Northern Georgian Bay Lighthouses, Ontario

Thanks to Ron Walker of the Canadian Coast Guard Base at Parry Sound, Ontario, for these rare photos of some seldom-visited lighthouses in the northern half of the Georgian Bay.

Bustard Rocks Range Lights

The Bustard Rocks lie off the entrance to the French River on the northeastern shore of the Bay. Two ranges were established here in 1875, one to guide ships into the river and the other to guide them out. The taller central tower carried the rear lights for both ranges. Today the ranges have been discontinued and the shorter towers are inactive, but the taller tower shows the Bustard Rocks Light for general navigation. The photo at right gives us an idea of the beauty and remoteness of the site.

Byng Inlet Range Front

Byng Inlet is a harbor on the northeast side of the Bay. The range lights, built in 1936, are located just inside the inlet. Like most Canadian range lights, the lighthouse has a broad red vertical stripe to help captains line up with the range in the daytime. You'll certainly notice that the scenery here is as wild and beautiful as at Bustard Rocks.

Byng Inlet Range Rear

This lighthouse is of a style typical of rear range light towers on the Georgian Bay and elsewhere in Canada. The lower part of the ower is skeletal, but there is a frame lantern, gallery, and a frame watch room.

Lonely Island

The aptly named Lonely Island is an isolated high island in the northern Bay east of Manitoulin Island. The light station here was established in 1870, but this octagonal frame tower was built in 1907. Maintaining a dock on the island is difficult, and the Coast Guard gave up on it a long time ago. All the light station buildings except the lighthouse itself have been removed, and the light is maintained by helicopter.

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Posted December 20, 2003. Checked and revised September 17, 2014. Site copyright 2014 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.