Description of Historic Place
The Prince Edward Home property is a large site that was once part of the Lieutenant Governor's Farm property in an area known as Government Park. The Prince Edward Island Hospital or what is now the Prince Edward Home was relocated to the site in 1931 and the Aubin Arsenault Building, which was once a nurses' residence, was built in 1947. The designation includes the property only and not the buildings located upon it.
The heritage value of the Prince Edward Home property lies in its association with the Lieutenant Governor's Farm.
The land on which the Prince Edward Home property is located was set aside by Lieutenant Governor Edmund Fanning in 1789 as a future home and grounds for the Lieutenant Governor. It was not until the 1820s when a farm was established on the property and 1834, when Government House was finally built. In 1873, 40 acres of the Government House Farm was given to the City of Charlottetown for park use. It would be 1905 before 16 more acres of land, including the Prince Edward Battery and the field to the west of Government House, would be given over to the City of Charlottetown making Victoria Park the size it is today. The remaining land was part of the Lieutenant Governor's Farm.
In the mid 1920s, Lieutenant Governor Frank Heartz offered the eastern side of the Lieutenant Governor's farm property for use as a children's playground. During this period, there was debate over who had control over the property - the Lieutenant Governor or the Province. In 1931, while discussions were going on regarding the relocation of the Prince Edward Island Hospital from Kensington Road, the field behind Government House was suggested. The Prince Edward Island Hospital on Kensington Road, cared for a great number of patients throughout its time in operation. However, by the 1920s, a search for a new location had begun. Concerns over a lack of space and the general feeling that the hospital was too close to the railway and a local firing range, which generated a great deal of noise and dirt, led to the decision to search for a new location.
In 1931, the Government of Walter Maxfield Lea granted 5.8 acres of Victoria Park facing on Brighton Road to the Board of the Prince Edward Island Hospital Trustees for the new hospital. The Lieutenant Governor of the day, Walter Hyndman, was not happy and stated that the land was "stolen from behind closed doors".
By 4 July 1933, the new Prince Edward Island Hospital was ready for occupancy. This would be one of two existing hospitals in Charlottetown at the time including the Roman Catholic, Charlottetown Hospital on Haviland Street. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, a modern acute care facility, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, would be constructed to replace both hospitals. The Prince Edward Island Hospital was then turned into the Prince Edward Home a 131 bed health care facility. In 1947, a nurses' residence was built on the property, which now houses Provincial Government offices. After the Queen Elizabeth Hospital was built, the Prince Edward Island Hospital trustees gave the land on which the Prince Edward Home and the former nurses' residence stand over to the Province of Prince Edward Island.
With its association with the former Lieutenant Governor's Farm, the Prince Edward Home property is an important part of the City's history. It remains park like in the midst of the Prince Edward Home and Government office buildings
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 the Prince Edward Home Property:
- The property's park like landscape, with numerous varieties of mature trees including birch, spruce, maple and pine
- The current boundaries that at one time made up the Lieutenant Governor's farm property