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Customs House

40-42 Great George Street, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, C1A, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2004/05/18

In Winter; Province of PEI
Side view of Customs House
1880; Meacham's Illustrated Historical Atlas of PEI
Engraving of Bank of PEI
No Image

Other Name(s)

Customs House
Bank of Prince Edward Island

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1867/01/01 to 1868/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2004/09/28

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The former Bank of Prince Edward Island / Customs House building is located on historic Great George Street in Charlottetown. The 3 storey Italianate structure faces onto the tree lined street which is home to many other prominent buildings. The designation includes the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

The Customs House is a significant example of the Italianate style of architecture in Charlottetown and is representative of the earliest brick construction of public buildings in the city. It stands as a symbol of the economic development of Prince Edward Island and of the craftsmanship available at the time of its construction in the late 1860s. It was designed by the architect, David Stirling, of local material.

The Bank of PEI began in 1856 and a decade later the sum of 3000 Pounds was set aside to finance the construction of this building on Great George Street, in view of the provincial legislature and prominently close to the commerical centre of the city. The Bank became insolvent in 1882 in the midst of an accounting scandal and the premises was soon assumed by other financial institutions. It later became the headquarters for several Dominion Government agencies, such as: the Department of Marine and Fisheries and later served as a Customs House.

Source: PEI Heritage Advisory Committee Files

Character-Defining Elements

The following elements contribute to the heritage value of the Customs House building:

- the solid brick construction
- the three storeys and symmetrical facade
- pairs of semi-circular headed windows; a characteristic of the Italianate style
- the low pitched roof



Prince Edward Island

Recognition Authority

Province of Prince Edward Island

Recognition Statute

Heritage Places Protection Act

Recognition Type

Designated Historic Place

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Trade and Commerce

Function - Category and Type



Commerce / Commercial Services
Bank or Stock Exchange

Architect / Designer

David Stirling (1822-1887)



Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Located in the Culture and Heritage Division, Department of Community and Cultural Affairs, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8 File #: 4320-20/C3

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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