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Georgian Bay - Hope Island
Update April 2013
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The letter A marks the spot of Hope Island on a map
The letter "A" marks Hope Island on a map.
Hope Island Lighthouse
Hope Island Lighthouse
In August 2010 we received the following write-up from one of our readers:

"There's a legend surrounding the Hope Island lighthouse near Christian Island Ontario on Georgian Bay. After reading the story of Captain Tripp; I thought this one would be great for readers. Beausoleil First Nation is a reserve located on Georgian Bay that has a total 3 islands under its status. One being the reserve itself where folks live and another being Hope Island where the lighthouse stands, the third is Beckwith Island. In the late 1800's there was a great change happening on the islands, it was a place with seemingly endless supplies of lumber and other natural resources with the local population expanding. The passage between all islands was used regularly for vessels carrying materials to reach Victoria Harbour or upwards to Lake Superior. Georgian Bay was created by an ancient ocean so the waters are incredibly deep with the water being hard to navigate and the sunken ships to prove it. During this time, there were 2 lighthouses in operation one on Christian Island - John Hoar (reserve settlement) and the other on Hope Island (Albert Collins). The two lighthouse keepers were paid an annual salary of $450 and expected to maintain the houses. Time goes on and the two lighthouse keepers switch stations so Collins' children can attend school near Christian Island since Hope Island is often (and still is) a hard place to get to. Hoar built a stable he wanted to take with him to Hope Island, but was refused. He was outraged. Hoar also wanted to leave Christian Island because of the poor living conditions so he was understandably upset after Collins was given money for repairs immediately upon arrival to Christian Island. Hoar complained to the Coast Guards and because of how irate he was, he was replaced with Thomas Marchildon. Once Thomas tried to go to Hope Island, he was greeted by Hoar's shotgun and camped at shot-distance from Hoar on the shores of the island. Then fishermen Francois Marchildon and William Lacourse went missing off the shores of Hope Island. According to local tales, the two had been murdered and buried under the steps of the Hope Island Lighthouse. In 1906, there was evidence enough that this was true and relatives Severe Marchildon and Alfred Marchildon went to the Hope Island lighthouse and dug up the stairs but found nothing. But, rumours persisted the pair were buried elsewhere on the island and that Johnny Hoar admitted to killing the pair on his deathbed. To this day, Hope Island is completely vacant, there is no life but the birds and Eagle's nest where the latern used to be. Sometimes referred to as 'Snake Island' the island also has an incredible amount of snakes living about. In the 1950's-1970's Christian Island's main exports was lumber and other natural materials. My own family members who have had to camp on the island for work say that they will NEVER stay on the island overnight again. They told us about lights they'd see over the water, Vessel bell's ringing in the distance, voices from the other side of the island, steps on the lighthouse stairs."


Series of photos of the lighthouse as it has appeared over the years generously provided to the OGHRS by the writer of the above report.


Hope Island Lighthouse 1940s


Hope Island Lighthouse 1960s


Hope Island Lighthouse


Hope Island Lighthouse 2004


Our thanks and appreciation go out to our reader for sharing the above information with us. Can you add to the above report? Have you had your own experiences on Christian or Hope islands, or can you provide further information? If so, we'd love to hear from you. Please write to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Your privacy will be protected, and confidentiality is assured.


For more information on the islands including tourist info please visit the Beausoleil First Nation website.


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