Credit: Flickr / penmachine

Visit the Cannery Seafood Restaurant one last (or first) time before it closes forever

Decades before the city garnered praise from the New York Times and Condé Nast Traveler, Vancouver’s culinary scene was decidedly less worldly (some might even say boring). The real star then was our excellent seafood, and few did it better than The Cannery, a fine-dining seafood restaurant in the Port of Vancouver whose name evokes BC’s fishing heritage. The Cannery has been a dining institution since 1971, but not for much longer.

It was announced last year that, due to post-9/11 security concerns, the restaurant’s landlord, Port Metro Vancouver, would extend its lease only until after the 2010 Olympics, which meant the restaurant would shut its doors at the end of March 2010.

While the company that owns the restaurant did try to find a spot to relocate, nothing panned out. But as one of the city’s most beloved dining spots, the Cannery won’t fade away quietly. There’s even a local committee called Save the Cannery, which offers an online petition and space for patrons to share personal memories of weddings, birthdays and other special times at the restaurant.

the Cannery restaurant in Vancouver

Vancouver's Cannery Restaurant will

close its doors for good March 27, 2010.

Last night, I realized I only had about six weeks left to experience this Vancouver dining legend for the first time, so I dragged my partner (actually, no dragging needed) down to the Cannery for our monthly dinner out.

Although the prices were on the steep side of high, my fish was delicious and perfectly cooked (a number of the menu's catches are Ocean Wise, but not all), and the service was excellent. The wine list was extensive (ask about the half-price sales on their fine wines) and the desserts were yummy, too.

But for me, the best part was the quaint, ivy-covered waterfront building, which feels like it’s been gently sloping toward the water over time. The wooden-walled dining room, decorated with fishing nets and other old-time marine paraphernalia, offers lovely views of the port, Burrard Inlet and the Second Narrows Bridge, as well as of pleasure boaters docking their boats at the restaurant's dedicated slip. The atmosphere and scenery are very relaxing—I almost forgot I was still in the city.

Also fun is the elite thrill you get clearing port security—you have to drive up to the gate and state your destination through a little speaker to access the restaurant. Stopping for trains crossing the yard is another novelty.

If you’ve never been, or if you have fond memories of the Cannery, be sure to head there before the doors close for good. The restaurant also serves brunch and lunch. Call for reservations, especially if you plan to visit during the Games.

The Cannery Restaurant’s last day of business is March 27, 2010.


The Cannery


2205 Commissioner St.


Do you have any special memories of dining at the Cannery?