Historic Hamilton lighthouse to get new life


Published January 28, 2022 at 12:22 pm

The Beach Canal Lighthouse on Hamilton's waterfront is now under the ownership of the Hamilton Oshawa Port Authority which has big plans for its preservation and future. (HOPA Ports Facebook)

The future of the lighthouse and keeper’s cottage on Hamilton’s waterfront has been assured as the historic landmark’s ownership has been transferred to local hands.

The Hamilton Oshawa Port Authority (HOPA Ports) is the proud new owner of the Beach Canal Lighthouse and the nearby cottage after the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) transferred ownership on Friday (Jan. 28).

The agreement commits HOPA to the preservation of the buildings as they were recently designated by Parks Canada under the Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act.

Plans are in the works for the buildings, which are currently nestled in beside the lift bridge, to be moved as part of a broader revitalization project of Fisherman’s Pier.

“This is a major step forward to realizing our goal to make Fisherman’s Pier a welcoming people place on Hamilton Harbour,” said Ian Hamilton, President and CEO of HOPA Ports, in a statement.

“Hamilton and Burlington share a proud maritime heritage. Fisherman’s Pier is one of the best places anywhere to get an up-close look at the big ships and to understand the continuing role of industry and maritime trade in our community’s economy and identity.”

The lighthouse is a 17-metre limestone tower with an iron lantern. It was built in 1858 and in operation until 1961.

The plan is, with the help of the Beach Canal Lighthouse Group, to reposition the lighthouse onto HOPA Ports property in order to complete a restoration of both structures and facilitate public access.

They will ultimately serve as a focal point for the new Fisherman’s Pier, which is expected to feature a new central plaza, more green space, improved angling amenities and more.

The DFO will contribute $275,000 towards the move and restoration of the tower and additional funds are coming from Hamilton Future Fund.

A timeline for the redevelopment of Fisherman’s Pier is yet to be disclosed but more details on the project can be found on HOPA Ports’ website.

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