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 Cape d'Or, NS    
A hike of some distance required.Overnight lodging available.Photogenic lighthouse or setting.
Description: French explorer Samuel de Champlain named Cape d’Or (Cape of Gold) when he sailed by in 1607 and noticed glimmers of gold in the basalt cliffs. Turns out the metal in the cliffs was copper rather than gold, but the name stuck, and today many come to the cape to enjoy the golden sunsets, which seem to be specialties of this spot.

The first navigational aid on Cape d’Or, which marks the northern entrance into Minas Basin from the Bay of Fundy, was not a light, but rather a steam fog whistle, which was established in 1874. The cape didn’t receive a light until 1922 when a 6.7-meter-tall, pepper-shaker tower was relocated from Eatonville and mounted on a red wooden trestle near the fog signal building.

The present lighthouse, consisting of a one-story fog signal building with a light tower rising from one corner, was built in 1965. After automation in 1989, the two nearby keeper’s dwellings, completed in 1959, sat vacant until being leased by the Advocate District Development Association in 1995 and converted into a tearoom and hostel.

Darcy Snell first visited Cape d’Or in 1994 and was impressed enough to relocate from Saskatchewan to take over operation of the site in 2000. Snell, and his wife, Jenna Boon, opened a full-service restaurant in one dwelling and a guesthouse in the other. This is the only lighthouse in Nova Scotia to offer overnight accommodations.

Photo Gallery: 1 2 3 4


  1. Lighthouses & Lights of Nova Scotia, E.H. Rip Irwin, 2003.
  2. “From Lumsden to Cape d’Or,” Leader Post, September 10, 2007.

Location: Located on Cape d'Or, at the north side of the entrance to the Minas Basin.
Latitude: 45.28992
Longitude: -64.7747

For a larger map of Cape d'Or Lighthouse, click the lighthouse in the above map.

Travel Instructions: From Route 209 just west of Advocate Harbour, turn south onto Back Street, and then take Cape d'Or Road (a dirt road) and continue 5.6 km (3.5 miles) to its end where you will find Cape d'Or Lighthouse. There are two keeper's dwellings adjacent to the lighthouse. One houses a restaurant, and the other has four rooms available for overnight stays. A short hike down and up a steep road is required to reach the lighthouse from the parking area.

The lighthouse is owned by the Canadian Coast Guard. Grounds open, tower closed.

Find the closest hotels to Cape d'Or Lighthouse

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