The Britannia Heritage Shipyard Society preserves West Coast Maritime History by promoting boat building traditions. The historic buildings at Britannia tell the story of early Steveston residential conditions and interpret the history of wooden boat building and repair on the waterfront. The Britannia Shipyard building began its life as a Cannery. It was built in 1889 and was purchased by the ABC Packing Company two years later to operate as a salmon cannery. It became one of the busiest canneries on the Fraser River, producing canned salmon for shipment all over the world. However, the Hell's Gate Landslide of 1912 caused a significant decline in salmon stocks, forcing many canneries to close or convert to other uses. In 1917-18, the Britannia Cannery was converted into a shipyard and general maritime repair shop for fishing boats of the ABC Packing Company, which operated until 1969. The Shipyard was then purchased by the Canadian Fishing Company and was operational until BC Packers purchased it in 1979, closing its doors in 1979-80.