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Lighthouses for sale in Canada to make your fantasies come true

by Corben Grant on 07 Dec 2021

I can't be the only one who, at some point, tired of the slog of everyday life, has daydreamed of growing a (bigger) beard, packing up my things, and shacking up in some old lighthouse somewhere to live out my days as a hermit. Well, surprisingly this dream might just be possible.

With some of the longest coastlines of any country in the world and numerous large lakes, Canada is home to over 750 lighthouses, mostly in maritime provinces like Nova Scotia; home to the iconic Peggy's Cove lighthouse seen above.

Occasionally, these properties actually go on the market. That being said, a lot of the lighthouses that go on sale these days are a far cry from the cold and wet towers of our imagination. There are many converted lighthouses or lighthouse-styled homes that offer much more comfort for the lonely old lighthouse keeper. In fact, some of them look downright luxurious.

Why do lighthouses go on sale?

The fact is that given modern navigation technologies, lighthouses just aren't the necessity they once were in the past and the costs involved in staffing them are not justified. The Canadian government currently only staffs 51 lighthouses (including the lighthouse on Machias Seal Island, an unnecessary lighthouse staffed by the coast guard solely so the U.S. can't claim the island for itself.) The rest are designated as surplus lighthouses.

All the time, heritage lighthouses are being replaced by more modern solutions, and while the buildings aren't strictly useful anymore, they are beautiful and can attract buyers eager for a unique property. In fact, the Government of Canada actually issued a Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act (HLPA) in 2008 in order to encourage conservation for the buildings that it claims hold importance for "Canada’s identity, culture and heritage,and are of historic and aesthetic interest." Lighthouse owners or the community may take action to have their property declared a heritage site by forwarding a petition and a written commitment to maintain the lighthouse to the minister responsible for Parks Canada as set out in the HLPA.

Many out of use lighthouses are maintained as tourist-oriented properties such as museums, parks, gift shops, and hotels in order to provide access to the heritage sites and generate revenue. Others have been converted to private residential properties by the new owner.

Should I invest in a lighthouse?

Generally speaking, real estate is definitely a good choice for investing. But, that’s about where it begins and ends for lighthouses. Though they are unique looking and rarely built today, there also isn’t any particular demand that would cause them to appreciate in value more than any other property.

Their waterfront lots might be attractive, but they are also often situated in remote, rural areas with poor access. Also, due to heritage building codes, there are restrictions about what you can do with heritage lighthouses. For example, you may have a responsibility to retain the heritage character of the site, meaning you can't just tear down the structure for the land it is on. You can actually end up paying a lot extra to own and maintain heritage properties.

While a lighthouse might not be the best choice for a real estate investment, you should also consider that it has a big light in it.

Lighthouse properties recently sold in Canada

Unfortunately, real lighthouses don't go on the market all that often. According to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, there was a period prior to the 1960s when most lighthouse conversions took place, as well as a period after the HLPA was created when Canadian's had the opportunity to buy a surplus lighthouse from the government. However, there have been a few lighthouse-style homes that have been on offer recently.

251 New Seabury Drive, PEI

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This home is available now in Prince Edward Island. This five-level lighthouse-style home features 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms in an estimated 1,625 square feet. The home provides 360° views of its scenic waterfront lot and features a secondary bunkhouse on the side. The current asking price is $599,900. Homes like this don't come up often, so if you are interested, get in touch now!

3891 Route 112, Lower Bedeque, PEI

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This next home was available last year also in PEI but is now unfortunately off the market. The home features 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms in 1,008 sqft. The most striking feature of the home is of course the three-storey lighthouse set in the centre of the home. The property also offers a two-car garage and beautiful waterfront property.

24 Shipyard Rd., Rothesay, NB


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This lighthouse-inspired home went on sale for $375,000 last year but is now off the market. Another property in Atlantic Canada, the home has three bedrooms, including one at the top of the tower that provides a one-of-a-kind view. And get this: the property is located on the waterfront.

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