The most photographed object in town?

Dragon with wheels.

Dragon with wheels.

Sometime when I walk around town I realize how many things I pass by every day and take for granted. This piece of Nova Scotia folk art has stood outside the Book Emporium on Queen Street for many years, and is claimed by the owners to be the most photographed object in Charlottetown. Indeed as I was talking to the store owner someone else snapped a photo of the sculpture.



I’ve always liked this fun, and colourful creature, and it’s presence on the street is a pleasure to young and old alike.

A Wednesday List of Ten Things I Like.



This is not a top ten list, but rather a totally random list of things I like. listed in alphabetical order of course, and complete with links where possible.

1. Beet greens. The beet is an amazing thing, and in springtime there is nothing better than fresh beet greens. The secret is to cook them simply with a bit of garlic and serve with butter and vinegar.

2. Crayola Sidewalk Chalk. My kids love to draw on the sidewalk and deck, and these chalks from Crayola are great for hours of fun. Well, a few minutes of fun really, but fun none the less.

3. Cutting the grass. Actually I hate cutting the grass, but every time I cut the grass I realize I’m not shoveling snow, and I despise shoveling snow.

4. Decks. We live in a small house and having a deck doubles our living space during the warmer months. On a warm day a deck is a great place to relax and play. During the colder months when our deck is under several feet of snow we have whiskey.

5. Molson Canadian. I’ve decided to try some brands of Canadian beers that I don’t often drink. I’ve never actually had Molson Canadian before so I tried it, and I liked it. Very tasty.

6. Paint Tube-Wringer. This is a tool that I find essential in my studio. Artist-quality paint is very expensive, and I find this paint tube-wringer is great for getting the last drop from oil, acrylic, and watercolour tubes. It is made of heavy-duty metal and will probably last a lifetime of use.

7. Princess Play Castle. One day when it was raining I bought this play fort for the kids. Actually I bought it for me in the hopes the kids would get in it and leave me alone. Surprisingly, an adult and two small children can sort of fit in it. Also, it’s a great place for an adult to hide in from the children. It seems to be the last place they think to look.

8. Public washrooms at the Confederation Centre of the Arts. When I became a father I quickly found out how valuable a safe, clean public washroom can be, and how scarce they are. If you are visiting downtown Charlottetown the best public washrooms are located at the Confederation Centre of the Arts. They are clean, spacious, and have changing tables, and they are monitored regularly.

9. Taters. Taters is a small restauraunt that makes three things: French Fries, funnel cakes, and lemonade. I haven’t tried the funnel cakes but the fries and lemonade are fantastic. They cut their own fries using PEI potatoes, and they make the lemonade from scratch too. They are located at Peakes Quay on the Charlottetown waterfront.

10. Sensations Caramel-o ice cream. My brother-in-law introduced us to this wonderful ice cream. I don’t know what part I like the best. Is it the great taste of the caramel ice cream or the chocolate covered caramels in the ice cream? I’ll have to eat more to decide.

The fountains of Charlottetown. An Artist’s Review.

Charlottetown is one of those nice small towns that really causes it citizens to stop, pause, and think WTF. We don’t have many examples of public art or monuments, but we do have what can only be described as one of the world’s great motley collections of just plain strange and crazy water fountains.

Fountain stairs.

Fountain stairs.

This is a new water feature at the Confederation Centre of the Arts, and I actually like this one. When they were renovating the building they converted a set of stairs into a waterfall. It would have been more impressive if it was on a larger scale and looked less like a water main had broken, but small children like it, and I imagine that late at night after the bars close young men pee in it.

Province House fountain.Province House fountain.

The fountain in front of Province House is a great example of Charlottetown’s fountains. In the summer it may seem like a nice little fountain but upon closer inspection it really is just an under-scale circular concrete basin with a jet of water that shoots an impressive three feet in the air. I think my garden hose could do better.

Storm drain fountain.Storm drain fountain.

Yes, this is an actual fountain and not a sewer line backing up. Each summer Charlottetown closes off a section of Richmond Street to use as a pedestrian mall, and then they turn a storm drain into a fountain. They must attach a hose to a section of the water main, and it shoots a couple of jets of water into the air. As you can see, children love to run around it in ever decreasing circles until they run through it. When people come across it for the first time they often stop dead in their tracks and stare dumbfounded upon its glory. I have to admit that I love this fountain, and it’s one of those strange things I like about Charlottetown. Whoever thought of doing this was some kind of crazy, and I’m glad they did it.

Storm drain fountain.Storm drain fountain.
Fountain cake?Fountain cake?

I have saved this one for last. It looks like someone wanted to create a beautiful and impressive fountain for Charlottetown. Unfortunately, they seem to have built it with off-the-shelf or leftover parts, none of which were in proportion to one another. The hand with the torch popping out of what appears to be a cake really confuses me, and wouldn’t it have been better to include some of the forearm? The base is too wide for such a squat structure, and the bronze cake with the flaming hand seems to have been dropped on top as an afterthought. I’ve noticed that the water element seems to be broken at the moment, but when the water is on it does look better due to the reflection of light on the water’s surface.


Though this is the most formal attempt at a fountain in Charlottetown it is in my opinion the least successful. Maybe on paper it looked better, and I wonder if they bothered to build a scale model before building it?