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Travel Western Provinces

To the Lighthouse

An Explorer's Guide to the Island Lighthouses of Southwestern BC

by (author) John Walls & Peter Johnson

photographs by Richard Paddle

Heritage House Publishing
Initial publish date
May 2015
Western Provinces, Museums, Tours, Points of Interest, Regional
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    May 2015
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    May 2015
    List Price

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Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands are home to over two dozen active lighthouses. For over a century, these coastal beacons have guided ships through the fog and represented hope for countless mariners. Today, the lighthouses on BC’s southern islands are ideal destinations for day trippers and coastal explorers of all ages who are looking for historical sites in spectacular maritime settings.


To the Lighthouse: An Explorer’s Guide to the Island Lighthouses of Southwestern BC offers a comprehensive and fascinating look at these remarkable landmarks, blending practical information on location and accessibility with riveting facts, local lore, and gorgeous photography. From Fisgard Lighthouse, a National Historic Site at the mouth of Esquimalt Harbour, to the remote west coast sentinels of Cape Beale and Pachena Point, and from the isolated Cape Mudge beacon on Quadra Island to the community-supported restoration project at Sheringham Point, this book celebrates a unique culture of public service passed down through generations. To the Lighthouse is a travelling companion like no other.

About the authors

John Walls was born in London, Ontario, in 1953, and lived in the Boston, Massachusetts, area for 30 years. He studied photography under Bart Parker at the University of Rhode Island. John is the current president of the Shirley Educational Action Society and a lifetime member of the Sheringham Lighthouse Preservation Society. He and his wife Diana currently reside on southern Vancouver Island, where he is an avid kayaker. They have two children, Jessica and Scott.

John Walls' profile page

Peter Johnson has taught history, English, and creative writing in high schools and colleges in Canada for over thirty-five years. He has written several books on BC maritime history, including Glyphs and Gallows: The Rock Art of Clo-oose and the Wreck of the John Bright; Voyages of Hope: The Saga of the Bride-Ships; Quarantined: Life and Death at William Head Station, 1872–1959; and, with John Walls, To the Lighthouse: An Explorer’s Guide to the Island Lighthouses of Southwestern BC. He has also written and directed a documentary film on Lake Winnipeg, which was shown on CBC television, and published interpretive articles on Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov and George Orwell’s 1984. He lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Peter Johnson's profile page

Richard Paddle's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"A gorgeous guide book to these historic lighthouses that are throughout this coast. The stories of the 25 lighthouses [give] a sense of the importance of lighthouses in our geography and identity as a coastal province, but also history and sovereignty, the elements, and the wonderful and unique people who manned them over the last century." —Joseph Planta,

"To the Lighthouse is a fun read [that] will help to build our understanding of some of the iconic buildings that dot our coastline. It might encourage us to get some exercise, too." —Dave Obee, Times Colonist

“This well-appointed, intelligent little book is well worth the price for all it contains: a slew of excellent photos, maps, historical and geographical descriptions, directions, recommendations, and glossaries.” —

"To The Lighthouse is filled with history, providing background about the construction of each lighthouse and the way it was made to work in that spot. The history also includes information on the characters who worked at each lighthouse. Better yet, the book provides detailed information on how to get to each of the lighthouses listed, so you can take in the views and the vibes in person. To The Lighthouse is a fun read, thanks to authors John Walls … and Peter Johnson. Richard Paddle’s photographs are superb, and the maps will help us keep our bearings, more or less. This book will help to build out understanding of some of the iconic buildings that dot our coastline. It might encourage us to get some exercise, too." —Dave Obee, Times Colonist

"An enjoyable read, To The Lighthouse is an informative and significant book offering maps and beautiful colour photographs—it's a keeper." —Sooke Mirror

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