Farquhar Lighthouse will provide guiding light this spring

Construction is coming along well for Ryan and Erin Farquhar’s lighthouse, and Callander’s newest landmark should be fully operational later this spring, with most of the project completed by late March.

The foundation has been poured and the second story has been added. By the time the ice starts breaking up, the lighthouse should be ready to light up.

The lighthouse is located on a small island a stone’s throw from the dock on Lansdowne Street. The island is called Morrison Island, although the Farquhar’s are aiming to change the name. The structure will stand around 40 feet high once completed.

See: The future is bright for Callander’s new lighthouse

The Farquhar’s have been planning this project for years, and work began last summer to prepare the foundation. The build was put on pause until this winter, and once the ice was thick enough, work resumed. However, workers first made an ice road 75 feet wide and as of yesterday, 25 inches thick, to connect the shore to the Island.

Tight Line Construction, helmed by Don Seguin, is building the lighthouse. Many onlookers noted the speed of the construction, Farquhar noted, and that’s because as the concrete foundation was laid, wooden sections of the lighthouse were being built at the shop. Once the concrete cured, those sections were trucked in and workers assembled them.

Tight Line is a local company, Farquhar emphasized, as is Bertrand Wheeler Architecture, which designed the building, and Eugene Longstreet of ET Engineering. “Together, they have built pretty well everything, but this is their first lighthouse,” Farquhar joked.

This isn’t the first lighthouse for the island. However, the original lighthouse was ruined by a summer storm in 2006. This lighthouse was a lighthouse in looks only. It didn’t have functional lights and was not acknowledged by the coast guard.

However, Farquhar wanted this new lighthouse to be functional, and recently, he heard from the Canadian Coast Guard with some good news—the Farquhar Lighthouse has been deemed an official lighthouse.

This means the Canadian Coast Guard will enter the lighthouse into its database once construction is complete and submit an official request to have it published in an upcoming issue of Notice to Mariners and Sailing Directions. The lighthouse will also be listed in the List of Lights, Buoys, and Fog Signals. It will also be added to national nautical charts.

Callander is back on the nautical maps, and as Callander plans to add more boat slips at Lansdowne and open the space to more boat traffic, this lighthouse is coming at a prime time. As for the lights, Farquhar assured his neighbours that the light will face outward toward the lake, so the guiding beam won’t be aimed toward your house.

“The race is on” now to finish the lighthouse before the ice road melts. “We’re doing everything we can over the next two and a half weeks” to wrap construction, he said. If all goes well, the lighthouse should be complete by the end of March and fully operational soon after that.

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