Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act: Program Results and a Course for the future


The Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act is designed to conserve and protect federally-owned lighthouses that have significant heritage value. To date, 99 lighthouses have been designated and protected under the Act, and many others will be designated in the months and years to come. Heritage lighthouses are designated by the Minister responsible for Parks Canada (the Minister of Environment and Climate Change) on the advice of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada.

The Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act protects the heritage character of designated heritage lighthouses. Designated heritage lighthouses must be reasonably maintained and any alterations must be consistent with national and international standards for conservation. The Act also facilitates the sale or transfer of a heritage lighthouse to other levels of government, to community organizations, or to individuals in order to ensure an ongoing public purpose for the lighthouse and its long-term conservation. Any sale or transfer of a heritage lighthouse out of the federal portfolio must provide for the protection of its heritage character.

Canadians play an important role in the long-term conservation of heritage lighthouses. Under the Act, a lighthouse that is no longer required by the federal government can only be designated if a new owner is identified who can protect its heritage character. Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Canadian Coast Guard have been working with community-based organizations and other levels of government to find responsible, viable new owners for many cherished lighthouses across Canada. To date, sale or transfer agreements have been completed for 57 heritage lighthouses. 

Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Canadian Coast Guard will continue to work with Canadians to identify responsible new owners for other cherished lighthouses. Parks Canada and the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada will continue to support their efforts to designate and protect as many heritage lighthouses as possible and ensure the protection of their heritage character for the benefit and enjoyment of generations to come.

New owners of heritage lighthouses may be eligible to apply for funding to support conservation and presentation projects through Parks Canada’s National Cost-Sharing Program for Heritage Places.


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