Shaw's Hotel National Historic Site of Canada
Links and documents
1860/01/01 to 2000/01/01
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Shaw’s Hotel National Historic Site of Canada is a resort complex located on 8 hectares (20 acres) of land at Brackley Beach on the north shore of Prince Edward Island. It consists of a two-and-a-half-storey main lodge, two large barns, a laundry facility and twenty-five cottages connected by a dirt road in the midst of cultivated fields. Official recognition refers to the hotel complex, bounded by Prince Edward Island National Park of Canada and Brackley Bay.
Shaw’s Hotel was designated a national historic site of Canada because:
- it provides a rare, early illustration of a significant period in the history of tourism in Canada, characterized by the expansion of recreational pursuits through the opening up of wilderness or isolated areas to tourists; and,
- as a continuously operating hotel, it provides in its physical fabric a clear and readable encapsulation of the evolution of tourism facilities in Prince Edward Island.
Shaw’s Hotel originated when the Shaw family built a new farmhouse on their Brackley Beach property in 1860 and decided to take paying guests. Since that time the farmhouse has been expanded to create today’s main lodge through the addition of a four-bay mansard-roofed extension (late 19th century), its extension by two bays (early 20th century) and the addition of a dining room on its south side (1960s). Twenty-five guest cottages were also built on the resort over the years (1896-2000). The hotel was once linked to the Shaw’s large farm which ceased operation in the 1970s, although 2 of the large barns (1943 and 1944) survive as storage facilities. The fields continue to be worked by farmers who rent them.
The heritage value of Shaw’s Hotel resides in its location on the north shore of Prince Edward Island, its agricultural roots, and its identity as a modest family resort that has evolved over almost 150 years. Value lies in the recreational and agricultural ambience of the cultural landscape, its varied informal composition and evolution, and its peaceful rural setting.
Source: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minutes, July 2003.
Key features contributing to the heritage character of this site include:
- the location of Shaw’s Hotel on the north shore of Prince Edward Island;
- the 8-hectare (20 acres) cultural landscape comprising the resort with the main lodge as its focus;
- the relaxed, low profile and generous spacing of its assembly of buildings;
- the dominant two-and-a-half-storey profile of the main lodge with its complex massing and varied roofline;
- the modest scale of its subsidiary buildings, notably the cottages of varying heights and designs featuring picturesque elements such as varied rooflines, porches and large windows giving access to the outdoors;
- the use of wood and wood shingle as dominant building materials;
- the remaining farm buildings, notably the two large gambrel-roofed barns;
- the large trees and informally landscaped grounds;
- the pathways and a dirt road connecting locations within the resort site;
- the paved roads connecting the resort with the outside;
- the privacy and rural, seaside solitude of the site;
- the range of outdoor recreational facilities;
- viewscapes to fields under cultivation, and views from the hotel property to Brackley Beach;
- the continued use of the property as a resort.
Government of Canada
Historic Sites and Monuments Act
National Historic Site of Canada
Theme - Category and Type
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Sports and Leisure
Function - Category and Type
- Commerce / Commercial Services
- Hotel, Motel or Inn
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Indigenous Affairs and Cultural Heritage Directorate Documentation Centre 3rd Floor, room 366 30 Victoria Street Gatineau, Québec J8X 0B3
Cross-Reference to Collection