The Gibraltar Point Lighthouse is a historic lighthouse built in 1808 to guide ships safely through the Toronto Harbour. It’s the oldest existing lighthouse on the Great Lakes and one of the oldest buildings in Toronto.
The lighthouse was originally 52 feet (16 m) tall but was extended to 82 feet (25 m) in 1832. In 1815, the lighthouse’s first keeper, John Paul Radelmüller, was murdered in a still-unsolved mystery, making his death one of Toronto’s most enduring ghost stories.
Visiting the Gibraltar Point Lighthouse soon? This article covers everything you need to know about the historic building and its marvellous mysteries.
Eastern Daylight Time (GMT-4)
Best Time to Go
The best time to visit the Gibraltar Point Lighthouse for a pleasant experience would be during the spring or fall. These seasons offer a balance of comfortable weather, fewer crowds, and attractive scenery.
If you prefer warmer temperatures and don’t mind larger crowds, then summer would also be a good option.
Things to Know
Currency: Canadian Dollar
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Calling Code: +1
Where is the Gibraltar Point Lighthouse in Toronto?
The Gibraltar Point Lighthouse is located at Centre Island in the Toronto Islands, a group of islands in the middle of Toronto Harbour. The lighthouse is at the southern tip of the island, near the Centre Island Ferry Terminal.
How to Get There
By public transit:
The most convenient way to reach the Gibraltar Point Lighthouse via public transit is to take the Toronto Island Ferry from the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal to Centre Island.
Once on Centre Island, you can follow the signs to the lighthouse, which is about a 15-minute walk away.
The Gibraltar Point Lighthouse is located in the Toronto Islands and isn’t accessible by car. Once on the island, you can rent bikes to get around quickly without the need for vehicles.
You can rent a boat to go to the Gibraltar Point Lighthouse thanks to several boat rental companies located in Toronto Harbour. The cost of renting a boat will vary depending on the size of the boat and the length of the rental.
What to do in the Gibraltar Point Lighthouse
Learn about the lighthouse’s history
Scattered around the lighthouse grounds are interpretive panels that provide detailed information about its history, construction, and significance. Take your time to read these panels and gain a deeper understanding of the lighthouse’s role in Toronto’s past.
Visit the memorial dedicated to John Paul Radelmüller, the lighthouse’s first keeper, who was tragically murdered in 1815. Reflect on the mystery of his death and the lasting impact he had on the lighthouse’s history.
Capture memorable photos
The Gibraltar Point Lighthouse, with its striking silhouette and picturesque surroundings, offers plenty of opportunities to capture memorable photos. The lighthouse is full of intricate details, from the weathered stonework to the polished brass fittings.
Capture the lighthouse framed by lush greenery, the reflection of the lighthouse in the calm waters of the harbour, or the lighthouse standing tall against a backdrop of vibrant sunsets.
The best time to photograph the lighthouse is during the golden hours of sunrise or sunset, when the soft sunlight casts a warm glow on the stone structure and creates a magical atmosphere.
Visit the nearby Centre Island amusement park
After exploring the rich history and captivating beauty of the Gibraltar Point Lighthouse, a short and enjoyable ferry ride will lead you to Centreville Amusement Park at Centre Island, a charming oasis of family fun and nostalgic thrills.
Upon reaching the amusement park, prepare to be transported to a world of fun and excitement thanks to its collection of classic rides, family-friendly attractions, delicious food, and endless sources of entertainment.
Enjoy a picnic lunch on the beach
Located just a short distance from the lighthouse, Centre Island Beach offers a serene setting for a relaxing picnic. Stretch out your blanket on the soft sand, soak up the sun’s warmth, and enjoy the gentle lapping of the waves against the shore.
As you enjoy your meal, take in the tranquil surroundings. Here, you can meditate while listening to the gentle sounds of the waves, feeling the soft sand beneath your feet, and breathing in the fresh air.
After lunch, you can take a stroll along the beach, collect seashells, or simply relax and soak up the sun. If you’re feeling adventurous, consider going for a swim in the refreshing waters of Lake Ontario.
Embark on a ferry ride
The ferry ride from Centre Island, where the Gibraltar Point Lighthouse is located, to the mainland is a delightful experience that provides a different vantage point of the city and its surroundings.
Once onboard, find a comfortable spot on the deck or inside the cabin, depending on your preference. Settle in and take a moment to appreciate the contrast between the bustling city and the tranquil waters of the harbour.
As you glide across the calm waters of the Toronto Harbour, the city’s iconic skyline will gradually come into view. Towering skyscrapers, the CN Tower, and the Rogers Centre will form an impressive backdrop to your journey.