Lighthouses of Canada: Labrador and Belle Isle
Labrador is the mainland region of the Canadian province
of Newfoundland and Labrador. Separated from the island of Newfoundland
by the Strait of Belle Isle, the coast of Labrador stretches northwestward
for some 1500 km (900 mi). However, settled communities with roads and
lighthouses are found only on the southern section of this coast. Like
the coast of Newfoundland, the coast of Labrador is rugged and indented
with deep fjords and harbors.
This page includes the lighthouses of Belle
Isle, the island for which the strait is named. Since Labrador is
an integral part of the province and does not have a separate administrative
identity, it's not clear whether Belle Isle would be considered part of
Labrador or not. However, from the navigator's point of view, the Belle
Isle lighthouses fit in sequence with the lighthouses of the Labrador
The south coast of Labrador is accessible from May through December by
ferry from St. Barbe, Newfoundland, to Blanc Sablon, Québec.
ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS
World List of Lights. CCG numbers are from the Newfoundland
volume of the List
of Lights, Buoys, and Fog Signals of Fisheries and Oceans Canada.
Admiralty numbers are from Volume H of the Admiralty List of Lights
& Fog Signals. U.S. NGA numbers are from Publication 110.
- General Sources
of Newfoundland, Canada
- Photos and notes by Kraig Anderson.
Kanadas auf historischen Postkarten
- Historic postcard views posted by Klaus Huelse.
Point Amour Light, L'Anse Amour, July 2007
copyright Robert Smith; used
- Battle Harbour Lighthouses
Note: Battle Harbour
is on an island just off the Labrador coast at the northern entrance to the
Strait of Belle Isle. Formerly a permanent settlement, it has been only a
summer fishing station since about 1970. Many of the buildings have been restored
by the Battle Harbour Historic Trust,
and the town has been declared a National Historic District. Passenger ferry
service is available from the nearby mainland town of Mary's Harbour, which
is accessible by car on highway 510.
- 1905. Active; focal plane 38 m (126 ft); white light, 1 s on, 5 s off. 7
m (23 ft) round cylindrical cast iron tower with lantern and gallery; solar-powered
lens. Lighthouse painted with horizontal black and white bands. Lighthouse Explorer has a Coast Guard photo, but Google has
only a distant satellite
view of the area. Sibling of the Long Island East End lighthouse on Newfoundland.
Double Island is the easternmost land of Labrador. Located at the highest point of the island, on the approaches to Battle Harbour.
Accessible only by boat or helicopter. Site open, tower closed. Site manager:
Canadian Coast Guard. CCG 278; ARLHS CAN-681; Admiralty H0092; NGA 0968.
- 1961 (station established 1932). Active; focal plane 42 m (137 ft); white
flash every 5 s. 7 m (22 ft) octagonal pyramidal concrete tower with lantern
and gallery; solar-powered lens. Lighthouse painted white, lantern red. Fog
horn (blast every 60 s). 2-story and 1-story keeper's house, fog signal building,
and other buildings. Lighthouse Explorer has a Coast Guard photo, but Google has only a distant satellite
view of the station. Sibling of the Cape Bauld lighthouse on Newfoundland.
This station was staffed as recently as 1997. Located on a small island south of Battle Harbour. Accessible only by boat
or helicopter. Site open, tower closed. Site manager: Canadian Coast Guard.
CCG 279; ARLHS CAN-678; Admiralty H0094; NGA 0976.
Belle Isle Lighthouses
- Note: Belle
Isle is an uninhabited island lying in the entrance to the Strait of Belle Isle from the Atlantic. The island is about 16 km (10 mi) long and 5 km (3 mi) wide. Geologists regard it as the northernmost peak of the Appalachian Mountains.
Isle Northeast (Belle Isle North End)
- 1905. Active; focal plane 42 m (137 ft); white flash every 11 s. 27 m (90
ft) 12-sided concrete tower with six flying
buttresses, lantern and gallery. Lighthouse painted white, lantern red.
Fog horn (blast every 30 s). 2-story and 1-story keeper's house, fog signal
building, and other buildings. The lighthouse was built of cast iron; it was
encased in the concrete in 1908. A 2007 photo
is at right, Lighthouse Explorer has a Coast Guard photo, Huelse has a historic postcard
view, and Google has a distant satellite
view of the station. Located at the northeastern end of the
island, which lies halfway between the northern peninsula of Newfoundland
and the Labrador mainland. Accessible only by boat (in heavy seas) or helicopter.
Site open, tower closed. Site manager: Canadian Coast Guard. CCG 232; ARLHS
CAN-648; Admiralty H0096; NGA 0984.
Isle South End Upper
- 1858 (Francois Baby). Active; focal plane 143 m (470 ft); white
light, 5 s on, 5 s off. 19 m (62 ft) round limestone tower with lantern
and gallery, faced with firebrick and shingles, attached to a 1-1/2
story stone keeper's house. Original 1st order Fresnel lens in use.
