If you think something smells a little fishy in Steveston, you’re right! For over 100 years from the 1880s to the 1980s, the economic base of Steveston was fishing. The salmon canning industry rapidly expanded in the late 19th century and left a permanent footprint which is now the ‘best little big town on earth’.
The Britannia neighborhood of Steveston was born during this period of exponential growth with the construction of the Britannia Cannery in 1889. Cannery construction was completed in 1890 when it began operating as a single line cannery up until 1918. That year, the Cannery underwent a facelift and a name change to become the Britannia Shipyard specializing in large vessel repairs. The property passed through several hands between 1918 and 1990 when the City of Richmond was given 8.4 acres of the site. In exchange, the City granted the landowners Steveston’s first multi-family development on the remaining 2 acres.
The rich history of this area has resulted in one of Steveston’s most desirable neighborhoods. Britannia is a complete offering a mix of single family homes, 4-storey condominiums and townhouses. Single family lots are sought-after in this area due to their atypically large frontages (60’ versus 33’ in Steveston Village) and the multi-family because of their lower density construction. This broad selection allows families to grow and upgrade without ever having to change neighborhoods.
In addition to the variety of housing types offered here, Britannia residents also have a wide array of amenities at their doorsteps. Steveston Community Centre + Pool, Steveston Village, Britannia Heritage Shipyard/Museum and access to the south dyke trail are all steps away. Families are particularly drawn to this neighborhood because of the Tomekichi Homma Elementary School which offers English and French Immersion programs. Older students typically attend McMath Secondary which is located close by in the Steveston Park neighborhood. Public transit is also very accessible as the local bus route is a 5 minute walk from most areas of the neighborhood.
Once a community of canneries, boatyards and working residences, this area has evolved its deep heritage into a thriving future.
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