Brighton Beach Front Range Lighthouse
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
(© Kraig Anderson - lighthousefriends.com)
York Lane, Brighton Ward, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act (S.C. 2008, c 16)
1889 to 1889
Brighton Beach Front Range Lighthouse
Description of Historic Place
Brighton Beach Front Range Lighthouse is a 12.2 metre (40 ft) square, tapered light tower, and features white-painted shingles with red accents and lantern room; a decorative maple leaf is painted on two faces of the lantern room. It sits along the shoreline of the North (Yorke) River in the residential community of Brighton Ward of the City of Charlottetown in Prince Edward Island.
The Brighton Beach Front Range Lighthouse is a heritage lighthouse because of its historical, architectural, and community values.
Strategically situated at the confluence of the North (Yorke) River with Charlottetown Harbour, the Brighton Beach Front Range Lighthouse was constructed in 1889 in order to help guide vessels through the narrow channel between Hillsborough Bay and the harbour. It is an excellent example of the system of marine aids to navigation developed for Prince Edward Island.
The presence of the lighthouse supported the maritime economy of Charlottetown through the late nineteenth century and into the twentieth. The increased navigation safety provided by the lighthouse helped ease the harbour traffic and brought significant international trade opportunities to Charlottetown. It also strengthened the maritime industries, including fish and seafood processing, as well as coastal steamship service.
Brighton Beach Front Range Lighthouse is an excellent example of the square tapered wooden tower design constructed throughout Canada in the second half of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It features, on three elevations, projecting multipaned windows with shed-roof lintels and a projecting, shed-roof entryway. It has steeply-sloping sides and a superimposed square wooden gallery rests on metal brackets. A decorative maple leaf is also painted on two faces of the lantern room, which is a detail found on some lighthouses marking Prince Edward Island and Northumberland Strait.
The low cost of its construction and the durability of its design make the Brighton Beach Front Range Lighthouse particularly well suited for its location at the confluence of the North (Yorke) River. The lighthouse has withstood more than a century of exposure to Atlantic Canada’s weather, a tribute to its materials, craftsmanship and maintenance.
The location of the Brighton Beach Front Range Lighthouse in the residential Brighton community reinforces the beachfront character of the neighbourhood and its presence among the adjacent residential buildings increases its visual prominence.
The Brighton Beach Front Range Lighthouse is additionally valued as a symbol of Charlottetown’s Brighton Ward, as well as the city as a whole. It remains a visual and operational representation of Charlottetown’s outward-facing, maritime character. The lighthouse has helped maintain the livelihood of many residents involved in the maritime economy, both in Brighton and Charlottetown at large.
No related buildings are included in the designation.
The following character-defining elements of the Brighton Beach Front Range Lighthouse should be respected: its location as a range light at the confluence of the North (Yorke) River; its intact, as-built structural form, height, profile and balanced proportions based on the standard design of square, tapered, wooden towers; its square wood-frame structure with tapered sides rising from the concrete foundation base; its square lantern room with a pyramidal-hipped roof with finial; the white maple leaf painted on two faces of the lantern room; its superimposed square wooden gallery supported by angle brackets; its plain metal railing that surrounds the gallery; its wood-shingle sheathing and corner boards; its multipaned windows with shed-roof lintels that project from the façades; its sole entry door with shed-roof that projects from the façade; its traditional red and white exterior colour scheme consisting of a white tower and gallery, accented by red features such as the door and roof of the entrance way, the window trims, the lantern, the railing of the gallery and the on the south façade; its visual prominence in relation to the water and landscape.