The City of Charlottetown is officially asking the province to turn the former Prince Edward Home property back into greenspace.
Coun. Mitchell Tweel, chairman of the parks, recreation and leisure activities committee, moved a resolution to that effect at council’s regular public monthly meeting on Monday night.
The resolution reads that the parks committee recommends the old property be earmarked for greenspace/parkland by the province once the building that housed the Prince Edward Home is demolished.
The resolution passed unanimously.
The resolution was passed because the province recently published a call for tenders on the property in The Guardian. Sealed tenders will be received at the public works and planning division of the Department of Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy until 2 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 28.
“We in parks and recreation and now the City of Charlottetown have passed a resolution sending a clear message to the province that we would like that property, that historic property to become a part of Victoria Park and expand the (park’s) footprint,’’ Tweel said following the council meeting.
With the tender now out for demolition, work on taking the structure down should begin by spring.
The building was deemed to have fulfilled the end of its useful life two to three years ago. Significant renovations were required, and the provincial government determined that fixing it up would cost more than knocking it down.
“We in parks and recreation and now the City of Charlottetown have passed a resolution sending a clear message to the province that we would like that property, that historic property to become a part of Victoria Park and expand the (park’s) footprint.’’
- Coun. Mitchell Tweel, chairman of parks and recreation
The building was once home to the Prince Edward Island Hospital during a time when the capital city had two hospitals. The other one was the Charlottetown Hospital on Haviland Street.
That building has since been demolished and the site is now the location for the Culinary Institute of Canada.
The Prince Edward Island Hospital remained standing, converted into a nursing home and a palliative care unit.
Demolishing the building would involve removing lead paint and asbestos. District heating system lines around the building also need to be realigned with that work beginning by summer. Demolition is expected to be substantially completed by the end of the year.
The province hasn’t made any decisions on what will become of the property.
“We believe this would be a historic occasion and will leave an everlasting legacy,’’ Tweel said, reiterating the city’s desire to see the property go green.
Once the building goes, the city envisions Brighton Road becoming a grand entrance to the park.
While there had been some talk in the past of using some of the vacant land to expand the parking lot for the provincial government buildings, Tweel is vehemently opposed to that idea, as is Jordan Brown, the local MLA.
“We want it to be green, 100 per cent of that property to remain green . . . no structure (on it and) no sea of parking. This would go down in the history books if this was achievable.’’