Lighthouses & Piers in Elgin County

Piers:

Port Stanley: The re-opening of the Port Stanley Pier in 2015 was a significant moment in the village's history. Visitors can stroll along the 1,400 ft reconstructed breakwater and take in a panoramic view of Port Stanley and Lake Erie. 

Port Glasgow: Port Glasgow's small sandy beach is a hidden osais of tranquility and privacy. Located at the Port Glasgow Marina, the beach is close to boat charters, a bait shop, and a great fishing pier. 

Port Burwell: Port Burwell, home to the oldest wooden lighthouse in Canada, offers two clean, soft, sandy beaches, two marinas, and a pier to stroll along, take in the view, and do some fishing.  

Port Bruce:  This small village is home to a waterfront Provincial Park where visitors can swim, picnic, and fish off the pier. The Port Bruce pier offers some of the best Lake Erie Yellow Perch and Walleye fishing along Ontario’s southern coastline.

Lighthouses:

Port Burwell: Built in 1840 by the government of Upper Canada, this wooden lighthouse was first kept by J.P. Bellairs, and then by the Sutherland family for 100 years, until it was decomissioned in 1963. It was first a whale oil lamp that kept the light shining, then kerosene, and finally was converted to electricity in 1927. In 1986, due to its deterioration, the lighthouse was restored, with the lead workman being a Mennonite man from the Aylmer. The lighthouse is 20 metres high (65 ft) and has 55 steps to the top. The base is now used as a tourist information centre and visitors can also climb to the top for a view of Port Burwell from above.   

Also located in Port Burwell are the 1930 Outer West Breakwater Light, the 1914 West Breakwater Inner Light, and a pair of ranges on the east pier. Today, the Outer West Breakwater Light remains active as well as a privately maintained cylindrical tower on the east pier. Though no longer active, the pyramidal, concrete West Breakwater Inner Light is still standing on the end of the old west breakwater.

Port Stanley: In 1861, while entering the harbour during a gale, a vessel struck and destroyed the lighthouse at Port Stanley, resulting in the erection of a small new structure to mark the harbour. This new light was likely a lantern containing four lamps and attended to by Keeper Charles Ead in 1876. In 1877, the Department of Marine assumed control of a privately maintained red pole light on the west pier at Port Stanley. John Ellison of Port Stanley was contracted in 1881 to construct a new lighthouse for Port Stanley. It was to be situated on the outer end of the western breakwater pier, and to be 42 feet tall, and visible for 11 miles from all points seaward. 

In 1934, a new light was established on shore to form, with the breakwater light, a set of range lights to guide mariners to the harbour entrance. At this same time, the white light on the west pier, shown from a mast, was changed to a green light. Today, the harbour is marked by the 1909 concrete tower on the west breakwater and a cylindrical tower on the east breakwater.

In 2016, Port Stanley lighthouse was transferred to the Municipality of Central Elgin, and the municipality was awarded a grant to help fund the restoration and maintenance of the structure.

Port Stanley Pier