Stand on the shore of the Detroit River in Amherstburg, Ontario to see the Bois Blanc Lighthouse and watch boats sail from Lake Erie to Amherstburg and the Upper Great Lakes. The Bois Blanc Lighthouse is no longer in service. Public access to the site is limited and there are no interpretive signs in place.

The Bois Blanc Lighthouse near Amherstburg, Ontario, was built in 1836 and has stood for almost 200 years. The tall limestone lighthouse marks the entrance to the mouth of the Detroit River and access to the Upper Great Lakes. It is a great example of the “imperial tower” lighthouses built on the Great Lakes in the mid-1800s. Light from the “Imperial Tower” helped sailors safely navigate the waters for more than a century. In January, 1838 Canadian “Patriots” and their American supporters sailed across Lake Erie to invade Bois Blanc Island. They forced out the small British military guard, the lighthouse keeper, and his family. These rebels occupied the lighthouse for a short period of time before British reinforcements reclaimed the island and returned the lighthouse to service.

Getting here

The lighthouse is located on the southern tip of Bois Blanc Island, part of the town of Amherstburg in southwest Ontario, Canada. Amherstburg is 30 kilometres south of Windsor (ON) and Detroit (MI) at the mouth of the Detroit River as it empties into Lake Erie. The lighthouse is NOT open to the general public, but can be seen from the Amherstburg shore of the Detroit River.

Hours of operation

The Bois Blanc Island Lighthouse is not open to the public and has no hours of operation. The lighthouse may be viewed from the Amherstburg, Ontario shore of the Detroit River.  

Facilities and services

Lookout Lookout

Quick facts

  • In 1955, the Bois Blanc Island Lighthouse and Blockhouse was designated a National Historic Site for its role in a brief 1838 American invasion.
  • In 2015, the Bois Blanc Island Lighthouse was designated a Heritage Lighthouse under the Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act. 
  • The Bois Blanc Island Lighthouse was built in 1836 and served as a vital navigational aid for boats sailing on Lake Erie until the 1950s.
  • The Bois Blanc Island Lighthouse is an example of the “imperial tower” lighthouses built on the Great Lakes in the mid-1800s.