Lighthouses of Canada: Southern British Columbia

The rugged and intricate coastline of British Columbia has about 40 surviving lighthouses. Unlike the situation in eastern and central Canada, a fair fraction of these light stations are still staffed: Ron Ammundsen, the principal keeper at Quatsino Light, lists 27 staffed light stations in the province. Some of these stations represent the only federal presence in remote and roadless areas of the coast. There was an uproar in 2010-11 when the government proposed destaffing all the stations to save money; eventually the destaffing plan was dropped.

This page includes lighthouses of the southern and more populated part of the province including the Vancouver region and Vancouver Island. Lighthouses of the Inside Passage and the Queen Charlotte (Haida Gwaii) Islands are described on the Northern British Columbia page.

Only a handful of these British Columbia lighthouses are accessible by highway; most of them are built on islands or rocky headlands far from the nearest road. But on the BC coast most transportation is by water anyway. The extensive route network of BC Ferries interconnects the coast and many of the lighthouses can be seen from one ferry or another. Several lighthouses are landmarks along the Inside Passage used by popular cruise ships sailing to Alaska from Vancouver or Seattle.

Aids to navigation in Canada are maintained by the Canadian Coast Guard. In 2008 Parliament passed the Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act to designate and protect historic lighthouses. In 2010 the Coast Guard declared the great majority of lighthouses to be surplus, and there is fear that this may lead to the disposal and possible destruction of many lighthouses.

ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS World List of Lights. CCG numbers are from the Pacific Coast volume of the List of Lights, Buoys, and Fog Signals of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Admiralty numbers are from volume G of the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals. U.S. NGA numbers are from Publication 111.

General Sources
Lighthouses of British Columbia
This site was created by Ron Ammundsen, formerly the assistant keeper at Bonilla Island Light and now the principal keeper at Quatsino Light.
Lighthouses of British Columbia, Canada
Photos, historical accounts, and travel directions for the more accessible lighthouses, posted by Kraig Anderson.
Neal's Lighthouse Blog: BC
Photos and comments by Neal Doan.
Online List of Lights - Canada Pacific Coast
Photos by various photographers posted by Alexander Trabas.
Lighthouses in British Columbia
Photos by various photographers available from Wikimedia.
Lighthouses of British Columbia
Wonderful photos by Mike Mitchell.
World of Lighthouses - Pacific Coast of Canada
Photos by various photographers available from Lightphotos.net.
Lighthouses in British Columbia, Canada
Aerial photos posted by Marinas.com.
Leuchttürme Kanadas auf historischen Postkarten
Historic postcard views posted by Klaus Huelse.
List of Lights, Buoys, and Fog Signals
Official Canadian light lists are available in both pdf and html formats.

Point Atkinson Light
Point Atkinson Light, West Vancouver, May 2009
Flickr Creative Commons photo
by Tyler Ingram

Interior British Columbia Lighthouse

Kootenay Lake Lighthouses
** Pilot Bay
1904. Inactive since 1993. Approx. 7.5 m (25 ft) square pyramidal frame tower with lantern and gallery, painted white with red trim. A 2007 photo and a 2011 photo are available, and Google has a satellite view. The Coast Guard repaired the old lighthouse in 1985 and converted it to solar power in 1989. The abandoned lighthouse was transferred to BC Parks in 1995, and the Friends of West Kootenay Parks Society worked to restore the tower. Kootenay Lake is a long, fjord-like lake in the Ricky Mountains in southeastern British Columbia. The lake is 104 km (65 mi) long and generally only 3-5 km (2-3 mi) wide. Located at the end of a peninsula jutting into the east side of the lake south of Kootenay Bay; accessible from the end of Pilot Bay Road (off BC 3A) by a short hike. Site open; tower and lantern room open when volunteers are present (inquire locally); gallery closed. Owner: BC Parks (Pilot Bay Provincial Park); site manager: Friends of West Kootenay Parks (Pilot Bay Lighthouse). ARLHS CAN-628.
[Proctor (2)]
Date unknown (station established 1905?). Active; focal plane 6 m (20 ft); white flash every 4 s. 3 m (10 ft) post colored white with a red top. A view from the lake is available, and Google has a distant satellite view. Anderson has a distant view and a second view of the original lighthouse. Located on the south side of the entrance to the western arm of Kootenay Lake, about 3 km (2 mi) east of Proctor. Site open, tower closed. CCG 0010.

