Connaught Square: the Duke of Connaught

Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught, 1908 <br> Painting by John Singer Sargent

Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught, 1908
Painting by John Singer Sargent

Established in 1771, Connaught Square was one of four laid out in the Wright Patterson Plan of Charlottetown. It originally existed one block east and faced on to Queen Street and named Fitzherbert Square in honour of William Fitzherbert, an English Member of Parliament and Lord of the Board of Trade. Eventually, it would be moved one block west to its current site. It would soon be referred to as Pownal Square (likely for Secretary to the Board of Trade, John Pownall) and even Jail Square because of the long standing presence of a jail on the property. In 1912, it was renamed in honour of the popular Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathern, Governor General of Canada and third son of Queen Victoria, who visited Charlottetown in July of that year. In 1950, when the Federal Government was attempting to clear the block immediately east of Connaught Square of houses to construct the Dominion Building, it was rumoured that a land swap with the City of Charlottetown was proposed. The rumour stated that the City would provide Connaught Square to the Federal Government for the construction of the Dominion Building and in turn, Ottawa would give the land where the Dominion Building currently sits to be used as a public square and parking lot, once the deals with landowners were settled. We are pleased the deal did not go through and it remains a lovely greenspace enjoyed by the community.

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