Province/Territory: Newfoundland and Labrador

The birthplace of modern communications

  • 07 years war
  • 3,500-km Morse code transmission
  • 15-m Gothic stone tower

Travel to St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador—the oldest city in North America—and stand in awe of this port town’s preeminent landmark. Topped with a wind-whipped stone tower and overlooking the wild Atlantic coastline, this is Signal Hill National Historic Site of Canada—a heritage property once home to fierce battles and world-changing events. Learn of the conflicts waged here during the Seven Years’ War, when British and French troops vied for control of the continent. View wartime artefacts and watch history come alive with a military reenactment. Discover the birthplace of modern communications: Signal Hill received the world's first trans-Atlantic radio transmission. Run your hands along the imposing stone walls of Cabot Tower. Revel in the panoramic ocean views. Explore one of the Maritimes' most significant heritage sites—Signal Hill National Historic Site of Canada—and experience St. John's interactive history on the hilltop.

Why you should visit
  • Uncover the rich heritage surrounding the 18th century-era Cabot Tower —from its inception as a military outpost to its importance in modern-day communications.
  • Learn about maritime operations on Signal Hill and how strategic flagging conveyed information about approaching ships—techniques used right into the 20th century.
  • Wander the “Waves Over Waves” exhibit, which details the first-ever trans-Atlantic wireless broadcast—in 1901, Guglielmo Marconi received a Morse code transmission sent from England to Signal Hill, revolutionizing modern communications.
  • Tour battle sites from the Seven Years War, fought between the British and French from 1756 to 1762; discover the daily life of military men stationed here throughout the 19th century.
  • Watch the Signal Hill Tattoo, a spirited reenactment of 18th century military exercises set on the grounds where battles once raged; hear the cannons roar and enjoy the detailed period costumes.
  • Jaunt through five hiking trails, all offering Atlantic views from atop dramatic coastline; watch for whales and puffins offshore.

Weather

  • Expect mild to warm weather throughout the operating season (May to October), with cooler patterns at the start and finish of the season. Average daily temperatures are approximately 6°C in May, 11°C in June, 15°C in July, 16°C in August, 12°C in September and 7°C in October.
  • Discover local weather information. Research local weather patterns at Environment Canada's Canadian Climate Website.
Visitor information
When to go
  • Visitor Information Centre is open from mid-May to mid-October.
  • Cabot Tower is open from mid-April to mid-November.
  • Off-seasons tours of the Visitor Information Centre can be arranged by appointment.
  • Signal Hill Tattoo runs three times per week from July 1 to mid-August; twice daily (weather permitting).
  • Special Events are held throughout the operating season.
Need to know
  • Signal Hill National Historic Site of Canada is a family friendly destination.
  • Visitor Information Centre is wheelchair accessible; Cabot Tower is not.
  • Expect to spend a half- to a full-day at Signal Hill National Historic Site of Canada.
  • Comfortable clothing and shoes are recommended for touring the property.
  • Signal Hill Tattoo performances are 45 minutes in duration.
Getting Here