Visitors are welcome to tour the inside of Janet Head Lighthouse during July and August, 2019, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday from noon until 4 p.m. Some areas inside may be unavailable for viewing from time to time this summer. The outside grounds are always open for viewing and visitors are welcome to swim on the North Channel, rest or picnic on the property, and enjoy the beautiful view.
Janet Head Lighthouse is owned by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and is leased to the Municipality of Gordon/Barrie Island for the purposes of tourism, recreation, education, and to help conserve and protect our local heritage assets.
Janet Head Lighthouse is said to be named after a daughter of a British naval officer, Lieutenant Bayfield, who surveyed Lake Huron between 1817 and 1822. Other locations in the area are also named after him and members of his family - Helen’s Bay, Julia Bay, Elizabeth Bay, Lake Wolsey, and Bayfield Sound.
The Janet Head Light Tower is the second oldest standing lighthouse on Manitoulin and is a recognized Federal Heritage Building. The building construction was completed in 1879. It is a good example of a combined dwelling and light tower in a single compact building.
Janet Head Lighthouse is 43 feet above high water with a fixed white light that is visible for approximately 11 miles.
The original light was a fixed white catoptric lens placed in an octagon base with the back panel painted black. The light source was at least three oil lamps. This was later replaced with a seventh order dioptric which required only one oil lamp and emitted a much brighter light. Later this dioptric apparatus would be powered with an electric light source.
The Canadian Coast Guard continues to maintain the light and it is currently an occulting, solar-powered L.E.D. light that runs twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, flashing three seconds on and two seconds off.