I will be the first person to admit I grew up in a bubble – a wonderful, inclusive, charming, and delicious bubble. Such is the southwest corner of Richmond called Steveston.
Now, as an adult, I still live in the neighbourhood, albeit in a one-room apartment with a view of Steveston Harbour. The area is going through somewhat of a renewal with newer housing to the east of and in Steveston Village, and older single-family residences to the north and west of it.
While the landscape of Steveston is changing, the personality of the neighbourhood has remained very much what I grew up with. I’ve often said Steveston is the only Richmond neighbourhood I’d want to live in. It’s hard to imagine living anywhere else.
My top 5 reasons to live in Steveston:
Eat & Drink
Steveston is known far and wide for its fresh seafood. Visitors can purchase the daily catch right off the boats at Fisherman’s Wharf. Fresh fish, crabs, shrimp and prawns, even live sea urchin at the very affordable price of $10 for three!
The neighbourhood boasts Pajo’s Fish & Chips and also the much-loved Dave’s Fish & Chips restaurant, which opened in 1978. Other long-time Steveston establishments are the Steveston Seafood House, Blue Canoe Waterfront Restaurant, Shady Island Seafood Bar & Grill, and Sockeye City Grill.
In recent years, some new blood has popped up in Steveston with menus that aim to attract a slightly younger crowd. The multi-award winning Hog Shack Cook House boasts delicious barbecue ribs, slow-cooked brisket, and the tastiest burnt ends in the Lower Mainland.
Steveston’s list of rave-worthy restaurants is endless. Even if you arrive in the Village without a dining destination in mind, it won’t take long for something to entice your taste buds. There is something for every taste and budget.
Though the fish canneries are now gone, Steveston still feels very much like a self-contained small town. There’s a grocery store, community centre, two parks, hardware store, toy store, and more that are all mom-and-pop shops that evoke the feeling of decades past and contribute to the area’s charm.
Steveston is very much an ‘eat, buy, and support local’ type neighbourhood. And by local, I mean the Village itself. Most residents I encounter really buy into this notion. And why not? The entire neighbourhood is tremendously walkable with paths, trails, and gorgeous scenery. It’s not often you can find all this within a half hour drive to Vancouver’s downtown core.
Steveston Village is sandwiched between the neighbourhood’s two green spaces – Garry Point Park to the west and Steveston Community Park to the east. Garry Point is a 75-acre waterfront park with its own small beaches, trails, and grassy areas with gently rolling hills. It offers great views of the Fraser River’s South Arm and is popular for picnics, barbecues, and kite flying.
Steveston Community Park is part of a 30-acre compound which includes Steveston Community Centre, a covered tennis facility, an outdoor swimming pool, and baseball diamonds. The park has a playground filled with slides, jungle gyms, and swings; and even has a splash park for all to enjoy in hotter months.
There’s no shortage of things to do on weekends and breaks. From local museums to nature walks, to perhaps Steveston’s most famous event of each year, the Salmon Festival! One perk I particularly love about living in Steveston is the ability to leave my car at home, and walk into the Village.
In the past ten years, the neighbourhood has gone from being comprised almost entirely of houses to now including low-rise condos and townhouses. Over the years, I’ve seen a trend of young families moving into the neighbourhood. Housing in the area is more affordable than in Vancouver proper and parents like the idea of raising their children in a quieter environment. Case in point, there are enough pupils to fill the three area elementary schools.