Nova Scotia Lighthouses

Through the maritime province of Nova Scotia there are over 160 historic lighthouses. Nova Scotia is also home to the oldest working lighthouse in North America. Several of Nova Scotia's lighthouses offer are open to the public, some even offering guided tours. All of the province's lighthouses can be viewed while driving or walking along the seacoast, or by following Nova Scotia’s Lighthouse Route.



The Peggy Point Lighthouse...

Peggy's Point Lightouse


Nova Scotia has the largest number of lighthouses of any province in Canada. This isn't not surprising, since Nova Scotia has thousands of kilometres of coastline that lighthouses are such a common site along the sea coasts. Today they remain an important symbol of the past, as well as beautiful highlights of the province's picturesque coastal landscape.


Some of Nova Scotia's lighthouses are world famous. One of Nova Scotia’s most well known lighthouses is the Peggy’s Point Lighthouse, at Peggy’s Cove. The first lighthouse at Peggy's Cove was a wooden house with a beacon on the roof that was built in 1868. The wooden lighthouse was replaced by the current structure, an octagonal lighthouse which was built in 1914. Although made of reinforced concrete, the new structure retains the eight-sided shape of earlier generations of wooden light towers. This historic landmark is located less than an hour drive from Halifax. The ground floor of this lighthouse, until 2009, operated as a post office where visitors could mail their postcards during the summer tourist season, a rather novel idea since it was the only lighthouse post office in North America at the time. The post office is no longer there. In 1968 the Campbell family opened the Sou'Wester Restaurant and Giftshop.


The Cape Forchu Lighthouse, located in Cape Forchu, Nova Scotia...

Cape Forchu Lighthouse


The lighthouse at Cape Forchu was constructed in 1839 to guide vessels into Yarmouth harbour, and was operational in 1840. The current lighthouse, pictured above, was constructed in 1962 and was staffed until 1993, making it the last lighthouse in Nova Scotia to be tended by a resident lighthouse-keeper. The Friends of the Yarmouth Light Society operate a museum in the lighthouse keeper’s residence, with exhibits relating to the lighthouse and the local history. The surrounding 19 acres of rocky headland are now designated as a park.


As I mentioned earlier, there a over 160 historic lighthouses dotting the Nova Scotia coastline. To get more information about the lighthouses I recommend visiting the Nova Scotia Lighthouse Preservation Society website, whihc provides a list of lighthouses along with information as to which lighthouses are accessible to visitors.