News Release

Pat Anstett
June 12, 2021



For Immediate Release

The Saugeen Ojibway Nation (SON), and the Nottawasaga Lighthouse Preservation Society (NLPS) are pleased to announce an Agreement to work together to preserve the natural and historical legacy of Nottawasaga Island. Nottawasaga Island is an important bird rookery for common and rare bird species, and is also the site for one of the oldest and historically significant lighthouses in Ontario.

June 11, 2021 Saugeen Peninsula
Saugeen Ojibway Nation, Nottawasaga Lighthouse Preservation Society

Nottawasaga Island is a 5.26 hectare island located only 5 kilometers Northwest of Collingwood. Although the island is small, it is very important from a historical, cultural, and ecological perspective. The island is currently owned by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO). The Saugeen Ojibway Nation (SON) and the Nottawasaga Lighthouse Preservation Society (NLPS) wish to see the island returned to the SON, as the lighthouse is no longer in use. Both parties have worked hard together over the last two years to create an Agreement on how to protect the ecology and history of the island. We look forward to our collaborative partnership and to the restoration of the lighthouse and island to its former glory.
This island is part of the Mary Ward shoal which is a valuable spawning ground for lake whitefish; a species of great cultural and commercial value to the SON. Staff from the SON sampled fish around the island, as part of the SON’s and the NLPS’ work to protect the island. Gentle sampling revealed tens of thousands of small fish such as shiner and minnow species; demonstrating the high productivity of this site. The Nottawasaga Island is of strong importance to breeding birds including cormorants, great blue herons, great egrets, black- crowned night herons, and various gull species. This island is one of only four great egret breeding colonies in Canada and contains three percent of Canada’s black- crowned night heron populations.
One of the key issues that needs to be addressed is the heavy metal soil contamination directly around the lighthouse, from years of use. The parties are united in their desire for the DFO to clean up the site, preventing damage to the surrounding vulnerable ecology.
The lighthouse is one of six imperial towers built by John Brown of Thorold, Ontario in the 1850s. First lit November 30, 1858, it was in operation until 2003 when a lightning strike caused the outer wall to fail. Unfortunately, the lighthouse is in serious need of rehabilitation and is in danger of collapsing if immediate intervention does not take place soon. The SON and the NLPS are unified in their desire to preserve this historical lighthouse for future generations.

“We have had a very productive working relationship with the Nottawasaga Lighthouse Preservation Society and our Agreement is a demonstration of what we can achieve by working together for the benefit of all. We eagerly await a commitment from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to remediate the soil contamination on the island and to see the island returned to our care”

Ogimaa Lester Anoquot, Chippewas of Saugeen First Nation
Ogimaa Greg Nadjiwon, Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation

“The Nottawasaga Lighthouse Preservation Society has worked with the Saugeen Ojibway Nation to find common ground to allow us to move forward with our restoration plans for the historic lighthouse. We have done so by respecting that the Nottawasaga Island is part of SON’s traditional lands and the waters around it are their traditional fishing areas. The NLPS looks forward to our continued partnership to ensure the restoration of the lighthouse and island.”

The Nottawasaga Lighthouse Preservation Society

Related Links

Fisheries Assessment Program – Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation

Saugeen Ojibway Nation Fishing – Information and Insight into the Fishing Tradition of the Saugeen Ojibway Nation (

Fisheries | Saugeen Ojibway Nation Environment Office

Nottawasaga Lighthouse Preservation Society

A look inside the Nottawasaga Lighthouse

CTV News Barrie November 2018


Ryan Lauzon
Fisheries Assessment Biologist
Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation

Robert Square
Vice Chair-Government Relations


Stephen Emo

Governor General’s Award

Pat Anstett
June 8, 2020

The Nottawasaga Lighthouse Preservation Society (NLPS) is pleased to announce that we have received national recognition for our restoration efforts. People who follow our progress are amazed at what we have accomplished. It is an honour to receive this award.

Robert Square, NLPS Board Member/Government Liaison

4th Annual Community BBQ

Pat Anstett
July 26, 2019

A Big Thank you to Ray & Wyn Smith and the following sponsors that helped to make this happen.

