Toronto streetcar system
The Toronto streetcar system is a network of ten streetcar routes in Toronto, Canada, operated by the Toronto Transit Commission. It is the second busiest light-rail system in North America; the network is concentrated in Downtown Toronto and in proximity to the city's waterfront. Much of the streetcar route network dates from the 19th century. Most of Toronto's streetcar routes operate on street trackage shared with vehicular traffic, streetcars stop on demand at frequent stops like buses. Toronto's streetcars provide most of the downtown core's surface transit service. Four of the TTC's five most used surface routes are streetcar routes. In 2016, ridership on the streetcar system totalled more than 95 million. In 1861, the City of Toronto issued a thirty-year transit franchise for a horse-drawn street railway, after the Williams Omnibus Bus Line had become loaded. Alexander Easton's Toronto Street Railway opened the first street railway line in Canada on September 11, 1861, operating from Yorkville Town Hall to the St. Lawrence Market.
At the end of the TSR franchise, the City government ran the railway for eight months, but ended up granting a new thirty-year franchise to the Toronto Railway Company in 1891. The TRC was the first operator of horseless streetcars in Toronto; the first electric car ran on August 15, 1892, the last horse car ran on August 31, 1894, to meet franchise requirements. There came to be problems with interpretation of the franchise terms for the City. By 1912, the city limits had extended with the annexation of communities to the north and the east and the west. After many attempts to force the TRC to serve these areas, the City created its own street railway operation, the Toronto Civic Railways to do so, built several routes. Repeated court battles forced the TRC to build new cars; when the TRC franchise ended in 1921, the Toronto Transportation Commission was created, combining the city-operated Toronto Civic Railways lines into its new network. The TTC began in 1921 as a streetcar operation, with the bulk of the routes acquired from the private TRC and merged with the publicly operated Toronto Civic Railways.
In 1923, the TTC took over the Lambton and Weston routes of the Toronto Suburban Railway and integrated them into the streetcar system. In 1925, routes were operated on behalf of the Township of York, but the TTC was contracted to operate them. One of these routes was the former TSR Weston route. In 1927, the TTC became the operator of three radial lines of the former Toronto and York Radial Railway; the TTC connected these lines to the streetcar system in order to share equipment and facilities, such as carhouses, but the radials had their own separate management within the TTC's Radial Department. The last TTC-operated radial closed in 1948. After the Second World War, many cities across North America and Europe began to eliminate their streetcar systems in favour of buses. During the 1950s, the TTC continued to invest in streetcars and the TTC took advantage of other cities' streetcar removals by purchasing extra PCC cars from Cleveland, Kansas City, Cincinnati. In 1966, the TTC announced plans to eliminate all streetcar routes by 1980.
Streetcars were considered out of date, their elimination in all other cities made it hard to buy new vehicles and maintain the existing ones. Metro Toronto chair William Allen claimed in 1966 that "streetcars are as obsolete as the horse and buggy". Many streetcars were removed from service when Line 2 Bloor–Danforth opened in February 1966; the plan to abolish the streetcar system was opposed by many people in the city, a group named "Streetcars for Toronto" was formed to work against the plan. The group was led by transit advocate Steve Munro, it had the support of city councillors William Kilbourn and Paul Pickett, urban advocate Jane Jacobs. Streetcars for Toronto presented the TTC board with a report that found retaining the streetcar fleet would in the long run be cheaper than converting to buses; this combined with a strong public preference for streetcars over buses changed the decision of the TTC board. The busiest north–south and east–west routes were replaced by the Yonge–University and the Bloor–Danforth subway line, the northernmost streetcar lines, including the North Yonge and Oakwood routes, were replaced by trolley buses.