Vancouver Area Lighthouses

Greater Vancouver Lighthouses
Note: Vancouver, the largest city and principal port of western Canada, is built on the Burrard Peninsula with Burrard Inlet (the city's harbor) to the north and the Fraser River (the province's longest river) to the south. The metropolitan area extends across the Fraser southward to the U.S. border.
Roberts Head
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); white flash every 4 s. 9 m (30 ft) octagonal concrete tower mounted on a small platform supported by piles. Lighthouse painted white with narrow red horizontal bands. Bing has a satellite view. Located in the Strait of Georgia about 2 km (1.3 mi) southwest of the Sand Heads lighthouse. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. CCG 0309, Admiralty G5400, NGA 13112.
Sand Heads (4)
2002 (station established 1884; lightship station established 1866). Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); green flash every 5 s. 7.5 m (25 ft) round cylindrical tower with two adjoining 1-story equipment shelters, mounted on a rectangular platform supported by piles. Entire lighthouse is white. Neal Doan has a good photo of the present light, and Bing has a satellite view. The history of this station is complex. A lightship was posted here in 1866. The first lighthouse, a wood tower on a screwpile foundation, was deactivated in 1905 due to changes in the channel; lightships served once again until 1956. Lighthouse Digest has a Coast Guard photo of the second (1956) light station. Some time in the 1990s the light was moved to the small, green-topped tower seen in Mitchell's photo. Located at the end of a long breakwater sheltering the north side of the entrance to the Fraser River. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS CAN-446; CCG 0311, Admiralty G5401, NGA 13116.
Lightship LV-76 Relief
U.S. Lightship LV-76, Fraser River, November 2014
photo copyright James Smith; used by permission
U.S. Lightship 76 (WAL-504) Relief (?)
1904. Decommissioned 1960. 39.5 m (129.5 ft) steel lightship, originally 2-masted but now modified from its original appearance. Hull painted black, superstructure white. James Smith's photo is above right, U.S. Coast Guard has the history of the ship, and a blogger has a portfolio of photos taken in 2007 inside the ship. Built by Burlee Drydock Co. of New York, the ship made the long voyage around Cape Horn and served its entire career as the relief lightship for the U.S. Pacific coast. After plans to make it a museum ship at Seattle fell through, the ship was renamed Claire Anne and served as a coastal freighter. Later it also worked as a fishing boat in Alaska. Kent Staudinger was the manager and part owner of the vessel from 1980. In 2003 Rick Bennett of the USCG Lightship Sailors Association rediscovered the ship, now called the Maudi Morgan, stripped of its original masts and working as a fishing boat based near Vancouver. In 2005 the ship was reported in poor condition, barely seaworthy. In 2007 the ship was sold, and in August 2008 it was towed up the Fraser River to Mission, about 50 km (30 mi) east of Vancouver. In 2013 the owner's son told the Lightship Sailors Association the ship would probably have to be scuttled, but Smith found it still afloat in November 2014 and reports that the owner still hopes to restore it. Reportedly moored at the end of McLean Street, on the north side of the Fraser off the Lougheed Highway (BC 7); Google has a satellite view. (The street view was taken in 2009 before the lighthouse arrived.) Owner/site manager: private.
* Brockton Point (2)
1915 (William P. Anderson) (station established 1890). Inactive since 2008; a decorative light may be displayed. 10.5 m (35 ft) square tower with lantern and gallery, mounted on an arched base that allows walkers on the seawall to walk under the tower. Tower painted white with one horizontal red band; lantern painted red, arched base black. The keeper's house was demolished in the late 1950s. Stew Merkel's photo is at right, Wikimedia has photos, Marinas.com has aerial photos, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Google has a closeup street view and a satellite view. This readily accessible lighthouse, located in the middle of British Columbia's largest city, is probably the best known and most photographed lighthouse in the province. In 2009 the federal government provided $2 million for a complete restoration of the lighthouse. Located on the point on the south side of Vancouver Harbour east of the Lion's Gate Bridge (BC 99) and about 2.5 km (1.5 mi) east of Prospect Point Light. It's a pleasant walk of 5 km (3 mi) along the seawall from this lighthouse to Prospect Point and back. Site open, tower closed. Owner: Canadian Coast Guard. Site manager: Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation (Stanley Park). ARLHS CAN-060; ex-CCG 0402, ex-Admiralty G5447, ex-NGA 13004.
Prospect Point Light
Brockton Point Light, Vancouver, May 2006
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Stew Merkel
* Prospect Point (2)
1948 (station established 1898). Active; focal plane 11.5 m (38 ft); red light, 1 s on, 1 s off. 8 m (27 ft) strongly tapered square tower on a 1-story square workroom. No lantern. Lighthouse painted white with a single red horizontal band. Imran Ali has a good closeup, Trabas has a photo by Klaus Kern, and Google has a closeup street view and a satellite view. Anderson has a historic photo of the original lighthouse, which had a lantern atop a keeper's house. For many years keepers were also responsible for operating a signal station regulating traffic through the narrow passage known as First Narrows. Located on the point on the south side of Vancouver Harbour a short distance west of the Lion's Gate Bridge (BC 99). Accessible by walking the seawall from parking areas in Stanley Park. Site open, tower closed. Owner: Canadian Coast Guard. Site manager: Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation (Stanley Park). ARLHS CAN-1308; CCG 0392, Admiralty G5434, NGA 12988.
Burnaby Shoal
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 9 m (30 ft); quick-flashing red light. 9 m (30 ft) round cylindrical tower, white with a red top, mounted on a round cylindrical concrete pier. Trabas has Rainer Arndt's photo, and Bing has a satellite view. Located on a shoal about 2.5 km (1.5 mi) southeast of Prospect Point. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. CCG 0403, Admiralty G5448, NGA 13008.
[First Narrows (Capilano) (4)]
Date unknown (station established 1913). Active; focal plane 7.5 m (25 ft); green light, 1 s on, 1 s off. 7.5 m (25 ft) post mounted on piles. Trabas has Rainer Arndt's photo, and Google has a satellite view. The original light, mounted on a tank, was replaced by a light atop a wood keeper's house in 1915. The lighthouse burned in 1949 and was replaced by a small concrete tower. Located just off the end of a spit on the east side of the mouth of the Capilano River, directly opposite the Prospect Point lighthouse. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS CAN-415; CCG 0394, Admiralty G5435, NGA 12984.
Prospect Point Light
Prospect Point Light, Vancouver, August 2010
Flickr Creative Commons photo by C.M. Hanchey
Point Atkinson (2)
1912 (William P. Anderson) (station established 1875). Active; focal plane 33 m (108 ft); two white flashes every 5 s. 18 m (60 ft) octagonal concrete tower with 6 ribs, lantern and gallery. Tower painted white; lantern, gallery, and watch room painted red. Tyler Ingram's photo appears at the top of this page, Andrea Wren has a good photo, Trabas has a photo by Klaus Kern, Wikimedia has several photos, Marinas.com has aerial photos, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Google has a satellite view. Huelse also has a postcard view of the 1875 lighthouse, and a web site in VirtualMusuem.ca traces the history of the station. For U.S. television viewers, this is the lighthouse featured in the mystery series Harper's Island in 2008-09. The lighthouse marks the north side of the entrance to Vancouver Harbour. In 2008 the West Vancouver Historical Society applied for a provincial grant to study restoration of the station. By 2013 there was grave concern about its deteriorating condition, as the district and federal governments began to discuss its future. So far it seems that nothing has come of these discussions. The original light station reservation is now a municipal park; an 800 m (1/2 mi) hiking trail (steep on the return) leads to a good vantage point for viewing the lighthouse. The park entrance is on Beach Drive off Marine Drive in West Vancouver. Site and tower closed. Owner: Canadian Coast Guard. Site manager: District of West Vancouver (Lighthouse Park). ARLHS CAN-387; CCG 0386, Admiralty G5426, NGA 12972.

