Parks Canada expecting 350 lighthouse petitions
Parks Canada says it expects about 350 lighthouses will be nominated to receive heritage designations, including the famous Peggys Cove lighthouse in Nova Scotia.
Norman Shields, the manager of the heritage lighthouse program, said the department has received petitions to protect lighthouses from groups in every province except Manitoba, Alberta and the territories.
Groups had until this past Tuesday to file petitions to have the individual lighthouses receive the designation and have ownership transferred to them.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada declared nearly 1,000 lighthouses surplus as it steps away from the business of maintaining the structures.
The groups also need to submit a business plan before being granted ownership and receiving the heritage designation, which would require its character to be preserved.
Shields said around 95 lighthouses in Nova Scotia — including Peggys Cove — have been petitioned, but that they don't have a final tally since they are still going through them.
The surplus lighthouses are those that Canadian Coast Guard officials determined "could be replaced with simpler structures whose operation and maintenance would be more cost-effective," according to the Fisheries and Oceans Canada website.
Across the country, 488 active lighthouses and 488 inactive lighthouses were declared surplus on May 29, 2010, when the Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act came into force.
Individuals, municipalities and community-based non-profit groups had two years to plan to take over the surplus lighthouses. Under the act, they could seek heritage designations for the lighthouses through a petition to Parks Canada.