The Canadian Watch List of Threatened
In the U.S., the Lighthouse Digest Doomsday
List has been a powerful tool for focusing attention on endnagered lighthouses.
Although several of the most critically endangered Canadian lighthouses have
been added to the Lighthouse Digest list, it does not cover Canada thoroughly.
Unfortunately, no complete list of threatened Canadian lighthouses is available.
(The Nova Scotia Lighthouse Preservation Society does have a Canadian
Doomsday List, but it is not truly national in scope; 13 of the 17 lighthouses
listed are in Nova Scotia.)
This is a working list of threatened Canadian lighthouses, including the ones
on the Lighthouse Digest Doomsday List. This
list has no official standing. It is very much a work in progress, and comments
are welcome. The list includes only sites where the lighthouse itself
appears to be endangered. There are many Canadian light stations where the lighthouse
is active and well maintained but the historic keeper's quarters and other buildings
are abandoned and endangered.
The symbols preceding the entries are my highly unofficial
estimates of the degree of danger to the lighthouse. Here is what the
- x The lighthouse is not in
danger of actual destruction at the present time, but it is
increasingly dilapidated and urgently needs restoration.
- xx The lighthouse is in
danger of actual destruction within ten years. Action is needed
now to prevent loss of the lighthouse later.
- xxx The lighthouse is in
imminent danger of destruction. Immediate action is needed to save
the structure. The lighthouse could be lost in less than a
- Y The lighthouse is in
ruins. A significant portion of the historic structure has already
been lost, and restoration would require reconstruction.
- Newfoundland and Labrador
- 1858 (Robert Oke). Inactive since early 1990s (?). 40 ft (?)
octagonal cylindrical tower, brick and stone encased in concrete.
Lantern removed. This historic, abandoned lighthouse stands on a
small island difficult to access. The site is still owned by the
Coast Guard. Prognosis: uncertain.
- x Baccalieu
- 1859 (Robert Oke). Inactive since the early 1990s. 36 ft
cylindrical brick tower, encased in iron since 1893. This
lighthouse still has its lantern. It stands next to an active
light tower, but is rusty and unmaintained. Prognosis:
- xx Little
Burin Island (2)
- 1950s. Inactive since 1977. White lantern mounted on the roof
of the former fog signal building. This small lighthouse was
abandoned after being damaged in a storm; the lantern is likely to
be lost soon. Prognosis: poor.
- Prince Edward Island
Tignish (Judes Point)
- 1881. Inactive since 1997. Approx. 30 ft square pyramidal
frame tower, painted white with red trim; lantern painted red. The
lighthouse appears to be in poor condition in Michel Forand's
photo; no preservation effort has been reported. Prognosis:
- x Cascumpeque
- 1899. Inactive since 1970. Approx. 48 ft square frame pyramidal tower attached
to 2-story frame keeper's quarters. This is an active light station, but the
historic lighthouse is not being maintained. Prognosis: uncertain.
- xx Cape
- 1969. Active. 39 ft square pyramidal shingled tower painted
white with red trim; lantern roof is red. Lighthouse reported
endangered by erosion of the cliff on which it stands. Prognosis:
- Nova Scotia
xx Margaree Island
- I have no information on this lighthouse, but it is listed on the NSLPS
Doomsday List as "defunct." There is a modern light on the island. Prognosis:
- xxx McNeil
- 1909. Inactive. 10 m (33 ft) square pyramidal frame tower, painted white
with red trim; lantern roof is red. Michel Forand visited the lighthouse in
September 2005 and found it to be in very poor condition. Prognosis: poor.
- xx Man
of War Point
- 1912. Inactive. Approx. 25 ft square pyramidal frame tower. NSLPS
Doomsday List. As of 2001, the lighthouse was reported to be partially
dismantled and in two pieces. Prognosis: uncertain.
