Labour Day at the lighthouse

No plans for the Labour Day Weekend? Drop by the Cape Forchu Lighthouse in Yarmouth. They’re having a garage sale Saturday and Sunday from 9 am to 1 pm. Who knows what treasures you’ll find, and you’ll help their light continue to burn bright. Plus chowder is always hot and hearty and lobster sandwiches  fresh and local.

46. Cape Forchu Lighthouse – the Apple Core light. Yarmouth (Yarmouth County)

Nova_Scotia_Book_4a830b61622d2Nova Scotia’s lighthouses are like people. They come in all shapes and sizes. Our lights are short and tall, round-ish and square, svelte and stout.

The Cape Forchu light is in the svelte class. It’s a tall drink of water that almost looks anorexic. The design is described as an apple core. The base and top flare out, while the main portion is cinched in to just over a metre wide. This style isn’t vanity, it’s to provide the least amount of resistance against the wild winds that batter this rocky promontory outside of Yarmouth. Architects feared if the lighthouse was any wider the force of the winds here could blow it over, thus the thin stock.

At Cape Forchu you’re rewarded with brilliant views across the water, interesting striated rock formations, and salt-laced sea air scented with the aroma of wild roses. In addition to the lighthouse, which with its red and white vertical stripes, looks like an upright tube of peppermint toothpaste, there’s a small café in the light keeper’s house that does a good chowder and lobster sandwich. Eat in or at a picnic table dotted around the cliffs. Just watch out for haze which could set off the eardrum-battering fog horn.

While most lighthouses are located in remote, hard-to-access places, Cape Forchu is on a paved drive 12 kms from downtown Yarmouth. Turn off Main Street at the golden horse monument and keep going until you run out of road. You’ll pass the hospital, some very nice real estate (anyone with money seems to live out here), past wharves where dozens of brightly coloured lobster boats bob at their moorings, while others pulled ashore dwarf passing vehicles. There’s also a sheltered beach at Lobster Point Road.

The Details:

The Cape Forchu Lighthouse is open from late April to late October. For information check out: or the Nova Scotia Lighthouse Preservation Society at

Excerpted from The Nova Scotia Book of MUSTS, the 101 Places Every Nova Scotian MUST See (MacIntyre Purcell Publishing, ISBN 978-0-9784784-2-1) the first travel guide to Nova Scotia for Nova Scotians and by a Nova Scotian.


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