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Joseph Gavey House

Gaspé, Quebec, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2001/11/01

side view of the Joseph Gavey House; Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada
side view of the Joseph Gavey House
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Other Name(s)

Joseph Gavey House
Gavey (Joseph) House
Maison Gavey (Joseph)

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1865/01/01 to 1867/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/04/22

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Joseph Gavey House is a balanced and symmetrical, one-and-a-half-storey rectangular building with white, painted, lap siding, coloured exterior trim, a gable roof with a gable dormer over the front entrance, and a stone foundation. The building also features a gallery, which runs the full length of the building, and a summer kitchen with a projecting storm-enclosure at the back of the house. The Joseph Gavey House is part of a grouping of buildings that includes a barn and a shed, which are located on the upper part of a steep hill facing the Gaspé Bay at Grande-Grave, within Forillon National Park. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

The Joseph Gavey House has been designated a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations and its architectural and environmental values:

Historical value
The Joseph Gavey House is associated with the national theme of the cod fishery in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, which was the main activity and the driving force behind the Gaspé economy for several centuries. The building was home to one of the oldest families in Grande-Grave, the Gaveys, some of whom worked for the Fruing Company and were clerks for William Hyman & Sons. Its construction in the second half of the 19th century, a time of prosperity that also saw the expansion of Grande-Grave, illustrates the pivotal role played by cod exporters and merchants in the settlement of the region, and the social structure and economic dynamics that shaped traditional Gaspé fishing villages like this one.

Architectural value
The Joseph Gavey House is a good example of a vernacular form that is especially common in Gaspé, where Quebec domestic architecture is influenced by the design of the Neoclassical New England house. The building's distinctive style illustrates the preservation of a tradition in domestic architecture between the mid-19th and early 20th centuries, and is typical to many of the houses in Grande-Grave. Many of the characteristic elements of this neoclassical vernacular style can be found in both the layout and the elevations
of the Joseph Gavey House, and its simple interior is constructed of durable, good quality materials.

Environmental value
The Joseph Gavey House reinforces the present character of Grande-Grave which still evokes the former
settlement, and blends with the marine landscape of Forillon owing to its design which is compatible with other buildings in Grande-Grave, and to its siting which is well-integrated with the site's topography. The Joseph Gavey House is one of a string of buildings along the coast that characterize the cultural landscape of the south shore of the Forillon Peninsula. A familiar landmark in the area, the house speaks to the presence of a former, traditional Gaspé coastal fishing village.

Roch Samson, Christine Chartré, Michel Bédard, Paul Trépanier, Yvan Fortier, The Houses and Outbuildings
of Grande-Grave, Forillon National Park, Québec. Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Building Report

Character-Defining Elements

The following character-defining elements of the Joseph Gavey House should be respected, for example:

-Features specific to this typical form of domestic architecture, such as the stone foundation which supports the raised frame of the house and follows the topography of the site, the balanced symmetry of the elevations, the roof line broken by a gable dormer, and the gallery running the full length of the façade and the gable wall;

-The components that illustrate the building methods and techniques that are specific to this vernacular neoclassical tradition, in particular the use of wood as a building material, the white, painted, lap siding and contrasting exterior trim, and the interior woodwork;

-The interior layout which is representative of neoclassical houses and consists of four rooms around a centre hall on both floors;

-The attached summer kitchen and its projecting storm-enclosure located at the back of the building, which are a common feature of houses in Grande-Grave;

-The great similarity of style, form and materials that creates the overall harmony of the buildings in Grande-Grave;

-The visual and physical link between the house and its outbuildings, the site with which it is historically associated. Its location amid fields and pastures also reflects the varied activities of fishermen-farmers; and,

-The relationship of the house to its setting which consists of a rugged coastline, as well as its relationship to the spread-out settlement of Grande-Grave.




Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Treasury Board Heritage Buildings Policy

Recognition Type

Recognized Federal Heritage Building

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Function - Category and Type


Single Dwelling


Architect / Designer




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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