Tour de phare
Griffith Island Lighthouse
Phare de l'île Griffith
Links and documents
1855/01/01 to 1859/01/01
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Located on a picturesque coastal site, the Griffith Island Tower is a tall, stone structure, round with a slight taper and slightly corbelled outward at the top to form a gallery and base for the 8-sided plain lantern. There is very little detailing, which emphasizes the rugged quality of its stone construction. There are small, narrow window openings staggered around the tower and the doorway is rounded at the top. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Tower is a Classified Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values
The Tower constructed as one of the so-called ‘Imperial Towers’ is a very good example illustrating the installation of lighthouses on the Great Lakes beginning in 1804. The opening of the Bruce Peninsula for settlement in the mid-1850’s, a free-trade agreement with the United Stated in 1854, and the Sault. Ste. Marie Canal in 1855 prompted the need for navigational aids and the establishment of these towers.
This tower counts among the few constructed of stone and is an excellent example of functional design of a strong and stable structure that is aesthetically pleasing. It employs materials and craftsmanship of the highest standard, and is a very good example of the work of the contractor John Brown and one of the best examples of the work of the pre-confederation Canadian Board of Works. The tower is characterized by its elegant proportions and its simple construction of rusticated stone.
As a tall, elegant structure on a picturesque site, the Tower reinforces the region’s scenic quality and maritime character and adds greatly to the interest of boating within its immediate scenic area.. It serves as a popular destination for recreational and some commercial traffic on Lake Huron and Georgian Bay, which is attributed to the magnificent scenery of the area’s waters that are dotted by many islands.
Joan Mattie, Four ‘Imperial Towers’: lighthouses at Lake Huron and Georgian Bay, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Building Report 90-204.; Griffith IslandLightstation Tower, Lake Huron, Griffith Island, Ontario, Heritage Character Statement 90-204.
The character-defining elements of the Tower should be respected.
Its highest quality functional design and aesthetic, materials and craftsmanship as manifested in:
-its tall, round, slightly tapered form corbelled at the top to form a gallery and base for the lantern;
-its plain eight-sided lantern which provides an important component of the appearance;of the structure.
-its structural system employing heavy timber to provide lateral stability with inner and outer whites of cut masonry with rubble infill providing compressive strength;
-its masonry detailing;
-its whitewash finish;
-its round-headed doorway and small, narrow windows with plain stone sills staggered around the tower;
-its interior components of wooden stairwell, curved cast-iron-and-wood stairs and straight and steep stairs.
The manner in which the Tower at Griffith Island in its picturesque setting
reinforces the region’s scenic and maritime character and adds greatly to the interest of boating within its immediate scenic area.
Government of Canada
Treasury Board Heritage Buildings Policy
Classified Federal Heritage Building
Theme - Category and Type
Function - Category and Type
- Navigational Aid or Lighthouse
Architect / Designer
John Brown, Canadian Board of Works
Location of Supporting Documentation
National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec
Cross-Reference to Collection