Parks Canada begins next phase of Province House conservation project

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June 21, 2018                                Charlottetown PE                             Parks Canada Agency

As the birthplace of Confederation, Province House National Historic Site stands as a celebrated Canadian landmark. And today, at more than 170 years old, it continues to connect Canadians to a place and an event that helped shape our country.

The Government of Canada is proudly investing in the protection of this building, and with phase one of the conservation project complete, the Government of Canada is pleased to announce that phase two is now underway. This portion of the conservation work will focus on the building structure, including the conservation of the exterior walls, and work related to the foundation, structural interior walls, floors and roof, as well as making the exterior of the building universally accessible.

The focus of phase one of the project was the building of a steel exoskeleton to stabilize the building, along with the removal of finishes from the interior of the building. This interior work provided key information about the masonry wall construction, which has better defined the conservation approach for phase two. While still in need of significant work, the walls are in better condition than expected. The original approach called for a complete dismantling and reconstruction of the exterior walls; however, a combination of in situ repairs and dismantle/reassemble can now be accomplished, which is less invasive and will preserve more of the building’s heritage character.

Province House has a unique dual identity as both the historic birthplace of Canada and the seat of Prince Edward Island’s Legislative Assembly, and as stewards of Province House, Parks Canada is leading this unprecedented conservation project.

This critical conservation project is being approached with careful consideration of the best and most appropriate methods to preserve the iconic building’s character-defining elements. The future phase three of the project will mainly involve the reinstallation of building electrical and mechanical systems, interior finishes, fire code compliance and universal accessibility upgrades.

Due to the size and complexity of this project, funding for this project is being allocated incrementally. This reflects the enhanced understanding of the scope of the project at each phase, as the layers of the building are peeled back.

Previously, the Government of Canada announced funding of $47 million for the conservation of Province House. Today, an additional investment of $14.1 million is being provided for phase two, bringing the total estimated cost for the first two phases of the conservation of Province House to $61.1 million. Once a more defined scope for phase three is established, those funding requirements will be determined.

Investments in the preservation, rehabilitation, and restoration of our national historic sites will protect our heritage and strengthen their appeal as destinations to celebrate our nation’s achievements.