Is Upper Prince Street part of Prince Street?

Pardon me, but I spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about things like this.

My Danish friend Luisa revealed to me that the letter otherwise know to me as “o-slash” — ø — is not, as far as Danes are concerned, a “letter ‘o’ with a slash through it” but rather a bona fide letter all its own. Or, as Wikipedia says:

Speakers of languages which use the letter ø hold that it is not a ligature or a diacritical variant of the letter o (That is, emically they perceive it as a different letter entirely).

Which leads me to the question of Upper Prince Street.

Upper Prince vs. Prince

Oliver’s school is called Prince Street School but its civic address is 66 Upper Prince Street (emphasis mine). That the school is not called Upper Prince Street School suggests that Upper Prince Street belongs to the “Prince Street family” — in other words, it is a “ligature or a diacritical variant” of Prince Street. And thus, because our house is at 100 Prince Street, we live on the same street as the school.

This runs contrary to my own view, based simply on my own biases, which is that Upper Prince Street is a different street entirely, an opinion supported by the fact that Upper Prince Street and vrai Prince Street each have their own set of street numbers (which is why we often get mail intended for the Scouts at 100 Upper Prince).

Please let me know your view on this.


Gordon Pierce's picture
Gordon Pierce on May 5, 2009 - 01:04 Permalink

Going back to the 1880 Meacham Atlas, a map of Charlottetown shows Prince Street (lovely, wide) and Upper Prince Street (narrower, at an angle, shorter than now). I agree that although Charlottetown likes to use those royal references in street names, they are two different roads.

Kris McKinnon's picture
Kris McKinnon on May 5, 2009 - 01:19 Permalink

Similar thought, should the Queen Street Meat Market still be called that?

DerekMac's picture
DerekMac on May 5, 2009 - 02:15 Permalink

The 1863 Business Directory lists both an “Upper Queen Street” and an “Upper Great George Street”, but no Upper Prince Street, although it is a residential area, and seems to have existed at the time, but probably did not have any businesses.

Upper Great George started somewhere north of Kent Street, as there are businesses listed at the corner of Kent and Great George. I believe that all the “Upper” streets were extensions of the original streets, which stopped at the original edge of town, Euston Street, the end of the 500 lots surveyed in 1764. Upper Prince is the only one of the three north-south-running regal streets that does not line up with is non-upper counterpart, and is, I think, the only one to be separately numbered, so there is certainly a good arguement for its independence. On the other hand, East and West streets in New York also have different numbering, starting at a common central point, but are considered the same street.

Upper Great George and the part of regular Great George north of Province House later became “Elm Avenue” and in 1969 became “University Avenue” in honour of the founding of UPEI.

The northern parts of Queen Street are, even today, referred to as “Upper Queen”, although the starting point is no longer clear.

Needless to say, the Queen Street Meat Market was originally on Queen Street, before it was moved to University Avenue. Personally, I would like to see them change it to “Queen City” meat market, to help it retain some of its regal origins. However, having it named after a street it is no longer located on certainly adds some interest to it!

oliver's picture
oliver on May 5, 2009 - 14:57 Permalink

Whether you’re on Bloor East or West you’re still on Bloor, and ditto for Yonge North or South…to a point, I guess. In those cases, your “legal address” probably would include the East, West, North or South, just as “Upper” might be part of a legal address on Prince. I don’t think Upper works any differently than those terms, but the thinking can go either way and evolve. I suppose we had “America” before we had North and South America, and I suppose West Vancouver only aspired to be Vancouver before it began to count as such to anybody. If you aspire for “Lower” Prince to be thought of as one with Upper Prince, a little campaigning could do the trick. Probably “Lower Prince” isn’t exactly the wording you’d want to use.

Andrew MacPherson's picture
Andrew MacPherson on May 5, 2009 - 15:47 Permalink

I think of it all as Prince Street. I have a harder time reconciling that Queen Street extends north past Belvedere especially when turns west at the end.

Al's picture
Al on May 5, 2009 - 21:33 Permalink

Colonel Gray School is on Spring Park Road, but Spring Park school isn’t on Colonel Gray drive. At least if it’s wrong it would be nice if it was symmetrically wrong

Alan's picture
Alan on May 6, 2009 - 13:09 Permalink

We have “lower” streets in Kingston. Created when the waterfront was built out into the river in the 1800s.

PEI school toponymist's picture
PEI school topo... on May 11, 2009 - 07:34 Permalink

The original Prince Street School was located on Prince Street — at the intersection with Grafton & Prince (that empty lot you see today). The new school kept the old name and was located further north on Upper Prince Street.

The original West Kent School was located on the west end of Kent Street — at the site of the Provincial Government building complex (there is a plaque there to commemorate this). The new school kept the old name and was located further west in Brighton on Viceroy Avenue.

The original Queen Square School was located at the intersection of Great George & Richmond (the legislature parking lot you see today). This school has completely disappeared with no successor. There is a plaque on the site IIRC.

The original Spring Park School was located where the current Charlottetown Police Department station is at on Kirkwood Drive. The current Spring Park School on Dunkirk Street kept this name after the school moved there in the 1960s. The old school building became home to the Charlottetown Water & Pollution Control Commission. Spring Park School does not take its name from a street (unlike Prince Street & West Kent) — it takes its name from the unassuming village of Spring Park which was forcibly amalgamated into the vacuous and pretentious City of Charlottetown in 1959, forever altering this pleasant corner of Queens County. Other area schools named after their host communities included Parkdale, Sherwood and West Royalty…

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on May 11, 2009 - 17:32 Permalink

Are you sure that Prince Street School was located at the corner of Grafton and Prince. My source says that there was a kindergarten there run by the Methodist Church, the same church that also founded Prince Street School, but that they were otherwise not connected. Appreciate any light you can shed.