Former Foghorn Building
Fog alarm, former
le sifflet de brume, l'ancien
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Former Foghorn Building is integral to the Fort Weller lighthouse station located on Lake Ontario at the northern terminus of the Welland Canal. It is a small, sturdy, square building built of concrete with a parapet roof, stylized flattened neoclassical detailing, and a raised concrete entablature. A concrete tower on the roof acts as a pedestal for the steel frame of the pierhead light and foghorn. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Former Foghorn Building is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.
The Former Foghorn Building is associated with the provision of navigational aids to ensure the safe usage of the Welland Canal. The Port Weller lighthouse station achieved international recognition as an important navigational aid on the Welland Canal, and later the St. Lawrence Seaway, as a result of the interest of lighthouse keeper Cyril Williamson and his wife Ethel in ham radio.
The Former Foghorn Building is valued for its good aesthetic design and, with the adjacent residence is representative of the classical and modern elements of Art Deco. This style of architecture blends a simplified and modernistic neoclassicism with an austere form of geometric and stylized relief sculpture and other ornament. The concrete work exhibits excellent craftsmanship.
The Former Foghorn Building reinforces the maritime character of its waterfront site, and together with the associated adjacent buildings is well known to local shipping. The structure is also a well-known regional landmark.
Sources: Marilyn E. Armstrong Reynolds, Former Lighthouse Keeper’s Dwelling (now Search and Rescue Accommodation Building), 1953 Residence (now Search and Rescue Office), and the Former Fog Horn Building (now Outer Navaid), West Pier, Port Weller, Ontario Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Report 88-095; The Former Lighthouse Keeper’s Dwelling, Former Fog Horn Building, Port Weller, West Pier, Ontario, Heritage Character Statement 88-095.
The character-defining elements of the Former Foghorn Building should be respected.
Its good aesthetic, functional design and excellent quality materials and craftsmanship, for example:
- the small, square massing with flat-roof supporting a concrete tower supporting the pierhead light and foghorn;
- the quality concrete construction and smooth-faced exterior;
- the restrained decoration that includes a raised concrete entablature and capping parapet, and the parapet roof with stylized turrets.
The manner in which the Former Foghorn Building reinforces the present character of the maritime setting at the end of a breakwater, and is a familiar regional landmark for maritime traffic as evidenced by:
- the design and form, which complement the location at the end of a breakwater;
- the structure’s visibility to passing maritime traffic that makes it a familiar landmark.
Government of Canada
Treasury Board Heritage Buildings Policy
Recognized Federal Heritage Building
Theme - Category and Type
Function - Category and Type
- Navigational Aid or Lighthouse
Architect / Designer
Department of Marine and Fisheries
Location of Supporting Documentation
National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec
Cross-Reference to Collection