27 Water Street
27/27.5 Water Street / 11 Pownal Street
Queen's Head Hotel
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
27 Water Street is a two storey apartment building that sits on the corner of historic Water and Pownal Streets. Built before 1824, the building has had a long history and many uses. It was used as a hotel, store, school and apartment house. The designation encompasses the building’s exterior and parcel; it does not include the building’s interior.
The heritage value of 27 Water Street lies in its association with various famous Islanders who lived in or owned the building, as well as its age and contribution to the streetscape.
27 Water Street was built at some point before 1824. We know that James Reilly bought the land in 1820 and his will of 1824 mentioned a home. Three years after his death, James’ widow, Mary Reilly, married a trader named Tom Morrison. The couple rented the building, which was spacious enough to accommodate both Mr. Davidson’s wholesale and retail business and Miss Patterson’s private school. From 1829 until 1832, Thomas Hyde operated the Queen’s Head Hotel from the building.
In 1837, Morrison died and his widow, Mary, offered the home for sale. Samuel Cunard of Halifax purchased the building for rental purposes but eventually sold it to James Purdie, a local merchant, in 1846. The Purdie family lived in the home for over twenty years. Some of Purdie’s descendants claimed that the building was one of the first to lighted by gas and people came from far and wide to see it. When Mr. Purdie passed away in 1869, his widow offered the home for sale. The property has had many owners and tenants throughout the years including, W.W. Lord, a merchant and Member of the Legislative Assembly, David Stirling, a prominent architect and Robert Angus, manager of the PEI Telephone Company. The building remains an apartment building to this day.
The building has remained in this location for approximately 180 years. Although it has been renovated many times, the building is an important part of Charlottetown’s history. It is an anchor to the both the Water and Pownal Streets streetscape.
Sources: Heritage Office, City of Charlottetown Planning Department, PO Box 98, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7K2
The following character defining elements illustrate the heritage value of 27 Water Street:
- The placement and style of the windows
- The placement and style of the doors, including the transom lights above the Water Street doors, as well as the fanlight and sidelights on the Pownal Street side
- The pitch of the gable roof
- The dormers, particularly the center rounded dormer on the Water Street side as well as the dormer on the back side of the roof
- The position of the chimney
- The porch on the Pownal Street side with its interestingly shaped roof
- The location of the building on the corner of Water and Pownal Streets
Prince Edward Island
City of Charlottetown
City of Charlottetown Zoning and Development Bylaw
Theme - Category and Type
- Developing Economies
- Trade and Commerce
Function - Category and Type
- Multiple Dwelling
- Single Dwelling
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Heritage Office, City of Charlottetown Planning Department, PO Box 98, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7K2
Cross-Reference to Collection