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Spry Bay, NS  A hike of some distance required.   

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Spry Bay Lighthouse

Spry Bay is an inlet on the eastern shore of Nova Scotia, roughly eighty kilometres east of Halifax. Tomlees Head divides the upper reaches of Spry Bay into two bays: Taylor Bay to the west and Tomlee Bay to the east. The village of Spry Harour is located on Taylor Bay, while the village of Spry Bay is located on Tomlee Bay.

In 1916, Standard Construction Company of Halifax was awarded a $1,155 contract to erect a pair of range lights on Tomlees Head to guide mariners into Spry Bay. The Dominion Lighthouse Depot in Prescott, Ontario provided a locomotive headlight lantern for the rear light and a catoptric light for the front light at a cost of $990.21. Other expenses for completing the station included $246.95 for the construction of a shelter shed, and $164.80 for acquisition of the site.

The following Notice to Mariners was published to inform mariners of the establishment of the new range lights:

On July 1, 1916, and without further notice, two fixed white catoptric range lights, of 1,500 candlepower each, will be established on Tomless Head.

Front Light – The front light will be exhibited, 74 feet above high water, from an enclosed wooden tower, square in plan, with sloping sides, surmounted by a square lantern, the whole painted white, erected on Tomless Head, about the middle of the southern side of the head, about 200 feet back form the water’s edge, on land about 52 feet above high-water mark. The tower is 27 feet high form its base to the top of the ventilator on the lantern. The light is visible 14 miles in the line of range. A light of 25 candlepower shows to the westward of the line of range, toward Spry Harbor.

Rear Light – The rear light is exhibited, 110 feet above the water, from a locomotive headlight reflector lantern placed on a skeleton steel tower, square in plan, with sloping sides, the upper portion of the side facing the alignment covered with slats, tower black, slats white, erected 926 feet 337° from the front light, on land 63 feet above high water. The tower is 48 feet high form the base to the top of the ventilator on the lantern. The light is visible 16 miles in the line of range.

Directions – The two lights in one, bearing 337°, lead in between Maloney Rock and Neverfail Shoal and westward of Bald Rock.

Alfred N. Leslie was hired as the first keeper of the range lights at an annual salary of $165. In 1937, he was making $480.

In 1970, an aluminum skeleton mast, whose bottom portion was enclosed and coloured red, replaced the original rear tower. In 1987, the rear light was discontinued, and the front light was changed to a sector light that shows red from 317° to 336° 15’, white from 336°15' to 338°15', and green from 338°15' through N. to 10°. The white light indicates the preferred channel for entering Spry Bay.

Keepers: Alfred N. Leslie (1916 – at least 1937).


  1. Annual Report of the Department of Marine and Fisheries, various years.
  2. Lighthouses & Lights of Nova Scotia, E.H. Rip Irwin, 2003.

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