365 Canadian Sights | Day 303: Ruins Week – Butedale

| Image from Flickr/Stephen Rees via CC BY ND ND 2.0 |

For some reason B.C. has a lot of ruins across the province; I think there are a few reasons, including reliance on boom and bust resources, changing transportation and the geography of the province creating remote and difficult to reach communities.

Canada’s West Coast is full of forgotten villages, towns and historic sights.

Outside of Vancouver, Victoria (and southeastern Vancouver Island) and the Gulf Islands, B.C.’s coast is sparsely populated, especially the farther north you go. First Nations villages speckle the area, as do the ruins of industrial towns or docks that no longer see any use. Butedale is one of those.

A cannery town that boasted over 400 residents 100 years ago, the remote town on Princess Royal Island is disconnected from any other town by land. As boat traffic has changed, and the need for canneries died, the town’s industrial heart and means of supplying itself left.

Over the decades since the cannery shut down and people left the buildings have begun to fall apart, and now there are pieces falling into the ocean or trees growing on houses.

That — juxtaposed with the beautiful, rugged environment — makes for some great shots, especially with the nearby Butedale Falls dropping into the ocean over some rocks.

There aren’t really any tours to Butedale, being that it’s super out of the way, so most visitors are sailors heading up and down B.C.’s coast.

However, the ferry from Port Hardy to Prince Rupert, which is a fairly long trip and more of a cruise than a commuter trip, does pass near enough for someone with a zoom lens to get a couple of decent shots.

Being that it’s an abandoned cannery, Butedale doesn’t really have any tourism material out there. TripAdvisor doesnt ahve anything for it. It does have some local historical protections, so it shows up on HistoricPlaces.ca. The regional district also has a semi-official site for the townsite here. There are also a lot of sailing blogs with pieces about visiting Butedale.

Photos • FeaturedGallery 1Gallery 2Gallery 3

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