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Triple Island Lighthouse National Historic Site of Canada

Prince Rupert, British Columbia, V0V, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1974/11/15

General view of Triple Island Lighthouse, showing the clean lines, and subtle ornamentation, including the decorative brackets supporting the platform surmounted by an iron lantern.; Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada.
Exterior view
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Other Name(s)

Triple Island Lighthouse National Historic Site of Canada
Triple Island Lighthouse
Phare de l'île Triple
Triple Island Lightstation
Station de phare de l'île Triple
Triple Islands Light
Triple Islands Lighttower
Tour de phare de l'île Triple

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1919/01/01 to 1920/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2009/06/19

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Triple Island Lighthouse National Historic Site of Canada stands sentinel on an exposed, rocky islet off the coast of British Columbia. The concrete, octagonal tower rises from the northeastern corner of an unornamented, square-shaped keeper’s dwelling and fog alarm building. It is a simplified, well-scaled, classical design occupying a large part of Triple Island. The strategic location makes it highly visible to maritime traffic. The official recognition refers to the building on its rocky island.

Heritage Value

Triple Island Lighthouse was designated a national historic site of Canada in 1974 because:
- prevailing westerly gales and high flood tides in the spring and fall made construction of a lighthouse here one of the most hazardous tasks in Canadian maritime history.

The heritage value of this site resides in the physical presence of the lighthouse as witness to the achievement of its construction on such an exposed site. The contractor, J.H. Hildritch of Prince Rupert completed the job in seventeen months without a single loss of life. Triple Island Lighthouse also illustrates the improvement of aids to navigation on the west coast of Canada, and was built 1919-1920 to aid marine traffic using the Inside Passage to Alaska, and ships bound for Prince Rupert. The lighthouse, with its 3rd Order Dioptric light with a focal plane of 29.5 metres, was a custom design for the site, and was constructed according to the designs of Col. W. A. Anderson of the Department of Marine and Fisheries.

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

Character-Defining Elements

The key elements that contribute to the heritage character of this site include:
- the highly visible location on a rugged, rocky location at the edge of a busy seaway;
- the maritime coastal setting on a small, exposed, storm-swept island;
- the sturdy, reinforced-concrete construction;
- the overall form and strong, clean massing of the structure which consists of a tall octagonal 23 metre high tower with lantern, and a two-storey, cube-like keeper’s dwelling;
- the simplified classical design;
- the clean lines, and subtle ornamentation, including the decorative brackets supporting the platform surmounted by an iron lantern;
- the regular placement of doors and windows;
- the horizontal stringcourse with decorative brackets;
- the smooth, painted finish of the exterior walls with its identifying colour scheme of white with red painted lantern.




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

Developing Economies
Communications and Transportation

Function - Category and Type


Navigational Aid or Lighthouse


Architect / Designer

Col. W.A. Anderson, Department of Marine and Fisheries


J.H. Hildritch

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




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