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Nottawasaga Lighthouse

 
Nottawasaga
Photo: Judy McLeod

Imperial Tower crumbling into the bay.

Location

Collingwood, Ontario

Why it matters

Erected in 1858, the Nottawasaga Lighthouses was one of six Imperial Towers built to light the shores of Lake Huron and Georgian Bay. The whitewashed limestone light rises 95 feet above the shore, guiding ships to safety in Collingwood Harbour. It played an important part in the establishment of safe navigation routes along the coastal waters of Lake Huron following the opening of the Bruce Peninsula.

Why it’s endangered

Deemed unsafe, the lighthouse was decommissioned in 2003 after an engineering study noted that the lighthouse’s exterior masonry, which had been damaged by lightning strikes and subsequent water infiltration, was at risk of collapse. A year later, a portion of the masonry crumbled. Though the Department of Fisheries and Oceans invested $400,000 to stabilize the remaining façade starting in 2005, it has since been abandoned and, without swift action, is unlikely to survive many more winters.