Description of Historic Place
The Port Dover Lighthouse is prominently located at the end of the west pier (breakwall), at the entrance to Port Dover Harbour, a resort community on lake Erie. It is a sturdy, square, wooden lighthouse with a platform enclosed by a pipe railing and crowned by a square metal lantern. A simple pediment embellishes the entrance, while a window on the south elevation lights the interior. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Port Dover Lighthouse is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.
The Port Dover Lighthouse is a good example of a building associated with the establishment of navigational aids on the Great Lakes. The construction of the Port Dover lighthouse was part of the Canadian response to improve the Great Lakes - St. Lawrence route, to compete with the American-built Erie Canal system that linked New York with Buffalo on Lake Erie. The wharf and light have been, and continue to be, the centre of Port Dover's economy, which is focused on commercial fishing and an active summer resort trade.
Valued for its good aesthetics, the Port Dover Lighthouse is one of a number of square wooden towers built on the Great Lakes in the nineteenth century and is one of the oldest examples in Ontario of the small wooden lighthouses built in pre-Confederation years. A simple design, they were economical to construct and easy to maintain. Sparse detailing emphasizes the simplicity of the building. The Lighthouse exhibits good functional design.
The Port Dover Lighthouse is compatible with the maritime character of its pier setting; it is of high landmark value and has become a symbol adopted by the community.
Martha Phemister, Port Dover lighthouse (Front Range Light), Port Dover, Ontario, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office, Report 88-100.
Port Dover Lighthouse (Front Range Light), Port Dover, Ontario, Heritage Character Statement 88-100.
The character-defining elements of the Port Dover Lighthouse should be respected, for example:
Its good aesthetics and functional design, for example:
-The simple design, profile and low massing of the square, tapered tower with a square lantern.
-The wood-frame construction.
-The trim details such as the platform, the gallery handrail and the pediment.
-The placement of windows and doors.
-The interior with its flight of stairs.
The manner in which the Port Dover Lighthouse is compatible with the maritime character of its pier setting, and is a familiar regional landmark for maritime traffic as evidenced by:
-Its form and materials, which complement its pier end/ harbour maritime setting.
-Its high visibility within the busiest pleasure craft port in the region.
-Its role as a symbol adopted by the community.