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County may move forward on designating Salmon Point lighthouse

Salmon Point Lighthouse

UPDATE: Motion deferred to no later than the Aug. 30 committee of the whole meeting as the owner has reached out to request time to prepare a response.

JUNE 13 – The municipality is ready to forward yet another letter to the owner of the Salmon Point Lighthouse – this time notifying of the intention to recommend it be designated as being of significant cultural heritage value. Council is expected to review the letter and the notice at its Committee of the Whole meeting Thursday.

The County’s Heritage Advisory Committee, in May, recommended council move forward with the designation without the owner’s approval following four attempts over the past five years to contact Taylor Thomson, of Toronto. Thomson, however, does have 30 days within the mailing of the notice to file an objection.

Marc Seguin, of Save Our Lighthouses, made a presentation to council in May outlining the significance of the lighthouse – including its heritage attributes, design and historical value.

“The Salmon Point Lighthouse has historical value because it is a rare surviving example of 19th century lighthouse architecture in Prince Edward County,” said Seguin in his report. “It was the first lighthouse in the County built under the authority of the Dominion of Canada. It is one of the last remaining traditional lighthouses in the County and is the oldest lighthouse of its type still standing on the shores of the Great Lakes.

“The Salmon Point Lighthouse was built in 1871, during an era when the transportation of goods and passengers was done mostly by ship. The lighthouse was built by Roderick Cameron for the Department of Marine and Fisheries in response to public demand, following the loss of 30 lives, nine vessels and cargo valued at more than $175,000 at Salmon Point, also known as Wicked Point, between 1860 and 1870. This included the loss of the schooner Jessie and her entire crew in November, 1870.

“Although it was in use for less than 50 years, it served as an essential aid to navigation for ships sailing between Toronto and Kingston, and undoubtedly helped to save countless lives and thousands of tons of cargo. In addition, it was the site of Canada’s first life-saving station on the Great Lakes and was equipped with a state-of-the-art Francis Metallic Lifeboat under the care of the lightkeeper.”

The staff report notes it has been the practice of council to only designate properties under the Ontario Heritage Act if the owner concents.

“The designation of properties without the owner’s consent should only be pursued in rare circumstances where it has been demonstrated that attempts have been made to work with the owner and it is in the public’s intent to designate the property.

“Further, it is noted that the practice of requiring the owner’s consent has been demonstrated through Ontario Case Law as being inconsistent with the Ontario Heritage Act.”

The report recommends council approve a Notice of Intent to Designate be published in a local newspaper.

Filed Under: Local News

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  1. wevil says:

    why does the County designate everything the Heritage group says it should. look at what took place at the old Royal. that building could have been knocked down and rebuilt and faced with the old brick millions cheaper than what is taken place

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