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Rimouski Lighthouse

Rimouski, situated where the Rimouski River empties into the southern shore of the St. Lawrence River, has long had a strong maritime connection, and today the largest concentration of public institutions in Quebec that are devoted to maritime sciences and technology are found in Rimouski.

Lighthouse on Rimouski Wharf in 1906
Photograph courtesy Library and Archives Canada
Rimouski’s best-known lighthouse is Point-au-Père Lighthouse, first established on the point northeast of the city in 1859, but this isn’t the only light that has guided mariners at Rimouski. In 1906, the Department of Marine provided the following information on a new wharf light at Rimouski:
A light was established on the roof of the freight shed on the wharf, near its outer end. It is a fixed white dioptric light of the sixth order, elevated 30 feet above high water mark and visible 10 miles from all points of approach by water. The light is distant 90 feet from the outer end of the wharf, and is shown from a square wooden lantern on the roof of the rectangular wooden freight shed; the walls and roof of the shed being painted dark red and the lantern white. The height from the top of the wharf to the top of the lantern is 21 feet.

The work was performed by day’s labour and cost $105.31.

Ubalde Lavoie served as the first keeper of the wharf light, and in 1915, he was earning an annual salary of $125 for his service. Besides minding the light, Keeper Lavoie also sounded a hand-operated foghorn to answer vessels’ signals. Around 1950, a privately maintained whistle, which sounded a five-second blast every thirty seconds, was added to the wharf.

The wharf at Rimouski wasn’t located at the mouth of the Rimouski River but rather midway between the river and Point-au-Père. The lighthouse at the end of the wharf was destroyed in May 1953 and replaced by an aluminum-coloured, skeletal tower topped by a red lantern.

Today, a flashing green light is displayed from a square, skeletal tower on the outer end of the wharf at Rimouski, and the wharf is home to the Rimouski-Forestville Ferry, Quebec’s fastest ferry, that crosses the St. Lawrence River in roughly an hour during the summer.

Keepers: Ubalde Lavoie (1906 – at least 1923).


  1. Annual Report of the Department of Marine, various years.

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