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Movement to rename portion of University Avenue back to Great George Street


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These businesses on University Avenue in Charlottetown are getting an address change. As of May 6, the section of street, from Grafton Street to Euston Street, is going back to its original name - Great George Street.

An effort is underway to bring back a historic name to downtown Charlottetown.

Coun. Rob Lantz, chairman of the planning and heritage committee, has had preliminary discussions with Downtown Charlottetown Inc. to rename a portion of University Avenue to Great George Street.

The section they’re talking about stretches from Euston Street to Province House. That portion of University Avenue used to be called Great George Street until things changed in 1969 when St. Dunstan’s University amalgamated with Prince of Wales College to create UPEI.

That’s when Great George Street, from Province House to Euston Street, and Elm Avenue became University Avenue.

Lantz said DCI has done a lot of work on the issue.

“They polled property owners and business owners along that stretch of University Avenue and they seem to have a lot of support now to rename it back to its original name of Great George Street,’’ Lantz said.

The city has done it before, such as a few years ago when it renamed the portion of the Trans-Canada Highway that stretches through the city to Capital Drive.

“The portion that we’re talking about lies within that historic 500 lots area. It’s a very important viewscape as you stand on Euston Street and look down towards Province House. It’s a really great initiative. It looks like there’s lots of support and I

told DCI that I was happy to be their champion here at City Hall to put this through.’’

Dawn Alan, executive director of DCI, notes that Great George Street was the first street named in the downtown core once the 500 lots were established.

“It’s deserving of its original name,’’ Alan said. “We would very much like to see the merchants on the street to be able to use the fact that they are in a special place.’’

The historic building fronts onto current Great George Street. The mailing address for Province House is 165 Richmond Street.

Alan said DCI has some other ideas, such as marketing businesses along the street under an umbrella name, such as The Shops of Great George, something similar to what Halifax does with Spring Garden Road or Quinpool Road.

“The option will provide yet another destination to market within the city. The changing of the street name back to Great George could be considered a legacy project for P.E.I. 2014.’’

Lantz said he will take the issue to his next committee meeting and then back to council so a vote could actually take place by next month’s regular public meeting of council.

“I think this portion of University Avenue has far more relevance to our downtown and that historic 500 lots that it sits in. It’s awfully far away from the university to have any association with the university. We want to bring that historic name back to the downtown so that people will know when they’re visiting an establishment on that section of the avenue that they are in historic downtown Charlottetown.’’

dstewart@theguardian.pe.ca

Twitter.com/DveStewart

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