Lighthouses of Canada: Îles de la Madeleine, Québec

The Îles de la Madeleine (Magdalen Islands in English) comprise a small archipelago in Canada's Gulf of St. Lawrence. The islands lie roughly 100 km (60 mi) northeast of Prince Edward Island, the same distance northwest of Nova Scotia's Cape Breton Island, and about 175 km (110 mi) southeast of the Gaspé Peninsula of Québec. Despite their proximity to the first two provinces, the Îles de la Madeleine were settled by French colonists and have always been part of Québec, except for a few years (1763-1774) when they were administered by Newfoundland.

The permanent population of the islands is about 12,500. They are accessible by air or by car ferry from Souris, Prince Edward Island. A paved road, QC 199, runs the length of the islands.

Aids to navigation in Canada are maintained by the Canadian Coast Guard. In 2008, Parliament passed the Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act to designate and protect historic lighthouses. In 2010, the Coast Guard declared the great majority of lighthouses to be surplus, and there is fear that this may lead to the disposal and possible destruction of many lighthouses.

ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS World List of Lights. CCG numbers are from the Atlantic Coast list 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
Quebec Canada Lighthouses
Photos and text, including travel directions, by Kraig Anderson.
Lights of the Îles de la Madeleine
This Lighthouse Digest article of January 2001 features photos by Chris Mills.
Magdalen Islands Lighthouses
Photos available from Wikimedia.
Magdalen Islands Map
A useful map, posted on Wikipedia, shows the relationship of the various islands.
 

Havre-Aubert Light
Havre-Aubert Light, L'Anse à la Cabane, June 2011
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by Michèle Séguin

Lighthouses
Rocher aux Oiseaux (Bird Rocks) (5)
1967 (station established 1870). Active; focal plane 49 m (161 ft); white light, 2 s on, 6 s off. 11 m (35 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower with lantern and gallery, mounted on a hexagonal concrete base. Lighthouse painted white, lantern red. A 1996 photo of the station is available, but Bing has only a distant satellite view of the island. This light station, one of the most isolated and difficult in all of Canada, has a complex history described in a May 2004 Lighthouse Digest article by Jeremy D'Entremont. Bird life on the island was so dense as to pose a significant health hazard for the keepers, who also had to deal with extreme isolation and frequent bad weather. Despite these difficult conditions, the station was staffed until 1987.The original lighthouse was replaced in 1887 by a hexagonal wood tower. In 1908 the wood tower was raised on a square 1-story concrete base. The wood section was replaced by a new wood section in 1967, and more recently the wood stage has been replaced by the present skeletal tower. Located on a small island about 30 km (18 mi) northeast of Grosse-Île. Accessible only by boat; special permission is needed to land on the island, which is an important bird sanctuary. Site and tower closed. Owner/site manager: Canadian Coast Guard. ARLHS CAN-040; CCG 1478; Admiralty H0882; NGA 8432.
Île Brion
1905. Active; focal plane 40 m (131 ft); white flash every 3 s. 14 m (45 ft) octagonal pyramidal wooden tower with lantern and gallery, painted white; lantern is red. Danielle Langlois's closeup photo is seen at right, but Google has only a distant satellite view of the area. The island is a wildlife refuge 10 km (6 mi) north of the Îles de la Madeleine; permission to visit must be obtained from the Ministry of the Environment in Grosse-Île. Located at the western end of of the island. Site and tower closed. Owner/site manager: Canadian Coast Guard. ARLHS CAN-774; CCG 1479; Admiralty H0886; NGA 8424.
Phare de l'Île Brion
Île Brion Light, August 2006
Wikimedia public domain photo by Danielle Langlois
* Île du Havre au Maisons (Cap Alright)
1928. Active; focal plane 24 m (79 ft); white flash every 5 s. 8 m (27 ft) square pyramidal wooden tower with lantern and gallery, painted white with red trim. Helène Chevarie has a closeup, another photo is available, Patrice Bouchard has a nice view, Wikimedia has several photos, and Google has a satellite view. Located at the end of the Chemin des Échoueries, off QC 199 at the southeastern point of Île du Havre aux Maisons. Site open, tower closed. Owner/site manager: Canadian Coast Guard. ARLHS CAN-775; CCG 1496; Admiralty H0900; NGA 8460.
* Île d'Entrée (Entry Island) (4)
1969 (station established 1874). Active; focal plane 31 m (101 ft); white flash every 2.5 s. 14.5 m (48 ft) octagonal pyramidal wooden tower with lantern and gallery, painted white; lantern is red. David Laurence has a panoramic view of the station, and Google has a distant satellite view. Anderson's page has photos of the original lighthouse, the second (1909) lighthouse, and the third (1927) lighthouse. Île d'Entrée is a small island northwest of Havre Aubert. Located on the south side of the island, which is accessible by passenger ferry from Havre Aubert. Site open, tower closed. Owner/site manager: Canadian Coast Guard. ARLHS CAN-777; CCG 1509; Admiralty H0894; NGA 8476.
* Île du Havre-Aubert (L'Anse à la Cabane, Amherst Island, Cap du Sud)
1871. Inactive since 2011. 16.5 m (54 ft) hexagonal wooden tower with lantern and gallery, painted white; lantern is red. 2-story wood keeper's house (1951), painted white with a red roof. Michèle Séguin's photo is at the top of this page, Corey Hallisey has a September 2006 photo, Nadia Brodeur has a 2007 photo, and Google has a satellite view. The light was deactivated in December 2011. Located at the end of the Chemin du Bassin south of Havre Aubert, at the south end of the islands. Site open, tower closed. Owner/site manager: Canadian Coast Guard. ARLHS CAN-772; ex-CCG 1500; ex-Admiralty H0906; NGA 8400.
* Cap-aux-Meules (Grindstone, Pointe Hérisse, Étang-du-Nord) (4)
1987 (station established 1874). Active; focal plane 28 m (93 ft); white flash every 6 s. 11.5 m (38 ft) round fiberglass tower with lantern. Lighthouse painted white, lantern red. A 2010 photo is at right, Craig Wilson has a 2003 photo, Philippe Richard has a photo, additional photos are available, and Google has a satellite view. The original lighthouse was replaced in 1912. In 1967 the historic lighthouse was replaced by a slender metal tower, which was replaced by the present fiberglass lighthouse in 1987. Located At Pointe Hérisse, on the west side of Île du Cap aux Meules. Site open, tower closed. Owner/site manager: Canadian Coast Guard. ARLHS CAN-961; CCG 1488; Admiralty H0912; NGA 8408.
Phare du Cap aux Meules
Cap aux Meules Light, Étang-du-Nord, August 2010
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by Renaudp10

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

Adjoining pages: South: Eastern Prince Edward Island | West: Eastern Québec

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Posted September 12, 2003. Checked and revised May 9, 2014. Lighthouses: 6. Site copyright 2014 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.