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12-14 Dorchester Street

12-14 Dorchester Street, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, C1A, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1979/10/26

Showing north elevation; City of Charlottetown, Natalie Munn, 2005
12-14 Dorchester Street
Showing north west elevation; City of Charlottetown, Natalie Munn, 2005
12-14 Dorchester Street
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Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1779/01/01 to 1805/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/09/09

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

12-14 Dorchester Street is an attractive wood framed double tenement located on the corner of Dorchester Street and Union Street in a very old section of Charlottetown. It is unclear who built the home, or the date it was built, but the property was granted in 1779. The building has been a home for much of its existence but evidence suggests that it was also a tavern at one time. The designation encompasses the building’s exterior and parcel; it does not include the building’s interior.

Heritage Value

12-14 Dorchester Street is valued as one of the few remaining buildings with 18th Century origins in Charlottetown and for its importance to the Dorchester Street streetscape.

The lot for 12-14 Dorchester Street was granted in 1779. It had the usual stipulation, that a house be erected on the property within three years, but whether a home was in fact erected on the property, is not clear. When the land was sold for taxes in 1790, and again in 1793, to John Brecken, a prominent Loyalist merchant who was known to have built houses for rental purposes, the transaction yielded only shillings. The low price of the land and the buyer, suggests that no dwelling existed on the property. Twelve years later when the property was sold to James Robertson, there was a home on the property and it sold for eighty pounds.

Records show that in 1827, the home was seized from three men, John MacDonald, Donald MacEachern and John Hughes, for non-payment of import duties on wine, rum, brandy and other spirits. With a list like that, it becomes abundantly clear that the building was used as a tavern.

The sheriff sold the building to Robert Gray junior, the son of Robert Gray a prominent officeholder and member of Charlottetown high society. Gray later sold it to James D. Haszard. Both appeared to have used the home as a rental property.

Later owners included Peter McCarron, James McQuillan, Bridget Toole and Luke Higgins. A 1914 directory lists James Toole as residing at 12 Dorchester and John MacAleer at 14 Dorchester Street. The home remains a duplex to this day. A very old home in one of the earliest settled parts of Charlottetown, 12-14 Dorchester Street contributes to the Dorchester Street and Union Street streetscapes.

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 12-14 Dorchester Street:
- The overall massing of the building
- The symmetrical facade
- The wooden cladding
- The placement and style of the windows including those of the first floor and the second floor shed dormer
- The central placement and style of the doors
- The simple contrasting trim around the windows, doors and roofline
- The steep pitch of the gabled roof
- The style and placement of the chimneys
Other character-defining elements of 12-14 Dorchester Street include:
- The location of the home 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

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design

Function - Category and Type



Multiple Dwelling

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Heritage Office, City of Charlottetown Planning Department, PO Box 98, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7K2 #1388

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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