Sunshine Coast Lighthouse
Merry Island (2)
About 1966 (station established 1902). Active; focal plane 18 m (60 ft); white flash every 15 s. 12 m (40 ft) square cylindrical tower with lantern and gallery, attached to a 1-story fog signal building. Lighthouse painted white with a red maple-leaf emblem on each face; lantern and gallery painted red. Staffed light station with a 2-story red-roofed keeper's house and other buildings. Ammundsen has a closeup photo by Mike Mitchell, a 2010 closeup and a distant view are available, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Google has a satellite view. Except for the light station, the island is privately owned. Located on the southeastern end of the island about 5 km (3 mi) south of the town of Halfmoon Bay on the mainland side of the Strait. Accessible only by boat; should be visible distantly from Welcome Beach, off BC 101 south of Halfmoon Bay. Site and tower closed. Owner/site manager: Canadian Coast Guard. ARLHS CAN-314; CCG 0449, Admiralty G5510, NGA 12776.

Vancouver Island Lighthouses

Note: Vancouver Island is the largest island of western North America, 460 km (290 mi) long and as much as 100 km (62 mi) wide. The island is oriented southeast to northwest. The northern end is separated from the mainland by the narrow waters of the Inside Passage, while the southern end lies west of the broad Strait of Georgia. The Strait of Juan de Fuca separates the southern end of the island from the U.S. state of Washington. Victoria, the capital of British Columbia, is at the southeastern tip of the island. There are good roads along the Strait of Georgia from Victoria to Campbell River and along the south coast from Victoria to Port Renfrew, but the northern and western coasts are more difficult to reach. Lighthouses are listed clockwise around the island, starting on the east coast.
Upper Strait of Georgia Lighthouses
Chrome Island (Yellow Island) Range Rear (3)
1989 (station established 1891). Active; focal plane 22 m (72 ft); continuous yellow light visible only on the range line; also a general-navigation light, white flash every 5 s. 7.5 m (25 ft) round concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted white; lantern and gallery painted red. Staffed light station with 1-story red-roofed keeper's house and other buildings. A photo is at right, Scott Fitz has a photo of the station, Wikimedia has several distant views, Marinas.com has fine aerial photos, and Google has a satellite view. The original light was a saquare wood tower attached to a keeper's house. It was replaced in 1898 by a pair of range lights and then in 1922 by a skeletal tower with enclosed gallery and watch room. The 1891 lantern was transferred to the 1898 rear tower, to the 1922 tower, and then to a new lighthouse at Port Alberni (see below). Anderson has a historic photo of the 1898 front light, a small square wood tower. Located on a small island just off Boyle Point, the southern point of Denman Island about 1.5 km (1 mi) east of Deep Bay; there is an excellent view of the light station from Boyle Point Provincial Park. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. Owner/site manager: Canadian Coast Guard. ARLHS CAN-137; CCG 0496, Admiralty G5532.1, NGA 12832.
Sisters Islets (2)
1967 (station established 1898). Active; focal plane 21 m (70 ft); two white flashes every 15 s. Approx. 18 m (60 ft) narrow round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery, flared at the top, painted white; lantern painted red. The lighthouse was automated in 1996, and the keeper's house is boarded up and probably endangered. Marinas.com has excellent aerial photos, and Google has a satellite view. The original lighthouse had a lantern atop a 2-story keeper's house. Located on a small island in the middle of the Strait about 15 km (10 mi) north of Qualicum Beach. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. Owner/site manager: Canadian Coast Guard. ARLHS CAN-462; CCG 0493, Admiralty G5529, NGA 12852.

Chrome Island Light, Strait of Georgia, April 2012
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by Wasrts
Ballenas Islands (Parksville) (2)
1917 (station established 1900, relocated 1912). Active; focal plane 21 m (70 ft); white flash every 10 s. 11 m (35 ft) octagonal concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted white; lantern and gallery painted red. Automated station; the status of the keeper's house is not clear. Mitchell has an excellent closeup, in which it appears that the light is now mounted on the gallery. Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Bing has a satellite view. The original lighthouse, a square wood tower, was built on South Ballenas Island in 1900, but the station was disassembled and relocated to North Ballenas in 1912. Except for the light station, the island is privately owned. Located on the north point of North Ballenas Island in the Strait about 8 km (5 mi) east of Parksville. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. Owner/site manager: Canadian Coast Guard. ARLHS CAN-018; CCG 0490, Admiralty G5508, NGA 12868.
Entrance Island (Nanaimo) (2)
About 1970 (station established 1876). Active; focal plane 19 m (62 ft); white flash every 5 s. 14 m (45 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower, painted white; lantern and gallery painted red. Staffed light station with 2-story red-roofed keeper's house and other buildings. C.M. Hanchey's photo is at right, John Alexander has a closeup photo, Mitchell has a nice distant view, Trabas has Klaus Kern's view from the sea, Marinas.com has excellent aerial photos, and Google has a satellite view. Anderson has a historic photo of the original lighthouse, a square wood tower attached to a 1-1/2 story keeper's house. In September 2009 the government announced that the station would be destaffed to cut costs. Fortunately this did not happen, and in February 2015 a keeper at the station saved the lives of nine people whose boat capsized off the island. Located on a small island off the mouth of Nanaimo Harbour, about 13 km (8 mi) east of the city. Accessible only by boat; visible from ferries entering and leaving the harbor. Site and tower closed. Owner/site manager: Canadian Coast Guard. ARLHS CAN-171; CCG 0435, Admiralty G5488, NGA 13300.
* Gallows Point (3?)
Date unknown (station established 1902). Active; focal plane 7 m (23 ft); white light, 1 s on, 1 s off. 7 m (23 ft) round cylindrical tower, painted white with a red top, centered on a robust square stone pier. 1-story Edwardian keeper's cottage onshore. Wilf Ratzburg has a closeup photo, Ammundsen has an aerial photo, and Google has a satellite view. The first light, a square white tower on piles, was installed by the New Vancouver Coal Mining and Land Company, which mined coal nearby. The keeper's house, built around 1912, is leased by the city to a local service group and is available for meetings and special events. The grounds are open as the Gallows Point Light Park. Located just off the southern tip of Protection Island, which shelters the waterfront of Nanaimo. Site open, tower closed. Owner (tower): Canadian Coast Guard. Keeper's house owner/site manager: City of Nanaimo. ARLHS CAN-191; CCG 0439, Admiralty G5492, NGA 13268.
Entrance Island Light
Entrance Island Light, Nanaimo, August 2010
Flickr Creative Commons photo by C.M. Hanchey

