Fisheries and Oceans Canada
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Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act Implementation

Heritage Lighthouses of Canada

On May 27, 2010, Fisheries and Oceans Canada declared approximately 480 active lighthouses and approximately 490 inactive lighthouses across Canada surplus to its needs. Under the new Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act, these properties can be transferred to new owners wishing to take advantage of their heritage designation or tourism potential.

The Act came into force on May 29, 2010 as a means to protect federally-owned heritage lighthouses by allowing them to be used for other purposes, as long as they are maintained in a manner consistent with established conservation practices.

For sites that have been petitioned (please see Final petition list on the Parks Canada website) individuals, municipalities or non-profit groups interested in acquiring a lighthouse must submit a business plan that shows their proposed use of the property will be economically viable over the long term, and that they have the capacity to manage the property. For those interested, suggestions and ideas on potential alternate uses can be found in the "Alternate Use Study of Surplus Lighthouses" link below which features a study conducted on behalf of Fisheries and Oceans Canada by an independent, third-party consulting group.

In some cases, lighthouses contain aids to navigation, which must remain operational. Parties wishing to purchase these properties would need to enter into an agreement with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, permitting it access to the site for maintenance and operation of the aid to navigation.

Please note that there may be some administrative or legal issues to be addressed in relation to some of these listed lighthouses that would restrict the capacity of the Department to transfer ownership.  We recommend that those interested in submitting a business plan for a surplus lighthouse contact Andrew Anderson at (613) 990-8886 or andrew.anderson@dfo-mpo.gc.ca for further information prior to submitting a written commitment to acquire a surplus lighthouse.

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