55 Upper Prince Street / The Ritz
Grace Methodist Church
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
55 Upper Prince Street is a wood framed multi-storey apartment building that was once referred to as the Ritz. The building was originally a Methodist church until 1918, when it was sold and converted into an apartment building. It is situated close to the street on a treed lot. The designation encompasses the building's exterior and parcel; it does not include the building's interior.
The heritage value of 55 Upper Prince Street lies in its association with the former Grace Methodist Church; its role as a once prestigious apartment building in Charlottetown; and its role in supporting the Upper Prince Street streetscape.
A notice appeared in the 15 August 1918 edition of the local newspaper, the Guardian announcing that the Grace Methodist Church was for sale. Those interested were asked to send tenders to the residence of Secretary Trustee R.E. Mutch. Earlier in the year, the congregation had united with the First Methodist Church, or what is now Trinity United Church. Another notice appeared five days later announcing that Mr. Ernest E. Parkman had purchased the former church building and the property. His intention was to remodel the church and turn it into an apartment building. The new building would cost $12 000 to renovate, contain six apartments and would be "modern in every respect". Each apartment featured a front hall, living room, dining room, pantry, kitchen, three bedrooms and a linen closet. The building had two furnaces, a full time janitor, electricity and hardwood floors, which were soundproof due to the six inches of concrete underneath. When it opened as "The Ritz", the apartment building was one of the more fashionable residences in Charlottetown in the 1920s.
Unfortunately, the building caught fire in 1939. At least $6000 damage was done to the structure. According to the 15 May 1939 edition of the local newspaper, the Guardian, the fire was caused by children burning grass in the nearby Old Protestant Burying Ground. The fire was originally reported as a grass fire and by the time the true nature of the fire was reported, it had destroyed a nearby garage and had damaged a section of the building from the basement up to the roof. The building was repaired however, and it still serves as an apartment building today.
A well maintained building with an interesting history, 55 Upper Prince Street is an asset to the Upper Prince Street streetscape.
Sources: Heritage Office, City of Charlottetown Planning Department, PO Box 98, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7K2
The following character-defining elements contribute to the heritage value of 55 Upper Prince Street:
- The overall massing of the building with its wood frame and cladding
- The mouldings painted in a contrasting colour, particularly the door and window surrounds
- The gable roof
- The size and placement of the windows, particularly the large windows of the main floor, the bay windows and the window in the centre of the gable facing the street
- The size and central placement of the door
- The large verandah with its square columns and decorative ironwork
- The second and third floor bay projection
- The size and shape of the chimney
Other character-defining elements of 55 Upper Prince Street include:
- The location of the home on Upper Prince Street
- The building's continued use as an apartment building
Prince Edward Island
City of Charlottetown
City of Charlottetown Zoning and Development Bylaw
1918/01/01 to 1918/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Architecture and Design
Function - Category and Type
- Multiple Dwelling
- Religion, Ritual and Funeral
- Religious Facility or Place of Worship
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Heritage Office, City of Charlottetown Planning Department, PO Box 98, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7K2
Cross-Reference to Collection