Nova Scotia

Cape Sable, Sambro Island lighthouse repairs could cost up to $5M

The federal government issued tenders for the Sambro Island and Cape Sable Lighthouses on Wednesday, each one estimating the cost of the construction and repair as being between one and five million dollars.

In 2010, 976 lighthouses were declared surplus by the federal government

The Cape Sable Island lighthouse is 155-years-old. (Nō Ka 'Oi Drone Guys)

Two aged lighthouses in Nova Scotia will soon be getting some multi-million dollar tender loving care. 

On Wednesday, the federal government issued tenders for the Sambro Island and Cape Sable Lighthouses. Each tender estimates the cost of the construction and repair could reach $5 million. 

"It's certainly a positive step," said Joe Flemming, vice president of the Sambro Island Lighthouse Heritage Society, which successfully lobbied the government to commit the funds last May.

"Seeing the actual details of the work that's about to be completed, it's certainly enlightening for sure."

Aging structures

Some of the repair work will tackle exteriors, new shingling, replacement of spiral staircase wood beams, refurbishment of the concrete. 

The Sambro Island and Caple Sable Lighthouses are 257 and 155-years-old, respectively. Flemming says finally getting the funding has made the hard work "worthwhile" in an effort to "capture our history." 

The Sambro Island lighthouse, the oldest operating lighthouse in North America, was declared surplus by the federal government in 2010. (Andrew Vaughan/Canadian Press)
"It preserves it for the generations to come," he said. "You need to inform the public about the significance of maintaining our historical structures. It's no different than knowing your family tree."

In 2010, 976 lighthouses were declared surplus by the federal government. 

The tenders for both lighthouses close in two weeks. 

The Nova Scotia Lighthouse Preservation Society could not be reached for an interview. 

With files from David Burke

now