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Pachena Point, British Columbia, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1991/08/01

Exterior photo; Transport Canada, 1990
Exterior photo
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Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1907/01/01 to 1908/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2007/03/16

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Lighttower at Pachena Point stands sentinel on the treacherous coastline of Vancouver Island 200 feet above the Pacific Ocean. The Lighttower is a plain octagonal, tapered, wooden structure surmounted by an iron lantern. The entrance is a simple, wooden door at the base. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

The Lighttower at Pachena Point is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.

Historical Value:
The Lighttower at Pachena Point is an example of the expansion of the navigational system along the British Columbia coast. It was one of a series built along the treacherous western coastline of Vancouver Island in an attempt to reduce the frequency of shipwrecks. In particular, it was built in response to the 1906 sinking of an American passenger ship that generated inquiries on both sides of the border.

Architectural Value:
The Lighttower at Pachena Point is a good example of an octagonal wooden lighthouse with a well-scaled symmetrical design and simply detailed construction. It is based on a nineteenth century standard design employed by the Department of Marine and Fisheries. While lacking the classical detailing often found on these structures, it does exhibit the tripartite division of the tower that is characteristic of the design. It is the sole remaining wooden example on the west coast.

Environmental Value:
The Lighttower at Pachena Point reinforces the dramatic coastal setting and also retains its relationship with the contemporary Duplex Dwelling. The Lighttower is still operational and well known to the shipping community. Although relatively inaccessible, the lighttower is located near the West Coast Trail and attracts several thousand hikers each summer. It is a regional landmark.

Gordon Fulton, Lighttower and Duplex Dwelling, Pachena Point, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Report 90-065; Lighttower, Pachena Point, Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Heritage Character Statement 90-065.

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of The Lighttower at Pachena Point should be respected.

Its role as an illustration of the provision of aid to navigation along the British Columbia coast.
Its standard design and good quality materials and craftsmanship such as:
-the building’s form and massing, consisting of an octagonal, tapered shingle covered shaft with slightly flared platform surmounted by an iron lantern;
-the building’s clean lines and picturesque silhouette;
-the classically inspired tripartite division of the tower and the stone-clad concrete base;
-the original wood frame construction and cedar shingle cladding;
-the simple treatment of doors and windows.

The manner in which the building reinforces the picturesque, maritime setting of Pachena Point, with its associated seascape and dramatic setting as evidenced in:
-the unchanged historical relationship of the structure to the site and the Duplex Dwelling.




Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Treasury Board Heritage Buildings Policy

Recognition Type

Recognized Federal Heritage Building

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Function - Category and Type



Navigational Aid or Lighthouse

Architect / Designer

Department of Marine and Fisheries



Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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