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North Head, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1990/10/22

aerial view of North Head Lighthouse; Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada
aerial view of North Head Lighthouse
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Other Name(s)

North Head Lighthouse
Phare de North Head

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2006/05/01

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Lighttower at North Head is situated on high headland that marks the entrance to Conception Bay. The structure is a modest, cast-iron tower with wide, red and white vertical stripes. The vertical emphasis of the tower is reinforced by the lack of differentiation between the base and the shaft. As such, the tower appears to rise directly from the stone on which it sits. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

The Lighttower, is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental value.

Historical Value
The Lighttower illustrates the theme of navigational aids in Newfoundland when it was a British colony with an economy based almost entirely on the sea. Its construction also illustrates the theme of growing industrialization around the turn of the 20th century.

Architectural Value
The Lighttower is a good example of a utilitarian structure of cast-iron construction and excellent functional design. It is one of approximately 26 lighthouses of prefabricated iron and steel construction, thought to be the only surviving examples of their type in Canada. Favoured because of their inexpensive cost, ease of erection, low maintenance requirements and long-term durability, these structures reflect the desire to achieve a design that would withstand the rigours of the Newfoundland coast.

Environmental Value
The Lighttower reinforces the character of its maritime setting and is a familiar landmark to mariners in the region.

Joan Mattie, Six Newfoundland Lighthouse,: Green point; Heart’s Content; King’s Cove Head; Little Denier Island; North Head; Brigus; Random Head, Newfoundland, Federal Heritage Building Review Office Building Report 89-198, 89-199, 89-200, 89-201, 89-208, 89-211; Lighthouse: North Head, Conception Bay, Brigus, Newfoundland, Heritage Character Statement, 89-208.

Character-Defining Elements

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

Its utilitarian design, and cast-iron construction, for example:
-the simple massing of the tower which consists of a smooth tubular form with no differentiation between the base and the shaft;
-the cast-iron construction system, comprised of rounded rectangular segments bolted together on the interior face;
-the lantern with its triangular-shaped glazing and cap with a ball shaped finial;
-the red and white colour scheme.

The manner in which the Lighttower reinforces the character of its maritime setting and is a familiar landmark, as evidenced by:
-its overall appearance and profile which is a dominant element in the exposed, natural environment;
-its visibility to mariners of the region which contributes to its status as a landmark.




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



Navigational Aid or Lighthouse

Architect / Designer

J.T. Nevill



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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