• Topography and the Promise of Settlement and Architecture

    Before I begin this post, I wish to extend my sincere thanks to Ron Garnett at www.airscapes.ca for allowing me to use many photos from his CD collection of aerial photos of the Island.   Definitions of Landscape and Topography LANDSCAPE is an emotional and aesthetic response to the territory around us. Like a work of art, it is a picture. TOPOGRAPHY is a scientific analysis of the component parts that make up the landscape. It is description and measurement, not emotion.   An Island appears… About 12,000 years ago when the glaciers that covered so much of the northern hemisphere were melting and retreating to the north, a landmass,…

  • Holland’s other county capitals: Prince Town and Georgetown

    This post is in an incomplete state because I lack both visual and written sources to describe the origins of these two towns and to what degree the Morris plans were followed in subsequent development. I don’t even have a copy of the Morris plan for Georgetown and must, for the time being, rely on the Lake Map of 1863. This is very much a work in progress and is likely to remain so for some time. I thought it advisable to insert it in this sequence so it would follow the description of the origins and evolution of Charlottetown and have its place in the larger narrative.   HOLLAND…

  • British Colonial Town Planning in Canada After Charlottetown

    Before Wright’s final plan of Charlottetown was approved and his grid plan with green areas began to be carved out of the wilderness set aside by Holland, there was no set of official regulations as to how things should be done, and which facilities and features should be identified as necessary for every town. The grid plan, now of considerable antiquity, first introduced in the New World by Philip II of Spain in the 1570s, was familiar to those planning future towns in the British Colonies, and may have been a source of inspiration. In 1768 Charles Morris used a grid plan with a central square reserved for the most…

  • Searching for the English Origin, Migration and Evolution of the Charlottetown City Plan: 1666-1771

    Things are never quite the way they seem to be. Take, for example, the plan of the city of Charlottetown with its four green areas, with no political function, that flank the very political central square. The reason for its present appearance should be quite simply that Governor Patterson, not liking the plan that Morris had presented in 1768, changed it. All that is true. But what was the ultimate inspiration of the change? Detail of the Charlottetown map from Meacham’s ATLAS of 1880.   The evidence available to trace the origins of green spaces set aside for the common folk encourages us to go back a long time, to…