Flowerpot Island Lighthouse
© Parks Canada Agency | Agence Parcs Canada, S. Desjardins, 2015.
Flowerpot Island, Tobermory, Ontario
Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act (S.C. 2008, c 16)
1969 to 1969
1897 to 1897
Event, Person, Organization:
Flowerpot Island Lighthouse
Description of Historic Place
The Flowerpot Island Lighthouse is a square, tapered, steel tower surmounted by two unenclosed lights. It is located on Castle Bluff, on the northeastern point of Flowerpot Island, a medium-size, uninhabited island near Tobermory on the west side of Georgian Bay. The present Flowerpot Island Lighthouse was built in 1969 and is the second to be erected on the site.
There are four related buildings on the site that contribute to the heritage character of the lighthouse: (1) the 1963 Boathouse, (2) the 1901 Lightkeeper’s Dwelling, (3) the 1959 Assistant Lightkeeper’s Dwelling, and (4) the Observation Deck Building.
The Flowerpot Island Lighthouse is a heritage lighthouse because of its historical, architectural, and community values.
The Flowerpot Island Lighthouse is a very good example of the theme of expansion and modernization of aids to navigation in Georgian Bay. The development of improved navigational aids was spurred by the increasing number of shipwrecks in the region. The present tower is also representative of the late 20th-century shift away from staffed lighthouses and their replacement with low-maintenance automated structures and associated technology.
The Flowerpot Island Lighthouse is a very good example of the socio-economic development of the Bruce Peninsula. The lighthouse supported the local fishing industry and the regional timber and lumber trade.
The Flowerpot Island Lighthouse boasts a very good functional design. The tower successfully fulfills its function as the base for a light on Castle Bluff overlooking Georgian Bay. It does so in a very straightforward manner with no extraneous ornament or materials not strictly needed to support its two small lights. Its materials are strong, durable, and heavy enough to withstand local weather conditions.
The Flowerpot Island Lighthouse is highly valued by the Tobermory and Bruce Peninsula communities. The lighthouse supports the tourism industry associated with Flowerpot Island, which is a major attraction for boaters due to its “flowerpot” rock structure. The lighthouse is also part of the Fathom Five National Marine Park and is staffed by volunteers, who maintain the lightstation and provide interpretation services for the large number of visitors to the site.
Four related buildings, as listed in section 1, contribute to the heritage character of the lighthouse.
The following character-defining elements of the Flowerpot Island Lighthouse should be respected:
— its location on Castle Bluff, the northeastern point of Flowerpot Island in Georgian Bay;
— its intact, as-built form and proportions of a tall, square-tapered, free-standing steel tower structure;
— its two unenclosed lights;
— its metal ladder at the rear of the structure which leads to the lights;
— its light greyish blue metal siding; and,
— its visual prominence in relation to the water and landscape.
The following character-defining elements of the related buildings should be respected:
— their respective built forms and proportions;
— their traditional colour scheme consisting of white for the walls and red for the trim and roof; and,
— their contextual relationship to the lighthouse within a lightstation setting.