The lighthouse at Cape Spear is closing its season early to make repairs after tropical storm Leslie caused minor damage to the 176-year-old beacon.

The storm tore down parts of a fence and exposed just how leaky some of the building's windows have become.


Glenn Keough of Parks Canada stands near the Cape Spear lighthouse, which tropical storm Leslie damaged in September. (CBC )

Glenn Keough of Parks Canada said staff had to close the lighthouse and some areas around it about two weeks earlier than usual.

"It's a safety issue for us here," said Keough. "We had [a] fence here to keep people away from the edge of the cliff here, which is very close to the lighthouse."

He said they now have the area roped off as workers rebuild the fence.

Many of the repairs, however, involve maintenance work that was already scheduled. The exterior will be painted and windows repaired, while some shingles, rotten boards and other fencing will be replaced. 

The lighthouse, the oldest surviving one in Newfoundland and Labrador, would normally be open until October 14. The visitor centre and gift shop will remain open until that date.