Pointe au Pere Lighthouse

is the second highest lighthouse in Canada.  It has 109 steps that go up in a spiral staircase without a landing for a break.  And since I was the first in a group of people behind me, I couldn’t act my age and slow down.  The last little bit up was by ladder and I skipped that part.  Steve wished he had because he was trapped with the crowd at the top while the tour guide gave a long narrative in French and I made my way back down and outside.

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In 1914 the passenger ship, Empress of Ireland, was struck amidships during a thick fog by a Norwegian coal ship four miles from Pointe au Pere.   1012 people on the Empress of Ireland lost their lives.  The Titanic had sunk just two years earlier and so many lives were lost because there weren’t enough lifeboats.  As a result, the Empress of Ireland had improved safety measures with additional lifeboats and drills but sank in just 14 minutes. One crew member who survived also survived the sinking of the Titanic and the Lusitania.  More actual passengers were lost on the Empress of Ireland than the Titanic but the Titanic lost many more crew.  Artifacts from the wreckage and the history of the vessel, her passengers and crew are on display in the Empress of Ireland Pavilion directly across from the lighthouse.

There’s also an old submarine that can be toured as well as a museum of fog horns.  Overnight parking is allowed here in a big grassy area overlooking the St. Lawrence and the lighthouse.

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