Lighthouses of Canada: Southern Québec

This page covers lighthouses of southern Québec: the part of the Canadian province upstream from the city of Québec and south of the St. Lawrence River. The St. Lawrence is one of the world's greatest inland waterways: ocean-going ships sail the river to Montréal, and many continue on the St. Lawrence Seaway to the Great Lakes.

The lighthouses of southern Québec are certainly among the least well known of all Canadian lighthouses. In fact, many of them don't seem to have been known at all until recent years. Special thanks are due to Michel Forand for his help in compiling these listings; without his careful research the Internet would have little information on many of the range lighthouses of the middle St. Lawrence.

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. This fear is particularly acute along the St. Lawrence, where the small lighthouses do not enjoy the support of local preservation groups. In fact, dozens of lighthouses have already been lost in this region.

ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS World List of Lights. CCG numbers are from the Atlantic Coast portion of the List of Lights, Buoys, and Fog Signals of Fisheries and Oceans Canada for most lighthouses, and from the Inland Waters list for lights in and west of Montréal. 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.
Lighthouses in Quebec, Canada
Fine aerial photos posted by Marinas.com.
Quebec
Photos of Quebec lighthouses posted by C.W. Bash.
Lighthouses in Quebec
Photos available from Wikimedia.
Leuchttürme Kanadas auf historischen Postkarten
Historic postcard views posted by Klaus Huelse.

Île Sainte-Thérèse Range Front Light
Île Sainte-Thérèse Upper Range Front Light, Varennes, September 2011
photo copyright Jon Clay; used by permission

