Queen's Wharf Lighthouse

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Queen's Wharf Lighthouse
Fleet Street Lighthouse.jpg
The lighthouse at its Fleet Street location
LocationLakeshore Boulevard at Fleet Street
Coordinates43°38′09.2″N 79°24′17.9″W / 43.635889°N 79.404972°W / 43.635889; -79.404972Coordinates: 43°38′09.2″N 79°24′17.9″W / 43.635889°N 79.404972°W / 43.635889; -79.404972
Year first constructed1838 (first)
Year first lit1861
Constructionwoode basement and tower
Tower shapeoctagonal prism tower rising from a basement
Markings / patternbrown tower, dark red lantern
Tower height8.5 metres (28 ft)
Managing agentToronto Transit Commission Edit this on Wikidata

The Queen's Wharf Lighthouse (also known as the Fleet Street Lighthouse, after its current location) is located at Fleet Street just east of the Princes' Gates at the Exhibition Place Grounds in Toronto. The octagonal building was originally part of a pair of lighthouses built in 1861 at Queen's Wharf, replacing an earlier lighthouse originally built in 1838;[1] the 11 metres (36 ft) three-storey wood structure is one of two major lighthouses in Toronto harbour (the other being Gibraltar Point Lighthouse).

This lighthouse along with a second, smaller lighthouse marked the entrance to the Toronto harbour from 1861, and became redundant when a new western channel to the harbour was opened and it was deactivated in 1912;[1] the two lights were lined up to guide ships into Toronto Harbour, which had a narrow and shallow (14 feet (4.3 m) deep) channel over bedrock and shallow sandbars.

The other lighthouse was demolished but thanks to preservation efforts by the Toronto Harbour Commission, the remaining light house was relocated from Queen's Wharf to Fleet Street in 1929 and ownership transferred to the City of Toronto.[1]

The building is a bare frame structure, and was never meant to be used as a dwelling by a lighthouse keeper,[2] it currently sits at the edge of a small park about one block north from the current shoreline, and is contained within a small Toronto Transit Commission streetcar loop.

The building is listed in the Toronto Heritage Register, as the "Queen's Wharf Lighthouse", it was listed on June 20, 1973 and was designed by architect Kivas Tully. [3]


The site is accessible by car from the Gardiner Expressway, by exiting at the Spadina Ave. exit, then travelling west on Lake Shore Boulevard. The lighthouse is at Lake Shore Boulevard and Fleet St. (which veers to the right of Lake Shore). It is in a park near the Prince's Gate of Exhibition Place.[4]

Fleet Loop[edit]

Fleet Loop
Fleet lighthouse loop wide clip.jpg
Operated byTTC
Line(s)BSicon CLRV.svg  509   511 

Fleet Loop is a turning loop, encircling the lighthouse, used for short turning the 509 Harbourfront and 511 Bathurst streetcar routes of the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC). The lands are leased from Exhibition Place on a renewable ten-year term.[5]

When the loop first opened on June 22, 1931 it could only turn westbound streetcars back east; the loop was rebuilt in 1982 and reconfigured so that streetcars on Fleet Street could enter and exit in both directions, allowing them to return to the Exhibition Loop or loop-the-loop.[6] Passengers cannot access vehicles here and must board streetcars at a stop just east of the loop.

Media related to Fleet Loop at Wikimedia Commons

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Queen's Wharf Lighthouse Archived February 13, 2008, at the Wayback Machine, accessed July 4, 2009.
  2. ^ Unknown Toronto: Queen's Wharf Lighthouse, accessed July 4, 2009.
  3. ^ "651 FLEET ST". City of Toronto Heritage Register. Retrieved July 24, 2017.
  4. ^ * Queen's Wharf a/k/a Fleet Street Light. Archived May 9, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Dianne Young, Interim General Manager (April 7, 2000). "Renewal of Lease Agreement with TTC for Fleet Loop" (PDF). City Council report. Board of Governors of Exhibition Place. Retrieved August 25, 2014. This report recommends the renewal of the current Lease to the TTC of the lands known as the Fleet Street Streetcar Loop for a ten (10) year term, with an option for a further renewal of up to ten (10) years.
  6. ^ James Bow. "Exhibition Loop and Fleet Loop". Transit Toronto. Retrieved August 25, 2014.

Further reading[edit]

  • Crompton, Samuel Willard & Michael J. Rhein. The Ultimate Book of Lighthouses (2002) ISBN 1-59223-102-0; ISBN 978-1-59223-102-7.
  • Jones, Ray, & Roberts, Bruce (Photographer). Eastern Great Lakes Lighthouses (Lighthouse Series) (Paperback) (Old Saybrook, CN: The Globe Pequot Press) p. 69. ISBN 1-56440-899-X.
  • Jones, Ray.The Lighthouse Encyclopedia, The Definitive Reference (Globe Pequot, January 1, 2004, 1st ed.) ISBN 0-7627-2735-7; ISBN 978-0-7627-2735-3.
  • Oleszewski, Wes. Great Lakes Lighthouses, American and Canadian: A Comprehensive Directory/Guide to Great Lakes Lighthouses, (Gwinn, Michigan: Avery Color Studios, Inc., 1998) ISBN 0-932212-98-0.
  • Penrose, Laurie & Penrose, Bill T., (1994-05) A Traveler's Guide to 100 Eastern Great Lakes: Lighthouses (Paperback), Friede Publications, 125 pages ISBN 0-923756-09-4, p. 82.
  • Wright, Larry and Wright, Patricia. Great Lakes Lighthouses Encyclopedia Hardback (Erin: Boston Mills Press, 2006) ISBN 1-55046-399-3

External links[edit]