Shaganash Island Lighthouse

Heritage Lighthouse

Thunder Bay, Ontario
Shaganash Island Lighthouse © Fisheries and Oceans Canada | Pêche et Océans Canada
Shaganash Island Lighthouse
© Fisheries and Oceans Canada | Pêche et Océans Canada
Shaganash Island, Lake Superior © Fisheries and Oceans Canada | Pêche et Océans CanadaShaganash Island Lighthouse © Fisheries and Oceans Canada | Pêche et Océans Canada
Address : Island No.10, Shaganash Island, Lake Superior, Thunder Bay, Ontario

Recognition Statute: Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act (S.C. 2008, c 16)
Designation Date: 2023-06-21
  • 1922 to 1922 (Construction)
  • 1910 to 1910 (Established)

Description of Historic Place

The Shaganash Island Lighthouse is a 9.4 metres (30.5 feet) tall, square-tapered wooden lighthouse situated on Island No.10, just west of Shaganash Island, on the north shore of Lake Superior. Located approximately 55 kilometres east of Thunder Bay, the lighthouse is the second on site, constructed after the original 1910
lighthouse was destroyed by fire.

Heritage Value

The Shaganash Island Lighthouse is a heritage lighthouse because of its historical, architectural, and community values.

Historical values

The Shaganash Island Lighthouse is a very good example of the development and expansion of aids to navigation on Lake Superior. The lighthouse was built to operate both as a coastal light directing vessels to Thunder Bay’s harbour, and as a range light identifying safe passage through a rock-strewn channel.

The lighthouse is a very good example of the socio-economic development of the Thunder Bay and greater Lake Superior region. The lighthouse was an important navigational aid that supported the silver mining, pulpwood, and fishing industries. By the midtwentieth century, the pulpwood industry had receded and was replaced by growing
recreational boat traffic that continues to navigate the lake today.

Architectural values

Shaganash Island Lighthouse is a very good example of a simple, square-tapered wooden tower lighthouse design, a style of lighthouse typical of this period and area.The lighthouse features a flared cornice which supports a slightly oversized gallery and a square iron lantern.

Built in 1922, the lighthouse is a representative example of mid-to-late 19th century designs produced by the
Department of Marine and Fisheries that were followed well into the next century. The quality of craftsmanship and materials are evident given the tower has withstood almost a century of westerly winds along Lake Superior’s north shore.

Community values

Located within the boundaries of the Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area, Shaganash Island Lighthouse sits on tiny Island No.10, a low, rocky island with a covering of brush and small conifers, typical of the rugged Canadian Shield. Though the lighthouse is located 55 kilometres from Thunder Bay, it is highly valued by recreational boaters in the region, as well as the communities of Dorion Township, and Shuniah Township. It remains a well-known landmark and navigational aid.

Related buildings

No related buildings are included in the designation.

Character-Defining Elements

The following character-defining elements of the Shaganash Island Lighthouse should be respected:
—its location on the northwest side of Island No.10;
—its intact, as-built structural form, height, profile and balanced proportions
based on the standard design of square, tapered, wooden towers;
—its rectangular wooden lantern surmounted by a red pyramidal roof with an integrated rooftop ventilator;
—its square platform surrounded by metal railing;
—its square wood-frame structure with tapered sides and a flared cornice;
—its exterior walls covered with shingles;
—its first-floor rear window and single entry door featuring simple pediments;
—its second-floor window capped by a flat lintel;
—its traditional red and white exterior colour scheme, consisting of a white tower and a red gallery, with a red door and window pediments and lintel; and,
—its visual prominence in relation to the water and landscape.