- x Coffin
- 1914. Active. 52 ft octagonal concrete tower, painted white; lantern is
red. Endangered by beach
erosion, the lighthouse was scheduled for demolition in 1998. The quickly-formed
Coffin Island Lighthouse Heritage Society was able to get the demolition postponed
long enough for a $70,000 project
to protect the shore with large boulders. However, the lighthouse itself is
reported in poor condition. Prognosis: fair.
- xx Sambro
- 1758. Active. 25 m (82 ft) octagonal stone tower faced with wood shingles.
Two 1-story frame keeper's house, in poor condition and placed on the Canadian
Doomsday List; 1-story oil house. Despite restoration as recently as 1998,
North America's oldest lighthouse is in deteriorating condition. In late 2005
the Nova Scotia Lighthouse Preservation Society expressed serious concern
about the condition of the station. Prognosis: fair.
- Y Little
- 1906. Active until 2003. 77 ft cylindrical concrete tower with six buttresses,
painted white. This lighthouse was badly damaged by Hurricane Juan in September
2003 and then collapsed during a nor'easter in December. Only rubble remains.
- x Seal
- 1831. Active. This is the second oldest lighthouse in Nova Scotia, after
Sambro. The NSLPS
Doomsday List notes it "is facing severe neglect with leaks, rotten shingles
and peeling paint.." Prognosis: uncertain.
- x [Sable
Island West End (8)]
- 1980s. Inactive since 2004. 26 m (85 ft) skeletal tower; the lower 2/3 is
pyramidal and the upper 1/3 is cylindrical and carries large rectangular red
and white daymarks. No lantern. The west end of the island retreats rapidly
eastward, causing the light station to be relocated in 1882, 1888, 1916, 1940,
1951, 1971, and 1980. The light was deactivated in July 2004; given the rapid
erosion in the area, it must be considered endangered. Prognosis: uncertain.
- New Brunswick
Point Range Rear (2)
- 1919. Inactive. Approx. 30 ft square pyramidal frame tower, painted white
with red trim; lantern is red. This abandoned lighthouse is in poor condition
and is deteriorating quickly. Prognosis: poor.
- x Cape
- 1870. Inactive since 1997. 53 ft octagonal frame tower, painted white; lantern
is red. This historic lighthouse was deactivated in 1997 when the new Confederation
Bridge, linking New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island, was completed.
Now abandoned by the Coast Guard, it is beginning to deteriorate. Prognosis:
- xx Cape
Tormentine Outer Wharf Range Rear (2)
- 1907. Inactive since 1997. 40 ft square pyramidal frame tower, raised on
pilings, painted white with red trim and a broad vertical red stripe on the
range line; lantern is red. Abandoned with the end of ferry service in 1997,
this lighthouse is rapidly deteriorating. Prognosis: poor.
- xx Indian
Point Range Front
- 1955. Inactive since 1998. 20 ft square pyramidal frame tower, painted white
with a broad vertical red stripe on the range line. Abandoned and in very
poor condition. Prognosis: poor.
- x Grindstone
- 1908. Inactive since 2001. 68 ft hexagonal concrete tower with six buttresses.
The future of this abandoned light station is unclear, and the lighthouse
is beginning to deteriorate without maintenance. Prognosis: uncertain.
- xx Lower
Musquash Island (2)
- 1924. Inactive since about 1994. 37 square pyramidal frame tower. This abandoned
lighthouse is on the NBLPS Endangered List. Prognosis: poor.
- xx St.
- 1833. Inactive since 1938. Approx. 30 ft octagonal pyramidal frame tower,
painted white. As of early 2002 this historic and long-abandoned lighthouse
was in poor condition, as was the seawall that supported it. In July 2002
the St. Andrews Civic Trust relocated
the tower about 50 ft from the seawall so that it could be restored, a project
expected to cost $200,000. Eventually the seawall is to be repaired and the
restored lighthouse returned to its original location; it may even be relit.
