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Cape Spear Lighthouse National Historic Site

Exploring Cape Spear Lighthouse National Historic Site

Stand here with your back to the sea and the entire population of North America is to the west of you. Face the sea and the next stop east is Ireland.

Perched on a rugged cliff at our continent's most easterly point lies Cape Spear Lighthouse – the oldest surviving lighthouse in the province and an iconic symbol of Newfoundland and Labrador's mariner history.

Constructed in 1836, the Cape Spear Lighthouse represents the unique architecture of lighthouse construction during this era. The structure consists of a stone light tower surrounded by the lightkeeper's residence. In 1955 a new lighthouse tower was built on the site using the active light from the original lighthouse.

The human side of Cape Spear tells the story of the Cantwell family. Generations of this famous family of lightkeepers resided at Cape Spear for over 150 years and worked tirelessly to maintain a light so vital to mariners. Step inside the restored lighthouse and discover the true life of a 19th-century lighthouse keeper.

Journey back in time and explore the remnants of the sites World War II coastal defence battery – Fort Cape Spear. Walk in the footsteps of Canadian and American soldiers as they guarded St. John's from attack from lurking German U-boats.

For the naturalist, Cape Spear will overload your senses with ocean vistas of crashing waves, feeding whales and majestic icebergs. The site also provides an entry point to the breathtaking East Coast Trail.

Discover the story of Cape Spear by taking a self-guided tour with Parks Canada's new EXPLORA unit – ask for it at the Visitor Centre.

Getting Here:

Cape Spear Lighthouse National Historic Site is located 12 kilometres southeast of St. John's at the end of Cape Spear Drive.

For more information visit the Parks Canada official website for Cape Spear Lighthouse National Historic Site of Canada

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Driving distances and calculations derived using Google Maps. Actual driving times may vary. GPS coordinates have been provided by tourism operators. Please confirm location with operator before departure.