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Royal City Brand:model village at bridge end

August 22, 2014

Westminster bridge railway station and Royal City Brand cannery

This view of a cannery at the north end of the New Westminster bridge, bisected by the railway,  looks almost too marvelous to be real.  Above the tracks is the railway station and the cannery office. Below the tracks stand the cannery buildings. Vintage era cars complete the scene.

The smoke stack alone is fantastic, with its flip lid and illuminated peach can sign,  and its height making it visible from Columbia Street above and from across the river. 

Complementing this beacon on the south side of the river, St Helen’s Anglican Church on the Old Yale road had a lighted beacon in its tower visible for miles downstream.

Directly opposite the tall smoke stack, at the south end of the bridge stood the landmark poplar tree.

image 7107 vancouver public library north south bridge viewsThe Vancouver Public Library has an old photo, (image 7107 shown right) with the two ends of the bridge split on one image, cannery and tree, but it’s from a different angle and a different time.

The photo leading this post dates from 1936, when the Broder Canning Company Ltd plant, “Royal City Brand,” was the largest cannery west of the Great Lakes.


View from Gyproc on Fraser River to New WestminsterIn recent times the shore of the Fraser River still shows signs of the former "Royal City” cannery in the shape of bricks and melted metal slugs.

 

Changing landscapes:  modern  view from the south shore.

In 1860 near this spot Sam Herring was growing peaches.

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