Cap de la Madeleine Lighthouse
© Arlette Fortin
du Phare Road, Sainte-Madeleine-de-la-Rivière-Madeleine, Quebec
Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act (S.C. 2008, c 16)
1908 to 1908
1871 to 1871
Event, Person, Organization:
John A. Cameron
Steel Concrete Company of Montreal
Description of Historic Place
The Cap de la Madeleine Lighthouse is a cylindrical reinforced concrete tower 17 metres (55 feet) tall, topped with a circular iron lantern and a dome roof. Built in 1908, it is the second lighthouse established on the site to guide commercial shipping and aid local traffic. It sits at the tip of Cap de la Madeleine on the Gaspé Peninsula.
The Cap de la Madeleine Lighthouse is a heritage lighthouse because of its historical, architectural, and community values.
The Cap de la Madeleine Lighthouse is an excellent example of improvement of the system of aids to navigation on the St. Lawrence River. It also illustrates the government’s intent in the early years of the 20th century to build solid lighthouses designed to last. This is also one of the oldest examples of reinforced concrete lighthouses in Canada.
The Cap de la Madeleine Lighthouse played a major role in the local community’s socioeconomic development, supporting the fisheries and timber transportation sectors. Thanks to its strategic location at the entrance to the St. Lawrence River, where the shores of the Upper Gaspé are acknowledged as being hazardous to navigation, the lighthouse ensured safe passage of commercial ships and thus contributed to the wealth of Montreal in the early 20th century and the economic development of the Great Lakes region.
The Cap de la Madeleine Lighthouse is a very good example of a cylindrical reinforced concrete lighthouse. It stands out for the contrast of its simplicity and its impressive dimensions. The structure combines elegance and fluidity with strength and durability.
The Cap de la Madeleine Lighthouse reflects a very high quality of execution and materials and was constructed by the Steel Concrete Company of Montreal, one of the first major builders of concrete structures in Canada. It has proven to be solid, durable, fireproof and economical.
Erected at the tip of a jutting escarpment on exposed and denuded ground, the Cap de la Madeleine Lighthouse establishes the maritime character of the region. The lighthouse is surrounded by small communities and highlights the maritime history and culture of the area. The Cap de la Madeleine Lighthouse is a symbol of the village of Sainte-Madeleine-de-la-Rivière-Madeleine. Highly visible from both land and sea, it is a familiar and well known landmark. The lighthouse is an important tourist attraction that contributes to the region’s economic development.
No related building.
The following character-defining elements of the Cap de la Madeleine Lighthouse should be respected:
— its exposed and denuded location at the tip of Cap de la Madeleine;
— its intact, as-built structural form, height, profile and proportions;
— its cylindrical tower of reinforced concrete;
— its circular iron lantern topped by a dome and circular vent;
— its circular concrete gallery with a metal balustrade;
— its small square window;
— its attached entry vestibule with a sloped roof;
— its concrete interior circular stairway and metal bannister;
— its traditional exterior colour scheme consisting of white for the tower and red for the dome and lantern vent, gallery and balustrade;
— its visual prominence in relation to the water and landscape.