Government of Canada announces designation of Seacow Head Lighthouse in Prince Edward Island

Latest designation marks the 110th lighthouse protected under the Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act

GATINEAU, QC, Nov. 30, 2022 /CNW/ - Heritage places reflect the rich and varied stories of Canada and provide an opportunity for Canadians to learn more about our diverse history.

Seacow Head Lighthouse, Prince Edward Island. 
Photograph: Fisheries and Oceans Canada (CNW Group/Parks Canada)
Seacow Head Lighthouse, Prince Edward Island. Photograph: Fisheries and Oceans Canada (CNW Group/Parks Canada)

Today, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, announced the designation of Seacow Head Lighthouse in Prince Edward Island as a heritage lighthouse under Canada's Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act.

Located at the entrance to Bedeque Bay and the Summerside Harbour, Seacow Head Lighthouse is one of the oldest standing lighthouses in the Maritimes. The tapered, octagonal lighthouse measures 18.3 metres (60 feet) in height and was named after the walruses that were once abundant in the region. The lighthouse serves as both a harbour light and a secondary coastal light to guide mariners through the narrowest passage of the Northumberland Strait.

The Seacow Head Lighthouse was under the administration of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, who awarded the new owners a grant of $222,500 towards repairs of the site. Fisheries and Oceans Canada operates a Grants and Contributions Program for the Disposal of Surplus Lighthouses to help achieve one of the objectives of the Act, which is to facilitate sales or transfers of heritage lighthouses for public benefit.

With this new designation, a total of 110 lighthouses in eight provinces have now been protected under the Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act. They include some of the country's most architecturally and historically significant lighthouses, including Fisgard Lighthouse in British Columbia, Île du Pot à l'Eau-de-Vie in Quebec, and Point Amour in Newfoundland and Labrador.

The Government of Canada continues to work in close collaboration with community groups and other levels of government to facilitate the designation of heritage lighthouses and ensure their protection for the benefit and enjoyment of generations to come. Designations under the Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act are made by the Minister of Environment and Climate Change on the recommendation of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada.

Quotes

"Lighthouses have long graced Canada's rugged coastlines and majestic shores. They serve as treasured symbols of our maritime heritage and contribute to the local economy as tourism attractions. As one of the oldest structures on PEI, Seacow Head Lighthouse is a worthy addition to the family of designated heritage lighthouses. Our Government is committed to protecting these integral symbols of Canada's history, culture and heritage."

The Honourable Steven Guilbeault
Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada

"Serving as a beacon of safety for mariners and fish harvesters, Canada's heritage lighthouses have a special place in the hearts of local community members. This transfer preserves the Seacow Head Lighthouse so that families can enjoy upgrades to the structure and grounds and continue to visit this treasured landmark in the years to come."

The Honourable Joyce Murray
Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

"Seacow Head Lighthouse is a testament to Prince Edward Island's deep relationship with the Atlantic and the local fishing and shipbuilding industries. By designating it under the Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act, our Government is ensuring Seacow Head Lighthouse will remain an integral part of the PEI landscape for generations to come."

Heath MacDonald
Member of Parliament for Malpeque, Prince Edward Island

Quick Facts

  • Seacow Head Lighthouse served the flourishing fishery and shipbuilding industry in Summerside. It also served the increased steamship traffic coming into the port at Summerside and later the ferry running between PEI and New Brunswick. Today, the lighthouse continues to serve mariners and the oyster farms that dot the waters of Bedeque Bay.

  • Seacow Head Lighthouse has been featured prominently in various Canadian television productions and contributes to the region's tourism industry. It remains a cherished symbol of the local community.

  • The Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act was established in 2010 to protect lighthouses owned by the federal government that have significant heritage value. The Act protects the heritage character of designated lighthouses and requires that they be reasonably maintained. Among the 110 heritage lighthouses designated to date, 43 are managed by the federal government and 67 are managed by new, non-federal owners.

  • Designations under the Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act are made by the Minister of Environment and Climate Change on the recommendation of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada.

  • Created in 1919, the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada advises the Minister of Environment and Climate Change regarding the national historic significance of places, people, and events that have contributed to Canada's history. Together with Parks Canada, the Board ensures that subjects of national historic significance are recognized and these important stories are shared with Canadians.

Related Product

Backgrounder: Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act

Associated Links

Heritage Lighthouses of Canada
Parks Canada website

SOURCE Parks Canada

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