Living in Steveston, British Columbia
Living in Steveston, British Columbia
In the outskirts of thriving Richmond, British Columbia (near Vancouver), is the picturesque little town of Steveston. For anyone looking to raise a family away from the hustle and bustle of city life while still living close enough to all the modern amenities, Steveston is a hidden gem that is often overlooked as a place to establish roots in the city.
Situated 15 minutes from Vancouver International Airport and 30 minutes from downtown Vancouver, Steveston has access to some of the best restaurants, community centres, shopping malls, and parks. As a young family, your toddlers and teen children alike will enjoy the peaceful and adventurous nature walks on the West Dyke Recreational Trails, which is basically in your own backyard. Or, you can take your bikes on this trail all the way to historic Steveston Village.
The quaint little village is outfitted to evoke simple town life with plenty of museums and other historical buildings to check out. For instance, the Steveston Museum historical building and post office and the Gulf of Georgia Cannery national historic site and museum are two educational and fascinating sites to visit during any weekend walks to the village.
The charm of the village has attracted many Hollywood blockbuster movies and TV shows, such as popular Canadian TV series Once Upon a Time, and the latest reboot of the Power Rangers movie. It is not uncommon to walk upon a film set with props, actors, and lighting crews during a stroll on the streets of the village.
Within the village, you will find an assortment of cafes, restaurants, and coffee shops that are perfect for that afternoon craving, or a place to relax under the morning sun (did we mention that Steveston is somehow always sunny?). Hard to miss is the abundance of fish and chips restaurants as Steveston was once a booming fishing town; Pajo’s and Dave’s Fish & Chips are definitely worth checking out. And, if fish and chips don’t fare well with your taste buds, you have a selection of the best Greek food, fresh sushi, over-the-top pizza, Pho, southern barbeque, Indian, and Italian restaurants to choose from. Whether you have a large budget for fine dining (Steveston’s Seafood House) or you’re living on a tight budget (John’s Pan Pizza), there’s something to satisfy all tastes around Steveston village.
While checking out all the delicious offerings of foods and beverages, be sure to check out the unique fish market at the Fisherman’s Wharf just down the dock. You can find fresh seafood caught that very morning and sold directly to you from fishing boats. From prawns, salmon, cods, abalone, to sea urchins and many more, there is nothing quite like this in BC. Just make sure you don’t walk into any of the surrounding stores with your fresh prawns!
Continuing your walking tour of Steveston, you will notice a considerable development of condos and townhomes as the city prepares to expand Steveston with new businesses and services. If you keep walking along the boardwalk, right by the Steveston Harbor, you will eventually arrive at a collection of small buildings that were once the Chinese and Japanese Bunkhouses for the workers in the historic Britannia Shipyards. These buildings have remained to serve as educational reminders of what brought the community of Steveston together; indeed, there is a large Japanese, Chinese, First Nations, and European influence within the community. This is due to the early settlement of fishermen and cannery workers from these origins that descended into the village to work in the booming fishing town of Steveston.
If historic sites and museums are not entertaining enough for you and your brood, take a walk down the block towards Steveston’s Community centre and park. They have a fully equipped community centre with a local library that holds story time every Monday, as well as a gym, preschool, and afterschool care services. It is an excellent resource for young families living in the area. The park and playground are situated beside the Interurban Tram, built in 1913; another must-see historical site. If it gets too hot outside for your little ones, check out the large waterpark adjacent to the playground. It’s a life-saving space for any moms with kids recovering from cabin fever during the summer.
Overall, Steveston is a growing community that lets you live at a slower pace than the rest of the city. It is a perfect community for raising your family, as well as growing old. Its neighbourhoods are made up mostly of retirees, young families starting out, and families with tweens and teens. Many families have lived and stayed in the area for generations and make up some fascinating and friendly neighbours. If you are looking for a place where you can walk into the local bakery and be greeted with a familiar smile, or be able to enjoy a pleasant stroll and enjoy nature by the sea after dinner, Steveston may just be the place for you!