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Île-Verte Lighthouse National Historic Site of Canada

2802 du Phare Road, Notre-Dame-des-Sept-Douleurs, Quebec, G0L, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1974/05/18

View of Île Verte lighthouse and the fog horn building on the flat rocky terrain; Agence Parcs Canada | Parks Canada Agency, Valérie Busque, 2009.
General view
View of Île Verte lightkeeper's residence; Agence Parcs Canada | Parks Canada Agency, Valérie Busque, 2009.
General view
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Other Name(s)

Île Verte Lighthouse
Phare de l'île Verte
Île-Verte Lighthouse National Historic Site of Canada

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1806/01/01 to 1809/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2009/05/12

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Île-Verte Lighthouse National Historic Site of Canada is an attractive 12 metre high cylindrical stone lighthouse, with an octagonal painted metal lamp, situated on an island in the St. Lawrence River opposite the mouth of the Saguenay River. Its isolated setting contains not only the tower, but a lightkeeper’s residence, a fog horn building, an oil shed and a small powder magazine. The designated place is defined as the legal property boundary at the time of designation.

Heritage Value

Île Verte Lighthouse was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1974 because:
- built in 1809, this lighthouse was the first navigation aid on the St. Lawrence;
- third oldest lighthouse in the country, the circular form and height of its stone tower are virtually intact.

The heritage value of the Île Verte Lighthouse lies in its age and its high level of architectural conservation. Construction of Île Verte Lighthouse was approved in 1806 and completed in 1809. The tower was designed and built by Edward Cannon, master mason of the city of Québec. Its purpose was to guide ships in the dangerous waters and currents of the St. Lawrence River at the mouth of the Saguenay River. For 137 years, from 1827 to 1964, this lighthouse was operated by four generations of the Lindsay family. The only alterations to the building have been the application of wood siding over the rubblestone walls (initially in the form of clapboard in the 1850-1870 period, then later as vertical siding), replacement of the original light with an automated one in 1969, and replacement of original windows, inner ground floor door, facing and metal hoops by the Canadian Coast Guard during restoration in 1983.

Source: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minutes, May 1974.

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements contributing to the heritage value of this site include:
- the location on the St. Lawrence River near the mouth of the Saguenay River;
- the tower’s high level of architectural conservation;
- its continuing operation as a light tower;
- its sturdy 12 metre high massing and slightly tapered 4-storey circular tower form with a single-storey attached shed entrance, and a tower cap with a octagonal lantern under a domed roof;
- evidence of the functionally driven design, including the sparse articulation with three square windows set in a vertical line on the tower and the flat cap on the tower providing a platform for the light;
- the quality of the workmanship and materials, particularly the workmanship of the coursed rubblestone with smoothed exterior walls, the wood siding, the metal of the early lantern and its housing, the oak planking of the light platform with its copper cover, the building’s brick interior walls, the protective tin sheeting on interior beams and exterior door of the tower, cupboards, staircases and floors of the building interior;
- the surviving glass of the early lantern, evidence of hand-operated light technology, apparatus, and evolution of their use at the station;
- the spatial relationship of the lighthouse to the other buildings on the site, namely the powder magazine, fog horn building, oil shed and keeper’s house;
- archaeological evidence of previous spatial and functional relationships of the current and former buildings on the lighthouse site (i.e. the site of the former repair shop, barn, large powder magazine and initial keeper’s residence);
- the flat rock and scrub terrain of the lighthouse site;
- the viewplanes from the lighthouse over the St. Lawrence and Saguenay Rivers and the span of the arc of the light over the water.




Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Historic Sites and Monuments Act

Recognition Type

National Historic Site of Canada

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design
Developing Economies
Communications and Transportation

Function - Category and Type


Tourist Facility


Navigational Aid or Lighthouse

Architect / Designer

Edward Cannon



Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Heritage Conservation and Commemoration Directorate Documentation Centre 3rd Floor, room 366 30 Victoria Street Gatineau, Quebec J8X 0B3

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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