Green space or housing? What to do with Prince Edward Home land
'Really, Victoria Park is a kind of crown jewel for Prince Edward Island'
It's a question that's been on the minds of Islanders for several years but is becoming more pressing as government takes further steps toward demolition day: what should the province do with the old Prince Edward Home site?
Charlottetown-Brighton MLA Jordan Brown said the question is always a "hot topic of conversation" for residents in the area and it's one he's heard since he was on the campaign trail in 2015.
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Since then he's heard a number of recommendations from constituents on what to do with the site — which is adjacent to Victoria Park. Some people say the site should serve as green space, while others say it should be developed for housing.
"It's always a very interesting conversation, a lot of people have very particular views," he said. "It's usually a great topic of conversation whether I'm on a doorstep or talking to somebody from the constituency."
A unique and 'super' idea proposed to Brown
The province confirmed in May that it has earmarked $3 million in the 2018 budget to tear down the old Prince Edward Home.
Personally, Brown said he'd like to see the site return to a green space after the building is destroyed. "There's only so much park space and, really, Victoria Park is a kind of a crown jewel for Prince Edward Island," he said.
Although he did hear a unique idea from a nurse he met that used to work at the hospital.
"She mentioned that there's a headstone overtop the door that she'd like to see taken down and installed into a pavilion when ultimately the building is taken down," he said.
"I think that's a super idea in terms of a way that we could pay homage to the people who worked here and the people that actually spent time in the hospital."
Liberal MLA Kathleen Casey said in the House last week that it could be the site for a new legislature if the Province House renovations end up being too expensive. Charlottetown Mayor Clifford Lee previously said he'd like to see the property returned to parkland.
Before anything can happen, however, the Department of Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy has to come up with a plan for the district heating system which runs through the property.
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With files from Natalia Goodwin