Guiding Lights: British Columbia's Lighthouses and Their Keepers


112 pages
Contains Maps, Index
ISBN 1-55017-186-0
DDC 387.1'55'09711






Photos by Chris Jaksa
Reviewed by Ann Turner

Ann Turner is the financial and budget manager of the University of
British Columbia Library.


Stunning color photographs of the spectacular B.C. coastline highlight
every page of this beautiful coffee-table book. Its production was
motivated by the Canadian government’s efforts to eliminate
human-operated lighthouses in favor of unattended automated facilities.
Concerned that this distinctive part of B.C.’s history would pass away
undocumented, writer Lynn Tanod and photographer Chris Jaksa set out to
explore and create a permanent record of the many unique lighthouses
that stud the coastline of Vancouver Island and the mainland, giving
safe passage to marine and air traffic. Interviews with some of the 27
remaining lighthousekeepers bring better understanding of their
lifesaving and humanitarian roles, as well as their more traditional
duties of tending the light and providing current weather reports. From
the keepers, the authors learned the history of each lighthouse and
heard tales of daring rescues and frightful shipwrecks. Nicknamed “the
graveyard of the Pacific,” the west coast of Vancouver Island has seen
more than its share of marine tragedies. More than 35 of British
Columbia’s original 59 “guiding lights” are included in this
album, a worthy tribute to their keepers, past and present.


Tanod, Lynn., “Guiding Lights: British Columbia's Lighthouses and Their Keepers,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 26, 2024,