Home / Accueil

Front Range Lighthouse

Port Dalhousie, Ontario, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1989/08/17

Exterior photo; Marylyn Armstrong Reynolds, Parks Canada/Parcs Canada, AHB, 1989.
Exterior photo
No Image
No Image

Other Name(s)

Front Range Lighthouse
Lighttower - Front Range
Tour de phare, feu de direction avant

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1879/01/01 to 1880/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2006/05/12

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Front Range Lighthouse is prominently situated at the end of a water swept concrete pier, one of a pair of lighthouses that forms the harbour entrance at Port Dalhousie, Lake Ontario. It is a sturdy, square, wooden lighthouse with a substantial bracketed platform enclosed by a pipe railing and crowned by an octagonal metal lantern. The windows are flush with the wall surface. Decorated with a pediment, the entranceway extends from the exterior wall. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

The Front Range Lighthouse is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.

Historical Value:
The Front Range Lighthouse is a good example of a building associated with the establishment of navigational aids on the Great Lakes. Constructed in the 1870s-1880s, to meet the needs of the new steamships plying the lakes, the Front Range Lighthouse was built to serve the third Welland Canal. Along with the Rear Range Lighthouse, located 300 feet (91.5 meters) away, it formed a dual-light system to guide ships on Lake Ontario and those entering the canal or the port. While the rear light is no longer operational, the front light continues to serve recreational boaters.

Architectural Value:
The Front Range Lighthouse is valued for its good aesthetics. The Front Range Lighthouse is one of a number of square wooden towers built on the Great Lakes in the nineteenth century. A simple design, they were economical to construct and easy to maintain. The simplicity of the profile is accentuated by the minimal detailing. The Lighthouse exhibits good functional design. Good craftsmanship is evidenced in the diagonal boarding of the interior.

Environmental Value:
The Front Range Lighthouse is compatible with the maritime character of its exposed pier setting. The Lighttower is well known and is a conspicuous regional landmark.

Marilyn E. Armstrong Reynolds, Front and Rear Range lighthouses (2 Buildings) East Pier, Port Dalhousie, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office, Report 88-103; Front Range Lighthouse, Port Dalhousie, St Catherines, Ontario, Heritage Character Statement 88-103.

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of the Front Range Lighthouse should be respected.

Its good aesthetics and functional design and very good craftsmanship, for example:
-the simple design, profile and low massing of the square, tapered tower with an octagonal lantern;
-the wood-frame construction;
-the weatherboard exterior;
-the trim details such as the substantial, bracketed platform and the gallery handrail;
-the placement of windows and doors;
-the entranceway built out from the exterior wall and decorated with a pediment;
-the interior with its early diagonal boarding and steep wooden staircase.

The manner in which the Front Range Lighthouse is compatible with the maritime character of its exposed 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 and specialized role, which make it a familiar regional landmark to maritime traffic and to those visiting Michigan Beach.




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

Department of Marine, Canada



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



Advanced SearchAdvanced Search
Nearby Places