Two lines that operated north of St. Clair Avenue were abandoned for other reasons; the Rogers Road route was abandoned to free up streetcars for expanded service on other routes. The Mount Pleasant route was removed because of complaints that streetcars slowed automobile traffic. Earlier, the TTC had contemplated abandonment because replacement by trolley buses was cheaper than replacing the aging tracks. However, the TTC maintained most of its existing network, purchasing new custom-designed Canadian Light Rail Vehicles and Articulated Light Rail Vehicles, with the first CLRV entering service in 1979, it continued to rebuild and maintain the existing fleet of PCC streetcars until they were no longer roadworthy. When Kipling station opened in 1980 as the new western terminus of Line 2 Bloor–Danforth, it had provision for a future streetcar or LRT platform opposite the bus platforms. However, there was no further development for a surface rail connection there. In the early 1980s, a streetcar line was planned to connect Kennedy station to Scarborough Town Centre.
However, as that line was being built, the P
Braddock Point Light
Braddock Point Light was a lighthouse just west of Braddock Bay at Bogus Point on Lake Ontario in New York. The lighthouse was established and lit in 1896 and was deactivated in 1954; the lighthouse was constructed out with an octagonal tower. The lantern portion of the tower was removed from an 1870s lighthouse in Cleveland and moved to Braddock in 1895; the original lens, installed in 1896, was a third-and-half-order Fresnel lens. The upper two-thirds of the tower was removed by the Coast Guard in 1954 due to structural damage; the Coast Guard reactivated the light on February 28, 1999. The lighthouse is now owned and has opened as a bed and breakfast; the lighthouse was put up for sale in November 2014 by Nandy Town. Oleszewski, Wes. Great Lakes Lighthouses and Canadian: A Comprehensive Directory/Guide to Great Lakes Lighthouses, ISBN 0-932212-98-0. Scott T. Price. "U. S. Coast Guard Aids to Navigation: A Historical Bibliography". United States Coast Guard Historian's Office. U. S. Coast Guard. Famous Lighthouses.
Wright and Wright, Patricia. Great Lakes Lighthouses Encyclopedia Hardback ISBN 1-55046-399-3 "Historic Light Station Information and Photography: New York". United States Coast Guard Historian's Office. Seaway Trail Lighthouses Braddock Point Lighthouse - United States Lighthouses
Gibraltar Point Lighthouse
The Gibraltar Point Lighthouse is a lighthouse located on the Toronto Islands in Toronto, Canada. Begun in 1808, it is the oldest existing lighthouse on the Great Lakes, one of Toronto's oldest buildings; the lighthouse is best known for the demise of its first keeper, German-born John Paul Radelmüller, whose 1815 murder forms the basis of Toronto's most enduring ghost story. Recent research has verified many aspects of the traditional tale of his death and identified the soldiers charged with but acquitted of the crime. Authorized in 1803 with two other lighthouses by an Act of the Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada, construction of the Gibraltar Point lighthouse did not begin until 1808, it was built to a height of 52 feet and extended to 82 feet in 1832. The diameter ranges from about 7 metres at the base to about 2.1 metres at the top. The base is made from stone quarried in the extension from Kingston stone; the lighthouse construction and maintenance was paid for through a harbour fee levied upon all boats entering the harbour.
When completed in August 1809, the lighthouse was located 25 feet from the shore. Since sand has built up over time so that it now stands about 100 metres inland; when opened, the lighthouse was accompanied by the lighthouse keeper's cottage. It was a squared-log house clad in clapboard, it was two-stories, having two rooms on the first sleeping space in the attic above. When ships approached, the lighthouse keeper would run up a flag to notify the Toronto harbor master; the cottage no longer exists. The tower light was an oak and glass cage, illuminated by candles; the tower switched to 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. Unused, the lighthouse is open for public tours, including on the annual Doors Open Toronto weekend. Since the decommissioning of the lighthouse, smaller automated lighthouses, 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.
