Government of Canada announces new heritage lighthouse designation in Ontario
Burlington Canal Main Lighthouse protected under the Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act
December 2, 2021 Ottawa, Ontario Parks Canada Agency
Heritage places reflect the rich and varied stories of Canada and provide an opportunity for Canadians to learn more about our diverse history.
Today, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, announced the designation of the Burlington Canal Main Lighthouse under Canada’s Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act.
The Burlington Canal Main Lighthouse is a 16.7 metre (55 feet) tall, circular, tapered, limestone tower with an iron lantern and catwalk. The lighthouse marks the entrance to the Burlington Canal. It supported the passage of vessels from Lake Ontario to Burlington Bay, now known as Hamilton Harbour.
With this new designation, 106 lighthouses in eight provinces have now been protected under the Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act. They include some of the country’s most architecturally and historically significant lighthouses, including Triple Island in British Columbia, Île du Pot à l’Eau-de-Vie in Quebec, and Cape Spear in Newfoundland and Labrador, which are treasured symbols of our country’s maritime heritage.
The Government of Canada continues to work in close collaboration with community groups and other levels of government to facilitate the designation of heritage lighthouses and ensure their protection for the benefit and enjoyment of generations to come. Designations under the Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act are made by the Minister of Environment and Climate Change on the recommendation of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada.
“I am proud to recognize Canada’s heritage lighthouses as iconic symbols of our communities and for the crucial role they have played in protecting mariners. They are also important tourism attractions that contribute to local economies. The Government of Canada is committed to protecting these special places and I encourage all Canadians to take the opportunity to learn more about our rich and diverse history, including our freshwater heritage lighthouses.”
The Honourable Steven Guilbeault,
Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada
Constructed in 1857 to replace the original lighthouse established in 1837, the Burlington Canal Main Lighthouse is an excellent example of the early development of aids to navigation on Lake Ontario. The Province of Upper Canada erected the first lighthouse after the completion of the Burlington Canal, which connected Hamilton Harbour to Lake Ontario. The area continues to be an industrial transportation hub and also a recreational area for marine traffic.
Among the 106 designated heritage lighthouses, 43 are managed by the federal government and 63 are managed by new, non-federal owners, including Burlington Canal Main Lighthouse.
The Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act was established in 2010 to protect lighthouses owned by the federal government that have significant heritage value. The Act protects the heritage character of designated lighthouses and requires that they be reasonably maintained.
Designations under the Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act are made by the Minister of Environment and Climate Change on the recommendation of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada.
Created in 1919, the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada advises the Minister of Environment and Climate Change regarding the national historic significance of places, people, and events that have contributed to Canada’s history. Together with Parks Canada, the Board ensures that subjects of national historic significance are recognized and these important stories are shared with Canadians.
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change
Parks Canada Agency
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