The oldest landmark in Toronto, the Gibraltar Point Lighthouse is also one of the earliest lighthouses built on the Great Lakes. Though what was once a critical navigational beacon is no longer operational, visitors still enjoy viewing and taking photos of the 1808 lighthouse. The inside only opens for special events.
This Lighthouse, located on Centre Island in the Toronto Islands, can only be reached via ferry. The grey stone building with a bright red door sits in a meadow surrounded by trees. Visitors aren’t generally permitted inside but can view and photograph it from the outside. The lighthouse can also be spotted on a sightseeing cruise of the Toronto Harbour, which offers panoramic views of the Toronto skyline and Toronto Islands.
Things to Know Before You Go
- A trip to Gibraltar Point is probably best for lighthouse enthusiasts; others may prefer seeing the lighthouse from a sightseeing cruise.
- The lighthouse is about a 1.1-mile (2 kilometer) walk from the ferry dock.
- There are no vehicles allowed on Centre Island, but bike rentals are available.
How to Get There
The Gibraltar Point Lighthouse is on Centre Island, part of the Toronto Islands. If you want to see it up close, you need to take the ferry from the Mainland Ferry Docks in Toronto to Centre Island. Follow Avenue of the Islands south to Lakeshore Road. It’s about a 1.1-mile (2 kilometer) walk from the ferry station to the lighthouse.
When to Get There
You can only visit Centre Island by ferry in spring, summer, and fall. All facilities at Centre Island are closed from late October until mid-April. In the off-season, ferries only go to Ward’s Island. Fall foliage, beginning in September, makes for dramatic lighthouse photos.
The Ghost of Gibraltar Point
Some people, spurred on by stories and local lore, believe the lighthouse is haunted. The first lighthouse keeper, John Paul Radelmüller, is said to have been murdered by two soldiers from Fort York who were looking for beer. The story goes that Radelmüller was buried in pieces around the lighthouse, and that his ghost still roams the island.