A local legend is that the lighthouse is haunted by its first keeper John Paul Radelmüller, murdered in 1815. According to local lore, soldiers from Fort York visited J. P. Radelmüller on the evening of January 2, 1815, in search of his bootlegged beer, but they had too much to drink and a dispute broke out, culminating in the keeper's murder. The inebriated soldiers, so it is claimed, tried to conceal their crime by chopping apart the corpse and hiding the remains. In 1893, then-keeper George Durnan searched for the corpse and found part of a jawbone and coffin fragments near the lighthouse, though it was impossible to definitively prove they were linked to Radelmüller; the veracity of the legend of the murder has long been questioned. As prominent Toronto historian Mike Filey wrote, when it came to the truth of the story of the keeper's demise, "Your guess is as good as mine." Recent scholarship has revealed more about Radelmüller's death. Born circa 1763 in Anspach, Radelmüller worked as a servant of royalty for twenty years, in the households of the Duke of Gloucester and the Duke of Kent, accompanying the latter to Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1799.
Arriving at York in 1804, Radelmüller was appointed as keeper of the Gibraltar Point Lighthouse on July 14, 1809. Radelmüller indeed suffered a violent death on January 2, 1815, aged fifty-two, according to the most recent and definitive study of his murder, which confirmed the basic truth of many aspects of the popular legend. Eamonn O'Keeffe identified the two soldiers charged with Radelmüller's murder as John Henry and John Blueman, both Irishmen of the Glengarry Light Infantry, a regiment that saw heavy action in the War of 1812. While research has verified much of the traditional tale, O'Keeffe cast doubt on some of the more dramatic elements of the story. Contrary to claims that the keeper's corpse was hacked to pieces and hidden, contemporary evidence suggests that Radelmüller's body was not mutilated, but was found after his death by 4th lighthouse keeper George Durnan and his Uncle Joe while he was a young man, his father was the keeper, he related to John Robertson that he and his uncle had discovered bone fragments, most notably a jawbone, fragments of a coffin 500 feet west of the lighthouse, he believed they belonged to the late Radelmüller.
John Paul Radelmüller 1809-1815 William Halloway 1816-1831 James Durnan 1832-1854 George Durnan 1854-1908 Captain Patrick J. McSherry 1905-1912 Blake Matthews 1912-1917 G. F. Eaton 1917-1918 F. C. Allan 1918-1944 Mrs. Ladder 1944-1955 Mrs. Dedie Dodds 1955-1958 List of lighthouses in Ontario List of lighthouses in Canada Queen's Wharf Lighthouse Lighthouses in Canada List of oldest buildings and structures in Toronto Butts, Edward. Murder: Twelve True Stories of Homicide in Canada. Canada: Dundurn Group Ltd. ISBN 1554887623. Filey, Mike. Toronto Sketches 10: "The Way We Were". Canada: Dundurn Group Ltd. ISBN 9781554888382. Hounsom, Eric W.. Toronto in 1810. Toronto, ON: Ryerson Press. ISBN 0770003117. O'Keeffe, Eamonn. "New Light on Toronto's Oldest Cold Case: The 1815 Murder of John Paul Radelmüller". Toronto, ON: The Fife and Drum. Notes Gibraltar Lighthouse Eamonn O'Keeffe, New Light on Toronto's Oldest Cold Case: The 1815 Murder of John Paul Radelmüller Lighthouse gh
Toronto Harbour Commission
The Toronto Harbour Commission was a joint federal-municipal government agency based in Toronto, Canada. The agency managed Toronto Harbour as well as being responsible for major works along the Toronto waterfront, it built the Toronto Island Airport in 1939. The agency was founded in 1911 and operated until 1999 when the port operations were transferred to the new Toronto Port Authority, now PortsToronto; the Harbour Commission was the third organization to manage the Port of Toronto, after the Commissioners of the Harbour of Toronto, known as the Harbour Trust, formed in 1850. Prior to 1850, the harbour had had three commissioners appointed by the province of Upper Canada to oversee harbour works, in conjunction with the building of the Queen's Wharf, at the foot of Bathurst Street in 1833. One of the commissioners, Hugh Richardson, was named Toronto's first Harbourmaster in 1837 and he imposed wharf fees to pay for the Wharf; the Harbour Trust was formed in 1850 at the suggestion of the Toronto Board of Trade.