Southern Gulf Islands Lighthouses
Note: The Southern Gulf Islands lie off the southeast coast of Vancouver Island between Nanaimo and Sidney. The international boundary between the U.S. and Canada runs northward through the Haro Strait off Victoria and then sharply eastward through Boundary Pass, which separates the Southern Gulf Islands of British Columbia from the San Juan Islands in the U.S. state of Washington. This boundary was established in 1859 after a tense international dispute known locally as the Pig War.
* Porlier Pass Range Rear (Virago Point)
Date unknown (station established 1902). Active; focal plane 10 m (34 ft); continuous yellow light. 7.5 m (25 ft) square pyramidal wood tower with lantern and gallery, painted white; lantern and gallery painted red. Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Google has a satellite view. The front range lighthouse, at nearby Race Point, was replaced by a small modern beacon in 1996. A descendent of one of the keepers has posted recollections of life at this station. Located at the northwest end of Galiano Island, which is accessible by ferry from several locations. The lighthouse is accessible by a short hiking trail. Owner/site manager: Canadian Coast Guard. ARLHS CAN-403; CCG 0289, Admiralty G5394.1, NGA 13412.
[Bare Point (Chemainus Bay) (3)]
Date unknown (station established 1897). Active; focal plane 9.5 m (31 ft); green flash every 4 s. 7 m (23 ft) cylindrical tower painted white with a green top. No photo available, but Google has an indistinct satellite view. The original lighthouse had a lantern atop a 2-story keeper's house. The lighthouse was automated after the keeper was found dead at his post in 1926. The building deteriorated and was demolished about 1940, replaced by a skeletal tower. Bare Point is now occupied by a Shell Canada oil terminal. Located at the tip of a sharp promontory sheltering the harbor of Chemainus. Site status unknown. ARLHS CAN-019; CCG 0280, Admiralty G5384, NGA 13356.
* Active Pass (Georgina Point, Mayne Island) (2)
1940 (station established 1885). Inactive since 1969. 2-story wood keeper's house; the light was formerly shown from a lantern mounted at the peak of the roof. Rick Leche's photo is at right, Trabas has Klaus Kern's photo, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Google has a satellite view. Lighthouse Explorer has a postcard view of the original (1885) lighthouse, a square pyramidal wood tower attached to a keeper's cottage. In 1969 the lantern was removed and the light moved to a separate tower (next entry). This lighthouse marks the entry to the channel leading from the Strait of Georgia south through the islands to Swartz Bay. The light station grounds are now a park maintained by the Mayne Island community. In 2014 the light station was recognized as a heritage lighthouse under HLPA. Located off Waugh Road on the northern tip of Mayne Island, which is accessible by ferry from Tsawwassen on the mainland or Swartz Bay on Vancouver Island. Also visible from the ferries crossing the Strait of Georgia from Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay. Site open, tower closed. Owner: Parks Canada (Gulf Islands National Park Reserve). Site manager: Georgina Point Lighthouse Heritage Park.
* Active Pass (Georgina Point, Mayne Island) (3)
1969 (station established 1885). Active; focal plane 17.5 m (57 ft); white flash every 10 s. 11 m (35 ft) round cylindrical tower with lantern and gallery, painted white; lantern and gallery painted red. A photo is at right, and Mitchell has a great closeup. Site open, tower closed. Owner: Canadian Coast Guard. Site manager: Georgina Point Lighthouse Heritage Park. ARLHS CAN-002; CCG 0275, Admiralty G5360, NGA 13480.
Portlock Point (2)
1987 (station established 1895). Active; focal plane 15.5 m (51 ft); quick-flashing white light. 7.5 m (25 ft) square pyramidal wood tower with lantern and gallery, painted white; lantern and gallery painted red. Rick Leche has a good photo, Mitchell has a closeup, Trabas has a good photo, Wikimedia has several photos, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Google has a satellite view. Huelse has a postcard view of the original lighthouse, which was taller (15 m (48 ft)). The light was automated after a kerosene explosion killed the keeper and destroyed the keeper's house in 1964. Ownership of the light station was transferred to Parks Canada in 2006. Located at the eastern end of Prevost Island about 5 miles south of Active Pass as the ferry runs. Accessible only by boat (most of Prevost Island is privately owned); visible from the ferries crossing the Strait of Georgia from Tsawwassen on the mainland to Swartz Bay on Vancouver Island. Site and tower closed. Operator: Canadian Coast Guard. Owner/site manager: Parks Canada (Gulf Islands National Park Reserve). ARLHS CAN-411; CCG 0267, Admiralty G5368, NGA 13504.
Active Pass Light
Active Pass Light, Mayne Island, October 2007
Flickr Creative Commons photo
by Rick Leche
* East Point (Saturna Island) (2)
1948 (station established 1888). Active; focal plane 37 m (121 ft); white flash every 15 s. 14 m (45 ft) square steel skeletal tower, painted red. Modern 1-story keeper's house (1960) and fog signal building. Trabas has an excellent photo by Michael Boucher, and Bing has a satellite view. The original lighthouse was a 19 m (60 ft) square wood tower attached to a keeper's house. Ownership of the light station was transferred to Parks Canada in 2006; the keeper's house is in use as a park staff residence. Saturna Island is accessible by ferry from Mayne Island; it has a permanent population of about 350. Located, as its name implies, at the eastern end of Saturna Island, the junction of the Haro Strait and the Strait of Georgia. Site open, tower closed. Owner/site manager: Parks Canada (Gulf Islands National Park Reserve). ARLHS CAN-448; CCG 0264, Admiralty G5358, NGA 13596.

