The Port Dover West Pier Lighthouse has been identified under the Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act as a heritage building because of its unique historical, architectural and community values.
HISTORICAL VALUE: The village of Port Dover developed around 1835 at the juncture of the Lynn River and Lake Erie. It soon became an important port for the north-south trade route as well as for the east-west St. Lawrence System. During this time, Port Dover became a centre for ship building as well as for the budding fishing industry. Port Dover continues to serve the commercial fishing industry and its wharf and associated lighthouse remain vital.
ARCHITECTURAL VALUES: The design of the lighthouse is a good example of the wooden square-tapered design, well suited for maritime conditions and used frequently for harbours and river routes. It is a model that was easy to build using materials readily available from nearby forests and mills by local labourers. It is durable and able to withstand heavy winds due to its low centre of gravity. The Port Dover Lighthouse has two important features that stand out. It is relatively easy to move and the tower has been adaptable to new applications.
COMMUNITY VALUES: The Lighthouse is the dominant structure on the pier and reinforces our maritime character and dependence on Lake Erie. It continues to guide recreational and commercial vessels safely into the harbour. It has an extremely high landmark value for Port Dover and is a recognized symbol of our community. It is also an important tourist attraction for our village which is popular for summer vacations.
PDWPA greatly appreciates the complex and persistent work contributed by our member Sheila Whiteley who provided the leadership for pursuing the historical designation. Sheila recognized the important of preserving this building to maintain our sense of identity, community and heritage. The application process included working with Norfolk County to apply for ownership of the building. The County agreed to pursue this in partnership with PDWPA on the understanding that Council will establish an annual operating budget to maintain the Lighthouse and will work with PDWPA to pursue grants and fundraising activities in a separate reserve fund to ensure the ongoing maintenance of the building.
The proposed target for the reserve fund is about $100,000 to achieve self-sustainability. Take note the fund is administrated by the County specifically for the ongoing income and expense revenues required for the Heritage Lighthouse. The County Treasurer is responsible to Council for annual reporting of fund administration.
PDWPA is initially approaching the community for a one-time donation to the fund. The status of the reserve fund will be reassessed as required by the County Treasurer;
For further information about this project, please click on the links to original documents relating to the Lighthouse as follows:
Gifts to our special projects make a DIFFERENCE to our COMMUNITY!
Consistent with our promise to carry out a combination of fundraising and pursuit of grants for Lighthouse maintenance, we are also looking to YOU, our community members to support the efforts to PRESERVE OUR HERITAGE! PDWPA is a nonprofit incorporated organization that does not have charitable donation status. Taxable donation receipts will be provided for amounts of $25 or more as requested by the County. Payment should be directed to “Norfolk County/Lighthouse Fund” . Although the County does not have a charitable registration number, they will issue receipts for tax purposes.
Donations of any amount are gratefully appreciated. In order to make it easier for supporters to give to our special projects, we have added a PayPal feature so that you can support specific projects in a secure and accessible manner. Of course, cash and cheques are also gratefully appreciated. For further information please contact PDWPA President Paul Lipsit at
Your donations are appreciated