Cape North Lighthouse

The Cape North Lighthouse stands on Money Point, about 1 nautical mile southeast of the cape. Cape North itself is a bold, steep-sided, rocky headland, with an elevation of 1,000 feet. Violent local squalls are common off this headland. This lighthouse was replaced by a skeleton tower in 2009.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: Sailing Directions, Gulf and River St. Lawrence, 1985
Photo - Courtesy Department of Fisheries and Oceans, The Cape North (Money Point) Lighthouse in 2004

The Station before 1978

MONEY POINT BEFORE 1978

This panorama shows the Lightstation at Cape North before 1980. In that year the cast iron, red and white checkerboard light tower was dismantled and trucked off to Ottawa. The Director of the Museum of Science and Technology wanted to display a real lighthouse beside other artifacts such as a steam locomotive, a radar dish and an astronomy dome. He was notified that the Cape North Lighthouse was to be replaced, and as a result, the lighthouse was installed on St. Laurent Boulevard surrounded by limestone blocks to simulate a lighthouse island.

This was an incongruous final resting place for this well-travelled light tower. It started life in 1856 as the tower at Cape Race, Newfoundland, Canada's Landfall Lighthouse. In 1907 a concrete lighthouse to support a huge Hyper-radial Fresnel lens was installed at Cape Race, and the cast-iron lighthouse was sent to Money Point. Here, it retained it's red and white checkerboard paint, as it does to this day, in Ottawa.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: Kathy Brown
Photo - Courtesy Department of Fisheries and Oceans, The complete Cape North Lightstation before 1978.

Cape North Lighthouse Locator Map


CAPE NORTH I - Light Details

  • Location: Northern tip of Cape Breton Island
  • Standing: This light is no longer standing.
  • Operating: This light is no longer operating.
  • Began: 1875
  • Year Lit: 1876
  • Structure Type: Square wood tower, white, on building, red lantern
  • Light Characteristic: Revolving Red (1883)
  • Tower Height: 036ft feet high.
  • Light Height: 074ft feet above water level.

History Items for This Lighthouse

  • 1875 & 1876 - references to both dates of establishment
  • 1883 - catatropic lens, revolving alternately red & white (45s)
  • 1908 - air diaphone fog signal established
  • 1911 - replaced by second tower, iron tower tranferred from Cape Race NL

CAPE NORTH II - Light Details

  • Location: Northern tip of Cape Breton Island
  • Standing: This light is no longer standing.
  • Operating: This light is no longer operating.
  • Began: 1911
  • Year Lit: 1911
  • Structure Type: Circular iron tower, white & red checks, red lantern
  • Light Characteristic: Flashing White (1922)
  • Tower Height: 047ft feet high.
  • Light Height: 112ft feet above water level.

History Items for This Lighthouse

  • 1911- replaced original tower of 1876
  • 1922 - 1941 - 3rd order dioptric lens, flashing white (5s), diaphone fog signal
  • 1930 - diaphone fog signal - 1975 - 3rd order dioptric lens
  • 1980 - dismantled, assembled as exhibit in Ottawa at Science Museum

CAPE NORTH III - Light Details

  • Location: Northern tip of Cape Breton Island
  • Standing: This light is no longer standing.
  • Operating: This light is no longer operating.
  • Date Automated: Automated by 1987
  • Began: 1980
  • Year Lit: 1980
  • Structure Type: Square wood tower, white, red bands, red lantern, attached engine room
  • Light Characteristic: Flashing White (1992)
  • Tower Height: 049ft feet high.
  • Light Height: 104ft feet above water level.

History Items for This Lighthouse

  • 1980 - replaced second tower of 1911
  • 1992 - electric lantern, flashing white (5s), fog signal (seasonal May-Jan)
  • 2009 - replaced by a skeleton tower, which is "Lighthouse IV" at this location.

Highlights

  • County: Victoria
  • Region: Cape Breton Island
  • Body of Water: Gulf of St. Lawrence
  • Scenic Drive: Cabot Trail
  • Site Access: Requires Hike
  • Characteristic: Flashing White (1992)
  • Tower Height: 049 ft
  • Height Above Water: 104 ft
  • Latitude: 47~01~44.0
  • Longitude: 60~23~30.1
  • Off Shore: No
  • Still Standing: No
  • Still Operating: No

Contact NSLPS

info@nslps.com

C/O Maritime Museum of the Atlantic
1675 Lower Water Street
Halifax NS, Canada B3J 1S3