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Lower Light

Newfoundland and Labrador, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1990/06/07

Lower Light; Transport Canada (1988).
Exterior Photo
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Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/09/14

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Lower Light, situated on a steep shoreline in a barren and rocky landscape, is a red metal lantern set on a solid concrete base with an outer masonry wall. A small wooden entrance shed is attached to the lantern. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

The Lower Light, is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental value.

Historical Value
The Lower Light is associated with the establishment of aids to navigation. Its construction along with the Upper Light, and the Lighttower marked a major step in the development of the route through the Strait of Belle Isle as a viable alternative to the longer route to Newfoundland. The Lower Light was designed to illuminate the way when the Upper Light was obscured by fog.

Architectural Value
The Lower Light is a good example of a light designed without a tower since it was designed to provide a light closer to the water than the frequently fog-obscured upper light. Instead of a tower, the light is characterized by a solid concrete base with an outer masonry wall on which is mounted on a well-proportioned metal lantern capped with a domed roof.

Environmental Value
The Lower Light maintains an unchanged relationship to its site on a steep shoreline in a barren and rocky landscape. It is compatible with the coastal setting and is a landmark to commercial vessels and local area fishermen.

Margaret Coleman, Keeper’s Dwelling, Upper and Lower Lights, Belle Isle South West, Newfoundland, Federal Heritage Building Review Office Building Report 88-132; Lower Light, South West Belle Isle, Newfoundland, Heritage Character Statement, 88-132.

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of the Lower Light should be respected.

Its functional design, for example:
-the structure’s simple form that consists of a solid concrete base with an outer masonry wall on which is mounted a metal lantern capped with a domed roof with an attached small, wooden entrance shed;
-the surviving colour scheme.

The manner in which the Lower Light maintains an unchanged relationship with its site and is compatible with the character of its coastal maritime setting, and is a local landmark in the area, as evidenced by:
-the ongoing relationship of the structure to the steep shoreline and barren, rocky landscape;
-the compatibility of its form and massing with the other navigational aids on Belle Isle;
-the high visibility of the structure to passing sea going vessels.




Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Treasury Board Heritage Buildings Policy

Recognition Type

Recognized Federal Heritage Building

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Function - Category and Type



Navigational Aid or Lighthouse

Architect / Designer

Department of Marine and Fisheries



Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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