On behalf of port users, the Board expressed complaints in the operation of the provincial commission, which made no improvements in the harbour. The harbour was beset by silting problems; this second commission was governed by a five-man board, two from the City of Toronto, two from the Board of Trade and a fifth appointed by the province of Upper Canada, nominated by the four other members. The Harbour Trust was given authority over the Esplanade plan; the original 1817 plan intended to build a public walk and garden along the waterfront, just south of Front Street. The province's plan was ignored and the City allowed the use of the shore line to be used for wharves and docking. In 1837, a new plan was developed for the Esplanade. In this plan, the Esplanade would be built just south of Front, the waterfront extended south to the "Windmill Line", some 100 yards south; the new lands would be used for port uses. The Esplanade itself would become railway lands; the intrusion of the railways into the waterfront in the 1850s to 1890s period started to crowd out recreational uses.
In 1892, a legal agreement solidified the railways usage of the waterfront. In 1893, a new plan was developed to extend landfill another 600 feet south, a new Lake Street established along the current waterfront edge; the problem of silting, the increasing amount of sewage being dumped in the harbour, required ongoing dredging efforts. Other works by the Harbour Trust including a breakwater at the Don River and a breakwater at the Queen's Wharf to protect the entrance to the harbour; the wetlands of the Don River were becoming polluted. Plans were developed to convert the area into usable lands. A planning advocacy group, the Civic Guild unveiled a plan in 1909 which advocated industrial and recreational uses for the land; the Board of Trade advocated the reclamation and infilling of the wetlands for port and industrial uses. The existing port facilities were inadequate when a railway strike occurred in 1910, forcing vessels to wait days to dock. A referendum was held on January 2, 1911, to approve a new'Toronto Harbour Commission' to take over the harbour and waterfront.
The Toronto Telegram newspaper exposed the decrepit condition of the old harbour facilities, the City and Board of Trade wanted a new Commission set up, similar to the Montreal Harbour Commission of 1908, with much-expanded powers over the Harbour Trust. The referendum was passed overwhelmingly; the Government of Canada established the Toronto Harbour Commission on May 19, 1911 by an Act of Parliament. The commission was to manage Toronto harbour and waterfront lands in Toronto and provide for their improvement, its initial plans included the cleanup of Sunnyside Beach, a breakwater from the Humber River to Bathurst Street. In the central core, the Commission infilled lands south of Harbour Street to their current waterfront line. To the east, the Commission infilled the lands of the Don River marsh, for use as industrial and port lands; the bulk of these works were completed by 1925. The Harbour Commission was the landlord for most of the Sunnyside Amusement Park at Sunnyside. After the Gardiner Expressway was built, the Harbour Commission transferred the Sunnyside lands to the City of Toronto.
In years, the agency was responsible for the infill of Hanlan's Point on the Toronto Islands to build the Island airport. The agency infilled the lands south of Lake Shore Boulevard south of the Canadian National Exhibition. In the 1990s, the agency was requiring annual subsidies to manage the Island airport and the port lands. There were a number of harbour commissions in Canada and the federal government replaced the law under which harbours were managed, with the Canada Marine Act. Most ports were put under the authority of local governments and several were put under the authority of new'Port Authority' agencies which would manage their affairs on a break-even basis. Toronto's was added to the Port Authority program at the insistence of local Liberal MP Dennis Mills. In 2001, the new Toronto Port Authority was formed to manage the Port of Toronto, including the Island airport. In the 1990s, the Harbour Commission transferred the Don River infill lands to the City of Toronto Economic Development Commission in exchange for an annual subsidy.
