Signal Hill National Historic Site of Canada
© Newfoundland Chocolate Café
Signal Hill celebrates St. John’s rich communications and military history, amidst spectacular city and ocean views. Enjoy military and musical performances, stirring ceremonies, coastal hikes, dramatic fortifications, and the iconic Cabot Tower.
Browse the links below for useful up-to-date visitor information to plan your trip:
- Make the Visitor Centre your first stop, where Signal Hill’s communications and military history are brought to life. Friendly staff also offer great info on special programs, events, and guided tours.
- Signal Hill was the reception point of the first transatlantic wireless signal from Cornwall, England. Guglielmo Marconi set up his radio receiving apparatus in an abandoned hospital and received the transatlantic wireless signal here on December 12, 1901. The broadcast, received from an antenna raised on a kite, was the letter "S" (dot, dot, dot) in Morse code.
- Visit the Queen’s Battery and the barracks and learn about how St. John’s harbour was defended in the 19th century. The fortification of Signal Hill began during the French Revolutionary Wars and Napoleonic Wars (1792–1815).
- St. John's most visible landmark, Cabot Tower, was built between 1897 to 1901, in honour of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee, and the 400th anniversary of John Cabot's arrival on the island of Newfoundland.
- On a clear day at the top of Signal Hill, you’ll enjoy marvellous views of the Atlantic and St. John’s harbour, and even spot icebergs (in spring and summer), birds and whales. Look out from the Cabot Tower to see waves crashing, spot Cape Spear Lighthouse and the most easterly point in North America.
- Internationally known Signal Hill Tattoo perform drills, tactics and music in period uniform here in summer.
- Bring your hiking shoes and enjoy Signal Hill’s breathtaking trails, including the popular 4km (2.5 miles) North Head Trail, offering great views of the Narrows.
- Catch seasonal special events from live ghost stories to wine tastings and musical concerts.BOOM!! Fire the Noon Day Gun, and take part in a St. John’s tradition.