Montérégie Region Lighthouses

Lajemmerais Municipality (Contrecoeur-Verchères Area) Lighthouses
Île Sainte-Thérèse Upper Range Front (2)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); continuous green light. 12 m (39 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and double gallery. Tower painted white; there is a daymark painted red with a black vertical stripe between the two galleries. The lantern is gray metallic. Jon Clay contributed the photo above, and Google has a satellite view. This range guides vessels downstream leaving Montréal. Located on the east bank of the Île aux Vaches, a smaller island southeast of the Île Sainte-Thérèse, in Varennes. Accessible only by boat; there is a distant view from the boat ramp in Varennes. Site status unknown. CCG 2346; Admiralty H2490; NGA 5512.
Île Sainte-Thérèse Upper Range Rear (2)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 27 m (89 ft); continuous green light. 22 m (72 ft) square skeletal mast mounted on a robust pentagonal concrete pier. Tower painted white, carrying a trapezoidal slatted daymark painted red with a black vertical stripe. Google has a satellite view. The pier has a pointed end to break up ice floes. Located just off the east bank of the Île Sainte-Thérèse in Varennes. Accessible only by boat; there is a distant view from the boat ramp in Varennes. Site status unknown. CCG 2347; Admiralty H2490.1; NGA 5516.
Verchères Village Range Rear
Date unknown (station established 1902). Active; focal plane 24 m (79 ft); continuous green light. 20 m (66 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower with gallery. The tower carries an orange slatted daymark with a black vertical stripe on the range line. Larry Myhre's photo is at the bottom of this page, and Bing has a satellite view. Located on the southwest side of Verchères, off QC 132 near the Rue de St.-Alexandre, about 635 m (0.4 mi) southwest of the front light. Site and tower closed (private property), but the light can be seen from nearby. CCG 2320; Admiralty H2476.1; NGA 5356.
* Verchères Traverse Range Rear/Front (Moulin à Vent, Verchères Windmill)
1902 (tower built in the 1730s). Inactive since around 1950(?). Approx 8 m (26 ft) round rubblestone tower with a conical roof. F. Guertin has a closeup photo, Denyse Béchard also has a closeup, and Google has a satellite view. This historic tower, the oldest building in Verchères, was originally built as a windmill. In 1902 it was fitted with an octagonal wood lantern as the rear light of the Verchères Traverse Range. In 1946, it became the front light of the range, but several years later it was deactivated and the lantern was removed. Recognized as a historic building in 1983, the old windmill was restored in 1991. Located on the Rue St.-Étienne in Verchères. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS CAN-1343.
* Verchères Village Range Front (2)
About 1939 (station established 1902). Active; focal plane 9.5 m (32 ft); continuous green light. 6 m (20 ft) square skeletal tower with square wooden lantern. Tower painted white; roof and front face of lantern painted red. The tower also carries a slatted trapezoidal daymark, painted red with a black vertical stripe on the range line. Bash's photo is at right, Luc Bussieres has a photo, Larry Myhre has a view from the river, another photo is available, and Google has an indistinct satellite view. Located on the east breakwater at Verchères, on the southeast side of the river about 25 km (15 mi) northeast of Montréal. Site open, tower closed. Owner/site manager: Canadian Coast Guard. ARLHS CAN-1206; CCG 2319; Admiralty H2476; NGA 5352.
Contrecoeur Traverse Range Rear
Date unknown (station established 1903). Active; focal plane 28 m (92 ft); continuous green light. 22.5 m (74 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower with gallery. The tower carries an orange slatted daymark with a black vertical stripe on the range line. Bing has a satellite view. Located in the Contrecoeur Marine Terminal, a bulk materials port on the south side of the river about 4 km (2.5 mi) southwest of Contrecoeur and 1725 m (1.07 mi) southwest of the front light. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed (industrial area). Site manager: Logistec Corporation. CCG 2313; Admiralty H2470.1; NGA 5304.
Contrecoeur-Verchères Range Front
Date unknown (station established 1903). Active; focal plane 10 m (31 ft); continuous green light visible only on the range line. 7 m (23 ft) square cylindrical skeletal tower with lantern and gallery, mounted on a square pyramidal concrete pier. The tower also carries an inverted-triangular slatted daymark painted orange with a black vertical stripe on the range line. Lighthouse Explorer has a closeup photo, and Bing has a fuzzy satellite view. Located on a marshy island in the Îles de Contrecoeur National Wildlife Area northwest of Contrecoeur. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Owner: Canadian Coast Guard. ARLHS CAN-965; CCG 2315; Admiralty H2472; NGA 5308.
Contrecoeur-Verchères Range Rear
Date unknown (station established 1903). Active; focal plane 19 m (62 ft); green light, 1 s on, 1 s off; a continuous green light is shown on the range line. 16 m (52 ft) square cylindrical skeletal tower with gallery. The tower carries an orange slatted daymark with a black vertical stripe on the range line. Bing has a fuzzy satellite view. Located on the south bank of the river near Île Ronde, 1725 m (1.07 mi) northeast of the front light. Accessible only by boat. Owner: Canadian Coast Guard. Site manager: Îles de Contrecoeur National Wildlife Area. Site open, tower closed. CCG 2316; Admiralty H2472.1; NGA 5312.
Verchères Village Range Front Right
Verchères Village Range Front Light, Verchères, June 2008
Flickr Creative Commons photo by C.W. Bash

Le-Haut-Richelieu Municipality (Richelieu River) Lighthouse
Note: The Richelieu River drains Lake Champlain and serves as part of an international waterway connecting the St. Lawrence to the Hudson River in New York. There were formerly a series of lighthouses along the river, but none are active today, and the following lighthouse is the only known survivor. The Richelieu flows into the St. Lawrence at Sorel-Tracy.
Ash Island (Île Ash, Île aux Têtes) Range Front (2)
1913 (station established 1875). Inactive since 2005. 13.5 m (44 ft) square pyramidal steel skeletal tower with enclosed upper portion, lantern and gallery. Lighthouse painted white with red trim; lantern roof is red. Anderson has photos, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Bing has an indistinct satellite view. The original lighthouse was a square wooden tower attached to a keeper's house. This was a northbound (downstream) range guiding vessels in the northernmost end of Lake Champlain as they approached Ash Island, a large island in the river at Lacolle. The rear light, 665 m (0.4 mi) north, would have been close to the present QC 202 bridge; it does not appear to have survived. Located on the south bank of the island, about 400 m (1/4 mi) south of the Lacolle railroad bridge and 5 km (3 mi) north of the U.S. border. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS CAN-866.

