Cabot Head Lighthouse Cabot Head Lindsay, ON N0H 1Z0
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At 80 feet above the waves, the Cabot Head Lighthouse has guided ships safely into port for over 100 years. Named in honour of the famous explorer, John Cabot, this site offers spectacular views of the Niagara Escarpment and Georgian Bay. In 1968, the original tower and range light were demolished and replaced with an automated light. Fifteen years later, the Friends of Cabot Head Organization has completely restored the lightstation. Visitors are now encouraged to enjoy the lighthouse museum and walk the interpretive trails.
Situated on a cliff 1/3 of a mile east of Wingfield Basin, a nature reserve in Georgian Bay, the current lighthouse was constructed by John George of Port Elgin, and Richard Webb of Southampton.
Big Tub Lighthouse 264 Big Tub Rd, Tobermory, ON N0H 2R0
Originally constructed in 1885 for a cost of $675, the Big Tub Lighthouse played an important role guiding ships into the harbour from the sometimes-treacherous waters of Lake Huron and Georgian Bay. The original structure was later replaced by the six-sided, 14 metre (43 foot) wooden lighthouse that is seen today.
An automated red light acts as a guide for boaters. Watch for scuba divers just off the point, as this location is a very popular diving destination. One of the more accessible lighthouse sites, it is located virtually at the mainland terminus of Highway 6. Repairs were required when a winter storm in 1987 washed away many of the lighthouse’s shingles and part of its foundation. Part of the walkway and parking area were also washed away.
Tobermory’s light still guides boats through powerful currents, frequent fogs and numerous shoals to the safety of Big Tub Harbour. The number of shipwrecks offshore testify to the dangerous waters of this area. These waters have become a mecca for scuba divers from all over the world.
One of the most dramatic structures on the Bruce Coast, the Cove Island Lighthouse has been marking passage between Lake Huron and Georgian Bay since 1858. This imperial tower structure built by John Brown is similar in style to those at Point Clark and Chantry Island. The tower, original house and fog plant, a workshop, and keepers’ homes make up the lightstation today.
The lighthouse can only be viewed by private boat, the Chi Cheemaun car ferry or by tour boat out of Tobermory. Access to the island is restricted.
Cove Island lighthouse has been marking safe passage through a perilous strait between Lake Huron and Georgian Bay for sailors since October 30, 1858. The first of the imperial lighthouses to be completed, it sits on Gig Point, the northeast tip of the island, about five miles from Tobermory’s mainland harbour.
Standing 90 ft above the water, it is 80 ft in height from its base to the centre of its light.
Flowerpot Island Light Station Flowerpot Island Tobermory, ON
In 1969, the lighthouse building at Flowerpot Island was pushed from the cliff and replaced with a steel tower, the functioning range light we see today. Concerned about the deteriorated condition of the lightstation, the Friends of Fathom Five and the Canadian Coast Guard came to an agreement in 1995, handing over operations to the Friends lightstation maintenance and restoration, which began in 1996.
General cleanup, repainting, roof re-shingling, garden and lawn care, trail improvements, signage and a composting toilet have been produced by hundreds of dedicated volunteers. The century-old lightkeeper’s house is open for tours, cold drinks and souvenirs.
The Flowerpot Lightstation is accessible only by boat from the mainland at Tobermory. Guided tour boats depart from Little Tub Harbour, and if your choice is to visit the island, there is a Parks Canada visitors fee. Plan to spend an entire day–bring a lunch, visit the museum in the Lightkeeper’s home, hike the trails, explore the caves, climb to the observation deck, and swim in the cool, clear waters of Georgian Bay.
Lyal Island, Northern Bruce Peninsula, ON
Rocky shoals and islands in the Stokes Bay area make marine navigation very difficult. In 1885, a 16 metre (50 foot) wooden lighthouse was erected on the west shore of Lyal Island to protect incoming fishermen and boaters. The light was eventually automated in 1959 and replaced by the present day steel navigational tower.
Additional navigational aids were required in these waters, and as a result, a range light was built on nearby Knife Island. The Knife Island range light still stands, but a steel tower light is in use today. Access to these sites is best suited to the experienced canoeist or kayaker. The relatively shallow waters of Stokes Bay can provide for a great day trip (weather permitting).
The historic region of Stokes Bay was once a very active fishing and logging community. Today, relaxation is the primary focus.
16 Dock Street Lions Head, ON N0H 1W0
Set beneath the majestic Niagara Escarpment, this little lighthouse has endured more hardship than the mariners it guided!
The first lighthouse was established in 1903, and was rebuilt several times due to the high-energy weather conditions of Georgian Bay. Automation in 1969 finally replaced the attractive structure with a metal post and light. In 1983, a group of high school students built a replica model lighthouse from the blueprints of its original building that existed in 1903. The replica lighthouse still stands in its place today, and is a popular destination for visitors.
The Cape Croker lighthouse was originally built in 1898, but was quickly replaced in 1902 with the present octagonal lighthouse, built for stronger enforcement. The lighthouse was the first of its kind, and was also the first to boast an electrically operated light and foghorn. From top to bottom it measures 18 metres (53 feet), with a Fresnel lens imported from France, casting a light 15 miles into the dark waters of Georgian Bay. The lighthouse is not available for tours, but can be viewed and photographed. Cape Croker is home to the Chippewas of Nawash.
The first lighthouse to exist on site was a wooden structure, built in 1898 at the northern entrance to Colpoy’s Bay, 1-1/2 miles southeast of Cape Croker. At the time, weights were used to rotate the light to warn incoming fishermen and sailors. Also on site was a 5-bedroom home, which housed the light keeper and his family.
The last light keeper to watch over the lighthouse signed the log book for the final time in 1986, leaving the lighthouse unmanned.
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