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Lightstation: Annex

Cove Island, Ontario, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1991/11/14

Front view of the Old Dwelling, Cove Island, demonstrating the whitewashed exterior walls of rough faced, rusticated stone set in even courses, with a slightly projecting basement course, 1990.; Canadian Coast Guard/Garde côtière canadienne, 1990.
Front elevation
Aerial view of Lightstation: Annex from the east.; Department of Fisheries & Oceans Canada/Département de pêches et océans Canada
Aerial view
General view of Lightstation: Annex.; Department of Fisheries & Oceans Canada/Département de pêches et océans Canada
General view

Other Name(s)

Lightstation: Annex
Residence Annex, old
Annexe de l'ancienne résidence
Old Dwelling
Ancienne résidence

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1855/01/01 to 1859/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2007/03/16

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Lightstation: Annex, integral to the Cove Island Lightstation is situated at the entrance to Georgian Bay. It is a small, stone, cottage-like structure with a gable roof abutted to the lighttower. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

The Lightstation: Annex is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.

Historical Value:
The Lightstation: Annex, built as an adjunct to the Cove Island Lighttower, is associated with the installation of lighthouses on the Great Lakes beginning in 1804. The need for navigational aids was also spurred by the opening of the Bruce Peninsula for settlement in the mid-1850s, the free-trade agreement with the United States in 1854 and the construction of the Sault Ste. Marie canal in 1855.

Architectural Value:
The Lightstation: Annex is a good example of a principal support structure influenced by elements of British classicism, for example as sen in its simple and symmetrical proportions. Designed as accommodation, it is based on the prototype of the simple Scottish cottage. It matches the robust detailing of the associated lighttower. It exhibits very good materials and craftsmanship.

Environmental Value:
The Lightstation: Annex reinforces the present character of its maritime setting on Cove Island. The structure is a regional landmark. .

Joan Mattie, Four ‘Imperial Towers’: lighthouses at Lake Huron and Georgian Bay:
Griffith Island, Chantry Island, Christian Island, Cove Island, and three light station outbuildings at Cove Island: old dwelling (now refered to as fog plant annex), fog plant, and boathouse. Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Report 90-216; Old Dwelling, Cove Island Lightstation: Cove Island, Lake Huron, Ontario, Heritage Character Statement 90-216.

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of the Lightstation: Annex should be respected.

Its modest design, high quality materials and construction, for example:
-the structure’s simple proportions including its two-storey form, gable roof, and end wall parapets with integral chimneys;
-the symmetrical disposition of the doors, windows and chimneys;
-the whitewashed exterior walls of rough faced, rusticated stone set in even courses, with a slightly projecting basement course.

The manner in which the Lightstation: Annex as part of the Cove Island Lightstation reinforces the character of the picturesque, maritime setting of Cove Island and is a regional landmark as evidenced by:
-its design, materials and physical attachment to the light tower, both of which make it an integral part of the light station;
-its association with the lighttower which is a symbol of the maritime heritage of Cove Island;
-its visibility and familiarity to those who sail in Georgian Bay makes it well known.




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



Single Dwelling

Architect / Designer

Board of Works, Canada West



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


Situated on an island at the entrance of the Georgian Bay, the Tower in the Cove Island Lightstation is a tall, stone structure, round with a slight taper and slightly corbelled…


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