B.C.’s much-anticipated Heritage Week returns! The annual event, which runs between February 19 and 25, explores the yesteryear layers behind our communities––and Steveston Village is home to two of 2024’s participating attractions.

The charming Steveston Tram as well as the fascinating Britannia Shipyards National Historic Site will be open and offering special programming during Heritage Week. Read on for the details on what to expect at each site––as well as some additional info on the village’s other historic attractions for those keen to expand their heritage-themed visits to the area.

There are lots of buildings to explore at Britannia Shipyards. PHOTO CREDIT: John Lee.

Hop on the tram

Located in the heart of the village, the free-entry, family-friendly Steveston Tram will be open daily from 10:00am to 4:00pm throughout Heritage Week. You’ll feel like you’re trundling into the past as you hop aboard its beautifully restored tramcar 1220, which once connected Vancouver, Steveston and other regional communities during the heyday of the British Columbia Electric Railway.

Hop aboard the Steveston Tram during Heritage Week. PHOTO CREDIT: John Lee.

Browse the pavilion’s evocative displays––including vintage tickets, a station clock and a photo-studded timeline of the surprisingly extensive former transit system. Be sure to quiz a friendly interpreter about these handsome interurban trams as well as the amazing restoration of this particular vehicle. Kids will also love the dress-up corner and multiple hands-on exhibits.

Check out some vintage tickets at the Steveston Tram. PHOTO CREDIT: John Lee.

But that’s not all. At time of writing, there were also plans to have the popular Lego tram model built by Richmond local Peter Grant back on display at the pavilion in time for this year’s Heritage Week. Expanded with a newly built landscape and display case, it’s certain to be a major highlight among visitors of all ages.

Lego recreation of the Steveston Tram. PHOTO CREDIT: John Lee.

Drop Anchor at the Shipyards

Discover another hearty slice of Steveston’s not-too-distant past at the Britannia Shipyards National Historic Site. This richly immersive shoreline attraction started life as a cannery in the late-1880s before transforming into a boatbuilding and maintenance complex as well as residences for fishing industry workers. There’s a story around every corner here, from the gabled boatsheds to the recreated wooden homes––including the highly evocative Murakami residence.

Visit Britannia Shipyards during Heritage Week. PHOTO CREDIT: John Lee.

Open from noon to 4:00pm between February 20 and 25 during Heritage Week (note: the site is closed on February 19), the free-entry attraction is a great option for local and visiting families. Kids can pick-up a fun activity booklet and join a scavenger hunt to explore the heritage buildings, while the restored Chinese Bunkhouse will also be hosting special craft activities themed on the Lunar New Year.

The grounds also house preserved barns where old farm tools, rusting agricultural equipment and a hulking, dangerous-looking threshing machine are on display.

Don’t miss the Museum

Aside from Heritage Week, there are several other great ways to step back in time in Steveston, no matter what time of year you visit. The admission-free Steveston Museum and Post Office––located in what was once the area’s first bank building––offers intriguing displays on the community’s storied past, including exhibits about Richmond’s Japanese Canadian residents. Until April 21, the museum is also hosting The Suitcase Project, exploring World War II’s Japanese Canadian internment in a moving and imaginative new way.

Temporary traveling exhibit on display. PHOTO CREDIT: Steveston Museum and Post Office.

And there’s more

The past is also brought back to vivid life at the village’s other two heritage-themed attractions. The Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site tells the story of Canada’s West Coast fishing fleet and also profiles the gritty working life of what was once the region’s largest salmon processing plant.

The history of B.C.’s fishing industry is showcased at the Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site. PHOTO CREDIT: Tourism Richmond.

On the other side of the village, London Farm was once the home of yesteryear agricultural pioneers. Its bucolic grounds are free to access anytime––you can explore the outdoor exhibits and delightful garden area––while its antique-lined farmhouse building is also open for visitors between April and December.

Explore the historic building and exhibits around the London Farm site. PHOTO CREDIT: John Lee.

Steveston is the perfect place to explore our region’s rich community history, whether or not you visit during Heritage Week. For more information on many of the area’s historic attractions, check out the excellent Steveston Heritage Sites website, where you’ll find handy visitor information plus further listings on upcoming special events.

Last Updated on March 20, 2024 by Tourism Richmond