Description of Historic Place
The Lighttower at Île-Verte is a short, 56-foot (17 metres), and simply designed, tapered masonry cylinder, clad with white vertical wood boards girded by five metal hoops. The structure is accessible through a small porch at the ground level, and the tower is punctuated by a vertical row of three windows and topped with a small, railed deck and copper lantern. The lighthouse is located amongst several ancillary buildings, on a rugged site at the northwest point of the island, in the St. Lawrence River. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Lighttower is a Classified Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.
Among the earliest lighthouses in Canada, and the first light tower built along the shores of the St. Lawrence River, the Lighttower is one of the best examples of the expansion of navigation and trade in the early 19th Century and was a milestone in the development of a system of safe waterways in the country. Built for the Quebec Trinity House, which was responsible for improvement and regulation of the navigation in the lower St. Lawrence River, the Lighttower undoubtedly benefited the region by making navigation safer and easier.
The Lighttower served, through its masonry construction, round shape, small size and overall simplicity, as a prototype for later lighthouses built along the St. Lawrence River. The longevity of the structure and continuity of its use speaks to the success of its design, which has proven highly functional, as well as to the quality of materials and craftsmanship of its construction.
The Lighttower contributes to the rugged character of its remote maritime setting. The structure is a significant landmark for the region; it has become a tourist attraction and the object of much local pride.
Sources: Natalie Clerk, Green Island lighthouse, Green Island (Ile Verte), Québec. Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Report 89-177; Lighthouse, Ile Verte, Québec, Heritage Character Statement, 89-177.
The character-defining elements of the Lighttower should be respected.
Its simple functional design, high quality materials and craftsmanship, and virtually unchanged appearance, as manifested in:
- the short, circular, slightly tapered masonry tower, and the vertical white wood boards, girded by five metal hoops;
- the vertical row of three windows and small lean-too portico located at the base of the tower;
- the small railed deck and painted copper lantern, and their proportions in relation to the tower;
- the layout and fabric of the interior, including the staircases, floors and cupboards, much of which may be original to the building.
The manner in which the building reinforces the rugged character of its setting and serves as a significant local landmark, as demonstrated in:
- its remote location in the estuary of the St. Lawrence River;
- the obvious point of reference formed by the lighthouse and its ancillary buildings, such as the foghorn and powder magazines, which is well known to those using the seaway.