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2005 Canada $20 Toronto Island Lighthouse Fine Silver (No Tax).

2005 Canada $20 Toronto Island Lighthouse Fine Silver (No Tax).

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Canada has always relied heavily on its waterways for transportation. Two hundred years ago, the port of York (now Toronto, Ontario) was a hub of activity, but its peninsula (now Toronto Island) represented a significant hazard for mariners. In 1808, a lighthouse was built on the peninsula at Gibraltar Point.

Designed to withstand the winds of Lake Ontario, it is hexagon-shaped and packed with stone at its base. Its walls are 1.8 m (5.9 ft) thick and gradually decrease to 1.2 m (3.9 ft) at the top. Originally 16 m (52.5 ft) tall with a lantern, renovations have increased its overall height to 25 m (82 ft). In 1878, a powerful, revolving light made Gibraltar one of the best lighthouses in North America.

This was achieved by attaching a cable with a heavy weight to the lantern's drive shaft. The cable was wrapped around a drum and as the weight caused the cable to unwind, the drive shaft turned; a full revolution every 108 seconds - quite a feat for pre-electricity days! In addition to innovation, the mysterious death of Gibraltar's first keeper in 1815 also built Gibraltar's fame. After some 200 years of faithful service, the lighthouse of Toronto Island stands as the oldest existing lighthouse of the Great Lakes.

Special Feature:
High-tech minting technique accentuates the beam of light warning ships at night.

Composition: 99.99% Silver
Mintage: 18,476
Weight (g): 31.1
Diameter (mm): 38
Face Value: $20
Finish: Proof
Edge: Reeded

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