The Cap-des-Rosiers lighthouse has a double recognition under the federal jurisdiction.
It has been formally recognized as National Historic Site of Canada on 1973 June 11 and as a Classified Federal Heritage Building on 1994 March 31.
“Cap-des-Rosiers Lighthouse was designated a national historic site in 1974 because:
- it was part of a series of tall tapering towers constructed in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and on Lake Huron by the Minister of Public Works; and
- its 112 foot (34.1 metres) height makes it the tallest lighthouse in Canada.
The heritage value of Cap-des-Rosiers Lighthouse lies in its sitting, design, construction and materials. Its impressive height and tapering profile are archetypical lighthouse qualities. …”
Source: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minutes, 1977.
“Key elements contributing to the heritage value of this site include:
- its rugged, exposed site atop high cliffs on a point of land separating two major bodies of water;
- the soaring silhouette and solid massing of the lighthouse as a tall tapered circular tower capped by a prominent light with a large dome-covered metal lantern;
- the sparse simplicity of its features (small window openings, small brackets supporting the lantern gallery);
- the functional interior design including the spiral staircase in its 9-storey interior;
- the integrity and craftsmanship of its materials (white marble stonework, cement /stucco finish, English firebrick interior, metal lantern);
- its solid, fireproof stone construction;
- its lighting apparatus including surviving original optical apparatus and evidence of earlier lighting technologies;
- its unobstructed viewscapes over the waters of the St. Lawrence River;
- the triangular configuration of its site,
- the layout and organization of the lighthouse site including the location, function, materials and forms of other buildings and structures at the station in relation to the tower (two large buildings, a tall antenna, fog alarm, generator and battery buildings and a small shed),
- archaeological evidence of former buildings and structures at the station and their spatial and functional relationship to earlier modes of station operation,
- the viewplane arc of the sweep of the light from the tower over the water,
- the viewplanes from the lighthouse over the St. Lawrence River and the Gulf of St. Lawrence,
- viewplanes from the lighthouse to the village of Cap-des-Rosiers,
- the status of the lighthouse as a longterm landmark from the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the St. Lawrence River, and the village of Cap-des-Rosiers.”
From the previous description, one can see that this whole site of the lighthouse that has be recognized as a National Historic Site of Canada. The recognition as a Classified Federal Heritage Building is restricted to the lighttower.
“The Lighttower is a Classified Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.
The Lighttower is one of the best examples of the national historic theme of aids to navigation. Located at the head of the Gaspé Peninsula, the Cap-des-Rosiers Lighthouse is a major coastal light, serving all marine traffic entering the estuary of the St. Lawrence River from the Gulf. As one of the Imperial towers, the Lighttower is linked with the pressure exerted by steamship operators on the colonial government to improve maritime safety and the system of navigational aids along the St. Lawrence. The presence of the Cap-des-Rosiers Lighthouse also contributed to the growth of the St. Lawrence River ports such as Québec City and Montréal.
Lighttower is an excellent example of an early -Imperial- stone lighttower. A gracefully tapered circular limestone tower, the Lighthouse is symmetrical and simply detailed, and features a large facetted and well proportioned lantern which clearly expresses the utilitarian function of the building. The tallest lighttower in Canada, the building’s solid construction also demonstrates the use of exceptionally high quality craftsmanship and durable materials such as limestone quarried from the Gaspé Basin and a smooth, white marble facing.
Located at the head of the Gaspé Peninsula, the Lighttower reinforces the dramatic character of its maritime setting. A focal point in the landscape owing to its scale and silhouette, the Lighthouse is a prominent visual landmark and a symbol of the region, as well as the showpiece of the Québec agency of the Canadian Coast Guard.”
Sources: Gordon Fulton, Lighttower, Cap-des-Rosiers, QC. Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Report 93-062; Lighttower, Cap-des-Rosiers, QC, Heritage Character Statement 93-062.