Save Canada's Lighthouses
From east to west to north and in between, the structures that dot Canada’s vast coastline are in trouble of falling into neglect and disrepair.
In May, 2008, the government passed the Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act in an effort to protect Canada’s historic lighthouses. The Act created a process for nominating and selecting federally-owned lighthouses for heritage designation, as well as standards for appropriate maintenance and preservation.
However, in June, 2010, Fisheries and Oceans Canada declared almost 1,000 of its lighthouses to be surplus. Anyone wishing to nominate a surplus lighthouse for designation under the Act, must also commit to taking ownership of the lighthouse.
Some communities have stepped up to nominate lighthouses for designation, but many simply can’t afford the upkeep and maintenance costs that would come with ownership.
With the two-year nomination process set to end in May, 2012, many of Canada’s lighthouses still face an uncertain future. Heritage Canada Foundation has recently launched a campaign to raise awareness and urge the government to offer more support to local groups wishing to designate a lighthouse.
What you can do:
Educate yourself. Here are a list of links and resources to help you better understand the situation.
Park's Canada. Park's Canada is facilitating the nomination process for the federally-owned lighthouses.
Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act
"Heritage Lighthouse Act Implementation," Fisheries and Oceans Canada, March 1, 2011.
Heritage Canada Foundation
SaveCanadasLighthouses.ca from Heritage Canada Foundation
HCF has created an online petition to "call on the Federal Government to provide funding to help local groups and communities save Canada's lighthouses for future generations." You can sign the petition here.
Spread the word. Visit HCF on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.
Buy a lighthouse! You will need to submit a comprehensive business plan, outlining the opportunities, risks, economic feasibility, and marketing strategy for your lighthouse. You can follow this guide to help you with your application.
Although many of us are prairie folk, the staff at Canada's History enjoy a good lighthouse. Watch this video, as our own Joel Ralph visits Fisgard Lighthouse National Historic Site and learns about the west coast's first lighthouse.
Fisgard Lighthouse from Canada's History on Vimeo.
Watch more Canada's History videos.