Victoria Area Lighthouses
Discovery Island (2)
1958 (?) (station established 1886). Inactive since 1970. 2-story wood keeper's house; the light was shown from a lantern at the peak of the roof. The original lighthouse was a square wood tower attached at one end of a 1-1/2 story wood keeper's house; it is not clear when that lighthouse was replaced. The original lantern was saved and is on display at the Coast Guard base in Victoria (see below). Located adjacent to the present lighthouse. Site open, tower closed. Owner: Canadian Coast Guard. Site manager: BC Parks (Discovery Island Marine Provincial Park).
Discovery Island (3)
1970s (station established 1886). Active; focal plane 28 m (93 ft); white flash every 5 s. 11.5 m (38 ft) round cylindrical tower with lantern and gallery, painted white; lantern painted red. The 2-story wood keeper's house survives. Mitchell has a good photo, Chelsea Stanley has a closeup of a bald eagle perched atop the lantern, Trabas has Rainer Arndt's view from the sea, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Bing has a satellite view. Most of Discovery Island is a provincial park, with a primitive campground and hiking trails. Access is mostly by sea kayak, as there is no protected landing for boats. Located at Sea Bird Point on the eastern end of the island about 5 km (3 mi) east of Victoria, marking the junction of the Haro Strait and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Site open, tower closed. Owner: Canadian Coast Guard. Site manager: BC Parks (Discovery Island Marine Provincial Park). ARLHS CAN-160; CCG 0216, Admiralty G5334, NGA 13684.
[Fiddle Reef (2)]
1958(?) (station established 1898). Active; focal plane 7 m (23 ft); quick flash every 1 s, white or red depending on direction. 5 m (17 ft) round white fiberglass tower, centered a square stone pier. A closeup photo and a second photo are available, Trabas has Rainer Arndt's photo, and Bing has a satellite view. The present light stands on the pier of the original lighthouse, a square wood "pepperpot" tower with lantern and gallery; a 1978 photo of that lighthouse is available and there is a memoir of life at the station. The lighthouse was demolished in 1958. Located on a reef about 1 km (0.6 mi) offshore from the Oak Bay section of Victoria. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS CAN-175; CCG 0215, Admiralty G5332, NGA 13692.
[Trial Islands (1)]
1906. 2-story red-roofed keeper's house; the light tower was mounted at the peak of the roof, as seen in Huelse's postcard view. Ramjheetun Elodie's photo is at right. The keeper's house remains in service, and Lighthouse Digest has Eric Manchester's 2002 article on longtime keeper Ian McNeil. Located adjacent to the present lighthouse.
Trial Islands (2)
1970 (station established 1906). Active; focal plane 28 m (93 ft); green flash every 5 s. 13 m (42 ft) round cylindrical tower with lantern and gallery, painted white; lantern painted red. Ramjheetun Elodie's photo is at right, Mitchell has an excellent closeup photo of the light station, Trabas has Rainer Arndt's view from the sea, Wikimedia has distant views, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Google has a satellite view. In September 2009 the government announced that the station would be destaffed to cut costs; these plans were dropped in 2010. Located at the south end of Trial Island marking the western entrance to Victoria Harbour. Accessible only by boat; visible distantly from Beach Drive near Anderson Hill Park in the southern part of Victoria. Site and tower closed. Owner/site manager: Canadian Coast Guard. ARLHS CAN-506; CCG 0212, Admiralty G5328, NGA 13700.
Trial Islands Light
Trial Islands Light, Victoria, August 2009
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Ramjheetun Elodie
* [Trial Islands (1) (lantern)]
1906. Inactive since 1970 (a decorative light is displayed). Removed in 1970, the original lantern and 4th order Fresnel lens from the 1906 lighthouse are on display in Bastion Square outside the Maritime Museum of British Columbia in Victoria. Google has a street view and a satellite view. Site open. Owner/site manager: Maritime Museum of British Columbia.
* [Discovery Island (2) (lantern)]
1958. Inactive since the 1970s. The octagonal lantern from the second lighthouse is on display at the Canadian Coast Guard station at 25 Huron Street in Victoria. Google has a street view and a satellite view. Site open. Owner/site manager: Canadian Coast Guard Regional Operations Centre.
Brotchie Ledge (2)
1989 (station established 1898). Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); green flash every 4 s. 12 m (39 ft) round fiberglass tower mounted on a conical concrete pier. The fiberglass tower is white with a green band at the top. Rob Johnston has a 2008 photo, Trabas has Rainer Arndt's photo, Yvonne Fried has a more distant view, and Bing has a distant satellite view. Brotchie Ledge, a famous and dangerous obstruction in the approach to Victoria, is named for Captain William Brotchie, who wrecked his ship Albion on the rock in 1849. Buoys were placed as early as 1843 to warn navigators away from the ledge. An effort to build a caisson lighthouse failed in 1897 when a storm overturned the caisson, so the following year a concrete beacon was built instead. Janis Ringuette has a full account of the history of the light. Located about 1200 m (3/4 mi) south of the entrance to Victoria harbor. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. CCG 0205, Admiralty G5310, NGA 13704.
* Ogden Point Breakwater
1917. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); quick-flashing red light. 7 m (23 ft) square tapered concrete tower, painted white with a broad red band at the base. Chris Campbell has a photo, Emily Norton has a 2008 closeup, Trabas has Charles Bash's closeup photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located at the end of the breakwater on the east side of the entrance to Victoria harbor. Accessible by walking the breakwater, and there's a view from cruise ships arriving in Victoria. Site open, tower closed. CCG 0204, Admiralty G5312, NGA 13708.
[Berens Island (2?)]
Date unknown (station established 1876). Active; focal plane 6 m (20 ft); quick-flashing green light. In addition, a quick-flashing white aeronautical light is activated when a seaplane is landing or taking off. 6 m (20 ft) post mounted on a small stone pier. Ghislain Bonneau has a photo, Trabas has Rainer Arndt's photo, and Google has a satellite view. The original lighthouse was a square tower attached to a keeper's house; a 1926 view from the harbor (3/4 the way down the page) is available. We don't know when this lighthouse was demolished. Located on an island on the east side of the entrance to Victoria Harbour. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS CAN-032; CCG 0206, Admiralty G5312.4, NGA 13712.
*** Fisgard
1860. Active; focal plane 21.5 m (71 ft); white or red light (depending on direction), 2 s on, 2 s off. 14.5 m (48 ft) round brick tower with lantern and gallery, painted white; lantern painted red. Tower floodlit at night. Lighthouse attached to the original 2-story brick keeper's house, which is painted bright red. This is the oldest lighthouse in British Columbia and a national historic site. The keeper's house is operated as a lighthouse museum. C.M. Hanchey's photo is at right, Anderson has a fine page with several photos, Trabas has Charles Bash's photo, Wikimedia has numerous photos, Lighthouse Digest has Jeremy D'Entremont's 2002 article on the history of the station, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. In June 2009 the federal government appropriated $1.56 million to restore the lighthouse. Work was completed in time for the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the light in 2010. Located on a small island, connected to the mainland by a causeway, at the western entrance to Esquimalt Harbour, off Ocean Boulevard in Colwood west of Victoria. Site open; museum open daily (entry fee); tower closed. Owner: Parks Canada. Site manager: Fisgard Lighthouse National Historic Site . ARLHS CAN-176; CCG 0197, Admiralty G5306, NGA 13740.
Fisgard Light
Fisgard Light, Victoria, August 2010
Flickr Creative Commons photo
by C.M. Hanchey

