The Beacon to Canada Celebrated 175 Years – 1840-2015
Historic Cape Forchu Lightstation
Cape Forchu has been welcoming visitors to Nova Scotia since Samuel de Champlain landed here in 1604. Our museum houses a wealth of artifacts and information about the history of Cape Forchu and the lightkeepers who tended the light.
Join the Friends of the Light Society and become a lightkeeper. We are a registered non-profit society that is dedicated to maintaining this important cultural and historical site as a heritage property and tourist attraction.
Leif Erikson Park is a new development at the Lightstation. Located at the very tip of the site, this beautiful spot features walking paths, picnic sites, and benches with spectacular views of the water. Visit our gallery to view some stunning images.
Cape Forchu Lighstation is a perfect spot for special events and celebrations of all kinds. On the last Monday of November, locals gather before daybreak on "Dumping Day" to witness the fleet as it depart their wharves for the opening of the lobster season.
Find out more about Yarmouth and the Acadian Shores. We have collected a selection of links that will introduce visitors to some of the region's top attractions. You'll also find maps and information about weather and tides.
Visit our historic lighthouse in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. (902) 742-4522
About Cape Forchu Lightstation
The Cape Forchu Lightstation in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, is the Beacon to Canada. The Cape has been welcoming visitors since 1604, when Samuel de Champlain landed and named the area "Cap Forchu," meaning "forked tongue of land." By the mid-nineteenth century, the Town of Yarmouth was a booming seaport with vessels coming in and out of the harbour and the Cape was chosen as the ideal position for a lighthouse and foghorn. By 1870, Yarmouth was at its peak and was the second largest port of registry in Canada.
The Lightstation celebrated its 175 birthday in 2015. Join in the festivities, and experience one of Nova Scotia's most important cultural and historical sites. In 2012, the Lightstation was voted one of Canada's great public spaces. Read more in the Yarmouth Vanguard and Chronicle Herald.
Located near the extreme southwest portion of Nova Scotia, on Canada's East Coast, Cape Forchu is a forked tongue of land at the west entrance point into Yarmouth Harbour. Approximately 10 minutes from the Town of Yarmouth, the Cape Forchu Lightstation is home to the first applecore style lighthouse in Canada with its 23 metres [75 feet] of statuesque beauty. This towering beacon, built in 1962, sits atop picturesque volcanic rocks and, along with its predecessor, has guided vessels safely into the Yarmouth Harbour since 1840. The leisurely country drive to the Lightstation takes you through magnificent ocean side scenery and coastal communities to experience a part of Nova Scotia that is seacoast, fog, beaches, fishing vessels, working fishing villages and shanties, unpredictable water and tides and breathtaking sunsets.
Cape Forchu is surrounded by three bodies of water – Yarmouth Harbour, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Bay of Fundy. From the base of the light, there is a magnificent view of the Gulf of Maine to the west. The island is separated from the mainland by a narrow channel but is connected with the mainland by a government breakwater built in 1873 (the breakwater was replaced by a causeway in 1948-1949). Looking west, the Bay of Fundy waters can be seen. To the south is the Atlantic Ocean. In front is the Yarmouth Harbour with the town lying beyond.
Today, it’s a great place to have a picnic on the well groomed grounds, visit the Museum where the guides will tell you unforgettable tales, shop in the unique gift shop, and walk the shorelines in Leif Ericsson Park enjoying the views and crisp salty air of the Yarmouth Harbour.
The Lighthouse Route begins at the Cape Forchu Lightstation. With approximately 160 lighthouses in Nova Scotia, the most of any province in Canada, they have become a shared symbol of our culture and lifestyle. In 1604, Samuel de Champlain discovered this forked tongue of land that he named, Cap Forchu, meaning forked cape. Now it is your turn to come discover what the excitement is all about!
One of Canada's Great Public Spaces (2012) Canadian Institute of Planners "Great Places in Canada" Competition
Voted Best Ocean View & Best Experience for Visitors Best of Yarmouth and Acadian Shores Awards (2013)
Thank you for your interest. Please reach out with questions or comments using the information below. We look forward to hearing from you.