With nearly $400,000 in federal funding, P.E.I.'s oldest lighthouse has undergone a much needed makeover and now has washrooms for the first time. 

"We never had washrooms, and our parking lot was way too small. Originally in 1845 when this property was built, it was over nine acres. It is now just over three acres," said Doreen Huestis, treasurer of the Point Prim Lighthouse Society.

Doreen Huestis

Doreen Huestis, treasurer of the Point Prim Lighthouse Society, said dealing with shoreline erosion was an expensive part of the project. (Nicole Williams/CBC)

On Saturday, the public had the chance to see the upgrades. The washrooms are located inside the newly built keeper's cottage, which also has space to showcase local artists.

The parking lot has been expanded and an open-air pavilion has been built for hosting events. The upgrades also included stonework along the shoreline to address erosion.

lighthouse

The lighthouse has an area with interpretative information and to showcase artists. (Nicole Williams/CBC)

Huestis said the upgrades were needed to provide a better experience for the estimated 15,000 to 20,000 visitors each year. As well, the number of visitors is expected to climb since the lighthouse has been added as a destination for people visiting P.E.I. on the Disney Cruise line.

The Point Prim Lighthouse Society received $318,042 from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency's Innovative Communities Fund and $74,492 from Heritage Canada's Canada Cultural Spaces Fund for the upgrades. 

Work on the property began last summer.

With files from Nicole Williams