Posted by: cherylyoung | May 25, 2013

The first Lighthouse on Canada’s West Coast is still in operation and you can take a tour

A National Historic Site – The first lighthouse on

 Canada’s west coast is still in operation!

 There hasn’t been a keeper here since the light was

 automated in 1929, but every year many thousands of

visitors step inside a real l9th century light, and capture

some of the feeling of ships wrecked and lives saved.

Built by the British in 1860, when Vancouver Island was

 not yet part of Canada, Fisgard’s red brick house and

white tower has stood faithfully at the entrance to

 Esquimalt harbour.

 

 Once a beacon for the British Royal Navy’s Pacific

 Squadron, today Fisgard still marks home base for

 the Royal Canadian Navy.

Inside the building are two floors of exhibits, dealing

with shipwrecks, storms, far- flung lights, and the

 everyday working equipment of the light keeper a

 century ago.

 

 Right next to the tower stirs on the second floor, a

specially-made video evokes the loneliness and isolation

 that was the lot of the l9th century keeper.

The waterfront sites at Fisgard Lighthouse and Fort Rodd

Hill are extremely photogenic, especially with the

scenic backdrop of the Olympic Mountains in

 neighbouring Washington state.

 

The Strait of Juan de Fuca almost always offers a wide

 variety of ships, from small sailing vessels, to

enormous cargo ships, and the proximity of the

 Canadian Navy base means that military craft of

several nations are often seen at close range.

Wildlife at the sites includes Columbian black-tailed

 deer, river otters, mink, raccoons, harbour seals, and

sea lions.

 

Bird-watching

Birders may be rewarded with a wide variety of both

 pelagic and meadow birds, including bald eagles,

 blue herons, harlequin and eider ducks, and many

 small songbirds.

Picnicking

There are 12 picnic tables, including one for disabled

 visitors, near the parking lot.

 

 You may also picnic inside the sites, under the trees

 on the main field, or on any of our three beaches.

 

 Please note that there are no fires or barbeques

 permitted in the sites.


Scuba Diving

Scuba diving is becoming more and more popular in

 the waters around Fisgard Lighthouse, but divers are

 advised that there is no vehicle access and that they

 will have to transport their equipment about 500

 metres (1/4 mile) from the parking lot

 (Hint: bring a wheelbarrow to move tanks and weights!)

Food Service

The Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse Preservation

 Society offers light refreshments and souvenirs in the

 old Canteen building inside Fort Rodd Hill during the

 summer months.

 

June 11-12

Fisgard Lighthouse 150th Anniversary Celebrations

Join us the evening of June 11 and all day June 12 for

 some very special festivities to celebrate this

 sesquicentennial and a chance to view the all-new

exhibits and visitor facilities at Canada’s oldest

 west coast lighthouse.

 

CHERYL YOUNG REALTOR AND BLOGGER

SAANICH PENINSULA REALTY

SIDNEY B.C

WWW.CHERYLYOUNG.CA 

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