South Coast (Strait of Juan de Fuca) Lighthouses
Note: The Strait of Juan de Fuca separates the southern end of Vancouver Island from the U.S. state of Washington. The strait is about 150 km (90 mi) long and generally about 30 km (19 mi) wide.
Race Rocks (Great Race Rock)
1860. Active; focal plane 36 m (118 ft); white flash every 10 s. 24.5 m (80 ft) round "Imperial" stone tower with lantern and gallery, painted with black and white horizontal bands; lantern painted red. Fog horn (three 2 s blasts every 60 s). The original keeper's house was demolished in 1974, but the more modern light station buildings have been in use as an ecological research station since 1997. Cliff Hellis's photo is at right, Pete Hanson has a good closeup photo, Jeff Lorton has a lovely panoramic view, Anderson's page has good photos, Wikimedia has photos, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Bing has a satellite view. The lighthouse was restored and repainted in 2009 in time for its 150th anniversary celebration in 2010. Pearson College leases the station and has established an endowment fund to maintain it. Located on Great Race Rock, a small island in the Strait of Juan de Fuca about 15 km (9 mi) southwest of Victoria. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed (special permission is required to land on the island). Owner: Pearson College. Site manager: Race Rocks Marine Protected Area. ARLHS CAN-426; CCG 0189, Admiralty G5300, NGA 13760.
* [Estevan Point/Triangle Island (lantern and lens)]
1910. First-order Fresnel lens and round cast iron lantern, painted red, mounted on a short white tower similar to the Triangle Island Light tower. Anderson has photos on his page for Triangle Island Light, a 2007 closeup photo is available, and Google has an excellent street view and a satellite view. This historic lens was used from 1910 to 1918 at Triangle Island Light. In 1920, it was relocated to the Estevan Point Light, where it remained in service until the 1980s. In 2004 it was donated to the Sooke Region Museum. Located at 2070 Phillips Road in Sooke. Site and museum open daily, tower closed.
* [Whiffin Spit (3?)]
Date unknown (station established 1906). Active; focal plane 6.5 m (21 ft); quick white flash every 1 s. 6 m (20 ft) round cylindrical fiberglass tower adjacent to a rectangular 1-story concrete equipment shelter. Lighthouse painted white with one green horizontal band near the top of the tower. Fog horn (3 s blast every 30 s) activated only on radio request. The station also includes an automatic weather station. Another photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. Little is known about the history of this station. Located at the end of the 1.5 km (1 mi) long Whiffin Spit, which nearly closes the entrance to the harbor of Sooke. Accessible by walking the spit. Site open, tower closed. Owner: Canadian Coast Guard. Site manager: District of Sooke (Whiffin Spit Park). CCG 0188, Admiralty G5296, NGA 13772.
Race Rocks Light
Race Rocks Light, Strait of Juan de Fuca, July 2010
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Cliff Hellis
* Sheringham Point
1912 (William P. Anderson). Active; focal plane 22 m (72 ft); green flash every 15 s. 19.5 m (64 ft) hexagonal concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted white; lantern and gallery are red. Anderson's page has photos, Mike Bingley has a closeup photo, Robyn Hanson has a good 2007 photo, Wikimedia has a photo, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Google has a satellite view. The Sheringham Point Lighthouse Preservation Society was formed in 2003 to work for preservation of the lighthouse within a proposed 4.5 ha (10 acre) park. In early 2008 the Department of Fisheries and Oceans completed a land swap with a neighboring landowner to make the park possible. The next step came in 2011 when DFO declared the light station surplus property so that it can be transferred to a local government agency. In 2010 there was concern about inappropriate development when Western Forest Products decided to sell a much larger tract of 2300 ha (5700 acres) surrounding the lighthouse. In 2015 the lighthouse received heritage designation. The first phase of restoration, including safety and access improvements and restoration of power to the lighthouse, began in the fall of 2016. Located on a rocky promontory at the end of Sheringham Point Road off BC 14 in Shirley, about 16 km (10 mi) west of Sooke. Site and tower closed (fenced), but it is possible to walk close to the lighthouse. Owner: Canadian Coast Guard. Site manager: Sheringham Point Lighthouse Preservation Society . ARLHS CAN-458; CCG 0186, Admiralty G5292, NGA 13800.