In the 2000s, the Toronto Port Authority sued the City of Toronto for $1 billion over the lands, claiming that the lands were transferred illegally. The Authority and the City settled out of court in exchange for a promised bridge to the Island Airport and $50 million. Many of these milestones were documented by Wickson in 2002. 1911 - Toronto Harbour Commission established 1912 - $19 million waterfront p
Lake Shore Boulevard
Lake Shore Boulevard is a major arterial road running along more than half of the Lake Ontario waterfront in the city of Toronto, Canada. Prior to 1998, two segments of Lake Shore Boulevard were designated as part of Highway 2, with the highway following the Gardiner Expressway between these two sections. Lake Shore Boulevard's western terminus is the western boundary of Toronto, its western section is a redesignation of the old Lakeshore Road, which still runs from Burlington to Mississauga. From here its route follows though not always within sight of, the shoreline of Lake Ontario eastward through the city to Ashbridges Bay, where it curves north and becomes Woodbine Avenue at Woodbine Beach; the former route of Highway 2 follows Woodbine turns right onto Kingston Road east. Etobicoke sectionFrom the western city limit, Lake Shore Boulevard part of Lakeshore Road, is a four-lane arterial road through the neighbourhoods of Long Branch, New Toronto and Mimico; this section is lined with retail uses.
The area furthest to the west was more industrial in character, which continues to be converted to other uses. As the street gets nearer to Humber Bay, the Mimico area becomes entirely residential and somewhat older as it was one of the first areas of cottage development for city dwellers. East of Park Lawn Road, the street is lined to the south with built condominium towers on the former stretch of motels known as "The Motel Strip". No motels now remain from the period when travelers would stay at motels here, just outside the Toronto city limits. Sunnyside/Exhibition sectionIt crosses the Humber River and becomes a six-lane arterial road along Lake Ontario, offering vistas of the city and lake; the crossing contains an interchange with the Gardiner Expressway, the eastbound lanes pass south of the highway, while the westbound lanes are routed to the north of the highway, rejoining the eastbound lanes east of Park Lawn. The splitting of the Lake Shore was done at the time of the expressway project, as new bridges were built to connect to the terminus of the Queen Elizabeth Way highway.
The highway to the west has become part of the Gardiner, the Lucky Lion monument which designated its start was relocated nearby to the south of the Lake Shore Boulevard, just east of the Humber. From the Humber River to Bathurst Street, the roadway is built on land infilled into the lake; the section east of the Humber was infilled in the 1910-1920s and was part of the Sunnyside Amusement Park development, which the road travelled through. The section south of Exhibition Place was infilled in the 1950s, at the same time as the Gardiner Expressway project; the original shoreline is elevated along the north side of the street. The area east of the Exhibition was infilled earlier; the original shoreline is north of the Boulevard, the Queen's Wharf lighthouse is on the north side of the street. The Sunnyside/Exhibition section has lots of open space with some development, including recreation facilities, such as Ontario Place, Sunnyside Bathing Pavilion, Palais Royale and the Boulevard Club. Downtown sectionIn the downtown section, Lake Shore criss-crosses, runs parallel and underneath the elevated section of the Gardiner Expressway.
It is designated Lake Shore Boulevard East east of Yonge Street. This section travels through the old rail lands and port district; the streets in this area predate the designation as Lake Shore Boulevard but were connected in the 1950s prior to being renamed in 1959. From Dan Leckie Way to Yonge Street, the south side of the street has been converted to high-rise condominium development. West of Yonge, Lake Shore is one-way westbound, while eastbound traffic travels along Harbour Street. East of Yonge, Lake Shore is one single road alongside the Gardiner; the 509 Harbourfront and 511 Bathurst streetcars serve the adjacent Fleet Street from Exhibition Place to Bathurst Street, but there are no regular service transit routes along Lake Shore in this area. East of the Don RiverEast of downtown, Lake Shore Boulevard continues as a six-lane arterial road to the Don Roadway, where it curves onto the former Keating Street and continues east to Woodbine Avenue becoming a four-lane arterial road; the Keating section is straight from Cherry Street to Woodbine.
