Three attractions in Charlottetown, PEI

The Gainsford House by 1833

Three attractions in Charlottetown

Prince Edward Islands capital Charlottetown is not big. No wonder, since the province of which she is the governing city is the smallest in Canada. Nevertheless, it has played an important role in the history of the country, where today's Canada was founded. And even so, the city offers some attractions that you should not miss during a visit. We visited three of them and introduce them a little bit closer. Our three attractions in Charlottetown that you should not miss are:

Peakes Wharf and the historic streets in the harbor area

As in many port cities, the region around the port is one of the most attractive in the city. Charlottetown is mainly in the autumn months Destination of many cruise ships, whose passengers like to cavort in these parts of the city. Here you will find numerous restaurants, gift and craft shops offering island produce: the usual Anne of Green Gables memorabilia as well as local and regional produce. We discovered a shop that sells vodka distilled on the island. Spicy sauces made from wild blueberries, maple syrup mustard or maple syrup with lemongrass and chipotle or with lavender and chai are just as much a part of regional souvenirs as kitschy plastic lobsters or original lobster cages for the living room at home. However, we ignore most of these shops and prefer to stroll through the side streets instead. There are still houses there that can definitely be described as historical. Even according to the European understanding of history.


The Bonded Warehouse in Charlottetown
The Bonded Warehouse in Charlottetown - one of our top three attractions in Charlottetown


For example, there's the Bonded Warehouse, a warehouse from the Canadian Prohibition era. Prince Edward Island was 1901's first Canadian province to ban the possession, manufacture, sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages. The officials of the city had a strict order to keep the population dry and seized all the alcohol they could get hold of. Every Monday morning, to the utmost displeasure of the spectators, the liquor was poured into pits in front of the warehouse. Despite the prohibition, however, alcohol was welcome for re-export in the city, so there was so much alcohol left in the warehouse for further transport that it could have turned the entire island population into a complete frenzy.

While most of the houses in this region are made of wood and have a colorful face in every possible color, even on the rainiest day, we discover in a side street the Gainsford House from the year 1833, which is the oldest brick building in the city. Unpainted, but with green plant decoration it stands out with its red brick facade out of the row of blue, red, gray or yellow wooden houses. As a history lover, the city's historic homes are among the top three attractions in Charlottetown.


Petar gets on well with Sir John A. MacDonald
Petar gets on well with Sir John A. MacDonald, former Prime Minister of Canada


The pedestrian area in Victoria Row and the Province House

Victoria Row is the car-free street in the city center. When the sun is shining, street cafés invite you for a coffee break or a light lunch. And the shops along Victoria Row offer everything from art to kitsch. The seated figure of Sir John A. MacDonald, one of Canada's first prime ministers, suggests that we are approaching the Province House. There, together with the representatives of the other British North American colonies, he decided to found Canada.


Quirky souvenirs
Quirky souvenirs
In Victoria Row in Charlottetown
In Victoria Row in Charlottetown


For this reason alone, the Province House is worth a visit. But even so, the building, which still serves as the seat of government of the Parliament of Prince Edward Island, is worth seeing. On the first floor are the representative rooms that are more reminiscent of a mansion that was a little too large than a parliament building. On the walls hang pictures of big balls where the ladies shine in their most beautiful robes. Other paintings depict various types of ships. And on others, the Founding Fathers of Canada are shown at their gathering. Today's parliamentarians meet in front of thick and heavy velvet curtains. In the capital of the island province, of course, the parliament is one of the top three attractions in Charlottetown.


The Province House in Charlottetown
Charlottetown's Province House is one of three attractions in Charlottetown
St. Dunstan's Basilica, National Historic Site
St. Dunstan's Basilica, National Historic Site is one of three attractions in Charlottetown


The St. Dunstan's Basilica

Because of the rain, on our city tour of Charlottetown, we sought refuge in St. Dunstan's Basilica, the city's Roman Catholic cathedral, one of Canada's historic national monuments for its neo-Gothic architecture. St. Dunstan's is the only Catholic cathedral in the province. It is the fourth church built on this site. The robust cross vaults, the wide altar room with the crown-like chandeliers, and the almost filigree high altar make the church an architectural work of art. The basilica bears her name after St. Dunstan, an Anglo-Saxon saint from Glastonbury. As we see it today, it has only been on this site since 1916. It was rebuilt after a fire.


The interior of St. Dunstan's Basilica
The interior of St. Dunstan's Basilica
The organ in St. Dunstan's Basilica
The organ in St. Dunstan's Basilica


We took half a day for our walk through Charlottetown. You should at least bring this time with you, if you want to give you a brief overview of the city, because on the way shops and cafés attract to a break in the exploration of the city. St. Dunstan's Basilica is one of Charlottetown's top three attractions due to its Neo-Gothic architecture. Source: own site research. We thank Tourism Prince Edward Island for the kind invitation to this trip. Our opinion remains our own.


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Text: © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline
Photos: © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline

Three attractions in Charlottetown, PEI
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