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Killarney, Ontario, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1991/09/05

General view of the Tower, showing the two-storey, square-tapered massing of the short tower with flared cornice, 1990.; Canadian Coast Guard / Garde côtière canadienne, 1990.
General View
View of the entrance to the Tower, showing the detailing around, 1990.; Canadian Coast Guard / Garde côtière canadienne, 1990.
General View
General view of the Tower, showing the square walkway with guardrail and prominent octagonal lantern, 1990.; Canadian Coast Guard / Garde côtière canadienne, 1990.
General View

Other Name(s)

Killarney Lighthouse
Phare de Killarney
Killarney East Lighthouse
Phare est de Killarney

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2008/07/14

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Tower stands sentinel on the North Channel of Georgian Bay, at Killarney East. The short, sturdy, square-tapered tower features a projecting gallery with handrail topped by a prominent lantern. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

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

Historical Value:
The Tower is closely associated with the post-Confederation building campaign to improve maritime safety by constructing an extensive network of coastal lights. The simplicity of design and economy of construction reflect the desire of the government to expediently build a large number of towers in a cost-efficient manner.

Architectural Value:
The Tower is a good aesthetic design and an early example of a square-tapered wooden tower of the type identified by a flared cornice. The tower has a substantial taper, heavy cornice treatment, and a prominent gallery. Its simple design and use of timber construction was a pragmatic solution to provide lights to harbours inexpensively. The Tower’s design enabled its relocation, if necessary, to suit shifting water channels, or to avoid coastal erosion.

Environmental Value:
The Tower is compatible with the present maritime character of Killarney and is familiar to the fishing community and to visitors.

Sources: Martha Phemister and Gordon Fulton, Informal Building Reports, Square Tapered Wooden Tower, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Report 90-193; Killarney East Tower, Killarney, Ontario, Heritage Character Statement 90-193.

Character-Defining Elements

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

Its functional, classical revival-inspired design and very good quality materials and craftsmanship, for example:
-the two-storey, square-tapered massing of the short tower with flared cornice;
-the walkway with guardrail and prominent lantern with octagonal light enclosure;
-the wood construction and cladding;
-the detailing around the windows and entrance.

The manner in which the Tower is compatible with the character of its maritime setting and is well known in the region, as evidenced by:
-the simple design and form, which complement the natural setting;
-the high visibility of the Tower to passing commercial marine traffic which make it known in the area.




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 Fisheries & Oceans 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




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