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Point Prim Light Station, Prince Edward Island, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1992/05/28

Point Prim Lighthouse, 2002.; Province of PEI/Province de Î-P-É, John Sylvester, 2002.
General view of the place
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Other Name(s)

Point Prim Lighttower
Tour de phare de la pointe Prim

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2004/12/23

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Tower is prominently situated on a point of land at the southeastern entrance to Hillsborough Bay, at the outer approach to Charlottetown harbour. It is an elegant, round-tapered, structure, shingle clad and crowned by a metal lantern. The only decorative elements are the brackets supporting the lantern deck. Four windows are vertically banked on the sloping west wall. The tower has a white painted exterior while the lantern and doorway are painted red. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

The Tower is a Classified Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.

Historical Value:
The Tower is one of the best examples of a building associated with the establishment of navigational aids on Prince Edward Island. The tower was the first to be constructed on Prince Edward Island. It is associated with the expansion of navigation and trade in the nineteenth century, and in particular with the increase in Charlottetown harbour traffic resulting from the rapid growth of Prince Edward Island’s population. It is among the oldest surviving towers in Canada.

Architectural Value:
The Tower is valued for its very good aesthetics, and is one of only two in Canada to combine a round form with brick construction. Visually striking, it has an elegant simplicity of form to which the height and taper, the projecting tower platform, and the proportions of lantern and base contribute. The clarity of the profile is accentuated by the sparseness of ornamentation. Brackets supporting the lantern are the only decorative embellishments. The Tower exhibits very good function-driven design. Very good craftsmanship is evidenced in the brickwork and shingle outer-cladding.

Environmental Value:
The Tower reinforces the maritime character of its shoreline setting at Point Prim. The Tower is well known and is a conspicuous regional landmark.

Margaret Coleman, Point Prim Lighttower, Point prim, Prince Edward Island, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office, Report 90-264; Point Prim Lighttower, Point Prim, Prince Edward Island, Heritage Character Statement 90-264

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of the the Tower should be respected.

Its very good aesthetics and functional design and very good craftsmanship, for example:
-the building’s elegant, tapered cylindrical form and massing, and its tall profile surmounted by an iron lantern;
-the foot thick exterior walls of brick faced with wood shingles;
-the vertical alignment of the windows and the door;
-the interior with its four levels, open volume, steep wooden stairs and central vertical shaft associated with the operation of the flashing light;
-the white-painted exterior and the red-painted lantern.

The manner in which the the Tower reinforces the maritime character of its shoreline setting on Point Prim, and is a prominent landmark as evidenced by:
-the Tower’s form and materials, which complement its dramatic maritime setting facing the Northumberland Strait;
-the Tower’s high visibility and specialized role, which make it a familiar regional landmark to maritime traffic, and to tourists and visitors using the surrounding open area containing a picnic site.




Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Treasury Board Heritage Buildings Policy

Recognition Type

Classified Federal Heritage Building

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Function - Category and Type


Navigational Aid or Lighthouse


Architect / Designer

Isaac Smith


Isaac Smith

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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