Cape Forchu Master Plan Project
The Cape Forchu Lighthouse is an enduring symbol of Yarmouth’s historic and economic ties to the sea, guiding mariners and welcoming tourists since 1839. The current “apple core” style tower was built in 1962 and after becoming automated in 1993, the last remaining light-keeper in Nova Scotia vacated. With the lighthouse tower, historic keeper’s residence, and the fog alarm building being abandoned, the public feared these icons could be lost. Dedicated volunteers from the community formed the Friends of the Yarmouth Light Society (FOYL) and took action to preserve the unique light-station. A lease was signed with the Canadian Coast Guard and the small group enhanced the tourist attraction by successfully operating a museum, gift shop and tea room until 2019.
In 2001, the Cape Forchu lighthouse, land and all the buildings were deeded to the Municipality of the District of Yarmouth, making it the first operating light station in Canada to be transferred to a Municipality thru the Alternative Use Program. In 2019 the Municipality placed a renewed focus on the property and commissioned the Cape Forchu Comprehensive Master Plan to provide a clear path forward for future development.
The first phase of the Master Plan was completed in spring 2021 with the launch of the Climb the Light Experience. This experience is unique in the Province, offering participants the opportunity to climb the 77 steps to the top of the lighthouse tower and learn interesting facts from a guide. The second phase was concluded in the fall of 2023, which included upgrades to the exterior of the fog alarm building- a flat roofed structure set high on the ridge next to the tower. Since this building is situated to offer exceptional views of the rocky shoreline and open water, an accessible ground level viewing deck and an outside staircase leading to a rooftop look-off was constructed. Now, visitors area able to enjoy a similar view from three locations - ground level, rooftop, and for the more adventurous, the top of the tower.