McNab Point Light, Ontario

Thanks to Ron Walker, of the Canadian Coast Guard base at Parry Sound, Ontario, for this photo of the McNab Point Light, and thanks also to Michel Forand for researching the history of the light station.

Photo courtesy of Canadian Coast Guard

This attractive little lighthouse is in Southampton, Ontario, at the base of the Bruce Peninsula. It is one of four lighthouses in the Southampton area, which also boasts the two Saugreen River Range Lights and the tall Chantry Island Light, one of Ontario's six "Imperial Towers." Although it can been from across the harbor on Chantry Island, this lighthouse is poorly known and rarely visited.

The light has a complicated history. It was originally built in 1877 as the Southampton Harbour Range Rear Light. At that time, two long breakwater piers had been built to shelter the harbor, one pier extending from Chantry Island and the other from the mainland. The front range light was placed at the end of the Chantry Island pier and the rear light was built at the northern cape of Horseshoe Bay, just south of Southampton. In 1901 it was relocated across Horseshoe Bay to the south cape, known as McNab or McNabb Point.

The range was discontinued in the 1950s, but the rear light on McNab Point continued in service as the Southampton Harbour Light. Sometime around 1970, it was deactivated, but about ten years later it came back in service, now known as the McNab Point Light. In 1988 the Coast Guard replaced its wood siding with aluminum. Shortly thereafter, apparently in 1989, it was deactivated once again.

The light stands in a neighborhood of private vacation homes and can't be seen from the road. It can be seen clearly from boats entering or leaving the harbor of Southampton from the south.

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Posted December 11, 2003. Checked and revised September 17, 2014. Site copyright 2014 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.