Description of Historic Place
The Île Verte Lighthouse is located on a rocky outcrop at the northeast tip of Île Verte, an island located in the St. Lawrence River. The circular lighthouse is 17.1 metres (56 feet) tall, and is part of a complex of nine buildings. There is one eligible related building on the site that contributes to the heritage character of the lighthouse: (1) the 1945 Fog Alarm Building.
The Île Verte Lighthouse is a heritage lighthouse because of its historical, architectural, and community values.
The Île Verte Lighthouse is an excellent example of the development of navigational aids along the St. Lawrence River. It was the first of a small group of lighthouses built along the river to make waterways safer for trade and settlement purposes. The Québec Trinity House, an institution established in 1805, was tasked with erecting and administering lighthouses, and the Île Verte Lighthouse was its first project. The lighthouse represented an important milestone in the development of interior timber trade routes, and has been directly linked to increased trade along the St. Lawrence River.
The Île Verte Lighthouse is an excellent example of a lighthouse directly linked to socio-economic development. Early settlers and traders benefitted from the lighthouse, which marked the beginning of safe passage along the river’s shores. In addition, merchants and shipping industry magnates of Montreal used the new system of navigational aids to develop steam ship trade using the St. Lawrence.
The Île Verte Lighthouse is an excellent example of the circular, slightly tapered stone towers built on the St. Lawrence and in Ontario in the first decades of the 19th century. The tower is distinguished from other examples by the fact that its exterior walls are covered with vertical wooden boards and that is it small in stature. The tower is topped by a gallery upon which is mounted a copper lantern.
The Île Verte Lighthouse exhibits excellent craftsmanship and functionality not least because of its study masonry construction. The components of the lantern, imported from England, were well-designed and thoughtfully integrated.
The Île Verte Lighthouse reinforces the isolated character of the island, and is only visible from the south shore of the St. Lawrence River. During the summer, the lighthouse can be reached by boat, but during the winter, it becomes ever more isolated, accessible only by helicopter or snowmobile.
The Île Verte Lighthouse is a symbol of nearby communities, and has become a local tourist attraction. The Corporation des maisons du phare de l’Île Verte comprised of residents of the island, transformed two houses on the site into tourist lodging, and run tours of the lighthouse.
One related building, as listed in section 1, contributes to the heritage character of the lighthouse.
The following character-defining elements of the Île Verte Lighthouse should be respected:
— its location on a rocky outcrop at the northeast tip of Île Verte, located in the St. Lawrence River;
— its intact as-built structural form, height, profile and balanced proportions characterized by its circular, slightly tapered shape;
— its wooden clad exterior siding girded by five metal hoops;
— its gallery and 1.8 metre (6 foot) tall copper lantern;
— its three superimposed windows, one at each story;
— its entranceway, through a small, attached wooden gable-roofed vestibule;
— the original interior elements of the lighthouse;
— its traditional white and red exterior colour scheme, consisting of a while tower and red lantern;
— its visual prominence in relation to the water and the landscape.
The following character-defining elements of the related buildings should be respected:
— their respective built forms, profiles, and proportions;
— their traditional red and white exterior colour schemes;
— their contextual relationships to the lighthouse within an historic lightstation setting.