- Y Grand
- 1879. Inactive since 1963. Square pyramidal frame tower attached to 1-1/2
story frame keeper's quarters. The abandoned lighthouse is collapsing in ruins.
Once called "the most endangered lighthouse in North America," it has become
a lost cause. "Saving" it now would mean rebuilding it from scratch. Daggett
has a page
with historic photos and heart-breaking recent photos. Prognosis: hopeless.
- x Gannet
- 1831 (John Purvis). Active. 75 ft octagonal pyramidal frame tower attached
to 2-story stone keeper's quarters. The lantern is modern (1967). Staffed
until 1996, this historic lighthouse has deteriorated sadly since it was automated.
However, the Coast Guard was expecting to begin an extensive restoration is
2003. Prognosis: good.
Bagot (Bagot Bluff) (2)
- 1912. Inactive since about 1980. Pyramidal concrete tower with flying buttresses;
lantern removed. Information is needed on the condition of this Île
d'Anticosti lighthouse. Prognosis: poor.
- xx Pointe
du Sud-Ouest (Southwest Point)
- 1831. Inactive since the early 1990s. 80 ft stone tower, originally painted
white with two horizontal red bands. The abandoned lighthouse, also on Île
d'Anticosti, is falling quickly into ruins. Lighthouse Digest Doomsday
List; also on the NSLPS
Doomsday List. Prognosis: poor.
- xx Long
Pèlerin (Long Pilgrim) (1)
- 1862. Inactive since 1982. Approx. 12 m (39 ft) cylindrical tower, formerly
rising from the center of 1-1/2 story keeper's quarters. Lantern removed.
The keeper's house has been demolished, leaving the tower standing; the abandoned
tower is open to the elements and crumbling. Prognosis: poor.
- x Île
aux Oeufs (2)
- 1950. Inactive since 2003. 36 ft octagonal concrete (?) tower, painted white;
lantern is red. According to Robert Giroux of the Canadian Coast Guard, this
lighthouse was deactivated in October 2003 but there are no immediate plans
to demolish it. The light is located on a small island in the St. Lawrence
and could deteriorate quickly wiothout maintenance. Prognosis: uncertain.
- xx Île
Sainte-Hélène (Île Ronde Range Rear)
- 1912. Inactive for many years. 48 ft square concrete tower on a square concrete
base; wooden lantern. The history of this light is not well known. The only
lighthouse in the city of Montreal, it has been repeatedly vandalized and
is clearly endangered. Prognosis: poor.
- x Pointe
Beaudette (Pointe au Beaudet, McKie Point) (2)
- 1877. Inactive since 1962. 9 m (30 ft) square pyramidal frame tower, painted
white; no lantern. The lighthouse was to be demolished after deactivation,
but instead it was leased by two neighboring landowners. The lantern was removed
after it was badly damaged by a storm in 1995. The tower is now deteriorated
and endangered, but the town of Rivière Beaudette is hoping to acquire
it for restoration. Prognosis: uncertain.
- xxx Lower
Allumette Lake (2)
- 1909 (station established 1885). Inactive since the 1920s. 8 m (26 ft) square
pyramidal frame tower with lantern. It has only recently been discovered that
this lighthouse is still standing. Gravely endangered: abandoned for eight
decades, the building is embedded in vegetation and is descending into ruin.
Prognosis: very poor.
Edward Point (Point Traverse) (1)
- 1881. Inactive since 1959. 36 ft square pyramidal frame tower attached to
1-1/2 story frame keeper's quarters. Clearly endangered, this abandoned lighthouse
is in very poor condition, and there seems to be no restoration effort. Prognosis:
- Y Scotch
- 1855. Inactive since 1959. Ruined 54 ft stone tower attached, more or less,
to ruins of 1-story stone keeper's quarters. This critically endangered lighthouse
is on the Lighthouse Digest Doomsday List. In fact it is nearly lost
already and it's hard to see how it could be saved. Prognosis: hopeless.
