Canonicus was the Narragansett sachem who offered refuge to Roger Williams in 1636, but before this place was named for him in a fit of Colonial Revival fervor, it was the busy shopping district known as Hoyle Square. Cranston and Westminster were already busy highways in the early 18th century. Rochambeau marched his armies down Cranston Street in June 1781 on his way to Yorktown. Back then, those soldiers marched past the Hoyle Tavern. Built in 1739, Hoyle’s was a popular spot for gatherings and entertainment. A Citizens Bank, constructed in 1921, stands in its place, the focal point of a square drastically altered by late 20th century redevelopment.