It is an older industrial area, in transition in the western part. Housing and retail has been built along the road further to the east. Lake Shore Boulevard is compounded as Lakeshore Boulevard. Many traffic signs, transit shelters and other signs contradict each other, sometimes on the same corner, as illustrated in the photograph. According to the official bylaws that designated the road, the correct format is "Lake Shore Boulevard"; this mistake is due to confusion with Lakeshore Road to the west, where the single word format is correct. Lake Shore Boulevard was constructed in sections. West of the Humber River, Lake Shore Boulevard West is the old Provincial Highway; the road east of the Humber was built in sections in conjunction with the development of the Sunnyside waterfront infill. The Lakeshore Road connected to Queen Street just west of today's St. Joseph's Health Centre. In the 1910s, an overpass over the waterfront rail lines was built to connect Queen Street to the Lakeshore Road at Roncesvalles Avenue.
At the same time, Lake Shore Boulevard was built as a four-lane roadway east to the Exhibition Place area. In October 195
A balloon loop, turning loop or reversing loop allows a rail vehicle or train to reverse direction without having to shunt or stop. Balloon loops can be useful for unit freight trains such as coal trains. Balloon loops are common on streetcar systems. Many streetcar and tram systems use single-ended vehicles that have doors on only one side and controls at only one end, or else haul trailers with no controls in the rear car. Balloon loops were first introduced on tram and metro lines, they did not appear on freight railways in large numbers until the 1960s when the modernising British Rail system introduced merry-go-round coal trains that operated from mines to power stations and back again without shunting. Balloon loops enable higher line capacity and allow the use of single-ended trams which have several advantages, including lower cost and more seating when doors are on one side only. However, double-ended trams benefit from the capacity advantage of balloon loops, for example on the former Sydney tram system where loops were used from 1881 until the second-generation system's closure in 1961.
The Sydney system was operated by single-ended steam trams and from the 1890s, by double-ended electric trams. Lines were looped in the Sydney CBD and the other busiest areas of operation, such as the eastern suburbs lines, as they provided greater turn-around capacity on this busy system; the Sydney system was the first example of a tramway system using loops and has continued to build them up to 1997. In the nineteenth century, looped streetcar lines began to appear on systems in the USA and soon afterwards looped operation with single-ended streetcars became used on many North American streetcar systems. European systems were universally converted to looped operation in the early twentieth century and most of them adopted single-ended trams. Loops were used on some tramways in Asia, South America and New Zealand, as well as on some other Australian systems in addition to Sydney. Looped operation with single-ended trams is still the predominant method of tramway operation in the world, in spite of the recent construction of some new smaller, stubbed systems with double-ended trams.
On a balloon loop: the station is on the balloon loop, the platform may be curved or straight. Penfield - now closed and removed Outer Harbor - now closed and removed Olympic Park, Australia: platforms 1 and 4 are for boarding, 2 and 3 for alighting. Beech Forest railway station, Australia: single platform station on Victorian narrow gauge railway - now closed and removed. City Loop, Australia: Effectively four balloon loops with five stations: Flinders Street, Southern Cross, Melbourne Central and Parliament The tram systems in Graz and Vienna employ Balloon Loops Toronto streetcar loops Non-passenger loops: Porte Dauphine, Porte des Lilas, Porte de Clignancourt and Porte d'Orléans Passenger loops: Nation, Charles de Gaulle – Étoile and Nation, Pré Saint-Gervais The western end of line 10 is a long loop: trains arriving at Mirabeau from Gare d'Austerlitz used to enter a loop with the following stations, Église d'Auteuil, Porte d'Auteuil, Michel-Ange – Molitor, Chardon Lagache and Mirabeau again, to continue eastwards.
