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Lighttower

Highway 132, Gaspé, Quebec, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1994/03/31

General view of the Lighttower at Cap-des-Rosiers showing the construction of the thick, durable exterior limestone walls, and the use of white marble facing on the exterior of the tower, 2001.; Parks Canada Agency/Agence Parcs Canada, J.F. Bergeron, 2001.
General view
Panoramic view of the Lighttower at Cap-des-Rosiers against a setting sun backdrop putting into emphasis the elegant form and proportions of the lighttower which consists of a 112 foot tall, tapered round shaft that supports a multi-facetted lantern, 2001; Parks Canada Agency/Agence Parcs Canada, J.F. Bergeron, 2001.
Panorama
Arial view of the Lighttower at Cap-des-Rosiers putting into evidence its visual prominence owing to its location at the edge of a cliff, its simple, elegant design, massive scale and colour, which all contribute to its soaring, white silhouette, 2001; Parks Canada Agency/Agence Parcs Canada, J.F. Bergeron, 2001.
Aerial view

Other Name(s)

Cap-des-Rosiers Lighttower
Tour de phare du Cap-des-Rosiers
Lighttower

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1854/01/01 to 1858/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2006/01/23

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Lighttower at the Cap-des-Rosiers Lighthouse National Historic Site of Canada is a tall, simple, tapered circular limestone tower clad with white marble facing and capped with a large facetted lantern. The Lighttower is located at the head of the Gaspé Peninsula, in close proximity to the village of Cap-des-Rosiers and Forillon National Park. The lighthouse was designated a National Historic Site in 1977 and is considered the showpiece of the Québec agency of the Canadian Coast Guard. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

The Lighttower is a Classified Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.

Historical value:
The Lighttower is one of the best examples of the national historic theme of aids to navigation. Located at the head of the Gaspé Peninsula, the Cap-des-Rosiers Lighthouse is a major coastal light, serving all marine traffic entering the estuary of the St. Lawrence River from the Gulf. As one of the Imperial towers, the Lighttower is linked with the pressure exerted by steamship operators on the colonial government to improve maritime safety and the system of navigational aids along the St. Lawrence. The presence of the Cap-des-Rosiers Lighthouse also contributed to the growth of the St. Lawrence River ports such as Québec City and Montréal.

Architectural value:
Lighttower is an excellent example of an early -Imperial- stone lighttower. A gracefully tapered circular limestone tower, the Lighthouse is symmetrical and simply detailed, and features a large facetted and well proportioned lantern which clearly expresses the utilitarian function of the building. The tallest lighttower in Canada, the building’s solid construction also demonstrates the use of exceptionally high quality craftsmanship and durable materials such as limestone quarried from the Gaspé Basin and a smooth, white marble facing.

Environmental value:
Located at the head of the Gaspé Peninsula, the Lighttower reinforces the dramatic character of its maritime setting. A focal point in the landscape owing to its scale and silhouette, the Lighthouse is a prominent visual landmark and a symbol of the region, as well as the showpiece of the Québec agency of the Canadian Coast Guard.

Sources:
Gordon Fulton, Lighttower, Cap-des-Rosiers, QC. Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Report 93-062; Lighttower, Cap-des-Rosiers, QC, Heritage Character Statement 93-062.

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of Lighttower should be respected.

Its distinctive design as an Imperial stone lighttower, functional layout, and high quality materials and craftsmanship as manifested in:
-the elegant form and proportions of the lighttower which consists of a 112 foot tall, tapered round shaft that supports a multi-facetted lantern;
-the solid, unadorned exterior walls and the circular footprint which reflect the utilitarian purpose of the structure;
-the functionally derived arrangement of the four small, multi-paned sash windows which are stacked at regular intervals, one above the other;
-the simple interior layout including the spiral stair with its plain pipe-rail guard which runs the height of the tower;
-the construction of the thick, durable exterior limestone walls, and the use of white marble facing on the exterior of the tower;
-the minimal exterior detailing such as the small, metal struts supporting the lantern gallery;
-the original optical apparatus which is still in place.

The manner in which the Lighttower reinforces the dramatic character of its maritime setting and its landmark status, as evidenced in:
-its relationship with the cluster of service buildings and the open, austere character of the surrounding site at its base;
-its visual prominence owing to its location at the edge of a cliff, its simple, elegant design, massive scale and colour, which all contribute to its soaring, white silhouette.

Recognition

Jurisdiction

Federal

Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Treasury Board Heritage Buildings Policy

Recognition Type

Classified Federal Heritage Building

Recognition Date

1994/03/31

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

n/a

Theme - Category and Type

Function - Category and Type

Current

Transport-Water
Navigational Aid or Lighthouse

Historic

Architect / Designer

John Page

Builder

n/a

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

6283

Status

Published

Related Places

n/a

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