Chantry Island Lighthouse; One of the oldest lighthouses in Lake Huron
Found at the oldest port on the Bruce Coast, the Chantry Island
Lighthouse is synonymous with Southampton.
Built between 1855 and 1859, and still working today, the Lighthouse
has now become a favourite tourist attraction.
Whether you just enjoy the view of Chantry Island from the Southampton
beaches or soak up the Lighthouse's history by taking a trip on the
Peerless, this 150 year old beacon continues to keep sailors safe.
Island in the 1990's before the buildings
Found approximately a mile off of Southampton's shores, Chantry Island
is a federal bird sanctuary. Several species of birds make their home
on the island such as cormorants, egrets and herons. It is one of the
most important migratory bird nesting sites south of James Bay.
Keep this in mind if you decide to take a trip over to the island, the
smell is better after a rain.
Operating for 150 plus
years the Chantry Island Lighthouse has an important job warning
sailors of the islands rocky and treacherous shores.
The area around the island is home to more than fifty known shipwrecks.
While the lighthouse has been operating all this time the buildings
were abandoned when the lighthouse went automatic in the 1950's.
The Long Dock is another historical monument you might still be able to
sneak a peak of at the Long Dock Beach, which is also famous for Gerrys
The Long Dock was built in the 1870's and once connected Chantry Island
to the mainland, but was left to deteriorate and is barely noticeable
The top of
the Imperial Chantry Island Lighthouse - taken by Peerless Captain
Restoration of the Lighthouse and the surrounding buildings started in
the late 1990's and tours to the island have become a fixture departing
from the mouth of the Saugeen River since the early 2000's.
Though these were not the first organized tours to and from Chantry
Island. From the 1930's to the 1950's the Restless brought tourists to
and from Port Elgin Harbour.
View of the
Long Dock's replacement at Chantry Island - Thanks to Carol Walberg
These days to visit Chantry Island you book a lighthouse charter aboard the Peerless
weekends from June to September. In August tours are run 7 days a week.
yourself in the history, learning what it was like for the
lighthousekeeper, winters on the island and the nautical challenges new
settlers had in Southampton.
Climb to the top of the lighthouse and see views of the bird sanctuary
and the beaches of Southampton.
Tours book up quickly so call 1-866-797-5862 to book in advance.
You can also visit the Chantry Island Tour Base, found at
View of Chantry Lighthouse from dock - Carol Walberg
Southampton's harbour (take Front Street until it ends).
While we used to take a small fishing boat over to visit the Chantry
Island Lighthouse with our kids, this is no longer recommenced. Respect
the effort that has gone into restoring the site, book a ticket and
enjoy the ride.