Do you love traditional lighthouses? Lake Huron has a number of beautiful examples, but the most lovely one resides on Chantry Island, which is just off the coast of Southampton, Ontario.
The lighthouse was constructed in the mid-1800s to combat the number of ships that had run aground in the area. For almost 100 years, various lighthouse keepers and their families lived on the island and ran it manually. The size of the island varies from year to year, corresponding with the water levels.
After an automatic system was installed, fewer people visited and the keeper’s quarters fell into disrepair and collapsed. Fortunately, the building has been beautifully restored and also includes examples of traditional furniture, clothing, and bedding that the occupants would have used.
The Canadian Wildlife Service declared Chantry Island a Federal Migratory Bird Sanctuary in 1957 in order to enhance the safety of the local bird population. This means that you cannot visit the island unless you are part of the official tour, which runs from the beginning of June through Labour Day each year.
For $30 per person, this boat tour of Chantry Island includes a trip up to the top of the lighthouse, a visit inside the restored keeper’s quarters, and an extensive history of the island. The volunteers running the tour are very friendly and knowledgeable, and happy to answer any questions. It is a popular attraction, so be sure to book your spot in advance.
Want to learn more? Visit the official website for more information about Chantry, its history, and how to book your spot(s) on the tour! You can also go here to get a video look at what the tour has to offer. Be sure to also allow time for a visit to Southampton, one of Northern Ontario’s loveliest towns.