Survival of Big Tub Light Threatened – Community Financial Support Needed

Submitted by Bill Caulfeild-Browne for the Friends of Bruce District Parks

nnounced that Big Tub Light once again needed repainting and we asked for the support of the community to pay for it.

The survival of Big Tub Light is now threatened as its condition is far worse than expected. When prepping it for re-painting, a large number of saturated and damaged cedar shakes on most sides of the lighthouse were found. When one shake is removed for replacement, three or four others are damaged. The offending shakes are probably those installed by Fisheries and Oceans about 18- 20 years ago. They were installed incorrectly as there was no space left between shakes; they were fitted tight so that water cannot drain or escape. 

The north-east side is the worst. The old shakes and tarpaper have been removed. We have installed ice and water-shield and replaced about half of the shakes so far. All the corner boards will have to replaced too. With winter coming on we have had to stop work on scraping the remaining five sides. They have been left “as is “.

Next Spring we hope to resume work on those five sides but we are seriously short of money to complete the task. When we set out to repaint the building we estimated the cost to be just $19,000. As a result of the rot we have found, that estimate is now $48,000.

As part of the Friends of Bruce District Parks, the Big Tub Light Committee has some surplus funds from the 2012 restoration sitting in the bank. The Friends have now topped up that amount to total $24,000. Last month’s appeal raised another $2,000. This still requires us to raise $22,000. The bright side of this expense is that the lighthouse should not require work for the next ten years.

Fisheries and Oceans consider Big Tub Light to be surplus and want to take it down and replace it with a steel mast. If you value our icon, please dig into your wallet. Cheques can be sent to Friends of Bruce District Parks Association, P.O. Box 66, Tobermory N0H 2R0. They should be marked “Big Tub Light”. Tax deductible receipts will be issued for amounts over $10.

Let’s save the most identifiable attraction of Tobermory!