Picturing A City: Historic Squares

2018 marks the 250th anniversary of the first plan of Charlottetown and Queen Square. When surveyor and army officer, Charles Morris laid out the streets of the main town site in 1768, he set aside space in the centre for political, judicial and ecclesiastical purposes. It would be three more years until the revision of his plan by surveyor, Thomas Wright, on order of Governor Walter Patterson, created four more squares and christened the centre square “Queen Square” for Queen Charlotte, the namesake of the City of Charlottetown.

Following the practice of naming sites and streets for the influential, the four squares: Rochford (Pownall), King (North), Connaught (Pownal and Jail) and Hillsborough Squares, would also be named for powerful individuals in England. Some squares would be renamed and relocated, however they remained green spaces. The one exception is Connaught Square, where the Town Jail was located and to the horror of many, the last public hanging took place in 1869.

This exhibit attempts to provide a brief history of each of our five historic squares. While we are aware that it only scratches the surface in terms of their history, we hope you enjoy it. If you have any photos or stories that you would like to share regarding the City’s heritage, please contact us. We would love to hear from you.

Thanks to all of the institutions and individuals who donated photos, artifacts and information to us so that we could produce this exhibit. We appreciate your support!