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Historical Real Estate for Sale in Canada

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By : Lina Horner    99 or more times read
On May 29 of this year the federal government announced that it will be selling off, or scrapping close to 1000 lighthouses; both active and inactive. The lighthouses, which have been deemed surplus, will be sold to private parties, non-profits, or municipalities. This move by government has been received with mixed feelings from people from coast to coast, as many locations of significant historical value hang in the balance.

Due to advances in navigational technology, the traditional manned lighthouse is quickly becoming a thing of the past. Many of the beacons have become fully automated over the last decade, eliminating the need for staffing and buildings. Some of the older lights are being replaced with low maintenance beams mounted on steel poles, requiring only yearly visits by the Coast Guard. These new aids to navigation cost far less to operate than the traditional manned houses and these changes will, over time, save tax payers millions of dollars in upkeep.

The opposition to these changes is coming from heritage preservation groups that feel the maritime beacons are an important part of our country's history, and therefore should be maintained by the government as National Heritage Sites.

The plan is to put the lighthouses on the market for a 2 year period, after which a decision will be made on what to do with the ones that remain unsold. It is hoped that municipalities and the private sector will be purchasing some of the houses to maintain as tourist destinations, and ultimately keep them intact; however, there are many in isolated areas or in communities where it would be financially prohibitive to buy them. These are the ones that concern the heritage groups, as they will likely be destroyed.

A good number of those for sale have the highest level of federal heritage protection, meaning the new owners would have to adhere to a strict set of guidelines in regards to usage and upgrades/renovations. Close to half of the properties for sale are still active aids to navigation. For these, the new owners will have to enter into an agreement with the Coast Guard to allow access for maintenance.

The controversy that has been boiling for the last 10 years or so in regards to the unmanning of lighthouses has been based mainly on safety concerns, while this current issue is more heritage based.

Whether you agree with government downsizing, or federal preservation of national historic sites, there is no denying the romance and allure surrounding Canada's lighthouses. There are groups that tour lighthouses around the world, and Canada is a popular spot amongst them. Maybe you are interested in buying your own lighthouse. If so, you have less than 2 years to decide if life on the rocks is for you.
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