Pierre-De Saurel Municipality (Sorel-Tracy Area, South Bank) Lighthouses
Sainte-Anne-de-Sorel Range Rear (2)
1905 (?). Active; focal plane 31 m (102 ft); continuous green light visible only on the range line. Until recently this was a 24 m (79 ft) skeletal tower with enclosed upper portion, lantern and gallery. In fact, the CCG light list still has that description, but Anderson's photo shows that the lighthouse has been replaced by a skeletal mast with gallery. The tower carries a trapezoidal slatted daymark painted red with a black vertical stripe. Google has an indistinct satellite view. Located on the south bank of the river 770 m (0.48 mi) southwest of the front light. Site and tower closed, but the light can be viewed from a nearby church. Owner/site manager: Canadian Coast Guard. ARLHS CAN-1270; CCG 2178; Admiralty H2422.1; NGA 5076.
Sainte-Anne-de-Sorel Range Front
1905. Active; focal plane 12.5 m (41 ft); continuous green light visible only on the range line; also a green passing light (2 s on, 2 s off). 9 m (30 ft) square pyramidal wood tower, painted white with red trim. The front (downstream) face of the tower is painted orange with a black vertical stripe on the range line. Anderson has photos, and Bing has an indistinct satellite view. Located on the south bank of the river just off the Chemin du Chenal du Moine in Ste.-Anne-de-Sorel, just northeast of Sorel. Site and tower closed (surrounded by private residences). Owner/site manager: Canadian Coast Guard. ARLHS CAN-1269; CCG 2177; Admiralty H2422; NGA 5072.
Île de Grâce Range Front
1905. Active; focal plane 13 m (42 ft); continuous green light visible only on the range line; also a green passing light (1 s on, 1 s off). 9 m (30 ft) square pyramidal wood tower, painted white with red trim. The front (downstream) face of the tower is painted orange with a black vertical stripe on the range line. Anderson has photos, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Bing has a satellite view. This is a downstream range; the rear light is 600 m (0.37 mi) northeast. Located at the upper (southwest) end of the Île de Grâce, an island at the upper end of the Lac St.-Pierre basin about 10 km (6 mi) northeast of Sorel. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Owner/site manager: Canadian Coast Guard. ARLHS CAN-1295; CCG 2175; Admiralty H2426; NGA 5104.
Île de Grâce Range Rear (3?)
1905. Active; focal plane 22 m (73 ft); continuous green light visible only on the range line; also a green passing light (1 s on, 1 s off). 16.5 m (54 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower with lantern and enclosed watch room, mounted on a pentagonal concrete pier. Tower painted black, watch room white, lantern red; the front face of the watch room is red with a black vertical stripe on the range line. Anderson has photos, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Bing has an indistinct satellite view. Located about 600 m (0.4 mi) east northeast of the front range (next entry). Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Owner/site manager: Canadian Coast Guard. ARLHS CAN-1296; CCG 2176; Admiralty H2426.1; NGA 5108.
Île du Moine Range Front
1906. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); continuous green light visible only on the range line. 5 m (18 ft) square wood tower mounted on a square pyramidal concrete pier. Tower painted white, except the front is painted bright orange-red with a black vertical stripe on the range line. Luc Delorme's photo is at right, Anderson has photos, Ginette Brosseau has a photo, and Bing has a satellite view. This is a downstream range. Located at the southwestern tip of Île du Moine about 7 km (4.5 mi) east northeast of Sainte-Anne-de-Sorel. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Owner/site manager: Canadian Coast Guard. ARLHS CAN-1101; CCG 2180; Admiralty H2424; NGA 5047.
Île du Moine Range Rear
1906. Active; focal plane 27.5 m (90 ft); continuous green light visible only on the range line. 18.5 m (57 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower with lantern and gallery, mounted on a prow-shaped concrete pier. The front of the tower carries a large rectangular daymark, painted bright orange-red with a black vertical stripe on the range line. A view from a nearby marina is available, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Bing has a satellite view. Located near the southwestern tip of Île du Moine, 490 m (0.3 mi) east of the front light (next entry). Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Owner/site manager: Canadian Coast Guard. ARLHS CAN-1102; CCG 2181; Admiralty H2424.1; NGA 5048.
Île du Moine Range Front Light
Île du Moine Range Front Light, Sorel, August 2010
Flickr photo copyright Luc Delorme; used by permission
Île des Barques Range Rear (3?)
Date unknown (station established 1907). Active; focal plane 25 m (82 ft); continuous green light visible only on the range line. Until recently this was a 20 m (66 ft) round tower with gallery, painted white, but Anderson's photo shows that the current light is on a skeletal mast with gallery. The tower also carries a trapezoidal slatted daymark, painted orange with a black vertical stripe on the range line. Marinas.com has aerial photos of the previous light (misidentified as Île de Grâce), and Google has a satellite view. Located 480 m (0.3 mi) southwest of the front light. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Owner/site manager: Canadian Coast Guard. ARLHS CAN-1098; CCG 2169; Admiralty H2416.1; NGA 5046.
Île des Barques Range Front
1907. Active; focal plane 11.5 m (37 ft); continuous green light visible only on the range line. 5 m (18 ft) square wood tower mounted on a square pyramidal concrete pier. Tower painted white, except the front is painted bright orange-red with a black vertical stripe on the range line. Anderson has a photo, and Bing has a satellite view. This is an upstream range. Located on an island near the southwestern end of the Lac St.-Pierre basin south of Louiseville. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Owner/site manager: Canadian Coast Guard. ARLHS CAN-1097; CCG 2168; Admiralty H2416; NGA 5044.
Gallia Bay Lower Range Rear
1915. Inactive. 21 m (69 ft) round cylindrical steel tower centered on a square concrete pier. Bing has a satellite view. The front light, formerly mounted on a concrete pier, has been removed. Located on the south side of Île St.-Pierre about 7 km (4.5 mi) northeast of Ste.-Anne-de-Sorel. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS CAN-1006.
Courbe Maskinongé
1973. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); yellow light, 1 s on, 1 s off. 14 m (46 ft) cylindrical tower with double gallery but no lantern, painted with red and white horizontal bands. Anderson has a distant view, and Bing has a distant satellite view. Previously there was a helipad atop the light, as seen in a 2000 photo. Located on the south side of the channel at a bend in the middle of Lac St.-Pierre southeast of Louiseville. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Owner/site manager: Canadian Coast Guard. ARLHS CAN-1263; CCG 2153.3; Admiralty H2411; NGA 4988.

