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Light Tower

Caribou Island / Île Caribou, Ontario, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1990/01/04

General view of the Light Tower, showing its precision, scale, and streamlined form, 1987.; Canadian Coast Guard / Garde côtière canadienne, 1987.
General view
No Image
No Image

Other Name(s)

n/a

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1911/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2008/10/22

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

A highly visible structure from the waters of Lake Superior, the Light Tower on Caribou Island is the dominant element of a lightstation complex that occupies a small, isolated island. The elegantly tapered profile of the concrete tower is emphasized by six flying buttresses that surround its central column. Crowning the tall tower is a fully automated red lantern. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

The Light Tower on Caribou Island was designated a Classified Federal Heritage Building because of its architectural and historical significance and because of its importance to the character of its setting. Built during a transitional phase in the development of reinforced concrete light tower construction, it is landmark in the evolution of light tower design in Canada. Its six buttresses illustrate a short-lived but uniquely Canadian experiment in tower design and construction. Higher and more tapered than examples built before it, the Light Tower is an assured expression of reinforced concrete technology at an early stage of its development in Canada. It is among the most impressive lights on the Great Lakes.

The construction of the Light Tower marked an increase in shipping activity on the Great Lakes and the availability of increased funds for lighthouse design and construction.

The scale of the tower and the constricted character of the island on which it is built make it the clearly dominant element in the landscape.

Sources: Martha Phemister, Lighttower, Caribou Island, Ontario, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Building Report 88-142; Lighttower, Caribou Island, Ontario, Heritage Character Statement, 88-142.

Character-Defining Elements

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

Key elements that define the heritage character of this tower include:
- its precision, scale and streamlined form, which are characteristic of the last three flying buttress lighthouses built by the Department of Marine;
- its flying buttresses, which were designed to provide stability and resistance to lateral thrust and vibration with a minimum of material;
- its reinforced concrete floors, which add to the lateral bracing;
- its relationship to its setting.

Recognition

Jurisdiction

Federal

Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Treasury Board Heritage Buildings Policy

Recognition Type

Classified Federal Heritage Building

Recognition Date

1990/01/04

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

n/a

Theme - Category and Type

Function - Category and Type

Current

Historic

Transport-Water
Navigational Aid or Lighthouse

Architect / Designer

Department of Marine

Builder

n/a

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

3424

Status

Published

Related Places

n/a

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