kids encyclopedia robot

Cape North Lighthouse facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Cape North Lighthouse
Cape North Lighthouse
Cape North Lighthouse is located in Ontario
Cape North Lighthouse
Cape North Lighthouse
Location in Ontario
Location Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Coordinates 45°24′07.6″N 75°37′25.8″W / 45.402111°N 75.623833°W / 45.402111; -75.623833
Year first constructed 1856
Construction cast iron plates
Tower shape cylindrical tower with balcony and lantern
Markings / pattern red and white checkerboard tower, red lantern
Height 29 metres (95 ft)
Current lens Fresnel lens

The Cape North Lighthouse is a cylindrical lighthouse tower with a red and white checkerboard pattern that stood at Money Point, near Cape North, Cape Breton from 1908 to 1980. While originally installed at Cape Race, Newfoundland, this tower is most commonly referred to as the Cape North Lighthouse. It now stands landlocked at the Canada Science and Technology Museum in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

History and construction

The 29 meter tall lighthouse was first installed at Cape Race point in Newfoundland in 1856 by the British Government's Trinity House, the official lighthouse authority for British waters. The lighthouse is constructed of 32 cast-iron plates joined together with bolts. This sectional, modular design was chosen to reduce the cost of building towers and to facilitate lighthouse construction in remote, inaccessible locations using local, unskilled labour.

When a larger lighthouse was built at Cape Race, the old tower was disassembled, moved by ship, and reassembled for the light at Cape North, Nova Scotia, with a new Fresnel lens, made by Chance Brothers in England. The lens floats in a bed of mercury, and was turned by clockwork mechanism before being converted to electric power. The tower features a red checkerboard pattern, which was chosen to help make the lighthouse visible in dense fog and against the often snowy landscape.

Relocation to Ottawa

In 1980, the Cape North Lighthouse, due to be replaced with more up-to-date technology, was acquired from the Canadian Coast Guard by the Canada Science and Technology Museum. The lighthouse was moved from Cape North, Nova Scotia to Ottawa, Ontario, where it was installed in the museum's Technology Park in 1980-81. Even with its modular design, moving the lighthouse was still a massive undertaking. The lighthouse has since become an iconic symbol of Canadian maritime history. The museum offers guided tours of the lighthouse during summer months.

An earthquake on July 3, 2010 caused a mercury spill within the lighthouse, resulting in a temporary closure and a cleanup that cost thousands of dollars. The lighthouse has since reopened to the public.

kids search engine
Cape North Lighthouse Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.