Centre-du-Québec Region (South Bank) Lighthouses

Nicolet-Yamaska Municipality Lighthouses
Nicolet Sector (Range Front)
1907. Active; focal plane 9 m (29 ft); white or green light, 1 s on, 1 s off; white light is shown to the east and green to the west. 9 m (29 ft) square cylindrical concrete tower with octagonal lantern; lantern painted with red and white vertical stripes. A Coast Guard photo is at right, another closeup photo is available, Anderson also has a photo, and Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Bing has a fuzzy satellite view. Formerly this was the Nicolet Range Front Light, but the rear light of the range was discontinued in 1970. Located on an islet in the river at the east end of the Lac St.-Pierre basin north of Nicolet. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Owner/site manager: Canadian Coast Guard. ARLHS CAN-1264; CCG 2119.5; Admiralty H2400; NGA 4748.
* Port-Saint-François Range Front (2)
1908 (station established 1849). Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); continuous green light visible only on the range line. 11 m (36 ft) lantern centered on a huge square pyramidal concrete pier. Lighthouse painted white; lantern roof painted red, and the front of the lighthouse is also painted red with a black vertical stripe. Jeff Presnail has a photo, Anderson has photos, and Bing has a satellite view. This is a downstream range. Located just offshore at Port-Saint-François. Accessible only by boat, but easily seen from shore. Site open, tower closed. Owner/site manager: Canadian Coast Guard. ARLHS CAN-1265; CCG 2112; Admiralty H2398; NGA 4732.
Nicolet Sector Light
Nicolet Sector Light, Nicolet
Fisheries and Oceans Canada photo
Port-Saint-François Range Rear (2)
1908 (station established 1849). Active; focal plane 19 m (62 ft); continuous green light visible only on the range line. 13 m (43 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower with lantern and enclosed watch room. Tower painted black, watch room white, lantern red; the front face of the watch room is red with a black vertical stripe on the range line. Anderson has photos, and Bing has an indistinct satellite view. Located at the end of Rue Duval on the south side of the river at Port-Saint-François, about 8 km (5 mi) north of Nicolet and 1370 m (0.85 mi) northeast of the front light. Site status unknown (very possibly open), tower closed. Owner/site manager: Canadian Coast Guard. ARLHS CAN-1266; CCG 2113; Admiralty H2398.1; NGA 4736.

