There’s no doubt that Charlottetown is extremely photogenic – it’s colourful red brick backdrops, flower-lined streets, grassy expanses and endless water views are the stuff of swoon-worthy Instagram posts. And yet there’s something just as intriguing about the lesser-seen sides of Charlottetown – unique perspectives of the city captured by the curious observer or artistic eye that reveal the city’s complex character and appeal. Here are some of our favourites.
It’s all in the Details
St. Dunstan’s Basilica, located on charming Great George St., is a stunning example of Gothic architecture in the heart of historic Charlottetown and deservedly the subject of many a photo. While shots of its exterior and the nave are quite common, it’s the ornate details of the church, such as its inspired ceiling, that really speak to the amount of love and labour put into the church’s construction over a hundred years ago.
From the Backside
The Great George is, without a doubt, the subject of many photos thanks to its historic character and colourful facades that pop in the sunlight. Yet there’s something equally charming about the backside of the hotel, with its inviting Adirondack chair and the spires of St. Dunstan’s seemingly piercing through the rooftops of the Great George’s townhouses.
To a certain extent, you can judge the character of a city by the number of independent bookstores it has. Charlottetown, by our estimation, wins out on this measure with three bookworm-friendly shops located on one block of lower Queen St. The seemingly dishevelled interior of The Bookman belies the shop’s carefully organized cornucopia of used books covering every genre of fiction and non-fiction you could fathom.
A Day at the Park
Victoria Park is a popular respite for both locals and visitors, who are drawn to its expansive swaths of green space, its charming waterside boardwalk and, of course, the Kiwanis Dairy Bar. Yet there’s plenty more to this +60-acre park to be discovered for the curious and adventurous, including the historic PEI Battery, which features a stone magazine and a brace of guns located on the south side of the park near the boardwalk.
From the Other Side
Victoria Row is undoubtedly one of Charlottetown’s most photogenic streets, with its cobblestone road and the Victorian-era architecture of its buildings, including the Cameron Block, best known for its Italianate architecture style. Most often, photographers capture the street’s magnificence from its Queen St. entrance, but every once in awhile a photographer takes the road less travelled and shoots the Row from its intersection with Great George Street. We think the it’s an equally stunning, what do you think?
A Mouse’s View
Eckhart the Mouse, a curious little character created by Island author David Weale, is the subject of a fun, family-friendly mousehunt that will have you exploring the historic core of the city. Presented by Downtown Charlottetown Inc., your mission is to find nine bronze statues of Eckhart located here and there based on clues provided. It’s a great way to discover the downtown area, while keeping the kids occupied and a chance to see the City from an adventurous mouse’s perspective.
A City in Bloom
Ah flowers -there’s truly no such thing as too many, and many visitors are bowled over by the gorgeous flower beds that grace the city’s street corners and the hanging baskets of fresh blooms to be discovered throughout the city. For the city’s homeowners, a trip to VanKampen’s Greenhouses on Allen St. is a yearly pilgrammage and a feast for the senses.
Brick & Mortar
Surely one of the greatest pleasures in life is exploring a new city by foot and breathing in the character of your newfound love. In Charlottetown, there’s no shortage of gorgeous historic buildings, green spaces, water views and streetscapes to soak up. Bring your camera along, as you never know what will have your heart fluttering. We fell in love with this shot by Lee Siegel (also performing in Jesus Christ Superstar at the Confederation Centre of the Arts this summer!) -the marriage of red and gray bricks along with white window panes from a bygone era makes us swoon.