Fog horn (2 blasts every 60 s). 1-story assistant keeper's house (1960s).
Lighthouse Explorer has a page with a 1993 Coast Guard photo, and Google has a very distant satellite
view of the station. A historic lighthouse, one of
four "Imperial towers" built on the northern approaches
to the St. Lawrence in the 1850s. Its construction was a significant
engineering accomplishment for its time. Located on top of the main
ridge of the island at the southwest end. Accessible only by boat
(in heavy seas) or helicopter. Site open, tower closed. Site manager:
Canadian Coast Guard. CCG 233; ARLHS CAN-675; Admiralty H0102;
Isle South End Lower
- 1880. Active; focal plane 46 m (150 ft); white light, 5 s on, 5
s off. 7 m (23 ft) lantern, painted red, mounted on a stone foundation.
Original 2nd order Fresnel lens. Google has a very distant satellite
view. This light is part of the South End
Upper station. Located atop the bluff at the extreme southwest tip
of the island. Accessible only by boat (in heavy seas) or helicopter.
Site open, tower closed. Site manager: Canadian Coast Guard. CCG
234; ARLHS CAN-747; Admiralty H0104; NGA 0992.
Belle Isle Northeast Light, Belle Isle, August 2007
Panoramio Creative Commons photo by ghart27
South Coast Lighthouses
- * [Saddle
Island (Red Bay) (3)]
- Date unknown (station established 1906). Active; focal plane 36 m (118 ft);
white flash every 5 s. 7 m (23 ft) square cylindrical skeletal tower. 1-1/2
story wood keeper's quarters, boat house, and other light station buildings
survive. The keeper's house is occupied, presumably by Parks Canada personnel.
Bing has a satellite
view of the station. The skeletal tower replaced a 1912 octagonal wooden
lighthouse, seen in a historic
photo. Red Bay is the site of a 16th century Basque whaling camp, and
the island is the site of a whalers' cemetery. Located on an island in the
entrance to Red Bay. The town of Red Bay is on NF 510 about 80 km (50 mi)
northeast of L'Anse Amour. Passenger ferry service from the town to the island
is available June through September, and hiking trails lead from the ferry
landing to the light station. Site and tower closed. Site manager: Red
Bay National Historic Site. CCG 230; ARLHS CAN-750; Admiralty H0110;
- St. Modeste Island
- 1956 (station established privately sometime before 1920). Active; focal
plane 11 m (35 ft); red flash every 3 s. 5.5 m (18 ft) square pyramidal wood
tower with lantern and gallery, painted white; the lantern formerly had a red roof. Fog
whistle (blast every 20 s). Robert Smith has a 2009 closeup and a 2008 photo,
and Bing has a distant satellite
view. Descendents of the MacDonald family, who claim ownership
of the island, are interested in acquiring the lighthouse as well. Located
on a small island about 90 meters off the north coast of the Strait of Belle
Isle. Accessible only by boat, but easily visible from land near the village
of West St. Modeste. Site open, tower closed. Site manager: Canadian Coast
Guard. CCG 229; ARLHS CAN-700; Admiralty H0111; NGA 1004.
- **** Point
- 1857 (Francois Baby). Active; focal plane 46 m (152 ft); white light, 16
s on, 4 s off. 33 m (109 ft) round limestone tower with lantern and gallery,
attached to a 2-story keeper's house. 2nd order Fresnel
lens in use. Lighthouse painted white with a single black band; lantern
roof is red. Fog horn (blast every 30 s). Two modern dwellings and other buildings.
Fog signal building (1906). Robert Smith's 2007 photo is at the top of this page, Stephen MacQuarrie
has a 2008 photo, Anderson's page has two good photos,
the Labrador Coastal Drive tourist web site also has a page for the lighthouse, Huelse has a historic postcard
view, and Bing has a satellite
view of the station.This historic lighthouse marks the narrowest
point of the Strait of Belle Isle; the strait here is about 15 km (9 mi) wide. One of four "imperial towers"
built on the northern approaches to the St. Lawrence in the 1850s, it is still
the second tallest lighthouse in Canada. The Labrador Straits Historical Development
Corporation manages the light station, operating a museum in one of the buildings;
the original lamp is on display. In December 2013 the lighthouse was declared a heritage property and it was announced that ownership of the station will be transferred to the provincial government. Located off NF 510 at L'Anse Amour on the north shore of the
Strait of Belle Isle east of Blanc Sablon at the Quebec border. Site open;
tower open daily mid June through mid October. Site manager: Labrador
Straits Historical Development Corporation. CCG 227; ARLHS CAN-665;
Admiralty H0114; NGA 1012.
St. Modeste Island Light, West St. Modeste, October 2011
Flickr photo copyright Marie-Laure Even; used by permission
Information available on lost lighthouses:
Notable faux lighthouses:
Adjoining pages: South: Northwestern Newfoundland
| West: Northeastern Québec
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| Ratings key
Posted June 22, 2008. Checked and revised November 14, 2013. Lighthouses:
7. Site copyright 2013 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at