Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Rochford Square is a park that includes a variety of large mature trees, impressive gardens and asphalt paths. It is one of five public squares in the City of Charlottetown, four of which are public parks and the other, Queens Square, contains public buildings, as well as various memorials and monuments. The designation encompasses the entire parcel of land.
The heritage value of the Rochford Square lies in its role as one of Charlottetown's five historic squares.
Rochford Square was one of four laid out in the 1771 Plan of Charlottetown by surveyor Thomas Wright and Governor Walter Patterson. The other three squares were Hillsborough Square, Pownal (later Connaught) Square, and Kings Square. Each of the four was placed in one quarter of the original rectangular town plan. Charles Morris had already planned for Queens Square as a space for public buildings in the centre of the town, three years previously in the 1768 plan of Charlottetown.
The spelling of Rochford Square has changed throughout the years. It was spelled Rochfort on the 1863 Lake Map and later Rochford on Newbery's 1869 map. Its early history is unclear, but in 1869, Rochford Square was among those mentioned in various newspaper reports on efforts to improve the condition of the squares. It benefited from the planting of 110 trees when the first Arbour Day was celebrated in Charlottetown on Queen Victoria's birthday, 24 May 1884. Unfortunately, only one year later, the Charlottetown Herald reported that a number of the trees did not do well and the writer lamented that horses, pigs and cows were roaming through the square "at their own sweet will." He called for more work to be done in the square before it was too late.
The Rochford Square was redeveloped in the year 2000 as part of a millennium project. It is now a Victorian style garden complete with impressive flowerbeds, shrubbery, pathways and benches and has been described as one of the most beautiful squares in the City. Part of Charlottetown since its earliest days, Rochford Square is an important part of the City's history.
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 Rochford Square:
- The property's park-like landscape, with numerous mature trees, flower beds, shrub beds and paths
- The continued use of the square as a public space
Prince Edward Island
City of Charlottetown
City of Charlottetown Zoning and Development Bylaw
Theme - Category and Type
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Sports and Leisure
Function - Category and Type
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Heritage Office, City of Charlottetown Planning Department, PO Box 98, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7K2
Cross-Reference to Collection