Canneries of the North Coast

canneries tours northwest bc terrace

Explore the once thriving canneries and fishing communities of the lower Skeena River and Chatham Sound. For three days and four nights, you will be immersed in the history of this region as we spend our nights in the newly renovated manager’s houses on the site of Cassiar Cannery. This will be our base for exploring the area as we leave each morning by jet boat on a new adventure. This seldom explored area is home to some of the most unique and interesting historical sites. Over 20 canneries once lined the bank of the Skeena and ocean shores, but they have all since closed and only remnants remain. The history from the 100 years of operation is rich and plentiful as we get to see for ourselves the locations of all these sites.

Explore the following canneries:

• Balmoral
• Carlisle
• Cassiar
• Claxton
• Haysport
• North Pacific
• Porcher Island
• Port Essington
• Dominion
• Sunnyside
• Inverness

Stops will also be made in the following communities:

• Osland - Icelandic Skeena River Fishing Community
• Oona River - Historic Boat Building Community
• Shirley Mills – historic water-powered sawmill
• Remote hot springs
• Historic Prince Rupert features like Hospital Island and petroglyphs

Port Edward
Date & Time:
13 May 2019 to 17 May 2019
$1695.00 plus tax
Price Includes:
  • All accommodations, meals and transportation


Port Essington

One of the highlights will be exploring Port Essington, one of the most prominent and historic Canneries on the Skeena. Port Essington is ideal for history and photography enthusiasts. The moss-covered headstones of the cemetery and the remnants of the boardwalk that once connected all areas of town provide unique and exclusive photo opportunities. If you are interested in old relics, and items from the past are of interest, wandering through the townsite will be a-dream-come true. Discarded bones from an early 1900’s butcher shop litter the beach and at low tide provide scenes of mass carnage. Decaying cannery pilings that have been standing for 100 years provide clues to what once stood at these spots.


The unique and seldom visited Icelandic fishing village of Osland is a real gem of the Skeena. The village still has seasonal occupants and has a variety of interesting features along the one-kilometre boardwalk that spans the community. The Carlisle and Claxton Canneries line the south shores of the outer Skeena and have row upon row of old pilings and other unique relics waiting to be discovered at low tide.

“Cannery Row”

“Cannery Row” on the Inverness Passage, at one time, had the highest concentration of canneries in the region. Presently, the condition of each cannery varies, from a few pilings at Sunnyside, to the fully restored North Pacific Cannery National Historic Site. One of the highlights of the day will be the ability to view all these canneries from the boat, providing unique perspectives and viewpoints. Cannery Row is also home to many weathered derelict fishing boats that you will have the opportunity to photograph up close and personal. Time will also be allotted to explore your home base, the Cassiar Cannery and its many remnants from the past.

Porcher Island and Gillnet Station

We will venture further offshore to Porcher Island where we will explore two unique locations. The Porcher Island Cannery and Gillnet Station, which still towers over the Pacific Ocean. This 1928 Cannery still has a variety of old buildings suspended on pilings overlooking Humpback Bay. The remainder of the day will be spent in the legendary boat building community of Oona River which is located on the southeast corner of Porcher Island. We will take a leisurely walk through the community and explore old boats, boathouses, relics and even the “rainbow house”. A long-time local resident will guide you through the community and share her stories and experiences of living in Oona River. This will truly be one of the most unique and memorable trips you have ever experienced!


Who Should Attend?

Those with a sense of adventure, and those looking to explore new and seldom visited locations. The small group size of up to 10 guests will allow us to make this a very personal and authentic experience for all.

Secure Your Spot

If you wish to secure your spot with a $500 deposit please contact our office at 250-960-5980 or Toll Free at 1-866-843-8061. For all of our tours, they must be paid in full 30 days prior to the start and no refunds 30 days prior to the start date. The times listed are subject to change.

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