‘This could be a unique place’ – Campbell wants to turn almost 200-year-old home into café

By Haley-Lynn Bohan

March 1, 2017

Ray Campbell dreams of turning an almost 200-year-old log cabin into a café.

He told the Charlottetown city council his dream, Feb. 28, asking for rezoning of the property so he can make his dream come true. The public meeting was held at the Rodd Charlottetown. If he doesn’t get the rezoning, he’ll only be able to use the house as a residence.

The house dates back to the 1840s, and to this day is still held together by wooden pegs, but Campbell doesn’t think it should be kept as a house.

“It wouldn’t be practical to keep it as a house.”

He wants to turn it into a café, a mix between Timothy’s on Great George Street and Peakes Quay Restaurant & Bar.

Mayor Clifford Lee had trouble seeing his dream at first.

“I’m just not sure how a patio in the backyard would work.”

Campbell assured him it would not be open at two in the morning.

Lee said he wondered what the people next door in the back would think.

Campbell defended his dream by sharing his love for the old house with the councillors and public attendees.

“It’s a very unique old house.”

Coun. Eddie Rice also likes the house café idea.

“It’s the only example of a log cabin that we do have.”

He said maybe some pieces could be kept to show how old the log house really is, and its uniqueness as it is held together only by wooden pegs which make it sturdy, he said.

“If a hurricane hit, I’d rather be in that.”

Rice loved the idea.

“I think it would be a great addition to the City of Charlottetown because it’s the only one we have left.”

He wasn’t alone. MLA Richard Brown said it’s a great opportunity to showcase the city’s history.

“I support it 100 per cent.”

Coun. Mitch Tweel commended Campbell.

“It’s quite a project to tackle.”

But everyone seemed in agreement that it would be a beautiful addition to the community, on top of being a big project.

“It’s a labour of love,” Tweel said.