Walpole Island Lower A32 Lighthouse
Walpole Island, Ontario
© Walpole Island First Nation \ Première Nation Walpole Island, E. Thomas, 2016.
River Road North, Walpole Island, Ontario
Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act (S.C. 2008, c 16)
1931 to 1931
1920 to 1920
Description of Historic Place
Walpole Island Lower A32 is a square-tapered, reinforced-concrete lighthouse with no lantern. It is located in the South Channel of the St. Clair River in Ontario, adjacent to Walpole Island. It is one of a series of lighthouses built for international shipping traffic travelling along the South Channel.
The Walpole Island Lower A32 Lighthouse is a heritage lighthouse because of its historical, architectural, and community values.
Walpole Island Lower A32 is a very good example of the square-tapered, lanternless navigational aids established in the early 20th century along the St. Clair River. The Upper A34 and Lower A32 aids to navigation were established as a pair in 1920. The original pole lights were replaced with reinforced concrete structures prior to a major dredging operation to further deepen and widen this international shipping channel in the mid-1930s.
Walpole Island Lower A32 is strongly associated with the international through-traffic traversing the St. Clair River between Lake Huron and Lake St. Clair, serving as a navigational aid. It is also associated with the Walpole Island First Nation community.
Walpole Island Lower A32 is a very good example of a well-detailed and proportioned square-tapered, reinforced-concrete lanternless tower. It stands approximately 5.6 metres (18.4 feet) tall and features a projecting sill and shallow inset panels that add a degree of elegance and visual interest to the tower.
The functionality of Walpole Island Lower A32 is very good. It was built using construction methods and materials that were typical of its time.
Walpole Island Lower A32 reinforces the character of the surrounding area. While it is located offshore, it is closely associated to a number of key community facilities on Walpole Island. Walpole Island Lower A32 is a valued aid to the navigation in the area, and has the opportunity to be seen by large numbers of people in the boating and shipping communities.
The following character-defining elements of Walpole Island Lower A32 should be respected:
— its location offshore in the South Channel of the St. Clair River in Ontario, adjacent to Walpole Island;
— its intact, as-built structural form, height, profile and balanced proportions based on the standard design of square-tapered, reinforced-concrete towers;
— its tower elevations articulated with shallow inset panels;
— its straight cornice that supports the gallery;
— its reinforced concrete base consisting of a projecting sill, which rests on a raised, square, straight-sided foundation;
— its flashing beacon atop the tower;
— its metal rungs mounted on the exterior of the shaft and its plain metal door;
— its traditional red and white colour scheme, consisting of a white tower and red accents; and,
— its visual prominence in relation to the water and shorelines.