Tuesday, 30 July 2013

I Love Where I Live: Garry Point

There are so many reasons why I love living in Steveston, in the southwest corner of Richmond, B.C. but I have to start somewhere, so I'm going to begin with Garry Point, which is at the mouth of the Fraser River where it meets the Gulf of Georgia.

The Gulf Islands can be seen in the distance.

Garry Point was once the fishing home of the Musqueam First Nation, who later worked in the canneries in the area at the height of the fishing industry in the area. The slough and tidal flats were home to Japanese-Canadian boat builders, a cannery, and housing for the cannery workers. The slough was later dredged and a fishing fleet was moored at Scotch Pond, on the northern side of the point.

The Kuno Japanese Garden

Today the park has links to the past, with the Kuno Japanese garden celebrating the centennial of the first Japanese immigrants to Canada, the Fishermen's memorial honouring the lives and deaths of Steveston fishermen, and Scotch Pond, which is still home to a few boats of the Steveston fishing fleet, which is is largest in Canada today.

Fishing boats in Scotch Pond

I have memories from my childhood of sliding down the giant sand dunes, which today are covered in various grasses and flowers. We enjoy riding our bikes down to the park year round, as every season has something to offer.
My younger two daughters enjoying a windy day, flying
their kite with the Fishermen's Memorial in the distance.

In the spring and summer the park is ideal for flying kites and riding kite buggies. Sometimes we are fortunate enough to see teams practicing their tandem kite flying.

Kite buggy riding looks exciting!

In the winter, if we are lucky, the soggy ground freezes, making for a very temporary outdoor ice skating rink.

The ice doesn't last for long here on the west coast.

Perhaps my favourite thing to do when I visit is to just go to one of the small sandy beaches and watch the fishing boats and ocean-going cargo ships travel up and down the river.

One of the fishing fleet going out to sea.

Although my girls and I like visiting other local beaches as well, Garry Point is our go-to beach and is ideal for a last minute adventure when we to need to get out of the house. There are driftwood forts to explore where my girls like to pretend they are shipwrecked.

The forts are a favourite of my girls.

The water is pretty murky, being at the mouth of the river with lots of silt (the riverbed is routinely dredged for the larger ships), but it is still fun to play at the water's edge.

Sand + water = happiness

Sand really is all kids need for imaginative play. I leave buckets in the back of my bike trailer so we are always ready for an impromptu visit to the beach.

They love pretending to be mermaids.

Many photographers are drawn to the area for the spectacular sunsets and views of the Gulf Islands.

Looking out over Scotch Pond.

In the summer it is hard to leave with park without a snack at Pajo's for fish and chips...

...or an ice cream cone at Timothy's.

I love that all of this is just a short bike ride from my home.


  1. lovely blog; glad I found you! I will need to grab a cup of tea and linger for while.

  2. oh it's beautiful there! I so am a coastal living gal- just the opposite coast :)

    1. Love the East Coast! In my 20s I drove across Canada, coast to coast - best trip ever - and my favourite places were on the east coast.

      I have to live near a coast, or at least water of some kind. It's in my blood.

  3. Lucky ducky. Looks like paradise.