How the iconic Peter Pan Restaurant sign is being saved

The Peter Pan Restaurant was part of the Charlottetown landscape for decades. The building was torn down last year, but now its sign has been salvaged and will be preserved by the Heritage Retrofit Carpentry program at Holland College.

'Anybody that's been here on the Island for any length of time, the Peter Pan has been part of their lives'

How the iconic Peter Pan restaurant sign is being preserved


7 months ago
Students from Holland College's Retrofit Carpentry Program carefully removed the sign last week. 2:14

The sign from the iconic Peter Pan Restaurant in Charlottetown is being saved and preserved by students and staff of the Heritage Retrofit Carpentry course at Holland College. 

The restaurant itself was torn down last winter. But the sign, at about 544 kilograms and on supports about six metres in the air, remained. 

Trevor Young is a lab assistant for the Heritage Retrofit Carpentry course and was born in 1958 — the same year the Peter Pan started serving burgers and fries. 

"A lot of times my wife and I would go to the Peter Pan and have a great hamburger," Young said. "They were really, really great.

"Anybody that's been here on the Island for any length of time, the Peter Pan has been a part of their lives." 

Tim's Crane Service donated its time and talents to bring the sign down from its high perch at what's been known for decades as the Peter Pan corner at the junction of University Avenue and Capital Drive. 

'Beautiful piece of artwork'

Students and instructor Josh Silver were there to help secure the sign to a truck and take it to the college's workshop. 

The Peter Pan sign arrives at Holland College in Charlottetown this week for refurbishment and preservation. (Danny Arsenault/CBC)

"We saved an icon from our community," said Silver.

It was his idea to ask permission from the property's owner, Elaine Grundy, and she agreed to donate the sign to the college to preserve. 

"I was worried — I didn't know what would happen to it," Silver said.

"I think that sign is just a real beautiful piece of artwork … thought it would be a shame for anything to happen to it." 

Students will take the sign apart — gently — and save the sign's north-facing side, which was in better shape than the south side. 

It will likely end up on a wall in the carpentry workshop next to the sign for Roger's Hardware, another long-time and now defunct business in Charlottetown. The program hopes to continue to preserve such signs, Silver said. 

"It really demonstrates what this program is about. We want to preserve and save as much of our Island history as possible, and I think that sign is an iconic portion of that," Silver said.

"It's really heartening to see that other people in the community, most people that we talk to, hold those same values." 

More from CBC P.E.I.

With files from Danny Arsenault


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