Lighthouses are an iconic part of Canada—and not just in the Maritimes. Ontario, Manitoba, and British Columbia also have lighthouses that played an important part in the history of our nation. Here are the most impressive and well-known lighthouses across the land.
Cape Spear Lighthouse, Newfoundland
Located on the most eastern point of North America, the lighthouse at Cape Spear has been there since 1836. It was the second lighthouse to be built in Newfoundland, and was powered first by oil, then acetylene, before turning to electricity in 1930. Because of its strategic location during World War II, a gun battery was also built here.
Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse, Nova Scotia
There aren’t many lighthouses as famous as the one in Peggy’s Cove. One of the busiest tourist attractions in Nova Scotia, the original lighthouse was built in 1868. It was replaced in 1915 by the 15-metre-high, red-and-white tower that still stands today. Marking the entrance of St. Margarets Bay, the granite outcropping where the tower stands is one of the most iconic images of the Maritimes.
Île aux Perroquets lighthouse, Quebec
This lighthouse was built in 1988 on a tiny island situated on the far eastern reach of Quebec’s Gulf of the Saint Lawrence. Prior to the lighthouse’s construction, two ships sunk in the region’s treacherous waters.
Standing at 34.1 metres tall, the Cap-des-Rosier lighthouse in Gaspé, Quebec became a National Historic site in 1973 and a Federal Heritage Building in 1994. It was built in 1858 and has guided ships ever since. Situated atop the rugged cliffs of a dramatic shoreline, this is one picture-perfect lighthouse.
Big Tub Lighthouse, Ontario
The Big Tub lighthouse was built in 1885 for just $675 and became an important part of guiding ships into the Tobermory Harbour. The surrounding waters, where Georgian Bay and Lake Huron meet, can be notoriously dangerous as evidenced by two shipwrecks that are visible from the lighthouse. The bay now also attracts scuba divers from around the world.
George Island Lighthouse, Manitoba
The George Island lighthouse is on Lake Winnipeg, 400 kilometres north of Winnipeg. Built in 1906 to aid navigation in the treacherous North Basin, it stands 15.5 metres tall and became fully automated in 1981.
Fisgard Lighthouse, British Columbia
Guiding boats into the Esquimalt Harbour just west of Victoria, B.C., the Fisgard Lighthouse has been operational since 1860. As the first lighthouse on the country’s west coast, it’s now a National Historic Site.
Estevan Point Lighthouse, British Columbia
Located on the western shore of Vancouver Island, the lighthouse at Estevan Point was built in 1909 and stands 30.5 metres tall. In 1942 it was attacked by a Japanese submarine that fired 25 to 30 rounds at the lighthouse but failed to hit it. No one was injured, but the following decision to turn off lights on the outer stations proved to be disastrous for shipping activity.