Gibraltar Point Lighthouse

The Gibraltar Point Lighthouse is a lighthouse located on the Toronto Islands in Toronto, Ontario. 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. The diameter ranges from ~7 m at the base to ~2.1 m at the top. The base is made from stone quarried in Queenston and the extension from Kingston stone.

The tower initially used sperm oil from 1832 and switched to coal in 1863. The original lamp structure was wood and replaced with steel in 1878. An electric light was installed in 1916-17 and updated in 1945. In 1958 Metro Parks took over operations and made renovations in 1961-62.

It once stood on the shore but over time sand has built up in front of it so that it now stands about 100 m inland. It is currently unused and shut. It stands as a testament to Toronto's history as a Great Lakes port.


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. In 1893, George Durnan found a coffin buried in the sand nearby that contained a jawbone. It wasn't clear whether this belonged to Muller. 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.

  • J.P. Radan Muller 1809-1815
  • William Halloway 1816-1831
  • James Durnan 1832-1854
  • George Durnan 1854-1908
  • Captain P.J. McSherry 1905-1912
  • B. Matthews 1912-1917
  • G.F. Eaton 1917-1918
  • F.C. Allan 1918-1944
  • Mrs. Ladder 1944-1955
  • Mrs. Dodds 1955-1958

Since the decommissioning of the lighthouse, smaller automated lighthouses (two located at Humber Bay Park in the west and Bluffer's Park to the east), Toronto Harbour Light, as well as floating bell or light buoys, navigational masts have been used to replace the lighthouse to provide navigational aid along Toronto's waterfront and Toronto Harbour.


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