Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Former Lighthouse Keeper’s Dwelling, integral to the Fort Weller lighthouse station, is located on Lake Ontario at the northern terminus of the Welland Canal. It is a strongly constructed, one-storey concrete building with distinct Art Deco attributes such as a the flat roofline and streamlined appearance. Notable features include the stylized, flattened detailing, a raised concrete entablature, symmetrically placed steel windows and central, solid oak doors. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Former Lighthouse Keeper’s Dwelling is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.
The Former Lighthouse Keeper’s Dwelling is associated with the provision of navigational aids to ensure the safe usage of the Welland Canal. The Port Weller lighthouse station, as a result of the interest of lighthouse keeper Cyril Williamson and his wife Ethel in ham radio, achieved international recognition as an important navigational aid on the Welland Canal, and later the St. Lawrence Seaway.
The Former Lighthouse Keeper’s Dwelling is a functional building valued for its good aesthetic design and, with the adjacent Residence and Search and Rescue Office, 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 Lighthouse Keeper’s Dwelling is compatible with 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 Lighthouse Keeper’s Dwelling should be respected.
Its good Art Deco aesthetic, functional design and excellent quality materials and craftsmanship, for example:
- the low, rectangular single-storey massing with a flat-roofline;
- the quality concrete construction and smooth-faced exterior;
- the restrained decoration that includes a raised concrete entablature and capping parapet, the curved transom over the central doorway, sidelights, and the stylized flattened detailing neat the roofline, and the parapet roof with stylized turrets.
The manner in which the Former Lighthouse Keeper’s Dwelling is compatible with 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 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, Québec
Cross-Reference to Collection