Britannia Shipyards, Steveston

The brightly coloured wooden stilt houses located in Steveston British Columbia's Britannia Heritage Shipyard are important teaching tools for visitors to the site. Using both modern technology and representations of life in the region, these small exhibits are great teaching tools. CREDIT: Venture Vancouver, SOURCE:

The colourful wooden stilt houses located on the eastern edge of the Britannia Heritage Shipyard offer a look into the region's past with furniture, photos, information and exhibits.





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Camera, Questions, Sense of Curiosity, Hiking Boots

With a rich history spanning from 1889 to present, the Britannia Heritage Shipyard National Historic Site is the second of two found in the fishing village of Steveston, British Columbia. Built on the marshland alongside the Fraser River, the buildings in this park-like atmosphere offer a view into the lives of village residents as well as the importance of the boat building and repair industry. Visitors to the site can enjoy talking with volunteers, watching boat restoration in progress or enjoy exploring the museums, artifacts and buildings on display.

Located a ten minute walk from Steveston's bustling landing, the Britannia Heritage Shipyard is an interesting place to explore one of the Village's most important elements.

During the peak canning and fishing days, the fishing fleet was required to be in top shape. Originally operating as a cannery, the shipyard was built in 1889. Pressures on salmon stock forced a new role onto the site, operating as a shipyard from 1917 to its closure in 1980. Its role was vital to the region's fishing industry, with employees both building and repairing boats on site.

With several acquisitions, this National Heritage Site has become one of the regions largest outdoor museums dedicated to early life in Steveston Village. These include:

  • Murakami House: Built in 1885 it became the residence of the Murakami family in 1929 until 1942. The building operated as a boat works and home for the family consisting of ten children and their parents. The site now serves as a visitors centre and museum.
  • Stilt Houses / Chinese Bunk House / Japanese Duplex / First People's Bunkhouse: All used primarily as residences some of these buildings were on site originally and some acquired and moved in to protect their historical value. The last remaining of their kind, these interesting structures offered a home for cannery workers and fishermen and as well for their families.
  • Stilt Structures over the Fraser River: Home to the Richmond Boat Builders, this was the last operating builder in the area, operating year round, the company built boats for Steveston as well as throughout British Columbia.

Visitors can explore the shipyard throughout the year as well as the dozens of buildings on site. Weekends see volunteers and members of the society working to restore old boats - some even products from the very dry docks they sit in today. Park employees are on hand to answer questions and show visitors the intricate workings of this piece of Steveston's fishing and canning past.

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Photo and Image Gallery

The wooden house exhibits at Steveston's Britannia Heritage Shipyard are an interior and exterior educational experience with visitors able to see how the small yards were used to grow fruits and vegetables as well as a place to hand laundry after a days work at the nearby cannery or on the fishing boats.
On the edge of Richmond, British Columbia in the village known as Steveston is the Britannia Heritage Shipyard located on the shores of the Fraser River. Its several riverside buildings offer mooring and a place for boat restoration.
The Murakami House in Steveston's Britannia Heritage Shipyard is a gem among the buildings to explore in the Park. Named for its residence which lived in the home from 1929-42, it now serves as a visitor centre and museum for donated artifacts and information about life in the Richmond region.
One of the primary site uses at Steveston's Britannia Heritage Shipyard is the use of the buildings to build and restore historical boats. Used for touring the Fraser River or going out to fish in the Pacific Ocean, these boats are important links to the Village's industrial past.
The southern arm of the Fraser river winds along Steveston's Britannia Heritage Shipyard. Along its banks, a large marsh nestles the stilt buildings built over the shallow muddy waters to provide a place to build boats and launch them into the river for a variety of purposes - especially fishing, an activity which the village depended on.
The Britannia Shipyard is an authentic representation of a boatyard from the era when Steveston was a thriving fishing community. Designated a National Historic Site in 1992, boat restoration projects are ongoing as well as projects to restore buildings once used by immigrant workers in the cannery.

Location of Britannia Shipyards National Historic Site

Use the interactive map below to locate and explore the areas around Britannia Shipyards National Historic Site

5180 Westwater Drive
V7E 6P3

Map of Steveston Village

Click the brown GEMS on the map to navigate to the other activities within this region

Things to do in Steveston Village

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Gulf of Georgia Cannery - National Historic Site
Steveston Landing
Fisherman's Wharf
Steveston Museum and Post Office
Japanese Fisherman's Statue
Britannia Shipyards National Historic Site