Since 1734 when the first lighthouse was built in Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, lighthouses have become a significant part of Canadian history. Not only did they provide safe passage for ships arriving from Europe during the 19th century, but they also now provide us a breathtaking view of the beautiful Canadian coastlines. Canadian lighthouses are protected today for their historical significance. Still, they’ve evolved to include restaurants, gift shops, and museums, making them perfect for a day trip or overnight adventure.
Peggy’s Cove, NS
Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse is one of the most well-known and photographed lighthouses in Canada. Built in 1915, Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse stands 49 ft tall and is located only an hour from Halifax. Visit one of the easy hiking trails that allows you to explore the surrounding area and its unique vegetation. Feel free to indulge in oceanside lobster feasts and onsite chartered boat tours. There is also a visitor centre, restaurant, and museum at the lighthouse. My personal favourite is taking time to browse the Peggy’s Cove souvenir shop, the perfect place to find all the best knick knacks in the community. It’s only a short distance from a charming fishing village filled with colourful wooden houses and artisan shops. A granite outcrop surrounds the lighthouse, but it should be explored cautiously due to rough waves and slippery conditions.
Cape Spear Lighthouse, Newfoundland
Built in 1836, Cape Spear Lighthouse is the oldest surviving lighthouse in Newfoundland and Labrador. Enjoy yourself with a warm cup of afternoon tea or step back in time and attend a historic workshop. Watch hundreds of migrating humpback whales during the annual Cape Spear Lighthouse Whale Festival or explore the ruins of the Second World War coastal defense battery. Just keep in mind that most activities are only available during Spring and Summer.
Fisgard Lighthouse, BC
Built by the British in 1860, Fisgard Lighthouse is located on what is now called Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Fisgard Lighthouse is surrounded with exciting historical sites to make your visit memorable, such as secret bunkers, military command posts, an artillery fortress, and oTENTik tents, where you can stay the night and camp in comfort.
Brandy Pot Island Lighthouse (Pot-à-l’Eau-de-Vie), Québec
The Brandy Pot Island Lighthouse, which stands 30ft tall, is located in Saint-André, Quebec. Having been decommissioned in 1964, it has since been restored into a cozy inn, just big enough for 3 quaint guest rooms. Sitting along the Atlantic coast, Brandy Pot Island is a part of the Estuary Islands National Wildlife Area, where protected nesting sites for migratory seabirds are located. So enjoy your stay and experience the history and scenic views first hand.
Seacow Head Lighthouse, PEI
Built in 1864, the Seacow Head Lighthouse is located on beautiful Prince Edward Island. Situated above stunning ocean-carved red cliffs, the Seacow Head Lighthouse provides you a great view of the confederation bridge. It’s an excellent location for scenic photos.
Big Tub Lighthouse, Ontario
Originally built in 1885, the Big Tub Lighthouse guided ships through the dense Atlantic fog. Located in Tobermory Harbour, the Big Tub Lighthouse is a perfect vantage point for viewing scuba divers and snorkelers as they explore historic shipwrecks below. Check out the Bruce Peninsula National Park Visitor Centre, where you can learn about the area’s historical sites and take a ride on a glass boat tour of the ship’s wrecks just off the shore.
Pointe a la Renommee Lighthouse, PEI
Built in 1864, the Seacow Head Lighthouse is located on beautiful Prince Edward Island. Situated above stunning ocean-carved red cliffs, the Seacow Head Lighthouse provides you a great view of the confederation bridge. It is an excellent location for scenic photos.
Cap-des-Rosier Lighthouse is the tallest in Canada, standing at 112ft! Located in Gaspé, Quebec, at the edge of a steep cliff, it’s a sight to be seen. Enjoy a guided historical tour, have a picnic on the grounds, or take a photo of the stunning sunset. Keep in mind that tours are only available in the summer season.
Cape Bonavista Lighthouse, Newfoundland Labrador
Built in 1843, the Cape Bonavista Lighthouse is a few in Canada containing the same seal oil fuelled catoptric light apparatus once used in the 1800s. Learn about the life of the lighthouse keepers or watch for whales, icebergs, and puffins along the scenic Newfoundland coast.
Cape Jourimain Lighthouse, NB
Check out the Cape Jourimain Lighthouse while you can, as it is often on the move! Cape Jourimain Lighthouse has moved 3 times, in 1911, 1955, and even as recently as 2016. The Cape Jourimain Lighthouse is currently located in Botsford, New Brunswick. It’s part of the United States Lighthouse Society’s Passport program. This free program allows you to join other lighthouse enthusiasts and obtain unique stamps from different lighthouse locations and help preserve these historical sites.
Feature Image: @jayeffex