Fisgard Lighthouse in Victoria is nationally important as the first lighthouse on the rocky Pacific west coast of Canada. Built by the British when Vancouver Island was still a crown colony, Fisgard Lighthouse has stood as a symbol of sovereignty since its construction in 1860. The lighthouse is still in operation but is now fully operational.
Along with nearby Race Rocks Lighthouse in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Fisgard still provides a welcome guide for mariners to Royal Roads anchorage and the Esquimalt naval base (CFB Esquimalt), and also points the way to Victoria harbour for merchant ships and recreational vessels.
The former keeper’s house now contains exhibits, artifacts, children’s games, and hands-on display panels. Panoramic views from the lighthouse include tall ships at the Canadian Naval Base, Esquimalt lagoon, and the snow-capped Olympic Mountains across the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
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Access to Fisgard Lighthouse is through the large grounds of historic Fort Rodd Hill, a coast artillery fort overlooking the entrance to Esquimalt Harbour, built in the late 1890s to protect Victoria and the Royal Naval base.
There is a pleasant walk from the Fort Rodd Hill field to the lighthouse, but rather than following the direct route, you can take the nature path, near the picnic tables, for a 10-minute stroll through a forest, with many sights and bird sounds along the way. The gravel walkway to the lighthouse was built over a torpedo net meant to intercept torpedoes fired at the naval base.
As you walk along the trails, look for some of the year-round residents who call Fort Rodd Hill home, including Colombian Black-tailed deer, grey squirrels, raccoons and numerous bird species. The waters around Fisgard Lighthouse are frequented by harbour seals and the occasional sea lion.
Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse are 14 km from downtown Victoria. These two adjoining National Historic Sites can be accessed off Highway 1, take the Colwood exit or off Highway 1A, onto Ocean Boulevard in Colwood.
Please note that pets and bicycles are not allowed in the sites.
February 15 – October 31: 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
November 1 – February 14: 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
603 Fort Rodd Hill Road