Southern Pacific Coast Lighthouses
Carmanah Point (2)
1920 (station established 1891). Active; focal plane 55.5 m (182 ft); white flash every 5 s. 11 m (36 ft) octagonal pyramidal concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted white with red trim; lantern painted red. Staffed light station with a 1-story, red-roofed keeper's house and other buildings. A photo is at right, Christine Rondeau has a good closeup photo, Wikimedia has a nice photo by Mike Beauregard, Marinas.com also has aerial photos, and Bing has a satellite view. This lighthouse marks the northern entrance to the Strait of Juan de Fuca, which leads to Seattle and Vancouver. The original lighthouse was a square wood tower attached to the keeper's house. Located on the West Coast Trail in the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve about 20 km (13 mi) northwest of the Gordon River Trailhead near Port Renfrew. Site open, tower closed. Owner/site manager: Canadian Coast Guard. ARLHS CAN-120; CCG 0180, Admiralty G5288, NGA List 13820.
Pachena Point
1908. Active; focal plane 47 m (154 ft); two white flashes every 7.5 s. 20 m (66 ft) octagonal wood tower with lantern and gallery; original 1st order Fresnel lens in use. Lighthouse painted white, lantern red. Staffed light station with two 2-story keeper's houses and other buildings. Jason Kurylo has a closeup photo, Mitchell has an aerial view, Marinas.com also has aerial photos, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Bing has a satellite view. A historic station, little changed in more than a century. The Coast Guard carried out a major restoration of the lighthouse in 2015-16. Located on the West Coast Trail in the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve about 15 km (9 mi) south of Bamfield. Site open, tower closed. Owner/site manager: Canadian Coast Guard. ARLHS CAN-362; CCG 0178, Admiralty G5280, NGA 13828.
Cape Beale (2)
1958 (station established 1874). Active; focal plane 51 m (167 ft); continuous red or white light (depending on direction) with a brighter flash every 5 s. 10 m (33 ft) square pyramidal steel skeletal tower with square central cylinder, lantern and gallery, and a slatted white daymark on three sides. The tower, lantern and gallery are painted red. This is a staffed light station with several red-roofed buildings. Clay Dean has a closeup photo, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Google has a satellite view of the station. The station is located within the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve at the southern entrance to Barkley Sound. Accessible via hiking trails leading from the area of Bamfield. Site open, and keepers sometimes will accompany visitors in climbing the tower. Owner/site manager: Canadian Coast Guard. ARLHS CAN-091; CCG 0176, Admiralty G5256, NGA 13836.
Carmanah Point Light
Carmanah Point Light, Port Renfrew, September 2008
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Outdoorsgirl
*** Port Alberni
2001. Active (privately maintained); focal plane about 13 m (43 ft); white flash every 12 s. Approx. 11 m (36 ft) square pyramidal wood tower with lantern and gallery, rising from a 1-story museum building. Lighthouse painted white, lantern and gallery red. R.B. Sampson has a closeup photo, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. This new lighthouse carries the original 1891 lantern of the Chrome Island Light (see above). Located on an elbow of the quay of the small boat harbor in Port Alberni, at the head of the Alberni Inlet, a 40 km (25 mi) long fjord. Site open, museum open daily late June through early September, tower status unknown. Owner/site manager: Alberni Valley Maritime Discovery Centre. CCG 0167.
* Amphitrite Point (2)
1915 (station established 1906). Active; focal plane 15 m (50 ft); white flash every 12 s. 6 m (20 ft) structure: lantern centered atop a 2-story service building. Building painted white, lantern red. Fog horn (2 s blast every 20 s). Anatoliy Knyazev's photo appears at right, Mitchell also has a closeup photo, Trabas has Klaus Kern's photo, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Google has a satellite view. The original lighthouse was destroyed by a tsunami on 2 January 1914. In fact, the area around the lighthouse is dangerous in heavy surf at any time. A Coast Guard Vessel Management Control Centre is adjacent to the light station. Located at the south end of the town of Ucluelet, off BC 4 at the northern entrance to Barkley Sound. Parking nearby. Site open, tower closed. Owner/site manager: Canadian Coast Guard. ARLHS CAN-010; CCG 0135, Admiralty G5246, NGA 14000.
Lennard Island (2)
Date unknown (station established 1904). Active; focal plane 35 m (115 ft); white flash every 10 s. 18 m (58 ft) round "apple-core" cylindrical fiberglass tower, flared at top and bottom, with lantern and gallery. Tower painted white, lantern and gallery red. This is an active Coast Guard station with half a dozen red-roofed buildings. Trabas has a distant view by G√ľnther Hess, Lighthouse Digest has Eric Manchester's 2002 feature article on life at the station, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Google has a satellite view of the station. The present lighthouse replaced the original octagonal wood tower; it was prefabricated and airlifted to the station by helicopter. The original keeper's house was replaced after it burned to the ground in 1927. Located on an island at the entrance to Clayoquot Sound. Accessible only by boat; visible distantly from the Pacific Rim Highway (BC 4) near Tofino. Site open, tower closed. Owner/site manager: Canadian Coast Guard. ARLHS CAN-273; CCG 0134, Admiralty G5242, NGA 14004.

