Ted Lightfoot of Langley spent two months towing this converted rail carriage cart across the country to help celebrate Canada’s 150 year sesquicentennial by honoring Canada’s national symbol, the beaver. It’s on display at the CN railway station in Fort Langley. Dan Ferguson Langley Times

VIDEO: A Langley man travels coast-to-coast to honour Canada’s national symbol

The “Beaver appreciation tour” was timed for country’s 150th birthday

Ted Lightfoot was explaining the unique function of a beaver’s claw to a visitor at the historic CN Station in Fort Langley.

“They’ve got a double toenail, it’s like a comb for their fur,” said Lightfoot, a Langley man who took a mobile exhibition devoted to Canada’s national symbol across the country.

If he sounds like a fan of Canada’s national symbol, it could be because the energetic Lightfoot, who spent more than three decades in the construction industry, likes to build things, just like the hard-working animal he admires.

Or it could have something to do with a previous career as a teacher.

Whatever the reason, his knowledge of and appreciation for the species is impressive.

While some view beavers as a nuisance because they can cause flooding by building dams, Lightfoot is one of those who see them as a “keystone species” that creates wetland habitat that other animals benefit from.

For Canada’s 150th birthday, at his own expense, the Langley resident towed a custom-built trailer with a “Beep For Beaver” message on the back across the country, a 25-day, 6,300-kilometre “Sesquicentennial Beaver Appreciation Tour.”

Thousands of cars and trucks honked their horns, he said.

When he would pull over for a stop, curious people would want to know what was going on.

Lightfoot would open up his trailer and that would lead to “interesting discussions” with “naturalists, farmers, canoeists, trappers, photographers, historians tourists and travelers.”

Lightfoot made his trailer by modifying an antique rail carriage cart he happened to own to make his trailer, altering the sturdy structure by removing the metal wheels and replacing them with regular tires and a trailer hitch.

The trailer opens up to reveal a display that includes three carved wooden beavers and a replica of a Hudson’s Bay Company fur bundle.

Lightfoot said the bales weighed about 90 pounds, with the fur of “40-odd” beavers compressed into a tight package.

A wooden canoe was lashed to the trailer roof in tribute to the fur trade.

His tour ended at Signal Hill in St John’s, Newfoundland with Lightfoot raising the Fort Langley flag.

The trip was actually his second centennial-themed cross-Canada journey; in 1967, in his twenties, Lightfoot and a friend made a coast-to-coast trip honour the country’s 100th birthday.

Starting Monday, the Beaver Appreciation Tour trailer will be on display with other items during Heritage Week (February 19 – February 25), inside the baggage room at the CN Station in Fort Langley at 23245 Mavis Street.

The exhibit will be open, with Lightfoot present, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day to answer questions about his 6,300 kilometre adventure.

There is no charge for admission.



dan.ferguson@langleytimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

VIDEO: Bowen Byram named top prospect

Giants defenceman recognized as premier NHL draft pick

Langley golfer James Allenby takes Canada Life Open lead

Shot career-low round at Point Grey Golf & Country Club

Langley Thunder kick off 2019 season with high hopes

Home opener set for Wednesday, May 29 against the Burnaby Lakers.

Langley Home Expo shows off home and yard improvements

The annual event is being held in Brookswood at the George Preston Rec Centre

Kodiaks dominate spring season

Seven lopsided wins in a row for the 2018 provincial midget champions

Police release photos of suspect in daytime sex assault at Vancouver woman’s home

A young woman, in hers 20s, was followed home by the man, before he violently attacked her inside

Raptors beat Bucks 100-94 to advance to franchise’s first-ever NBA Finals

Leonard has 27 points, 17 boards to lead Toronto past Milwaukee

Third person charged in death of B.C. teen Bhavkiran Dhesi

Inderdeep Kaur Deo facing charge of accessory after the fact to murder

Kamloops girl, 9, recovering from carbon monoxide poisoning now out of ICU

Her mother who was sleeping in the same tent with her did not survive

UPDATE: Surrey RCMP say boy, 11, missing for two days found safe

Dominic Mattie was last seen at 5 p.m. in the 13500-block of Gateway Drive in Surrey

‘I think he’s still alive’: B.C. mom pleads for help finding son last seen a month ago

Family offering $5,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of Tim Delahaye

New poll suggests one-third don’t want politicians to wear religious symbols

Local politicians shouldn’t be allowed to wear hijabs, crucifixes or turbans on the job, survey suggests

Raptors fans far from home adjust plans to watch pivotal playoff game

Raptors currently lead the playoff series 3-2, and a win Saturday would vault them into NBA finals

Most Read