Bécancour Municipality Lighthouses
Bécancour Range Rear (3)
Date unknown (station established 1904). Active; focal plane 23 m (75 ft); continuous green light visible only on the range line. 17 m (55 ft) square cylindrical skeletal tower. The front of the tower also carries an orange slatted daymark with a vertical black stripe on the range line. This modern light replaced a square pyramidal skeletal tower with lantern and enclosed watch room. Lighthouse Explorer has a photo of the previous light, and Google has a satellite view. Located on a concrete pier just off the south bank of the river about 1.8 km (1.1 mi) west of the front light. Possibly visible from QC 132, which is close to the river at this point. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. Owner/site manager: Canadian Coast Guard. ARLHS CAN-1175; CCG 2074; Admiralty H2384.1; NGA 4592.
Bécancour Range Front (2)
Date unknown (station established 1904). Active; focal plane 7 m (23 ft); continuous green light visible only on the range line. 6.5 m (21 ft) square pyramidal concrete pier topped by an enclosed lantern and gallery; lantern roof painted red. The front of the tower also carries an orange slatted daymark with a vertical black stripe on the range line. Anderson has photos of the lights, and Google has a very distant satellite view. This is an upstream range. Located on the west side of the mouth of the Rivière Bécancour about 8 km (5 mi) northeast of Trois-Rivières. Site status unknown. Owner/site manager: Canadian Coast Guard. ARLHS CAN-873; CCG 2073; Admiralty H2384; NGA 4588.
Gentilly Range Rear (3)
Date unknown (station established 1907). Active; focal plane 31 m (103 ft); continuous green light visible only on the range line. 24 m (79 ft) slender square steel skeletal tower. The tower carries a slatted trapezoidal daymark painted red with a black vertical stripe. The previous light was a 23 m (75 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower with lantern and enclosed watch room. Lighthouse Explorer has a photo of the previous light, and Google has a satellite view. Located in a field just north of Bécancour on the south shore of the river. Site status unknown (apparently open). Owner/site manager: Canadian Coast Guard. ARLHS CAN-1261; CCG 2051; Admiralty H2370.1; NGA 4476.
Gentilly Range Front
1907. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); continuous green light visible only on the range line. 6 m (19 ft) square wood tower with lantern mounted on a square pyramidal concrete pier. Tower painted white, except the front is painted bright orange-red with a black vertical stripe on the range line. Anderson has a photo, and Bing has a satellite view. This is an upstream range; the rear tower (previous entry) is about 2.6 km (1.6 mi) south. Located in the river north of Gentilly, about 20 km (13 mi) northeast of Trois-Rivières; should be visible from the south shore in the Gentilly area. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Owner/site manager: Canadian Coast Guard. ARLHS CAN-952; CCG 2050; Admiralty H2370; NGA 4472.
* Deschaillons
1948. Inactive since before 1972. Approx. 7 m (23 ft) square pyramidal wood tower with lantern and gallery, painted white with red trim. A photo is at right, Bash has a 2008 photo, Wikimedia has two photos, Lighthouse Explorer has Michel Forand's photo, and Bing has a fuzzy satellite views. The history of this lighthouse is not known, but it is likely that it has been relocated from the waterfront. Located at a rest area on the south side of the St. Lawrence, beside highway QC 132, about 2 km (1.3 mi) west of Deschaillons-sur-St. Laurent. Site open, tower closed.
Phare de Deschaillons
Phare de Deschaillons, Deschaillons, June 2008
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by Dana2255

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Verchères Village Range Rear Light
Verchères Village Range Rear Light, Verchères, May 2004
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Larry Myhre

Notable faux lighthouses:

Adjoining pages: North: Southwestern Québec | Northeast: Northeastern Québec | East: Eastern Québec | South: Vermont | West: Southeastern Ontario

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Posted September 12, 2003. Checked and revised April 13, 2013. Lighthouses: 27. Site copyright 2013 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.