Charlottetown’s 1864 legacy project opens by Hillsborough Bridge

Ryan Ross
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The Historic Hillsborough River Commons is a scenic, park-like setting located at the Charlottetown Event Grounds

The Charlottetown Area Development Corporation (CADC) and its partners unveiled the legacy project of the City of Charlottetown’s 1864 anniversary celebrations at a ceremony Friday.

The Historic Hillsborough River Commons, located at the Charlottetown Event Grounds, is a scenic park-like setting created through a partnership between CADC, the City of Charlottetown, Canadian Heritage, P.E.I. 2014 Inc., the Charlottetown Harbour Authority and Downtown Charlottetown Inc.

CADC general manager Ron Waite says the Historic Hillsborough River Commons project is the first step to redevelop the important gateway into the city.

The historic commons has several components, including a large sign welcoming people into the city, interpretative panels that tell the story of the 1864 Charlottetown Conference, a spectacular piece of public art, decorative wrought iron fencing, flag poles, benches and inviting landscaped and paving stone areas.

The art was commissioned by CADC and awarded to two Island artists, Gerald Beaulieu and Ahmon Katz. The artists collaborated on the piece for the past six months.

Charlottetown Mayor Clifford Lee was on hand for Friday’s ceremony.

“We fully expect the design, flow and location of the historic commons, and its surrounding trails and green space, to appeal to community members even when there isn’t an event or festival at the Event Grounds. I hope our citizens take advantage of this beautiful site. The Charlottetown Area Development Corporation has done a fantastic job of bringing our collective dream for this space into reality.”

The commons unveiling kicked off 1864 Week that will see a series of free concerts featuring Island musicians. There will be community events spread throughout Saturday as part of Quebec Day celebrations in recognition of that city’s role in Confederation.

On Sunday at 2 p.m., Governor General David Johnston and Quebec City Mayor Régis LaBeaume will join Lee and Lt.-Gov. Frank Lewis for official ceremonies.

CLICK HERE For the full schedule of 1864 Week events.


CLICK HERE for more information on the Charlottetown Area Development Corporation.


Organizations: Charlottetown Area Development, Historic Hillsborough River Commons, Canadian Heritage Charlottetown Harbour Authority Downtown Charlottetown

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Iceland, Quebec City

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Recent comments

  • historical whitewash
    June 15, 2014 - 16:32

    This ''Hillsborough Commons'' BS is almost as stupid as ''Confederation Landing Park''. Not one of these properties is historic - they are former industrial land that was created by in-filling the harbour. What's historic about oil tank farms?

    • Bob Meeker
      June 15, 2014 - 17:06

      Historical Whitewash, it is amazing that the people who know the least about anything (that means you) post comments to try to look smart. The Hillsborough Commons is alongside the Hillsborough River which is one of Canada's heritage rivers and has strong historical significant both to the First Nations people and settlers of P.E.I. The Confederation Landing Park is the area of the Charlottetown waterfront where the Fathers of Confederation landed in 1864 to walk up Great George Street, which by the way is one of the most historical significant streets in Canada, to meet in Province House which is also an historic site. Speaking of historic artifacts and sites, your brain could be classified as historic in it being the least cluttered with any knowledge except the going price of a pack of smokes and a double double.

  • pope
    June 14, 2014 - 17:26

    I am just wondering how all of a sudden this collection of brick , cement balls, mortar, and marble slabs has become 'historic' Hillsborough Commons? Or is it the tank farm grounds that are "historic"? Or is it just "historic" because the Mayor's PR people told him to say it is? I suspect it is more fluff' added to this invented "2014" anniversary. Anyone set me straight if you can, thanks.

  • wanda
    June 14, 2014 - 17:16

    BS, Clifford, - you are making Charlottetown into a pretentious place, loosing our quaintness and heritage look. This is an other monument to stupidity and waste, with the silly balls on top of the pillars. Who do you think is going to walk there and sit on the benches and watch the traffic and sniff the fumes, - pure BS and pretentiousness - classless , and the money???.

  • don
    June 14, 2014 - 12:57

    be better if the truth about where the real capital is and how the big used island shine to make ch'town the capital. ch'town live a lie in history.

  • reality
    June 14, 2014 - 06:21

    that sign looks like a graveyard headstone