Construction was started in 1803 and it started operating in 1809. It was built to a height of 52 feet and extended to 72feet 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. There are two pravailing legends regarding Radan Muller, one where he spent his day light time not manning the light making alcohol. Occam's razor would say that it is more likely that he was brewing beer than distilling rum as rum would have required cane sugar from the Caribbean which though imported to Toronto at the time, was a high value commodity, and Muller was German by birth and more likely to brew beer than distill rum. However, plausibility aside, Caribbean sugar being at the premium it was was also highly taxed, legend has it that he was not only a fence for cane sugar smugglers but had also set up a distillery in the tower. Strange 'alchemical apperati' having been discovered by the investigating constables may add creadance to the 'rum' theory over the beer. In short though, in all legends, it was a drug deal gone afoul. The perpetrators are said to have chased him up the stairs and knocked him unconscious in an effort to find his stash of booze. His body fell crashing through the top level stairs into the secret stores of alcohol he has hiding. They chopped up the body and buried him. The soldiers charged with his murder were 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
PEACE RIVER - Canada
The regions along the river are the traditional home of the Dunne-za or Beaver people. The fur trader Peter Pond is believed to have visited the river in 1785. In 1788 Charles Boyer of the North West Company established a fur trading post at the river's junction with the Boyer River.
Peace River in Fort Vermilion, AlbertaIn 1792 and 1793, the explorer Alexander Mackenzie travelled up the river to the Continental Divide. Mackenzie referred to the river as "Unjegah", from a native word meaning "large river". The Peace River, or Unchaga or Unjaja, was named after Peace Point near Lake Athabasca, where the Treaty of the Peace came authorized with the smoking of a peace pipe. The treaty ended the decades of hostilities between the Beaver (Athapascan branch) and the Cree in which the Cree dominated the Beaver until a smallpox epidemic in 1781 decimated the Cree. The treaty made the Beaver stay north of the river and the Cree south.
In 1794, a fur trading post was built on the Peace River at Fort St. John, which was the first non-native settlement on the British Columbia mainland.
The rich soils of the Peace River valley in Alberta have been producing wheat crops since the late 19th century. The Peace River region is also an important centre of oil and natural gas production. There are also pulp and paper plants along the river in British Columbia.