Win­dows to the past

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - FRONT PAGE - BY DAVE STE­WART THE GUARDIAN

Her­itage Day in Char­lot­te­town will have im­ages from 1771 to 1980s.

Her­itage Day in Char­lot­te­town this year will fea­ture mer­chants along a por­tion of Great Ge­orge Street dis­play­ing im­ages of the street from 1771 to the 1980s

Whether it’s buy­ing an ice cream at Gar­den City or the hottest record at Sam The Record Man, the re­named por­tion of Great Ge­orge Street in Char­lot­te­town has many sto­ries to tell.

Natalie Munn, her­itage re­searcher for the City of Char­lot­te­town, is putting to­gether an out­door ex­hibit called A Walk Through the Past: Great Ge­orge Street to Univer­sity Av­enue and Back.

The street, from the ceno­taph to Eus­ton Street, was known as Great Ge­orge Street from the day Char­lot­te­town was laid out in the Wright-Patterson Plan of 1771. The name was changed to Univer­sity Av­enue on Jan. 1, 1971, in hon­our of the newly cre­ated Univer­sity of Prince Ed­ward Is­land.

Spurred by an ini­tia­tive of Down­town Char­lot­te­town Inc., city coun­cil agreed to re­turn that sec­tion of the street back to its orig­i­nal name last May.

Munn says they thought Her­itage Day would be an ideal time to ex­plore and cel­e­brate the his­tory of those three city blocks.

“We de­cided on an out­door ex­hibit due to the fact that we want to reach more peo­ple,’’ Munn said.

The ex­hibit will be un­veiled at the an­nual her­itage awards cer­e­mony at noon in the Park­dale Room at City Hall on Feb. 16 and run un­til Feb. 29 in the store­front win­dows of par­tic­i­pat­ing Great Ge­orge Street mer­chants.

The pic­tures peo­ple will see truly de­pict just how much that part of the city has changed in the past 200 years.

For ex­am­ple, The Guardian of­fice used to be lo­cated on that

stretch be­fore it was de­stroyed by fire in 1923. At the time, the news­pa­per was run­ning ads like the Pure Milk Com­pany Ltd.’s Molly the Milk­maid telling read­ers that the smart way to take care of your health was to drink a quart of milk a day.

The build­ing which houses the Old Tri­an­gle was once home to the Play­house night­club, JR’s and the Gar­den City ice cream par­lour. The Large fam­ily sold used fur­ni­ture and ap­pli­ances right next door. It’s all vis­i­ble in a pic­ture taken in 1983.

The Jenk­ins fam­ily ran a phar­macy at the cor­ner of Kent and Great Ge­orge streets. That part of Char­lot­te­town is al­most un­rec­og­niz­able. The pic­ture was likely taken around 1950. Since then, the back­ground has changed dras­ti­cally thanks to the Shops of Con­fed­er­a­tion Court Mall.

Then there is the pho­to­graph show­ing the build­ing across the street, which has served as the home of nu­mer­ous busi­nesses over the years. It was known once upon a time as the WE Daw­son build­ing and has since been home to Lord’s Phar­macy, Sam The Record Man, New Way Fur­ni­ture and CFCY/Q93/Magic 93 ra­dio sta­tions.

That build­ing has been res­ur­rected by de­vel­oper Chris Tweel and will re-open soon as the new home of McInnes Cooper.

Tweel’s Gift Shop op­er­ated for 50 years di­rectly across from that, clos­ing in 2003.

Coun. Greg Ri­vard, chair­man of the city’s her­itage com­mit­tee, says he can still re­mem­ber that it was the only store in town that sold his favourite sports mag­a­zine, Ev­ery Edge.

“I think it is su­per ex­cit­ing to be do­ing an ex­hibit like this,’’ Ri­vard said. “When we get busy with the day-to-day, it can be easy to take for granted our her­itage. Th­ese events are a great re­minder to all of us.’’

Mayor Clifford Lee said it takes a col­lec­tive ef­fort to pro­tect and re­store the city’s his­tory.

