Black Rock Point Lighthouse

Heritage Lighthouse

Community of Black Rock, Nova Scotia
Black Rock Point Lighthouse viewed from the south east (© Fisheries and Oceans Canada | Pêches et Océans Canada)
Black Rock Point Lighthouse
(© Fisheries and Oceans Canada | Pêches et Océans Canada)
Address : Black Rock Light Road, Black Rock, Community of Black Rock, Nova Scotia

Recognition Statute: Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act (S.C. 2008, c 16)
Designation Date: 2017-10-20
  • 1978 to 1978 (Construction)
  • 1868 to 1868 (Established)

Event, Person, Organization:
  • Donald Morrison, first Lightkeeper  (Person)
  • Frank Kozera, last Lightkeeper  (Person)

Description of Historic Place

The Black Rock Point Lighthouse is a 10.8 metre high building with an engine room and a square tower built into one corner. The current wooden lighthouse was constructed in 1978 and is the third tower on the site – the first was constructed in 1868. A seasonal fog horn is present on the grounds, activated by a small beacon located near the tower. This secondary coastal light services the entrance into the Great Bras d’Or Lakes channel from St. Anns Bay, on the eastern shore of rural Cape Breton Island.

Heritage Value

The Black Rock Point Lighthouse is a heritage lighthouse because of its historical, architectural, and community values. Historical values The Black Rock Point Lighthouse was
established as a square tapered, wooden tower with an attached dwelling in 1866 when the Committee on Navigation Securities recommended a light to assist ships plying the Great Bras d’Or lakes. This coastal region was known for its severe weather and many shipwrecks. A second two storey lighthouse was erected in 1925, but was moved around 1980 due to the eroding shoreline and subsequently
replaced with the current lighthouse, built in 1978. The lighthouses on this site are associated with Cape Breton’s industrial past, having guided shipments of coal and other goods from Sydney down through the calmer waters of the Bras d’Or Lakes. The lighthouses on this site also supported the local fishing industry, which continues today, along with a number of water-based ecotourism companies. Architectural values The current Black Rock Point lighthouse, built in 1978, is a simple example of a wooden tower painted white and topped with a red octagonal metal lantern, installed in 1987. A single small window is positioned half way up the tower and the gallery at the top has a red metal railing.
The lighthouse itself is built into the corner of a gable-ended style engine building with a shed-roofed vestibule on the other side. The lighthouse was designed in a utilitarian style that is well built and suitable for its purpose. It reflects the evolution of the government approach to lighthouses in the
19th and 20th centuries¿the first two lighthouses had dwellings for lightkeepers, while the current tower has only a rectangular engine building and is fully automated. A seasonal fog horn is located
near the tower. Community values Black Rock Point Lighthouse is located in rural Cape Breton Island, in a forested setting, next to a cliff overlooking a rugged shoreline. Despite its location only a few kilometres from the Trans-Canada Highway, it remains isolated. Its prominent height ensures that it can be easily seen from the water and is a landmark to mariners in the region. Related buildings No related buildings are included in the designation.

Character-Defining Elements

The following character-defining elements of the Black Rock Point Lighthouse should be respected: — its location overlooking St. Anns Bay in Cape Breton Island; — its intact, as-built structural form, height, profile, and proportions; — its straight, wooden, square tower built into the corner of the building; — its plain red metal railing that surrounds the gallery; — its red octagonal metal lantern; — its traditional white exterior colour scheme consisting of a white tower and accented by red features including the lantern and the gallery railing; and — its visual prominence in relation to the water and landscape.