From Trestles to Lighthouses?

As a heritage consultant working for M&L, I have had an exceptional view into the world of heritage trestle conservation through the ongoing rehabilitation of Vancouver Island’s Kinsol Trestle in the province of BC. Research into the historical significance of BC’s railway trestles have resulted in awareness of successful conservation sites such as the Myra Canyon Trestles (outside of Kelowna and the Quintette tunnels near Hope); conservation such as this has led to a greater understanding into both why these sites have such historical significance in our province, and how the cultural significance of BC’s historic railway trestles are being re-defined to include cultural tourism and interpretation, recreation and community.

So as I read story after story on the real and immediate threat to so many of Canada’s historic lighthouses - due to recent political maneuvers - I wonder if the success the province has had in conserving and in doing so, re-inventing BC’s historic trestles can be translated into saving the historic lighthouses that dot Canada’s coastlines. One thing to be sure is that whichever lighthouses on the national ‘surplus’ list do end up as successful heritage conservation stories (and one would hope there will be more than a few with a total of 1000 listed), it will be because of the determined and focused efforts of grassroots community organizations and the individuals therein. Like so many with a passion for Canada’s historic places, we at M&L will be following the progress of this ongoing story closely and helping out wherever we can.

Dave O’Laney

Heritage Consultant
Macdonald & Lawrence Timber Framing Ltd.

View the Kinsol Trestle Project