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Namu Cannery

Passenger vessel docked at the Namu cannery. The words "Clover Leaf finest quality salmon" and "Rupert Brand" are painted on the side of the cannery building.

Namu Cannery was the site of one of B.C. Packers largest year-round operations. Both Rupert Brand and Cloverleaf products were canned at this large cannery. Gulf of Georgia Cannery Society Archives G2003.047.004L

The Namu Cannery was more than a fish processing plant. It had a school, a recreation hall, and numerous residences for its year-round staff.


51°51’37.3″N 127°52’00.9″W

Under the name Namu Canning Co., Robert Draney built the cannery in Namu Harbour in 1893 eleven years after he opened the Rivers Inlet Cannery. He was given the land by John Clayton of the Bella Coola Cannery, on the condition that Draney would not build another cannery at Bella Coola. From 1912-1916 the plant was sold and eventually turned over to Northern BC Fisheries, owned by Henry Doyle and R.V. Winch. The site was sold to Gosse Millerd Ltd. in 1923 after a large portion of the pack spoiled the previous year. It was sold again to BC Packers in 1928.

The site was updated several times over the years. In 1909 a saw mill was added to the site to produce lumber and make boxes for shipping canned salmon. BC Packers made significant updates to the site after 1928 adding a reduction plant, cold storage, and ice plant. By 1949 Namu had five canning lines, as well as several residences and bunkhouses, a rec hall, and a school. Fire destroyed the site in 1962 but it was rebuilt before the 1963 season. Although the plant continued cold storage processing until 1988 the canning line was permanently closed in 1970.

Six men playing hockey amongst the net racks on the dock at Namu.

Though they worked long hours, the people who lived at the year-round cannery operations, like Namu, still made time for leisure. Gulf of Georgia Cannery Society Archives G2010.027.034

Fish being unloaded from a boat at the Namu Cannery

Namu Cannery, 1940. Two young boys watch as workers unload salmon from a boat. Gulf of Georgia Cannery Society Archives G2005.063.001d

Boardwalk and cannery buildings. Sign reading "Store post office" visible on one of the buildings.

The Namu Post Office and General store behind the cannery buildings on the main wharf. Namu was more than just a cannery, it was a village that supported the livelihoods of hundreds of people. Gulf of Georgia Cannery Society Archives G2005.063.001c