“Which means we all have a role to play in rec­og­niz­ing our rich his­tory and cel­e­brat­ing it to­gether,’’ Lee said.

Dawn Alan, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of DCI, said they were happy to part­ner on the her­itage pro­ject.

“It’s won­der­ful to peek into the past now and then, see what once was and how we have been able, over the years, to up­date and upgrade our built-her­itage while be­ing so re­spect­ful of the past,’’ Alan said. “We do hope that peo­ple will come out and take a look at th­ese pho­tos, rem­i­nisce about the past and cel­e­brate our present with us.’’

DAVE STE­WART/THE GUARDIAN

Natalie Munn, her­itage re­searcher for the City of Char­lot­te­town, has been help­ing to assem­ble his­toric pic­tures for an ex­hibit next month on the his­tory of Great Ge­orge Street in Char­lot­te­town, from Prov­ince House to Eus­ton Street. She’s hold­ing a pic­ture taken in 1983 show­ing the Gar­den City ice cream par­lour at the cor­ner of Great Ge­orge and Fitzroy streets. The build­ing is now home to the Old Tri­an­gle, seen be­hind her.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO, HEATHER TAWEEL/GUARDIAN PHOTO

In many ways, Great Ge­orge Street, shown from the ceno­taph north, c. 1930, is still rec­og­niz­able com­pared to the pic­ture taken this past week. The his­toric scene is one of the many im­ages de­pict­ing scenes of Great Ge­orge Street that will be fea­tured in the City of Char­lot­te­town’s out­door ex­hibit, A Walk Through the Past: Great Ge­orge Street to Univer­sity Av­enue and Back. The ex­hibit will be un­veiled Her­itage Day, Feb. 16.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

This Pure Milk Com­pany Ltd. ad­ver­tise­ment ran in The Guardian news­pa­per on Feb. 13, 1950. It will be part of A Walk Through The Past: Great Ge­orge Street to Univer­sity Av­enue and Back, that fea­tures his­toric pho­tos, ads and in­ter­pre­ta­tion.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

This pic­ture, be­lieved to have been taken around 1950, shows the Jenk­ins Phar­macy at the cor­ner of Kent Street and Great Ge­orge Street in Char­lot­te­town. It will be one of the his­toric pho­tos dis­played in the win­dows of par­tic­i­pat­ing mer­chants be­tween Feb. 16-29. The ex­hibit cel­e­brates the his­tory of a sec­tion of the street that was named Great Ge­orge Street from 1771-1971 and again in 2015.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

The Tweel build­ing on the cor­ner of Kent Street and Great Ge­orge Street, shown here in 1927, has been home to Tweel’s Gift Shop and is cur­rently a Star­bucks. It will be one of the his­toric pho­tos dis­played as part of an out­door ex­hibit Feb. 16-29 in the win­dows of par­tic­i­pat­ing mer­chants along Great Ge­orge Street, from Prov­ince House to Eus­ton Street.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

This pic­ture of the WE Daw­son build­ing was taken in 1882 and will be fea­tured in A Walk Through The Past: Great Ge­orge Street to Univer­sity and Back. The Daw­son build­ing has been home to many ten­ants over the years, in­clud­ing Lord’s Phar­macy, ra­dio sta­tions CFCY/Q-93/Magic 93, and will soon be home to McInnes Cooper (top three floors).

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Long be­fore The Guardian opened at its cur­rent lo­ca­tion on Prince Street in Char­lot­te­town, it op­er­ated out an of­fice on Great Ge­orge Street. That lo­ca­tion was gut­ted by fire in 1923. This will be one of the many his­toric pho­tos, ads and in­ter­pre­ta­tions on dis­play in the win­dows of par­tic­i­pat­ing mer­chants on Great Ge­orge Street next month.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

The view of the Great Ge­orge Street streetscape from Prov­ince House in Char­lot­te­town, look­ing down to­ward Eus­ton Street, has changed dras­ti­cally since this pic­ture was taken in 1901. It will be one of the im­ages fea­tures in an ex­hibit par­tic­i­pat­ing mer­chants will be tak­ing part in Feb. 16-29.

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