Hope for Hamilton lighthouse now … maybe Southampton can show us how


Staff member
Feb 15, 2004
The Beach Strip
The new beach trail was a game changer for the historic lighthouse, writes Paul Wilson.
July 30th 2018 Paul Wilson Hamilton Spectator

After 15 years of frustration and dead ends, there is new hope that the historic lighthouse and keeper's cottage on the Hamilton Beach Strip can finally be restored.

When a $2-million beach trail opened in 2003, people suddenly noticed the neglected lighthouse that Scottish stone mason John Brown built so well 160 years ago.

It's 79 steps to the top, and was once the tallest structure for miles around. For generations, it's been dwarfed by the Skyway. More than 25 million cars a year cross that bridge, and not one motorist sees the lighthouse.

But down on the ground, the new beach trail was a game changer, and its opening coincided with the formation of the Beach Canal Lighthouse Group (bclg.ca).

Those volunteers envisioned a restored lighthouse, plus a museum in the keeper's cottage. However, they would have to find a way past the red tape of two federal departments — Fisheries and Oceans owns the lighthouse and cottage, Public Works owns the land on which they sit.

And even though Canada's only complete light station left on Lake Ontario had been declared surplus, the feds were not ready to turn over the property to a band of well-meaning citizens.

Then there was hope the city would assume ownership, so the volunteers could do their work. But Hamilton voted that option down seven years ago.
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