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Lockmaster's House

St. Peter's, Nova Scotia, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1989/12/14

Exterior photo; CPS, Atlantic Regional Office, Louisbourg, Sept 1989
Exterior photo
Exterior photo; CPS, Atlantic Regional Office, Louisbourg, Sept 1989
Exterior photo
Exterior photo; CPS, Atlantic Regional Office, Louisbourg, Sept 1989
Exterior photo

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2007/02/21

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Lockmaster’s House is a tall, wood framed structure with a distinctive mansard roof and an asymmetrically positioned rear wing. One of the oldest buildings in the community of St. Peter’s, it is located in an open setting beside the canal and close to the ocean. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

The Lockmaster’s House is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental value.

Historical Value
The Lockmaster’s House is closely associated with the early history of St. Peter’s canal and its role in the development of the village of St. Peter’s. The house was built in 1876 during the first of three major reconstructions. One of the oldest residences in the community, it illustrates a significant phase in the development of St. Peter’s which formed around the nucleus of the canal.

Architectural Value
The Lockmaster’s House is a good example of a 19th century residence with good functional design. It has been occupied by the canal lockmaster and superintendent from the time of its construction in 1876 until 1983. The exterior features that characterize the building and underline its age include its curved mansard roof, general form, symmetry and materials. It was designed by Henry F. Perley, who was associated with the initial construction of the canal in 1854-1872 as an employee of Canada’s newly formed Public Works department.

Environmental Value
The Lockmaster’s House reinforces the present character of its canal land setting and is a well-known building in the area.

Joanna H. Doherty, Lockmaster’s House, St. Peter’s Canal, St. Peter’s, Nova Scotia, Federal Heritage Building Review Office Building Report 89-001;Lockmaster’s House, St. Peter’s Canal, St. Peter’s, Nova Scotia, Heritage Character Statement, 89-001.

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of the Lockmaster’s House should be respected.

Its 19th century aesthetic, functional design and good craftsmanship and materials, for example:
-its simple two-storey form and symmetrical massing with an asymmetrically positioned rear wing;
-its two-sided, curved mansard roof;
-its wood frame construction;
-its surviving interior sub-divisions, forms and materials.

The manner in which the Lockmaster’s House reinforces the character of its canal land setting and is familiar within the area, as evidenced by:
-its tall profile, large scale and 19th century design which is physically prominent among the surrounding 20th century structures;
-its location within the sphere of the canal, and the ocean in front;
-its well-known historic association with the canal and the town of St. Peter’s as well as its physical prominence and visibility within the community which makes it a local landmark.




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



Architect / Designer




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




Related Places

General view

St. Peters Canal National Historic Site of Canada

St. Peter’s Canal National Historic Site of Canada is a man-made water channel that connects the Bras d’Or Lakes with St. Peter’s Bay on the Atlantic Ocean in St. Peter’s, Nova…


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