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Mississagi, Ontario, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1994/03/31

View of the Lighttower at Mississagi Strait, showing its prominent lantern and attached one-storey, dwelling with gable roof and small addition.; Transport Canada / Transports Canada
General view
General view of the Lighttower and its attached dwelling at Mississagi Strait.; Transport Canada / Transports Canada
General view
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Other Name(s)

Lighttower and Dwelling
Phare et résidence

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2008/07/07

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Lighttower and its attached dwelling are integral to the Mississagi Strait Light Station on the south-west part of Manitoulin Island where they face the Mississagi Strait. The square tower is a tapered, wooden structure of sturdy appearance appended to a one-storey, rectangular dwelling with a gable roof and a small addition. The Lighttower features a gallery and a prominent lantern. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

The Lighttower and attached dwelling is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.

Historical Value:
The Lighttower and attached dwelling are clearly associated with efforts to improve maritime safety for increasing commercial marine traffic, by building a network of coastal lights at dangerous locations. The inclusion of a dwelling at the Lighttower reflected the importance of maintaining the light at this location. The light aided the development of lumbering and fishing industries on Manitoulin Island, in Georgian Bay and along the North Shore. Towers with attached dwellings were a short-lived phenomenon of the 1870s and 1880s, and were usually adopted for remote minor coastal lights.

Architectural Value:
Utilitarian in nature, the Lighttower and attached dwelling are valued for their good aesthetic design. The lantern is a prominent feature whose scale reinforces the sturdy and durable appearance of the tower. The bracketed cornice and gallery handrail exhibit good craftsmanship and contrast with the simple exterior walls and the informally placed doors and windows. The weatherboard and shingle-clad façades with corner boards contribute to the structure’s traditional appearance.

Environmental Value:
The Lighttower and attached dwelling are compatible with the rugged maritime character of Manitoulin Island at the approaches to the St. Lawrence River system, and together are well known to the shipping community. As well, the structure is a well-known regional landmark that has been extensively promoted in Manitoulin Island tourist literature.

Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Report 93-057; Benchmark Building Reports 93-053, 93-054, 93-055, 93-056, 93-057 93-061; Heritage Character Statement 93-057.

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of the Lighttower should be respected.

Its good aesthetic, functional design and good quality materials and craftsmanship, for example:
- the simple, low massing of the tapered tower and prominent lantern with attached one-storey, dwelling with gable roof and small addition;
- the wood-frame construction;
- the weatherboard and shingle-clad façades with corner boards;
- the trim details such as the bracketed cornice and the gallery handrail;
- the informally placed doors and windows with multi-paned wood sash windows with heavy sashes and lighter muntins;
- the wood panelled entrance doors and surviving original interior room configurations and finishes.

The manner in which the Lighttower and attached dwelling are compatible with the present character of the maritime setting and together form a familiar regional landmark for maritime traffic as evidenced by:
- the picturesque qualities of its design and form, which complement the rugged island environment;
- the building’s association to the other buildings in its setting;
- the Lighttower’s visibility to passing maritime traffic, to visiting tourists, and its high local profile through its current role as a museum, and extensive promotion in Manitoulin Island tourist literature, make it a familiar 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



Navigational Aid or Lighthouse

Architect / Designer

Department of Marine and Fisheries



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




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