Beach Canal Lighthouse Group, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada


The Latest News

Here you will find the latest news about the BCLG and progress made by this group in partnership with HOPA to restore and open to the public the Burlington Canal Light Station.  Below this section you will find our archived news posts.

January 28, 2022: Recording of the announcement by Ian Hamilton, HOPA President and CEO, with statements from several MPs, including former Ward 5 Councillor Chad Collins, a long-time supporter of our mission, Mayor Eisenberger, and our new Chair Ian Kerr-Wilson.  This announcement includes a video featuring HOPA staff Larissa Fenn (Public Affairs & Corporate Secretary) and Bill Fitzgerald (engineer in charge of relocating the the lighthouse).

Direct link to the on-site video.

Article by Kevin Werner for The Hamilton Spectator.

Article by Kathy Renwald for The Bay Observer.

Global News report.

Article by John Rennison for The Hamilton Spectator.

Latest article by Matthew van Dongen for The Hamilton Spectator, 3 February 2022

Archived News Items

The local port authority is looking for public input as it works on a redevelopment vision for the lands that surround the Hamilton Harbour shipping canal, under the Skyway Bridge.

The 20-acre footprint, known as “Fisherman’s Pier”, is used mostly by fishermen, ship-spotters and bird-watchers, as well as pedestrians and cyclists using the waterfront trail.

The lands alongside the shipping canal are also home to the Beach Canal Lighthouse, which a volunteer group has been working to purchase and restore. Global News article

Discussions are continuing between the federal government and the Hamilton-Oshawa Port Authority to eventually transfer the historic Beach Canal Lighthouse property to the local organization.  Hamilton News article


The 161- year-old beach canal lighthouse used to guide ships into Hamilton harbour.

Walking Hamilton’s beach trail, it’s possible to whip right by the 161-year-old beach canal lighthouse and not see it at all.

In the 1800s, it stood tall at the mouth of the Burlington canal, guiding ships with its powerful beam of light. These days, it’s dwarfed by modern amenities. It barely peeks over the side of the canal lift bridge a few feet away. The Burlington Skyway looms imposing in the distance. CBC article

Now a community group hopes it’s a step closer to bringing the lighthouse back into the spotlight again. CBC article

Surprise talks with the Hamilton Port Authority are resurrecting stalled hopes to restore the historic Beach Canal Lighthouse.

Volunteers with the Beach Canal Lighthouse Group have negotiated with various levels of government for more than a decade to try to secure ownership of the 1858 lighthouse and its keeper’s cottage, with an eye to restoring the heritage landmarks and allowing public access.


The Beach Canal Lighthouse Group received a letter from Julie Dompierre, the Director of Heritage Designations and Programs at Parks Canada, responding to our petition for designation for the lightstation. Parks Canada is not able to designate the Burlington Canal Main and South Pier lights at this time because we have not yet reached an agreement with Fisheries and Oceans Canada to acquire these structures. However, the door is left open for designation when we do acquire these structures from Fisheries and Oceans.

Read the letter here – 2015 Jun 12 Parks Canada-Burlington Lights designation eligibility

CHCH-TV presented a news item on the progress of heritage designation for Canada’s surplus lighthouses. The story included interviews with Barbara Murray and Stewart Patch on the status of the Beach Canal Lighthouse. It also looked at the refurbishment of the Point Abino Lighthouse. You can watch the segment on CHCH-TV site.

George Thomson, the first keeper of the 1858 lighthouse and the first resident of the “new” brick keeper’s cottage was the great-grandfather of George (Sandy) Thomson, our advisor and former vice-chair. Sandy Thomson premiered his short video Berwick and the Beach, a documentary on the life of his great-grandfather at our March General Meeting. Watch this video here.

Hamilton City Council recognized the Beach Canal Lighthouse Group for contributions to the City’s built heritage. At a council meeting this evening, members of the executive were presented with Certificates of Achievement from the Ontario Heritage Trust in appreciation of our volunteer work in the presentation of the lighthouse Keeper’s cottage.

Above: Beach Canal Lighthouse Group executives along with Alissa Denham-Robinson at Hamilton City Hall receive the Ontario Heritage Trust Certificate of Achievement in appreciation of our volunteer effort protecting our province’s heritage.

A new temporary roof was installed on the Lighthouse Keeper’s Cottage. This was made possible with money raised by the volunteer efforts of our members over many years of garage sales and other fundraising initiatives. We obtained permission from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to act as their agent in effecting this repair. With the advice of our architect, Chris Borghal, we have also had a pair of metal caps made to protect the chimneys from the weather.      

Off with the old roof

The new roof and chimney caps

The Beach Canal Lighthouse Group has signed a licence agreement with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans that will permit us to carry out interim repairs to the roof of the lighthouse keeper’s cottage and to make surveys of the site in preparation for the proposed acquisition of the light house and keeper’s cottage under the terms of the Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act.

The Beach Canal Lighthouse Group submitted a business plan to the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans describing our intentions for restoring and opening the light house and the keeper’s cottage to the public. This is the next step in acquiring these properties under the process developed for implementation of the Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act.