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North Cape Lighthouse

2183 Rte. 12, Seacow Pond, Prince Edward Island, C0B, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2012/10/03

North Cape Lighthouse; Province of PEI, C. Stewart, 2013
North Cape Lighthouse
North Cape Lighthouse detail; Province of PEI, C. Stewart, 2013
North Cape Lighthouse detail
North Cape Lighthouse, circa 1920s; Carol Livingstone Private Collection
North Cape Lighthouse, circa 1920s

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2013/11/06

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

This lighthouse warns mariners of the dangerous two mile reef where the waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Northumberland Strait meet at the most northern point in Prince Edward Island. The North Cape Lighthouse is a landmark and one of the oldest lighthouses in the province. It has an octagonal shape, wood shingle cladding painted white, and is topped by a red iron lantern.

Heritage Value

The North Cape Lighthouse is valued for its architectural style; its association with the maritime history of the area; and for its contribution to the cultural landscape of the community of North Cape.

The long rocky reef extending off North Cape has long been a hazard to shipping. The colonial government of PEI had this lighthouse constructed from 1865-1866, at a cost of just over $5000.

Designed according to plans specified by the Hon. Alexander Anderson, the tapered, heavy timber wood constructed tower was octagonal like the lighthouse at Seacow Head (1863). It has four storeys - 62' in height - and three internal staircases. Now vanished, the keeper's residence (built in 1866) was once located near the tower.

The lighthouse was moved back on the shoreline six times in its history due to coastal erosion. It became electrified in 1962 and automated in 1967. Some modifications to the original tower were made with the removal of ground floor windows. The others remain in a vertically alligned row on the face of the tower.

Today, the lighthouse is fenced in from public access for safety reasons.

Source: Heritage Division, PEI Dept of Tourism & Culture, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8
File #: 4320-20/N2

Character-Defining Elements

The following character-defining elements illustrate the heritage value of the North Cape Lighthouse:

- The white wood shingled four storey tower, tapered at the top with an observation deck
- The octagonal shape of the tower
- The railing around the observation deck
- The decorative cornice
- The red iron lantern
- The windows alligned in a vertical row on the face of the tower

Other character-defining elements include:

- The dramatic location of the lighthouse at North Cape at the northernmost point in Prince Edward Island



Prince Edward Island

Recognition Authority

Province of Prince Edward Island

Recognition Statute

Heritage Places Protection Act

Recognition Type

Designated Historic Place

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design
Developing Economies
Communications and Transportation

Function - Category and Type



Navigational Aid or Lighthouse

Architect / Designer

Hon. Alexander Anderson



Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Source: Heritage Division, PEI Dept of Tourism & Culture, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8 File #: 4320-20/N2

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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