Flowerpot Island LightstationTobermory, ON
In 1969, the lighthouse building at Flowerpot Island was pushed from the cliff and replaced with a steel tower, the functioning range light we see today. Concerned about the deteriorated condition of the lightstation, the Friends of Fathom Five and the Canadian Coast Guard came to an agreement in 1995, handing over operations to the Friends lightstation maintenance and restoration, which began in 1996.
General cleanup, repainting, roof re-shingling, garden and lawn care, trail improvements, signage and a composting toilet have been produced by hundreds of dedicated volunteers. The century-old lightkeeper’s house is open for tours, cold drinks and souvenirs.
The Flowerpot Lightstation is accessible only by boat from the mainland at Tobermory. Guided tour boats depart from Little Tub Harbour, and if your choice is to visit the island, there is a Parks Canada visitors fee. Plan to spend an entire day–bring a lunch, visit the museum in the Lightkeeper’s home, hike the trails, explore the caves, climb to the observation deck, and swim in the cool, clear waters of Georgian Bay.
- Type of Light:
- Fixed White Light Dipotic Light
- 22.4 km
- 88 ft
- Hike to Castle Bluff
- Steel Tower
- Year Built:
Featured Story: “Flowerpot Island: A Boy’s Paradise”
Bill Spears’ lined face had seen more than a few years of Georgian Bay sun. A man of strong opinions, he chuckled as he rolled a cigarette with nimble nicotine-stained fingers and recounted his memories of the island which for him had been a boy’s paradise.
The son of lightkeeper William Spears (1912-1937), he recalled combing the rocky beach for ship debris after the Great Storm of 1913 and discovering a new cave. To explore it, he made a torch out of a handful of birch bark (“oh it smoked to hell but that didn’t matter,”) and climbed down the thirty-foot tunnel filled with glistening stalactites. The sea-stacks, or flowerpots as they are locally called, were one of Bill’s favourite spots. He would lean a ladder against the side, climb on top and sit in his private lookout among the trees. Eighty years later, taking a drag on his cigarette, Bill nodded, “Nice piece of natural work.”
- Mid May - Thanksgiving, Museum: July & August
- Parks Canada fee