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Fog Alarm

Mississagi, Ontario, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1994/03/31

Corner view of the Fog Alarm building at Mississagi Strait.; Transport Canada / Transports Canada
Corner view
View of the north elevation of the Fog Alarm building at Mississagi Strait.; Transport Canada / Transports Canada
Side façade
View of the machinery at the Fog Alarm building in Mississagi Strait, 1907.; Agence Parcs Canada / Parks Canada Agency, 1907.
Historic image

Other Name(s)

Fog Alarm
Fog Alarm
Sifflet de brume

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1906/01/01 to 1907/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2008/06/30

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Fog Alarm is integral to the Mississagi Strait Light Station at the south-western extremity of Manitoulin Island, where it faces the Mississagi Strait, six miles from the town of Meldrum Bay. The Fog Alarm building is a wood-frame, one-and-a-half-storey, gable-roofed structure with a smaller gable roofed wing. The generally symmetrical arrangement of windows and doors contribute to the vernacular appearance of the structure. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

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

Historical Value:
The Fog Alarm is associated with efforts to improve maritime safety by providing navigational aids at dangerous locations. The Fog Alarm was an important aid to maritime traffic using the Mississagi Strait, and its presence aided the development of lumbering and fishing industries on Manitoulin Island, Georgian Bay and the North Shore.

Architectural Value:
The Fog Alarm is valued for its good aesthetic design. Utilitarian in appearance, it exhibits the smooth, simplified and crisp appearance typical of many marine buildings. Pleasing proportions and simple massing are the principal features of the building. The variety of window types reflects functional requirements. Good craftsmanship and materials is evidenced in the simple trim details such as the decorative gable panels.

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

Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Report 93-057; Heritage Character Statement 93-057.

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of the Fog Alarm should be respected.

Its utilitarian, functional design and good quality materials and craftsmanship, for example:
- the building’s one-and-a-half-storey rectangular form and massing;
- the wood-frame construction and gable roof, with a cupola ridge ventilator, and the smaller gable roofed wing;
- the simple, traditional character of the building, the wood shingle siding and roofing, and the simple trim details such as the decorative gable panels;
- the main open volume that serves to house the fog alarm equipment, and the surviving interior materials and finishes;
- the generally symmetrical door and window arrangement;
- the multi-paned wood sash windows with their relatively heavy sashes and lighter muntins.

The manner in which the Fog Alarm is compatible with the present character of the maritime setting and is a familiar regional landmark 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 structure’s visibility to passing maritime traffic, to tourists visiting the light station, and its local high profile through its current role as a seasonal restaurant.




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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