Amphitrite Point Light, Ucluelet, February 2004
Flickr Creative Commons photo
by Anatoliy Knyazev (no longer online)

Northern Pacific Coast Lighthouses
Estevan Point
1910 (William P. Anderson). Active; focal plane 37.5 m (123 ft); two white flashes, separated by 5 s, every 15 s. 30.5 m (100 ft) octagonal concrete tower with flying buttresses, lantern and gallery. Lighthouse painted white, lantern red. The 1st order Chance Brothers Fresnel lens, removed in the 1980s, was donated to the Sooke Region Museum in 2004 along with its lantern, which was originally installed at Triangle Island (see below). Estevan Point is an active Coast Guard station with half a dozen red-roofed buildings and several communication towers. Hans Selde has a photo, Michael Shepard has a second photo, and Google has a satellite view. The Japanese submarine I-26 shelled the light station in June 1942, but no damage was done. In 2014 the light station was recognized as a heritage lighthouse under HLPA. The lighthouse marks a prominent headland about 30 km (20 mi) south of Nootka Light, surrounded by the Hesquiat Peninsula Provincial Park. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Owner/site manager: Canadian Coast Guard. ARLHS CAN-173; CCG 0114, Admiralty G5224, NGA 14084.
* Nootka (2)
1958 (station established 1911). Active; focal plane 31 m (101 ft); white flash every 12 s. Square pyramidal steel skeletal tower with square central cylinder, lantern, and gallery. Skeletal framework, lantern and gallery painted red; central cylinder painted white. Staffed light station with several 2-story red-roofed buildings, boathouse, and helipad. Another photo of the station is available, there's a nice view (2/3 of the way down the page), Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Google has a satellite view. A nearby monument marks the discovery of Nootka Sound by Capt. James Cook in 1778. The lighthouse is a twin of the Cape Beale Light (see above). Anderson has a historic photo of the original lighthouse, which had a lantern atop a 2-story keeper's house. Located at the southeastern tip of Nootka Island marking the northern entrance to Nootka Sound. The station is adjacent to the Native American settlement of Yuquot, which is accessible in the summer by tour boat or by water taxi from Gold River at the end of BC 28. Site open, tower closed. Owner/site manager: Canadian Coast Guard. ARLHS CAN-343; CCG 0105, Admiralty G5219, NGA 14088.
Quatsino (Kains Island) (3)
1977 (station established 1907). Active; focal plane 28 m (93 ft); white flash every 5 s. Approx. 7.5 m (25 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower, attached to a 1-story equipment building. Lighthouse painted white. This is a staffed light station with a 2-story, red-roofed keeper's house and other buildings. Lighthouse Explorer has a good Coast Guard photo, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Bing has a satellite view of the station. The station was established with a temporary light. Anderson has a historic photo of its replacement (1910), which had a lantern atop a 2-story keeper's house. Located on Kains Island at the entrance to Quatsino Sound about 55 km (35 mi) southeast of Cape Scott. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. Owner/site manager: Canadian Coast Guard. ARLHS CAN-423; CCG 0068, Admiralty G5178, NGA 14276.
Cape Scott (3)
1981 (station established 1927). Active; focal plane 70 m (229 ft); white flash every 10 s. 9 m (29 ft) square steel skeletal tower with lantern and gallery; lantern painted red. Active Coast Guard station with several red-roofed buildings. Su-Laine Yeo Brodsky's photo is at right, Lighthouse Explorer has a good photo by Harvey Humchitt, Wikimedia has John Freeland's photo, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Bing has a satellite view of the station. The original mast light was replaced in 1960 by a skeletal tower built on the foundation of a World War II radar installation. The lighthouse is surrounded by Cape Scott Provincial Park. Located at the northwestern tip of Vancouver Island. Accessible by a 65 km (40 mi) drive on a gravel road from Port Hardy (4WD suggested), followed by a hike of 24 km (15 mi). Site open, and visitors can climb to the gallery of the tower. Owner/site manager: Canadian Coast Guard. ARLHS CAN-107; CCG 0066, Admiralty G5172, NGA 14336.
Triangle Island
1910. Inactive since 1919. 8 m (26 ft) round concrete tower with eight ribs. Mitchell has a closeup photo, but the island is only a triangular blur in Bing's satellite view. Built at 207 m (680 ft) above sea level, this light proved to be useless in foggy weather; in addition, there was a disaster in November 1918 when the supply ship Galiano sank in heavy seas after departing the station. The lantern and 1st order Fresnel lens were relocated in 1919 to Estevan Point Light. Removed to storage in the 1980s, they were donated in 2004 to the Sooke Region Museum in Sooke (see above). The island has large seabird populations and is now the Anne Vallee Provincial Ecological Reserve. Located atop an island about 50 km (30 mi) northwest of Cape Scott, Vancouver Island. Accessible only by boat in dangerous seas. Site and tower closed. Owner: BC Parks. Site manager: Lanz and Cox Islands Provincial Park. ARLHS CAN-507.
Cape Scott Light
Cape Scott Light, Cape Scott Provincial Park, June 2009
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Su-Laine Yeo Brodsky

Information available on lost lighthouses:

  • Albert Head (?-?), southwestern approach to Victoria. Lighthouse Digest has a Coast Guard aerial view. Nothing remains of this light station. ARLHS CAN-005.
Adjoining pages: North: Northern British Columbia | South: Washington

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Posted January 14, 2004. Checked and revised October 2, 2016. Lighthouses: 37, lightships: 1. Site copyright 2016 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.