There are a few loops used for stabling trains, for example west of Invalides and north of Porte de la Villette. Dungeness, Romney and Dymchurch Railway, England: single track, single platform for both boarding and alighting. Merseyrail, the wirral line underground loop under Liverpool, England Ruislip Lido Railway, a miniature railway in West London, England The Eurotunnel Shuttle uses balloon loops: since the two tracks cross over at the French end the whole line forms a figure 8 loop; this evens the wear on the train wheels. Central station in Newcastle upon Tyne is on a loop, allowing trains from the South to arrive via the King Edward VII Bridge and return using the High Level Bridge. Peasholm on the North Bay Railway in Scarborough, North Yorkshire has a reverse balloon loop, with the "neck" of the balloon facing the buffer stop; the loop is used to allow the locomotive to reverse at the same time. The first Wembley Stadium station in London was on a balloon loop, but the present station of that name is not.
Barmouth Ferry station on the Fairbourne Railway until closure due to sand movements on the loop made the loop unprofitable however the track still exists. Blackpool Tramway has a balloon loop at two intermediate points; the Charing Cross and Hampstead Railway used a one-track balloon loop beneath the Thames to serve its southern terminus of Embankment tube station, When the line was extended the loop was sealed off. Kennington station on the Northern line, has a balloon loop to the south of the station to allow terminating southbound trains to reach the northbound platforms to form a return service; the Piccadilly line has a one-track balloon loop under Heathrow airport connecting in order Hatton Cross tube station, Heathrow Terminal 4 tube station, Heathrow Terminals 1, 2, 3 tube station and back to Hatton Cross tube station. City Hall subway station on the IRT Lexington Avenue Line in New York City is now closed, although the loop track continues to be used to turn local trains; these trains discharge and take on passengers at Brooklyn Bridge – City Hall, one station to the north.
Oswego Harbor West Pierhead Light
Oswego Harbor West Pierhead Lighthouse is an active aid to navigation located off the coast of Oswego, New York. It was built in 1934 to replace an earlier light constructed in 1880, it stands at the end of a 2,000-foot-long breakwater at mouth of Oswego River, extending.5 miles out onto Lake Ontario. It is accessible from land over the abutting breakwater, it is not open to the public. It is operated by the United States Coast Guard, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The original lighthouse on the location was constructed in 1889 when the second breakwater for the harbor was built; this light stood until 1934. In 1936 an attached one story keeper's quarters was added. On December 4, 1942, a boat used to transfer keepers of the light capsized during a change of keepers. Six coast guardsmen died in this incident; the station remained. The six were: The original fourth order Fresnel lens was removed to the H. Lee White Maritime Museum in Oswego in 1995. In December 2000 the lighthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
It is the only lighthouse of four in Oswego still standing. The light is solar powered; the tower is situated on a massive concrete/masonry caisson that extends 17 feet above the mean surface of the lake. The caisson has three feet thick walls; the superstructure has bolted steel plate and iron walls, doors, window shutters. It has a one-story hipped roof living quarters with a three-story tower at the north east corner of the caisson; the caisson contains a large basement and is penetrated by double steel doors at the south where a tender may be landed to transfer personnel or supplies and a steel door at the west, leading to the breakwater. Recessed ladders are found at both elevations for access to deck above; the first floor level encloses the living quarters. The interior includes living room, kitchen and bathroom areas. Finishes include vinyl-asbestos floor tiles and varnished wood trim throughout. A steel plate chimney rises through the roof at the southwest corner of the light; the fourth level is surmounted by a conical roof with ball finial.
On June 1, 2006, the light station was declared surplus, the application for transfer under the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act of 2000 is complete and it has been recommended for transfer to the City of Oswego. On May 18, 2009, The General Services Administration conveyed the Oswego West Pierhead Light in New York to the city of Oswego. Acting Regional Administrator Glenn Rotondo signed the deed under the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act. Mayor Randolph Bateman received the deed on the city's behalf; the conveyance, which includes the light and keeper's quarters, will become part of the city's waterfront access program. It will remain a working navigational aid maintained by the U. S. Coast Guard. "Historic Light Station Information and Photography: New York". United States Coast Guard Historian's Office. National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act of 2000 - General Services Administration Notice of Availability Listing at lighthousedigest.com Rudy and Alice's Lighthouse Page entry H. Lee White Marine Museum