Newfoundland and Labrador Sights

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Signal Hill National Historic Site

Signal Hill National Historic Site Review

In spite of its height, Signal Hill was difficult to defend: throughout the 1600s and 1700s it changed hands with every attacking French, English, and Dutch force. In 1762, this was the site of the final battle between the French and British in the Seven Years' War (usually called the French and Indian War in the United States). A wooden palisade encircles the summit of the hill, indicating the boundaries of the old fortifications. In July and August, cadets in 19th-century British uniform perform a tattoo of military drills and music. En route to the hill is the Visitor Center, with exhibits describing the history of St. John's. There's also a café.

Cabot Tower, at the top of Signal Hill, was constructed in 1897 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of explorer John Cabot's landing in Newfoundland. In 1901 Guglielmo Marconi received the first transatlantic-wire transmission near here, and today you can visit the Marconi exhibit on the top floor. The drive to the tower along Signal Hill Road affords fine harbor, ocean, and city views, as does the tower itself. Walking trails take you to the base of the hill and closer to the ocean. Dress warmly; it's always windy.

    Contact Information

  • Address: Signal Hill Rd., St. John's, NL A1C 5M9
  • Phone: 709/772–5367
  • Cost: Site and tower free; visitor center C$3.90, C$6.30 to include same-day visit to Cape Spear
  • Hours: Site daily dawn–dusk. Cabot Tower mid-May–Aug., daily 10–8; Sept.–Nov., daily 10–6. Visitor center mid-May–mid-Oct., daily 10–6; mid-Oct.–mid-May, weekdays 8:30–4:30
  • Website:
  • Location: St. John's
Updated: 11-15-2013

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