Imperial Cannery was the largest and longest operating cannery on the Steveston waterfront. It was the Fraser River headquarters for BC Packers Ltd.
Benjamin J. Short and W.H. Squair built the Imperial Cannery in 1893. Short and Squair were inexperienced with the canning business and were losing money, so they sold the cannery to BC Packers in 1902. In the 1930s the original cannery was replaced with a much larger building. Production from the Brunswick #1 and Hume Canneries was moved to Imperial, creating the largest cannery in British Columbia at the time. Imperial had four canning lines.
Oysters, clams, herring, tuna, and dog food were also canned at Imperial Cannery. The plant also processed bottom fish, cured fish roe, and rendered herring into fish meal and fish oil. Bottom fish became the most important product for Imperial Cannery from the 1960s to 1980s when many other canneries closed.
Salmon canning ended at Imperial Cannery in 1993, while herring reduction and other operations continued until 1996 when the plant closed.