Home / Accueil

Martello Tower 4

Lavigueur Street, Québec, Quebec, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1990/09/20

General view of Martello Tower 4, showing the low, sturdy massing, circa 1920.; National Battlefields Commission / Commission des champs de bataille nationaux, circa /vers 1920.
General view
No Image
No Image

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1808/01/01 to 1812/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2008/04/10

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Martello Tower 4 sits on the edge of the Sainte-Geneviève hillside in an urban, residential area of Québec. The low, round, sturdy tower of brick and stone construction features an encircling terrace at its top and a protective pierced parapet. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

Martello Tower 4 is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental value.

Historical Value
Martello Tower 4 is one of four constructed and is one of the best examples of a building associated with a period of strong military development to strengthen Québec’s key strategic role in defending British North America from water borne attack. These military improvements were brought to the city by the Royal Engineers at the beginning of the 19th century, and the structure was constructed to form a first line of defense within the ensemble of the fortifications of Québec.

Architectural Value
Martello Tower 4 is of value for its good aesthetic design. As well it has very good functional qualities, primarily in its adaptation of a British coastal defense model to inland warfare. This was achieved through excellent craftsmanship found in the technical execution of the masonry construction as evidenced in the walls of greatest thickness, the vaulted ground floor designed to enclose a powder magazine, and the encircling terrace with a protective pierced parapet to provide for both surveillance and mounting artillery.

Environmental Value
Martello Tower 4 provides important symbolic references to Canada’s military past and reinforces the historic, 19th-century military character of its urban hillside setting in Québec. The tower is a neighborhood landmark in the area.

Sources: Yvon Desloges, Les Tours Martello de Québec, Québec, Québec, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office, Building Report, 89-053; Martello Tower #4, Québec City, Québec, Heritage Character Statement, 89-053.

Character-Defining Elements

The following character-defining elements of Martello Tower 4 should be respected.

Its good aesthetic design, very good functional design and excellent materials and craftsmanship, for example:
-the low, sturdy massing;
-the encircling terrace and protective, pierced parapet;
-the vaulted ground floor designed to enclose a powder magazine and to support soldiers’ lodging above;
-the walls of high quality brick and stone construction with ventilation channels and whose thickness greatens towards the direction of expected attack;
-the stairway designed to provide infantry with protected access.

The manner in which Martello Tower 4 reinforces the historic, military character of its urban hillside setting in Québec and is a neighbourhood landmark, as evidenced by:
-its specialized military design, low scale, massing and sturdy construction, which harmonizes with its residential surroundings on the hillside in the historic district of the City;
-its association with, and symbolic references to, Canada’s military past which makes it a destination for visitors and a local 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



Military Defence Installation

Architect / Designer

Ralph Henry Bruyère of the Royal Engineers



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




Related Places

General view

Québec Martello Towers National Historic Site of Canada

The Québec Martello Towers National Historic Site of Canada, form part of the Fortifications of Québec National Historic Site of Canada, in Québec City, Québec. It comprises three…


Advanced SearchAdvanced Search
Nearby Places