Safe Passage: Aids to Navigation on the St. Lawrence

IntroductionPrevious 5
M930.50.5.560.1-4 VIEW-8101 MP-1986.7.2.5 MP-1986.7.2.10 VIEW-2868 MP-1979.155.29 MP-1979.155.76 MP-0000.1249.1 Conclusion


The construction in the 19th century of lighthouses and other navigation aids along Canada's sea coasts, rivers and lakes was an important step in the country's national development. The shipping industry expanded rapidly during that period in part because of the improved safety of navigation in Canadian waters. Government officials in both Upper and Lower Canada, and then in the Province of Canada and the Dominion, invested a great deal of money and energy in creating, marking and maintaining the navigable waterways. Their work constitutes a lasting legacy in Canadian maritime history.


Official Documents and Archives

National Archives of Canada (Ottawa), Series RG 11, Minister of Public Works.

National Archives of Canada (Ottawa), Series RG 12, Minister of Transport.

Public Archives of Canada, Census, 1666-1881. [Microform]. Ottawa, Public Archives of Canada, 1981.

Canada, Legislature, Sessional Papers of the Parliament of the Province of Canada. Ottawa, Hunter Rose and Co. Various years.

Canada, Department of Marine and Fisheries, List of lights and fog-signals on the inland waters of the Dominion of Canada: corrected to the 1st April, 1905. Ottawa, Govt. Print. Bureau, 1905 and 1917.

Canada, Parliament, Sessional Papers. Parlement de la puissance du Canada. Ottawa, Queen's Printer. Various years.

Monographs and Articles

Appleton, Thomas E., Usque Ad Mare: A History of the Canadian Coast Guard and Marine Services, Canadian Coast Guard Internet Site (

Baird, David, Northern Lights: Lighthouses of Canada, Toronto, Lynx Images, 1999.

Bush, Edward F., The Canadian Lighthouse, "Canadian Historic Sites: Occasional Paper in Archeology and History No. 9," Ottawa, Parks Canada, 1974.

Charlebois, Peter, Steamwheelers and Sidewheelers: The Romance of Steamdriven Paddleboats in Canada, Toronto, New Canada Publications, 1978.

Collard, Edgar Andrew, Passage to the Sea: The Story of Canada Steamship Lines, Toronto, Doubleday Canada Limited, 1991.

Dunsterville, Edward, The Admiralty list of lights on the coasts and lakes of British North America : corrected to January 1864, Hydrographic Office, Admiralty, London, G.E. Eyre and Spottiswood, 1864.

Lafrenière, Normand, Gardien de phare dans le Saint-Laurent : un métier disparu, Toronto, Dundurn Press Limited, 1996.

Lafrenière, Normand, La canalisation du Saint-Laurent : deux siècles de travaux, 1779-1959, « Cahier no 1, Parc historique national Coteau-du-Lac, » Ottawa, Parcs Canada, 1983.

Mackey, Frank, Steamboat Connections : Montreal to Upper Canada, 1816-1843, Montreal and Kingston, McGill-Queen's University Press, 2000.

Smith, William, "The lighthouse system of Canada: a paper prepared at the request of the Executive Committee of the British Association for the Advancement of Science (...)," n.l., 1884.