Callander lighthouse set to shine even brighter

Plans are underway to further beautify Callander’s lighthouse, it just needs more power.

The Callander Lighthouse has been operating since this past fall, guiding boats – and lately snowmobilers – to the docks at the end of Lansdowne Street. Now Ryan and Erin Farquhar have plans to further beautify the island, by adding ambient lighting to the lighthouse’s exterior.

The Farquhar’s began the project in 2022 as they wanted to replace the previous lighthouse that had given up the ghost after a mighty storm in 2006. The lighthouse was well known and was taken as a Callander landmark. The couple wanted to revive the landmark, so after much planning, they decided to make that dream a reality. The lighthouse is their gift to the town.

And as residents and visitors can see, the lighthouse is complete and a sight to behold, standing proudly in the bay a stone’s throw from the municipal dock.

See: Callander lighthouse on the horizon?

Since last fall, the lighthouse has been fully operational, the lights shining out to Lake Nipissing to guide boaters. The lighthouse is official and has been entered into the Canadian Coast Guard’s database. The lighthouse will also be listed in the List of Lights, Buoys, and Fog Signals, and be added to national nautical charts.

Now, there are more plans for Callander Lighthouse on Farquhar Lighthouse Island.

“I want to make it a spectacle,” Ryan Farquhar said, “so it’s a beautiful thing for people that aren’t boaters or sledders, those who are never out on the lake will still be able to enjoy it at night as well from an artistic standpoint and beautify Callander and put it on the map in more ways than one.”

Right now, solar panels provide the electricity to run the lighthouse, and more are set for installation this spring. However, more power is needed for the ambient lights, and currently, municipal council is working on ways to help the Farquhar’s with that.

See: Farquhar Lighthouse will provide guiding light this spring

Discussions are underway to run a line to the lighthouse from the municipal dock, which has a 600 Volt 3 Phase electrical service on shore, with a secondary panel installed on the pier. The Farquhar’s, council, and Hydro One will decide on the best course of action to see that happens.

There will be no cost to the taxpayers, as the Farquhar’s will pick up the bill for any work required and the hydro usage.

The vision, Farquar explained, is to create decorative lighting on the sides of the lighthouse facing land, so you’ll be able to see it from the shore. The lights will be able to change colours, and he would like to create different light displays over the structure. Picture a candy cane stripe for Christmas, or an orange lighthouse for Halloween, a pink display for breast cancer awareness – the luminating possibilities are endless.

Farquhar is pleased to see the town has taken so well to the new lighthouse, which inspired the future upgrades. “They love it,” he said, “so I want to light it up and take that love to a whole other level.”

The lighthouse love is growing stronger in Callander all the time.

David Briggs is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of BayToday, a publication of Village Media. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.

David Briggs, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, BayToday.ca