Knife Island Lighthouse & Lyal Island Range Light

Knife Island Lighthouse & Lyal Island Range LightStokes Bay, ON

Rocky shoals and islands in the Stokes Bay area make marine navigation very difficult. In 1885, a 16 metre (50 foot) wooden lighthouse was erected on the west shore of Lyal Island to protect incoming fishermen and boaters. The light was eventually automated in 1959 and replaced by the present day steel navigational tower.

Additional navigational aids were required in these waters, and as a result, a range light was built on nearby Knife Island. The Knife Island range light still stands, but a steel tower light is in use today. Access to these sites is best suited to the experienced canoeist or kayaker. The relatively shallow waters of Stokes Bay can provide for a great day trip (weather permitting).

The historic region of Stokes Bay was once a very active fishing and logging community. Today, relaxation is the primary focus.

Lighthouse Features

  • Type of Light:
    Electrically Powered
  • Height:
    50 ft
  • Style:
    Steel Tower
    Year Built:
    Original Something or other, testing

Featured Story: “Service Awards”

Imperial Service Medals were Awarded to the First Two Lightkeepers on Lyal Island and another on Knife Island – John McKay, Walter Knight and Norman McDonald.

John McKay
John McKay was the first Lighthouse Keeper at Lyal (Big) Island in Stokes Bay.  He served from 1885, when the lighthouse was erected, until 1922.  He was awarded the Imperial Long Service Medal after his retirement by another Bruce Countyite, The Honourable James Malcolm, MP. John and his large family made their home on the island, suffering with the cold, rattle snakes and the difficulties of island life.

Walter Knight
Walter Knight, a great war veteran, was appointed Lighthouse Keeper in 1922.

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Lighthouse Info

Operational Info

Seasonal, by boat only


Canoe, kayak, private powerbaot
Interior Access:
Guided Tours:
Gift Shop:

Photo Gallery

Knife Island Lighthouse and Lyal Island Range Light feature a photographic setting and a great day paddle.