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The Saga of the Lion’s Head Lighthouse

Escape to Grey Bruce
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The first navigational aid was a red light, at the end of the Lion’s Head harbour dock. It was a square, tubular lantern hoisted upon a pole and located on the outer end of the breakwater at a cost of $197.16.


In November plans for a lighthouse were prepared to replace the light on a pole.


J.C. Kennedy of Owen Sound was paid $825.22 to construct a square, pyramidal tower on the breakwater. This lighthouse was knocked off the wharf in the Great Storm of November 8, 1913. It was recovered from the south beach by John H Tyndall. W.B. Lamont was paid $341.60 to repair it and restore to its original location in 1914.


The lighthouse was moved further back ion the wharf to reduce the possible damage from the storms.


Fire caused more damage to it, but once again it was repaired and restored to its original location.


The Canadian Coast Guard arrived early one morning, dismantled the light and burned it at the local landfill. It was replaced with a metal tower topped with a flashing light. Locals were enraged and pressed the coast guard for an explanation. They were told it was “rotten beyond repair”.

1983 & 1984

Students, led by the direction of their teacher Brian Swanton of the Bruce Peninsula District School, built a replica of the original structure. They used the original plans with funding provided by the local Rotary Club. The students’ tower wasn’t a replacement for the metal light tower that still sat unlit on the nearby shoreline.


A violent storm damaged the metal pole and the coast guard decided to replace it with the student built replica. Once again, a proper functioning lighthouse proudly marked the Lion’s Head harbour.


A vicious storm in January demolished the tower. Officials of Northern Bruce Peninsula immediately decided to rebuild the lighthouse They are accepting donations and volunteer help, so the community can once again take ownership of their lighthouse. It will be located at the original spot that it sat on in 1919, 40 feet west on its’ last location. Brian Swanton and Douglas Hill are leading the charge to get the lighthouse to once again proudly shine on the shores of Lion’s Head.