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75-77 Dorchester Street

75-77 Dorchester Street, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, C1A, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1979/10/26

Showing south west elevation; City of Charlottetown, Natalie Munn, 2005
75-77 Dorchester Street
Showing south east elevation; City of Charlottetown, Natalie Munn, 2005
75-77 Dorchester Street
Showing carved owner's name and date of construction; City of Charlottetown, Natalie Munn, 2005
75-77 Dorchester Street

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/06/03

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

75-77 Dorchester Street is a large three and a half storey, brick building constructed in 1864 by entrepreneur, Owen Connolly (1820-1887) as a combined residence and commercial building. The size of the building meant that it could serve a great number of purposes, which it has throughout its history. Some of its uses include a bank, a boarding house and a warehouse for the Prince Edward Island Liquor Commission. The designation encompasses the building’s exterior and parcel; it does not include the building’s interior.

Heritage Value

75-77 Dorchester Street’s heritage value lies in its association with local entrepreneur, Owen Connolly and its importance to the streetscape.

Owen Connolly was one of the most successful entrepreneurs of the late 1800s. His varied business interests left him a very wealthy man. He was born in Ireland in 1820 but eventually immigrated to Prince Edward Island as a labourer. He soon grew to be one of the most successful entrepreneurs of the latter half of the 19th century.

Connolly had 75-77 Dorchester Street constructed in 1864. It would be used for his residence, a store, and because Connolly was the local representative of the Merchants Bank of Halifax, a bank. He would later move to the area known the Esplanade.

After Connolly moved, the home was converted to a boarding house that was run by Bridget Coady. In the early twentieth century, the building may have been used as a hospital for soldiers returning from World War I, as it was reported at the time that one of Connolly’s buildings was being used for that purpose.

The Liquor Commission used 75-77 Dorchester Street to store and bottle liquor in the 1920’s, however, Irene Rogers, in her book "Charlottetown: The Life In Its Buildings", suggests that during the later prohibition years, the building may have had less legal uses. During a renovation in 1973, a secret room was discovered that was only available by hatchway. The room, at one time, may have been used to store illegal liquor.

The huge building, which has had many historical associations and uses, currently serves as an apartment building. A unique building, 75-77 Dorchester Street is vital to the Dorchester Street streetscape.

Sources: Heritage Office, City of Charlottetown Planning Department, PO Box 98, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7K2

Character-Defining Elements

The following character-defining elements illustrate the heritage value of 75-77 Dorchester Street:

- The overall massing of the building
- The size and shape of the building’s brick exterior with its stone lintels and sills
- The style and placement of the windows, including the large nine paned window of the ground floor, the tall windows of the first and second floor, and the smaller windows of the third floor
- The style and placement of the doors, including the large paneled doors of the first floor with their transom and sidelights
- The steep pitch of the gabled roof with its raised parapet gable ends and paired gabled dormers
- The placement and style of the chimneys
- The large carved stone sign with the original owner’s name, Owen Connolly, and the date the building was constructed on the first floor of the façade
- The location of the building on Dorchester Street



Prince Edward Island

Recognition Authority

City of Charlottetown

Recognition Statute

City of Charlottetown Zoning and Development Bylaw

Recognition Type

Heritage Resource

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Trade and Commerce

Function - Category and Type


Multiple Dwelling


Commerce / Commercial Services
Bank or Stock Exchange
Single Dwelling

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Heritage Office, City of Charlottetown Planning Department, PO Box 98, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7K2 #1463

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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