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Harbour Explorer


In 1832, the construction of the Burlington Canal was officially complete after several years of delays. The following year, the Parliament of Upper Canada provided funds to maintain a lighthouse and bridge keeper. A fifty-four-foot-tall wooden lighthouse was soon built in 1837. Steamers and ships passing through the canal’s piers would often rub up against the wood igniting sparks and causing small fires. In 1856, the steamship Ranger ignited a spark that caught fire. The fire spread up the pier, eventually destroying the lighthouse and lightkeeper’s house. The lightkeeper’s house was rebuilt in 1857 and work began on a fireproof lighthouse made of dolomite limestone. The new lighthouse was the first in Canada to burn coal oil instead of traditional whale oil. The main light was replaced and upgraded in 1891 and 1911. The stone lighthouse was decommissioned in 1961, replaced by lights mounted on the railway bridge.