- x Burlington
Canal Main (Burlington Canal Range Rear) (2)
- 1858 (John Brown). Inactive since 1961. 55 ft stone tower, unpainted; lantern
is a rusty brown. The lighthouse appears abandoned and in poor condition.
A support group was being formed in late 2003. Builder John Brown is famous
as the builder of the Imperial Towers of Lake Huron. Prognosis: uncertain.
- x Point
- 1917. Inactive since 1996. 98 ft square concrete Greek Revival tower attached
to 1-story keeper's quarters. This remarkable lighthouse, listed on the NSLPS
Doomsday List, has been the object of an extended controversy. The land
behind the lighthouse is occupied by upscale vacation homes whose owners were
determined to prevent any public access to the lighthouse through their neighborhood.
Although a deal was reached in 2003 allowing public tours
of the lighthouse, there's no restoration plan. The lighthouse has always
been dangerously close to the shoreline. Prognosis: uncertain.
- xxx Mohawk
- 1848. Inactive since 1969. Approx. 80 ft stone tower attached to stone keeper's
quarters; both buildings in ruins. The lighthouse was gutted by fire, and
only the shells of the buildings remain. Lighthouse Digest Doomsday
List. The Mohawk
Lighthouse Preservation Society was formed to work for restoration of
the lighthouse, and fundraising is in progress. Prognosis: at least some hope.
- x Pelee
- 1833. Inactive since 1909. Approx. 60 ft stone tower. This historic but
long-abandoned lighthouse fell into picturesque ruins
before it was rescued by the Relight the Lighthouse Committee in a restoration
in 1999-2000. However, the tower seems shaky (external timber buttresses remain
in place) and the lighthouse is vulnerable to wave action. Prognosis: guarded.
- xx Boblo
- 1837. Inactive for many years. Approx. 40 ft stone tower. The lighthouse
is in dilapidated condition; vandals set a fire in 1954 that gutted the tower
and destroyed the lantern. Lighthouse Digest Doomsday List. Even
being in a national park doesn't seem to be helping this crictically endangered
lighthouse. Access is cut off by a restricted residential community. Prognosis:
- x Stokes
Bay Range Front
- 1904. Recently deactivated (sometime in the 1990s). 33 ft square pyramidal
frame tower. The tower looks OK in recent photos, but it is no longer being
maintained. Prognosis: uncertain.
- xx Nottawasaga
- 1858 (John Brown). Active. 94 ft limestone tower attached to 1-1/2 story
stone keepers quarters. Lighthouse painted white; lantern is red. One of the
six "Imperial towers." The Coast Guard has announced it is abandoning
this lighthouse and will not take action the next time its light fails. The
outer wall of the tower was cracked badly, probably the result of lightning
strikes, and a large section of the outer wall collapsed
on the night of December 1-2, 2004. A support group is being organized in
Collingwood; preliminary estimates are that it will require at least $600,000
Canadian to restore the tower. The lighthouse was added to the Lighthouse
Digest Doomsday List in August 2003. Prognosis: poor.
- x Hope
- 1884. Inactive since the early 1990s. Approx. 35 ft square pyramidal frame
tower attached to 1-1/2 story frame keeper's quarters.The lighthouse deteriorated
badly after abandonment. In 2001 the Huronia
Lightstation Preservation Society was formed to work for its restoration.
In fall 2003 work was underway
to replace the wood siding on the tower. Prognosis: good.
- British Columbia
- 1967. Inactive (recently deactivated). Approx. 35 ft square cylindrical
steel tower with square pyramidal skeletal bracing. Active light on cylindrical
steel tower without lantern. Staffed light station. The 1967 lighthouse was
not demolished when it was replaced, but clearly its continued existence is
questionable. Prognosis: uncertain.
Return to the Lighthouse Directory
Checked and revised January 5, 2004. Site copyright 2004 Russ
Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.