Day 251 of a 365-Day Portrait of Canada: Cape Spear, Newfoundland

Cape Spear

Cape Spear is located in Newfoundland
Cape Spear
Cape Spear
Location of Cape Spear in Newfoundland

Cape Spear, located on the Avalon Peninsula near St. John’s, Newfoundland, is the easternmost point in Canada (52°37’W).

Cape Spear is also the easternmost point in North America.

The Portuguese named this location “Cabo da Esperança” which means “cape of hope”, which became “Cap d’Espoir” in French and finally “Cape Spear”.

Cape Spear is the trailhead/trail end for two components of the East Coast Trail.

There has been a lighthouse operating at Cape Spear since September 1836. The original Cape Spear lighthouse was the second lighthouse built in Newfoundland; the first was built in 1810 at Fort Amherst, at the entrance to St. John’s Harbour. In 1832, the first legislative assembly for the colony created a lighthouse board. Cape Spear was chosen as the site for a new lighthouse because it was on the rocky eastern coast near the entrance to St John’s harbour.

Construction began in 1834. The first lighthouse was a square wooden building with a tower in the middle containing the light. A foghorn was added in 1878. The first light used at Cape Spear had already been used since 1815 at a lighthouse at Inchkeith on the east coast of Scotland. This light used seven Argand burners and curved reflectors. This was later replaced by a dioptric lens system; the light was first lit by oil, then acetylene and finally electricity in 1930.

Because of its proximity to convoy routes during the Second World War, a gun battery was installed at Cape Spear to defend the entrance to St. John’s harbour. Barracks and underground passages leading to the bunkers were built for the use of troops stationed there.

A new concrete building was built to house the light in 1955. The original lighthouse building and the light keeper’s residence have since been restored. It is the oldest surviving lighthouse in Newfoundland and the location has been designated a Canadian National Historic Site. Some visitors attracted by the scenery and history have been swept away by the large and unpredictable waves at Cape Spear, prompting Parks Canada to post numerous warning signs in the area, Cape Spear was also used recently for filming of a hockey game in the Canadian television series, Road Hockey Rumble.

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Busted….Excuse me sir you need to have those dogs on a leash….

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The 1836 Cape Spear Lighthouse


This is the easternmost point in North America. I spotted giant whales jumping right out of the water, and one minute later from this point, even though they were three miles, I mean kms away, it was very exciting to witness.

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A Viewing Platform Overlooks The Most Easterly Point in North America

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A boy runs his Newfoundland “Jack”  along the boardwalk at Cape Spear.

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Cape Spear was busy today with tourists from across Canada.

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Some visitors attracted by the scenery and history have been swept away by the large and unpredictable waves at Cape Spear. Two people died last year alone.

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Really? You have to be kidding.. you’re going to drive out to a National Historic Site to see the beauty and history, only to throw out your fast food trash?

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The World War Two Battery at Cape Spear

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An old gun rusts away, after never being fired.


Security guard Joe shows me around the bunker.

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If you see a lot of garbage photos posted on this blog, it’s because I’m very anti-litter -bug.

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Signal Hill from Cape Spear

signal hill from cape spear

Joe takes his job very seriously! I first met Joe when he got on the loud speaker to tell me to put my dogs on a leash, and he then had to drive out and tell me a second time to put the dogs on a leash. At least he didn’t ticket me.

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Young Ryan

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Faces Of The Day, Cape Spear


Village of Blackhead, near Cape Spear.

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Mountain Bike race near Quidi Vidi.

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Wow! This 12 year old was sporting the same camera I had! If only I’d had that camera when I was 12, I could have done some serious damage.

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