Point Atkinson Lighthouse

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Point Atkinson Lighthouse
Lighthouse Lighthouse Park.JPG
The lighthouse is located to alert ships entering Burrard Inlet.
LocationStrait of Georgia
Burrard Inlet
West Vancouver
British Columbia
Coordinates49°19′49″N 123°15′53″W / 49.3304°N 123.2646°W / 49.3304; -123.2646Coordinates: 49°19′49″N 123°15′53″W / 49.3304°N 123.2646°W / 49.3304; -123.2646
Constructed1875 (first); 1912 (current)
Constructionconcrete tower
Tower height18 metres (59 ft)
Tower shapeoctagonal truncated six ribbed tower with balcony and lantern
Markingswhite tower, red balcony and lantern
OperatorWest Vancouver Lighthouse Park [1]
Heritagenational historic site of Canada, recognized federal heritage building of Canada Edit this on Wikidata
First lit1912 Edit this on Wikidata
Automated1996 Edit this on Wikidata
Focal height33 metres (108 ft)
Range15 nmi (28 km; 17 mi) Edit this on Wikidata
CharacteristicFl (2) W 5s.
Admiralty no.G5426
NGA no.12972
CCG no.0386
ARLHS no.CAN-387
ArchitectWilliam Anderson
Governing bodyDistrict of West Vancouver
WebsiteDistrict of West Vancouver: Lighthouse Park
DesignatedMay 18, 1974
Reference no.12768

Point Atkinson Lighthouse is a lighthouse erected on Point Atkinson, a headland in southwestern British Columbia named by Captain George Vancouver in 1792, when he was exploring the Pacific Northwest in the ship Discovery. The first wooden lighthouse went into service in 1875 and was replaced by a reinforced concrete structure in 1914.


Lighthouse Park as seen from Altamont in the east

The first lighthouse at the site was a wooden structure with an attached keeper's house, built by Arthur Finney of Nanaimo in 1874. It did not go into service until the following year because initially the wrong light was sent from England. The light was 95 ft (29 m) above the sea and was visible for 14 mi (23 km). When the visibility was poor, ship captains would sound their foghorn three times, prompting the lightkeeper to pump a horn by hand until the vessel signalled that it was safe to desist.[2]

In 1889, Canadian Pacific Steamships demanded that a fog alarm be added. This was located in a separate building to the west of the lighthouse. It had a rotating drum which was driven by steam to make an audible sound. In 1902, this was replaced by a diaphone fog alarm in which a slotted piston moved inside a similarly slotted cylinder.[2]

The present lighthouse was built in 1914 on granite boulders jutting out into Burrard Inlet in West Vancouver, Canada. The concrete structure was considered at the time innovative in lighthouse design. It is now automated and still in use.[3]

The Point Atkinson Lighthouse may be reached by hiking the Valley Trail in Lighthouse Park.[4]


  • Edward Woodward 1874–1877
  • Robert G. Wellwood 1877–1880
  • Walter Erwin 1880–1910
  • Thomas David Grafton 1910–1933
  • Lawrence Walter Grafton 1933–1935
  • Ernest Charles Dawe 1935–1961
  • Gordon Odlum 1961–1976
  • James Barr 1976–1978
  • Oscar Edwards 1978–1980
  • Gerald D. Watson 1980–1996
  • Donald Graham 1980–1996[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Rowlett, Russ. "Lighthouses of British Columbia". The Lighthouse Directory. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved December 27, 2015.
  2. ^ a b c Point Atkinson Lighthouse Lighthouse Friends
  3. ^ "Point Atkinson Lighthouse National Historic Site of Canada". HistoricPlaces. Parks Canada. Retrieved 4 March 2015.
  4. ^ Point Atkinson Lighthouse - Maintaining the Light West Vancouver Museum and Archives

External links[edit]