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I understand that the proposed hotel development adjacent to Founders Hall is now on a temporary hold. This temporary hold provides a one-time opportunity for community and political leaders to step up to the plate and save this open space and the last remaining former CNR property and its historic and heritage values.
The CNR car shed, now known as Founders Hall, was saved from demolition by the combined efforts of CADC, the City of Charlottetown, the Province of P.E.I. and the federal government. Surely a nine-storey hotel development that will overshadow this heritage building and its unique architecture, is not the answer.
We now have a window of opportunity. We must not allow every last piece of open and green area on our beautiful waterfront be used for high-rise development.
The leaders that put our busy boardwalk system, our marinas, and the beautiful area of Confederation Landing Park did so for the use and enjoyment of the people: “a people’s place”. I thank them. “They built better than they knew.”
Community leaders of today, with the owner’s consent, must put forward every effort to save this historic open space for a use more compatible with the vision of our former leaders. A people’s place where all citizens and visitors will feel welcome, at home, and be proud of.
One should not criticize without offering an alternative. So, how about an open-air harbourside market with a few well-designed plaques that tell the railway story in Charlottetown and Prince Edward Island? Would this not be a better alternative than a nine-storey hotel?
Please, I beg you, community and political leaders, do not lose this window of opportunity. There’s no time left.
Former mayor of Charlottetown