Cannery buildings at Butedale had to be lashed to the shore as piles could not be driven into the sea floor.
Butedale Cannery was built in 1911 by John Wallace. It was a multipurpose plant with canning, cold storage, and reduction facilities. Wallace sold the plant to Western Salmon Packers Ltd. in 1917 and it was sold again to the Canadian Fishing Co. in 1923. From 1936-1940 the plant was updated and modernized with expansions to both the cannery and reduction plant.
Despite its isolation from coastal towns, Butedale Cannery was a successful and significant operation for the Canadian Fishing Co. The cannery’s location was chosen for its access to fresh water and several fish stocks. The drawback of the location was the landscape. The cannery had to be tied to the shore with cables because it was impossible to drive pilings into the ocean floor. In 1950 the area experienced an exceptionally heavy snowfall which caused the cannery roof to collapse. It was not rebuilt because the Canadian Fishing Co. was already preparing to open Oceanside Cannery in Prince Rupert the following year.
Years of erosion have caused many of the cannery’s structures to fall into the water. Those that remain are rare examples of typical northern B.C. cannery buildings.