DOWNTOWN CHARLOTTETOWN PHOTOTOUR
Prince Edward Island is one of Canada's three Maritime Provinces, and is by far the smallest province in the federation. PEI is roughly the size of Delaware, is located in the southern reaches of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence and is connected to the mainland by a 9 mile bridge across the Northumberland Strait to the neighbouring province of New Brunswick. PEI is pastoral, with about 50% of the land area given over to agriculture. Mixed farming predominates but PEI is renowned for it's potatos. Being an island, the fishing industry is also very important, especially for crustaceans and shellfish (lobsters, mussels and oysters). The population of PEI is 142,000.
Charlottetown is also correspondingly the smallest capital city in Canada. The city proper has a population of 32,000 and the census agglomeration population is about 58,000. Aside from being the provincial capital and the island's chief town, the city is known for being the site of the first confederation conference in 1864, where Britains North American colonies, frightened by Yankee militarism in the Civil War, met to discuss the possibility of a union to create a new nation within the British Empire. The Dominion of Canada was created three years later in 1867. In many ways, Charlottetown is as important to the history of Canada as Philadelphia is to the United States - just a lot smaller!
Charlottetown has maintained a large inventory of historical buildings. This has been quite easy to do as the vast majority of Canada's growth since confederation has been in central Canada and the west. Being on an island, the city was isolated even from it's Maritime neighbours until a bridge was constructed in the 1990's, connecting the island to the mainland. The Confederation Bridge is one of the largest bridges in North America.
I present to you the city I was born in - Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, the "Cradle of Confederation"
The Dominion Building (the former federal office building in the city) is being reborn as a mixed use development with condos on the upper floors and commercial/retail space on the ground floor.
Restaurants and cafes along Richmond St. This area is a pedestrian mall next to the Confederation Centre.
Looking down the east side of Queen St. towards the city's waterfront.
A little further up Queen St, near Confederation Court Mall.
The Confedereration Centre of the Arts; the national memorial to the Fathers of Confederation (Canada's founding fathers). The centre contains a large theatre auditorium and is the home of the Charlottetown Festival. This is one of the three largest theatre festivals in the country. The longest running musical in North America is staged at the theatre. "Anne of Green Gables" is based on the book by the same name by L.M. Montgomery, and is set on the island. It is one of the most popular children's books in the world.
Confederation Centre again. The centre was built in 1964 to celebrate the centennial of the Charlottetown Conference. The centre also contains a major art gallery and the city's public library.
Confederation Centre again, with the Holman Grand Hotel and Confederation Court Mall (an enclosed downtown shoping centre) in the background.
Corner of Queen and Kent Street.
The Charlottetown Hotel on Kent St.
Condos on Pownal St.
The Dundee Arms Inn, one of a number of quality small inns in the downtown core. Tourism is very important to the city's (and provinces) economy.
The new federal government building at the corner of University Ave and Fitzroy St.
The Homburg Financial Tower, immediately across Fitzroy St from the new federal building.
Plaza in front of the new federal building. This building is one of the greenest buildings in the country.
The Science and Technology Centre, across University Ave from the federal building.
Alley behind the technology centre. Pretty urban looking for a small city.
Looking west along the south side of Kent St. This shows the north side of the federal Department of Veterans Affairs headquarters building. This is the only federal government department with it's headquarters outside of Ottawa.
Park in front of the provincial legislature building.
The legislature with the provincial cenotaph in the foreground.
The Holman Grand Hotel with restored heritage building facades on Grafton St.
The Department of Veterans Affairs national headquarters on Grafton St.
Looking towards Great George St from the provincial legislature. The legislature is the site where the Charlottetown Conference was held in 1864. Great George St has been designated as a national heritage preservation district. The street is named for King George III.
The front of the legislature with a provincial government office in the background.
Great George St streetscape.
Great George St again. It is this street that the Fathers of Confederation walked every day when they commuted back and forth from the colonial legislature to their ship during the confederation conference in 1864.
Saint Dunstan's Basilica on Great George St.
The Bishops Palace on Great George St.
Water St streetscape, with the Delta Hotel in the background.
Corner of Water St and Queen St.
The Delta Hotel again. There is a new convention centre under construction on the waterfront that will connect to the Delta.
Provincial lawcourts building on Water St.
Charlottetown City Hall in the foreground.