The term ‘Triangle Corner’ first appears in The Lyttelton Times in August 1864. There appears to be no recorded history of how the name came in to being but it is quite obvious how this junction of Colombo, Cashel and High Streets became known as such. These three roads made a triangle.
When the Triangle Corner appears the newspapers of the past, it was always noted how busy this wee junction was. It was easily Christchurch’s first commercial precinct with it housing the first chemist, hotel, restaurant, post office and fire station (the latter two also listed in sources as first opening in Market Place, Victoria Square) . Also in 1851, High Street was the first of the surveyed roads where ground was broken and sod turned.
What is largely unknown is that the Triangle Corner was one of twins! Further along High Street sits another triangular area. ‘Clocktower Junction’ sat on High, Cashel and Manchester Streets. Before the move to Victoria Street, the Diamond Jubilee Clocktower had made it self at home there, hence the name.
Considered an historical site by many of our first settlers, many said that the Triangle Corner was their spot of arrival in the city of Christchurch. That is why in 1900, some of the surviving settlers from our first four ships posed there for a photo. Please note the attached photo.
Other names have been used over the years such as ‘Cab Stand Corner’ and ‘Bottleneck Junction’ but in 2008, the biggest change for the area loomed. Taking in account the history of this area, it was thought to rename it ‘Pilgrim’s Plaza’. Either this never caught on or the quakes have put the brakes on this new project.
*photo of settler’s at Triangle Corner courtesy of http://canterburyheritage.blogspot.co.nz*
*Chemist add courtesy of http://cclblog.wordpress.com*
*photo of modern Triangle Corner courtesy of http://www.stuff.co.nz*