Saturday 1 September 2012

Gibraltar Point Lighthouse Tour

This evening Gord and I had the rare opportunity to do a Gibraltar Point Lighthouse Tour with Richard Fiennes-Clinton of Muddy York Walking Tours.

I say "rare" because the lighthouse is not open to the public.  Richard told us it took two years of constant phone calls until they finally let him inside it.  There was a City of Toronto employee on hand to let us into it ... but not before we signed a waiver.

The Gibraltar Point Lighthouse is a lighthouse on Ward Island. Completed in 1808, it is the oldest existing lighthouse on the Great Lakes.

Construction was started in 1803 and it started operating in 1808. It was built to a height of 52 feet and extended to 82 feet in 1932.

Local legend purports the lighthouse tower to be haunted. In 1815, the first keeper, J.P. Radan Muller was murdered. It was thought to have been drunken soldiers from Fort York who were looking for bootlegged beer. They chased him up the stairs and knocked him unconscious. They chopped up the body and buried him. The soldiers were charged with his murder but later acquitted.  The sound of moaning can be heard on misty nights and some people claim to see an apparition wandering the grounds that is believed to be Radan Muller's ghost.

Gord and I caught the 5:45pm ferry to Ward Island (it's a 15 minute ferry ride) and had some time to walk around before the tour started at 6:30pm.

There are a few tributes to Ned Hanlan, a world champion professional rower from Toronto.

I'm glad we weren't catching the 6:30pm ferry back ... there was a big line-up and some had to wait for the next one.

At 6:30pm, the group headed to the lighthouse, a 30 minute walk away.

Here's Richard giving us the history of the lighthouse.

Sue and Matthew from the Paranormal Blog were there.

Time to go into the lighthouse!  Whoohoo!  Since the space is so small, only six of us could go up at a time.

The staircase inside steep, windy and narrow.   Here are Gord and I on our way up.

At the top, you have to climb a ladder.

Here I am, popping up at the top of the ladder.  It was quite a climb!

Here are Sue and I.  We've been blog buddies for many years and it was nice to finally meet today.

Here is Gord peeking around the light.

 And here are Gord and I.

Alas, we couldn't go outside.  The views were fabulous, though!

Time to head back down again ...

Here are Gord and I standing by the entrance afterwards.

On the way back to the ferry, we watched the sunset.

While we were waiting for the 9pm ferry, I enjoyed looking across the harbour at downtown.

What a fabulous tour! Thanks, Richard!


Sue said...

It was nice to finally meet in person. Was so much fun and thank you for coaching me up those stairs! :)

Anonymous said...

What an incredible post Tee! Would have loved to see that with you. Thanks for sharing the amazing pictures!