Hanna Motor Sales

Blue Ridge Meats, Chef Patrick, Curries Market
Side Launch Brewery,Georgian Hills Vineyard, Ardiel Cider House, Gustav Chophouse & Bar,

Loblaw, Sobeys, Real Canadian Superstore Wasaga Beach, CBKeyz
Georgian Bay Signworks, Collingwood Home Hardware, Collingwood Fuels,

Sunbelt Rentals,

3rd Annual Community BBQ

Pat Anstett
October 16, 2018

THANK YOU to Ray & Wyn Smith

who generously hosted at their private residence

where the grounds overlook our picturesque Nottawasaga Lighthouse.

Weather was perfect. THANK YOU to the local businesses for sponsoring this event!
Most of all, THANK YOU to the members for attending & supporting NLPS!
It was really nice to see familiar & new faces who came out to support our cause!

Order of Collingwood

Pat Anstett
July 6, 2018

Congratulations to Ray Smith

recipient of the Order of Collingwood

Both Ray and Wynn are long standing NLPS members. Ray brought to life a vision for a Collingwood Youth Centre and volunteered many hours designing the Youth Centre, Hospice Georgian Triangle and the Barbara Weider House. Ray allowed the NLPS the use of his property for our annual Community BBQ, three years in a row. He and Wynn are always so helpful having their property looking its best. We descend on them the day before for set up and are offered the use of their kitchen facilities for food prep. They are great hosts and welcome the public warmly to the BBQ. They also offered their property for a Paddlethon and assisted in running a yard sale all in support of the NLPS.

Thank you Ray & Wynn!

Great News!!

Pat Anstett
June 27, 2018

June 26, 2018 - Collingwood, Ontario

For Immediate Release:

The Nottawasaga Lighthouse Preservation Society (NLPS) is pleased to announce that notice has been received from the Canadian government that will allow both parties to move forward with steps facilitating transfer of ownership of the lighthouse property from the government to the NLPS.

NLPS Board member and government liaison Robert Square received confirmation on Friday June 22nd from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans confirming that a required Indigenous land claim study is nearing conclusion paving the way for the next steps in ownership transfer to commence.  Mr. Square stated: '"The intent of these investigations is to determine whether any claims exist as the result of pre-existing treaties or agreements made between the government and other parties many of which were entered into from 1871 to 1921."

Rich Crouch, NLPS Chairman commented: "As a real estate Broker, this has been one of the most interesting and lengthy real estate transactions I have been a part of involving a 160 year old structure and multiple levels of government. While land registry records show the property is owned by HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN IN RIGHT OF CANADA, various departments within the Canadian government are involved with the property's disposition.

About the Nottawasaga Lighthouse Preservation Society:

The NLPS was incorporated and received charitable status in 2015 to ensure that the heritage resources of the Nottawasaga Island Lighthouse are protected through restoration and preservation of the lighthouse & keeper’s residence in a manner that respects their significant and irreplaceable historical legacy. The Nottawasaga Lighthouse is one of six “Imperial Towers” constructed around Lake Huron and Georgian Bay in 1855-1858.

Rick Crouch, NLPS Chair, Robert Square, NLPS Board Member/Government Liaison

COLLECTOR’S EDITION Hardcover Book $99.00

Pat Anstett
May 9, 2018

Purchase this beautiful book.

$19 from every sale goes toward the restoration of the Nottawasaga Island Lighthouse

Nottawasaga Mechanical Gives Back WINNER

Pat Anstett
April 9, 2018

Thank you to Nottawasaga Mechanical for giving back to the community.

NLPS was recently selected along with four other great local organizations to receive $1000.
Thank you to all who voted daily. Without your support in participation this would not have been possible!

Leishman Pottery/Christie’s Clothing

November 20, 2017

These beautiful pieces from Leishman Pottery are available now at Christie's Clothing for Men, Women & Children. They are a fine collaboration of talents. Leishmans produced the pieces using the design from Collingwood Web Design and Loose Goose Canada and Christie's co-ordinated the effort. Thanks to all involved. The NLPS will receive $$ from each sale.


Collingwood Whiskey

Pat Anstett
November 15, 2017

Once again Collingwood Whiskylicious was a tremendous success!

NLPS really appreciates all the time & team of people along with sponsors involved in making this happen !

A substantial sum of money was raised and donated to help with the restoration of our Lighthouse! Thank you!