Kincardine LighthouseKincardine, ON

Built into the bank of the Penetangore River in 1881, the Kincardine lighthouse serviced a busy fishing and local salt shipping industry. This octagonal wooden tower is the only ‘downtown’ lighthouse on the Bruce Coast. The Kincardine lighthouse stands 24.4 metres (74 feet) tall, and is built above a two-story light keeper’s house.

The eight-sided tower rests on a stone foundation. Above the rear-entrance door, the year ‘1880’ is inscribed in the cornerstone. Barrels of kerosene, used to fuel the lamp, were hoisted up these stairs by the keepers. The tower is capped by a red iron lantern and balcony, painted in the familiar ‘lighthouse red’. The first lamp had shutters that rotated by weighted chains to make the light flash. In 1922, the lamp became electrically powered and, today, large lenses rotate around a 500-watt bulb.

Lighthouse Features

  • Type of Light:
    Electrically Powered
  • Height:
    74 ft
  • Style:
    House Type
    Year Built:

Featured Story: “Living in the Lighthouse”

Susan and Jack Westell moved to the Kincardine lighthouse when they were nine and six respectively. Their father Oran was the lighthouse keeper from 1929 – 1955. They moved from just down the road and their dog, Buster, was reluctant to go but eventually they got him to walk down to the lighthouse a little at a time.

During the depression the monthly salary for a lighthouse keeper was $15. Susan remembers receiving 25¢ a week to open and close the blinds in the light room. Her older brother John remembers only receiving 10¢ in his day as blind keeper. The lighthouse was unfurnished when the family moved in so they had to bring furniture with them. In the kitchen they had a coal stove, which was the only source of heat for a long time, and for refrigeration they used an ice box.

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Lighthouse Info

Operational Info

July 1st to Labour Day: 11am to 5pm daily
519-396-3150, 800-268-3838


Car, boat, bike, foot
Interior Access:
Guided Tours:
Gift Shop:

Photo Gallery

Kincardine Lighthouse features the Phantom Piper who pipes the sun down most evenings in the summer. It is the only lighthouse located downtown.