Alberta might be a land-locked province, but for almost 25 years, a lighthouse has stood on the shore of Sylvan Lake.
Despite the beauty of the only lighthouse in the province, town council voted to have the original structure demolished because it has been condemned.
But some Sylvan Lake residents are pushing to rebuild the community’s aging lighthouse.
Mayor Susan Samson said it's important to demolish the 25-year-old structure to make room for a larger marina development plan that includes condominiums.
But despite her decision to part with the lighthouse, Samson said she is sad to see it go.
"I see it everywhere," she said. "It's always photographed. It's on lots of logos around town, you often see it in paintings, all of our marketing material always shows the lighthouse."
Seen better days
Although the lighthouse looks great from afar, up close, the structure has seen better days.
It has been condemned as erosion has eaten away at the foundation, and there are piles of bird droppings inside.
"It is a bit unsettling," Samson said.
"If there was any question about whether this should be coming down or not, I think the picture tells the story on this one."
Some who live in and visit Sylvan Lake say they respect town council’s decision, but they want to see the lighthouse saved in some form.
"I would almost think to preserve it," tourist Anne Vey said. "Especially if I lived here and owned a boat, I would definitely be for it because that's a landmark. That's what you look at."
Town looks to partner on new lighthouse
Boat owner Gord Fraser said he agrees with council’s decision.
"There's history there, but I think probably as far as I’m concerned, it needs to be condemned," Fraser said. "It should probably be taken down. I’d just like to see them build another one."
The town is now looking for partnerships to cover the cost of building another lighthouse.
Samson said she believes it’s a crucial part of the community.
"It really is a beautiful structure," she said. "It's unique to Sylvan Lake. I think people like that, and want to keep it."
Demolition is slated for this winter.