Touring Steveston

Since we’re now living so close to the Fraser River, it only makes sense to check out the action along its banks; last weekend, this meant a trip out to Richmond, to Finn Slough and Steveston.

The village of Finn Slough can be found at the foot of No 4 Road, although if one didn’t know it was there, I’m not sure whether you’d find it or not since much of it is overgrown by brush and blackberry brambles.

Founded in the 1890s (old for this part of the world) by – wait for it – Finnish immigrants, the village consists of wooden houses and shacks built along Woodward Slough, an opening to the south arm of the Fraser that is flooded at high tide and mud flats at low.

Many of the houses were built on wooden stilts; small motor and fishing boats rest on the muddy bottom when the tide recedes. On this day the scene was quiet and peaceful, no-one about but two very skinny cats meowing piteously.

Having explored all there was to see of Finn Slough, we headed off through the farm fields to Steveston, another waterfront community which I had not visited in probably 30 years. Has it ever expanded since then – acres of new townhouse developments now fill the space that used to be part of the agricultural reserve. The town mostly seems to consist of seafood restaurants specialising in fish n’ chips and T-shirt shops; Ty and I sampled the goods at the Sockeye City – not bad but pretty small portions.

At the end of the boardwalk is the Gulf of Georgia Cannery Historical Site; as part of the Salmon Stomp admission to the Cannery was free and we enjoyed following the process of salmon canning from the catch to the can.

The displays are very well done and the building itself is fabulous, with much of the old equipment still intact. Ty knows quite a bit about fishing and was able to give me the rundown on what the various pieces of machinery were used for.

Read more about Finn Slough here.

Read more about the Gulf of Georgia Cannery here.

See more pictures here.

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