Big Tub Lighthouse

Big Tub LighthouseTobermory, ON

Originally constructed in 1885 for a cost of $675, the Big Tub Lighthouse played an important role guiding ships into the harbour from the sometimes-treacherous waters of Lake Huron and Georgian Bay. The original structure was later replaced by the six-sided, 14 metre (43 foot) wooden lighthouse that is seen today.

An automated red light acts as a guide for boaters. Watch for scuba divers just off the point, as this location is a very popular diving destination. One of the more accessible lighthouse sites, it is located virtually at the mainland terminus of Highway 6. Repairs were required when a winter storm in 1987 washed away many of the lighthouse’s shingles and part of its foundation. Part of the walkway and parking area were also washed away.

Tobermory’s light still guides boats through powerful currents, frequent fogs and numerous shoals to the safety of Big Tub Harbour. The number of shipwrecks offshore testify to the dangerous waters of this area. These waters have become a mecca for scuba divers from all over the world.

Lighthouse Features

  • Type of Light:
    Automatic Red Light
    13 km
  • Height:
    43 ft
  • Style:
    Range Light
    Year Built:

Featured Story: “Lighthouse Keepers at Big Tub”

The beautiful hexagonal tower on Lighthouse Point at Big Tub Harbour was erected in 1885, four years after Charles Earl was first paid $100 a year to hang a lantern at the same spot.

For years he had feuded with a neighbour, Abraham Davis, and their Abbott and Costello-style attacks on each other set the scene for the first of many sideshows that would bedevil the Department of Marine and Fisheries over a thirty-year period.  Finally, in 1885, Davis won out when he was appointed lightkeeper at the new Big Tub Tower. Ten years later, his tenure ended abruptly and unhappily.

One night Davis left the lighthouse for the scene of the wrecked vessels Owen Sound and Worts in a small skiff. He told his wife he would be back by 3am but he did not return.

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Lighthouse Info

Operational Info

Year round


Car, canoe, kayak, bike or foot
Interior Access:
Guided Tours:
Yes - in Marina
Gift Shop:

Photo Gallery

Big Tub Lighthouse features a gorgeous photographic setting, scuba diving, kayaking and canoeing.