Light Keeper's Cottage Before Restoration
In 1997 the local Marine Heritage Society established specific goals for the island's restoration. The project was to be funded by donations and fundraising efforts, and the majority of the work was to be done by volunteers.
With permission from 5 levels of government, the group of volunteers began to rebuild the light keeper’s cottage, using the original structure plans
Light Keeper's Cottage & Grounds After Restoration
The Light Keeper's Cottage restoration was completed in 2001. Over 250 volunteers put in more than 300,000 hours of labor to finish the restoration and ready the boat for tours. Since 2001 volunteers have restored the staircase of the lighthouse, built a boathouse on the island, constructed a replica of the original boat (which sits in the boathouse) and reconstructed the privy.
Today the tour is operated with over 125 volunteers, whose jobs include island housekeepers, gardeners, tour boat captains, crew and tour guides, and gift shop sales and service personnel. Volunteers also install the portable walkways and docks every spring and remove them every fall. To date, there have been over 12,000 visitors to the island.
Partners in the restoration, island maintenance, Chantry Island Tour operation and other Marine Heritage endeavors include the Town of Saugeen Shores, Bruce County Museum and Cultural Centre, Southampton Propeller Club, Chantry Island Chambettes and Saugeen Shores Chamber of Commerce. Their continuous support contributes to the success of the Marine Heritage Society goal to preserve the local marine history.