One of the six Imperial Towers, the Nottawasaga lighthouse began operating in 1858 to warn those entering Collingwood Harbour of the area's dangerous reefs and ledges. The tall, white tower of the Nottawasaga Island lighthouse rises 95 feet into the blue sky, dwarfing the row of trees and shrubs that line the shore. The low-lying island, now a bird sanctuary, attracts hundreds of gulls, herons, mallards and cormorants. The tall tower, however, shows sign of deterioration. Narrow, red-trimmed windows look out across Georgian Bay and Collingwood Harbor, and at the top a red railing surrounds the beautiful lantern room. Dozens of square panes make up the lantern room from top to bottom, creating an open view, and a domed red metal cap and ventilator ball protect it from the elements. In 1959 the tower was automated, and keepers were no longer required to live on the island.