the country and tells an important story about the people who built Canada’s fishing industry. If you’re ever in Richmond, be sure to check it out!

Don’t forget to see how fast you can sort salmon. Set a timer for one minute and compete with your family and friends! The Gulf of Georgia Cannery offers more than just an entertaining afternoon – it captures a lost era in BC history that has left an indelible mark on our culture.

The Best Things To See In Steveston BC

Steveston, BC is a bustling village full of amazing sights and attractions. Take pleasure in the stunning waterfront views and boats from the boardwalks, or delve into delicious local delicacies like fish and chips as well as other delightful refreshments available at any of the eateries along the river.

Visit the Britannia Heritage Shipyards to learn about its industrial past and view the fishermen’s boats . There are also plenty of outdoor adventures like hiking trails at Garry Point Park, whale watching cruises from Fisherman’s Wharf, or discovering the unique wildlife at the Steveston intertidal zones. For those looking for an educational experience, there are a variety of museums and heritage sites to explore, such as the London Heritage Farm Museum or the Steveston Museum & Visitor Centre. And if you’re looking for something a little more hands-on, there are plenty of fun activities to choose from including kayaking tours or the annual Salmon Festival. Whatever you’re looking for, Steveston BC is sure to offer something new and exciting!

Gulf Of Georgia Cannery Admission

Adults – $12.50
Seniors (65+) – $10.75
Youth (17 and under) – Free**
Society Members – Free
With Parks Canada Pass – Free entry

*** Young individuals aged 17 and under can explore all of Parks Canada’s national parks and historic sites for free, including the Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site. Take advantage of this remarkable opportunity to discover our nation’s history in an affordable way.


Open Daily
10AM to 5PM
Closed on all statutory holidays October to January (including Boxing Day) and will have adjusted hours on December 24 and 31 of 10am-2pm.

Know Before You Go

  • Bring a sweater – The astounding connection between the cannery buildings and the river is evidenced by a clear view of water through their supporting pilings. This relationship is an integral component of this gorgeous landscape. It also means that when you step inside the building, you will want a sweater as it can get quite cold, especially if your visit is not during the summer months.
  • You will want to allow for a couple hours for your visit, to really be able to take your time and learn the history.
  • Have a Parks Canada pass? You can use your Parks Canada pass for admission!

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