April 16, 2018 12:23 pm
Updated: April 16, 2018 4:01 pm

Saint John lighthouse rebuilt less than a year after being destroyed by fire

WATCH: There was an odd sight in Saint John over the winter, the construction of a lighthouse. As Andrew Cromwell reports, the Coast Guard was quick to replace an important beacon destroyed by fire.

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The Swift Point lighthouse in west Saint John is once again overlooking the St. John River, as a tool for those who navigate the waters in the area.

The Canadian Coast Guard rebuilt the structure, which was originally built in the 1800s, after the original was destroyed by fire last June.

READ MORE: Historic New Brunswick lighthouse destroyed by fire

In a February post on Twitter, the Coast Guard said, “Our Maritime and Civil Infrastructure team rebuilt the Swift Point Lighthouse in Saint John, NB after it was destroyed by fire 7 months ago. This historical navigational aid will continue to provide safety for all mariners.”

At the time of the fire, officials had not determined a cause. The area is a popular hangout spot for locals and is a remote location about one kilometre through the woods from the main road.

WATCH: A New Brunswick lighthouse almost as old as Confederation has been destroyed by a fire


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Rebuilding a lighthouse would be considered a rarity by many. The National Trust of Canada, which advocates for the preservation of lighthouses, points out in 2010, the Canadian government deemed many of the country’s nearly 500 lighthouses surplus.

To date, less than 100 are federally protected.

READ: Survival of Canada’s iconic lighthouses in question

Kevin Cross lives in the area near the Swift Point lighthouse. He’s glad to see the new structure in place.

“I was surprised that they put it back up so quickly,” said Cross. “I wasn’t even sure if they were going to rebuild it.”

Cross says the lighthouse is an important beacon.

WATCH: Veterans, MPs call for federal government to protect historic Sambro lighthouse

“A lot of people that fish along here use the lighthouse as a landmark for the point here for the fishing,” he said.

The lighthouse has been back in operation since January. It is powered by solar energy.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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