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Ewen Cannery | Lion Island

Red label features imagery of swimming salmon, coins, and a lion.

Ewen & Co. Lion Brand label. Image I-61369 courtesy of the Royal BC Museum and Archives.

Lion Island canned salmon was a house-hold item in Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand.


49°09’29.4″N 122°59’58.4″W

Ewen and Co. built the Ewen Cannery and saltery on Lion Island in the Annacis Channel of the Fraser River in 1876. For some of the cannery’s history, it was the largest processing plant on the Fraser River. With a saltery on-site, Ewen ensured that as many fish as possible could be processed and sold.

A clever an inexpensive housing alternative was used at Ewen Cannery. A stern-wheeler, the Skeena, was tied to the wharf and used as bunkhouse for cannery workers.

The site was purchased by BC Packers Association in 1902. The cannery operated every season until it was closed in 1930, after which it was used as a fish camp for Imperial Cannery.

Cannery buildings across the river. Nets on net racks visible in the foreground.

Ewen's Cannery. Courtesy of the New Westminster Public Library, 3311

Four men stand surrounded by nets in the interior of a cannery.

Net loft at Ewen's Cannery, c. 1899. Image IHP0106 courtesy of the New Westminster Archives.