Situated in the heart of Edmundston‘s downtown core, City Hall Square Park is a civic park and outdoor entertainment venue enclosed by Court, St-François, and Canada streets. Surrounded by trees and shrubs, the park features a commemorative plaque, a granite fountain, tiered seating, and a pavilion that houses a replica of the tower from the former City Hall building.
Constructed in 1994, Edmundston City Hall Square Park embodies the site’s historical significance, which was once bustling with activity and home to several notable buildings, now demolished. Among these significant structures were the Royal Hotel, the Boucher funeral home, and the Hartt sisters’ residence.
Today, a commemorative plaque pays tribute to the former vibrancy of the site. Built in 1865 by Prudent Babin, the Royal Hotel was an impressive four-story building with 30 rooms, three sample rooms for merchants, a barber shop, a reception hall, a dining room, and three salons.
Notably, the hotel hosted future Prime Minister Sir Wilfred Laurier during his 1896 visit to the region, where he delivered a speech from the hotel’s balcony. The hotel changed ownership several times, with Aurèle Boucher being the most prominent owner. His son, Gaspard Boucher, significantly contributed to Edmundston’s development. As the Royal Hotel’s manager, an Acadian advocate, the owner of Le Madawaska newspaper, and an MLA, Gaspard was a prominent figure in the Madawaska region. The hotel was destroyed in the city’s largest fire in 1989.
Another significant building on the site was the Boucher funeral home, situated adjacent to the hotel and facing Canada Street. Established in 1920 and also lost in the 1989 fire, the funeral home, owned by Aurèle Boucher, provided support to grieving families.
Lastly, the Hartt sisters’ home, which served as the post office from 1878 to around 1922, was located on the square’s site. The sisters were Edmundston’s first postmistresses. The house was replaced by a service station long before the 1989 fire.
City Hall Square Park is also recognized for its contemporary role as a host for numerous events in downtown Edmundston during the summer months.
Click on a thumbnail to see more photos
This post has already been read 1660 times!