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Heart's Content Lighthouse

N Point Road, Heart's Content, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2015/07/30

General view of Heart's Content Lighthouse; Town of Heart's Content | Ville de Heart's Content, Doug Piercey
General view
General view of Heart's Content Lighthouse; Town of Heart's Content | Ville de Heart's Content, Doug Piercey
General view
General view of Heart's Content Lighthouse; Town of Heart's Content | Ville de Heart's Content, Doug Piercey
General view

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1901/01/01 to 1901/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2016/09/15

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Heart's Content Lighthouse is an 8.7 metres (28.5 ft) cylindrical cast iron tower. It is located at the entrance to Heart's Content Harbour, on the eastern side of Trinity Bay, about halfway up the Bay de Verde Peninsula. It is the first lighthouse on the site.

Heritage Value

The Heart's Content Lighthouse is a heritage lighthouse because of its historical, architectural, and community values.

Historical values
The Heart's Content Lighthouse is an excellent illustration of the theme of the expansion and development of navigational aids in Newfoundland when it was a British colony with an economy almost totally oriented toward the sea. With its prefabricated cast-iron construction, the lighthouse also illustrates the theme of growing industrialization around the turn of the 2oth century, of which Britain was a world leader.
The Heart's Content Lighthouse is an excellent example of the socio-economic development of the Heart's Content community. In 1866, the community was chosen as the eastern end of the transatlantic Telegraph cable, bringing an influx of employment and services to the village. Cable maintenance ships would visit regularly to perform repairs to the underwater cables, and the lighthouse was essential to ensure their safe arrival and departure until the station closed in 1965. The Heart's Content harbour is one of the best in the province, as it is very deep and can accommodate a variety of vessels. In 1915, it became the winter shipping port for international marine traffic after the establishment of a pulp and paper mill in central Newfoundland. The Heart's Content Lighthouse also supported Heart's Content's strong fishing industry.

Architectural values
The Heart's Content Lighthouse is well-proportioned and sparsely detailed and is a very good example of a modest, intact, cast-iron tower. The utilitarian character of the tower is reflected in its smooth tubular form and lack of decoration. Features of interest include its "craw's nest" -inspired gallery, reminiscent of enclosed lookout structures found on the upper part of ship masts, and its spiralling red and white paint pattern. The Heart's Content Lighthouse was inexpensive to build and easy to erect. It has both low maintenance requirements and long-term durability. It is an excellent example of a utilitarian structure of cast-iron construction that reflects the desire to achieve a design that would withstand the rigours of the Newfoundland coast.

Community values
The Heart's Content Lighthouse reinforces the maritime character of the area fitting comfortably in its rugged and exposed setting. The lighthouse is a familiar landmark in Heart's Content and is visible when you enter the town from any direction. The site itself provides a view of all of Trinity Bay and is a popular spot for sighting whales and seabirds.
The Heart's Content Lighthouse is a symbol of the community, held in high esteem by the citizens of the town. Along with many fishing villages in Newfoundland, Heart's Content has been economically devastated by depleted fishing stocks and its local economy now depends heavily on tourism. The lighthouse has taken on great significance as a heritage tourism resource in recent years and is one of the most visited attractions in town.

Related buildings
No related buildings are included in the designation.

Character-Defining Elements

The following character-defining elements of the Heart's Content Lighthouse should be respected:
— its location on the north point of Heart's Content's natural harbour;
— its intact, as-built structural form, height, profile and balanced proportions;
— its straight, cylindrical, cast-iron tower;
— its original lantern topped by its small, round, sculpted lantern cap surmounted by a weathervane;
— its 'crow's nest' inspired gallery surrounded by metal railing and supported by fretwork brackets;
— its cast-iron construction system, comprised of rounded rectangular segments bolted together on the interior face;
— its reinforced concrete foundation;
— its two windows placed symmetrically in the tower;
— its sole exposed entry door;
— its traditional red and white exterior colour scheme, consisting of red and white spiral stripes on the tower, and a white lantern cap; and,
— its visual prominence in relation to the water and landscape.




Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act

Recognition Type

Heritage Lighthouse

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Communications and Transportation

Function - Category and Type



Navigational Aid or Lighthouse
Historic or Interpretive Site

Architect / Designer




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




Related Places

Exterior view

Light Tower

The Light Tower, situated at the entrance to Heart’s Content Harbour, is a cylindrical, cast-iron tower painted in red and white spiral stripes. Its profile is emphasized by the…


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