Defence Electric Light Number 1
Searchlight System, Defence Electric Light No. 1
Réseau de projecteurs, feu électrique de défense no 1
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Facing south across the Juan de Fuca Strait, Defence Electric Light No1 is situated near the water’s edge at the western extremity of the Fort Rodd Hill complex. The single-storey flat-roofed, irregularly shaped concrete building has a rounded front and a rear shed extension. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
Defence Electric Light No1 is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.
Defence Electric Light No1 is one of the best examples of a structure associated with the upgrading of the nighttime capabilities of the Esquimalt-Victoria coastal defence capability. It is one of two original defence lights and an integral part of the Searchlight system.
Defence Electric Light No1 is a good example of a functional early 20th century military design. The structure’s irregular shape and single room layout were specifically devised for the accommodation of a searchlight. It is a very good functional design with good craftsmanship expressed in the exposed concrete construction.
The site of Defence Electric Light No1 has witnessed minor changes, but the untamed rocky setting survives. The relationship of the modest structure is compatible with the present character of the Juan de Fuca Strait and the landscape to the north.
Joan Mattie, Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgarde Light station, 603, Fort Rodd Hill Road, Colwood, B.C. Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Report 96-096.
Searchlight System – Defence Electric Light No1, 603 Fort Rodd Hill Road, Colwood, British Columbia. Heritage Character Statement 96-096
The following character-defining elements of Defence Electric Light No1 should be respected, for example:
Its functional military design and good quality materials and craftsmanship such as:
-The simple, single-storey flat roofed low massing of the searchlight structure with its rounded front and rear extension incorporated into the massing.
-The simply detailed concrete formwork.
-The sliding steel shutters.
The manner in which Defence Electric Light No1 is compatible with the present character of the Fort Rodd Hill National Historic Site as evidenced in:
-The relationship of the structure to the Juan de Fuca Strait and the rocky setting to the north.
Government of Canada
Treasury Board Heritage Buildings Policy
Recognized Federal Heritage Building
Theme - Category and Type
Function - Category and Type
- Military Support
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec
Cross-Reference to Collection