Monday, March 21, 2016

Prince Edward Island

The smallest of Canada's provinces in both land area and population, it consists of the main island itself as well as over 200 minor islands. Prince Edward Island (PEI), one of Canada's three Maritime provinces, is a peaceful island of unique beauty. It is located in the Gulf of St. Lawrence...west of Cape Breton, north of the Nova Scotia peninsula and east of New Brunswick. Charlottetown is its capital city. The Confederation Bridge joining New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island was built in 1993 and is about 13 km long. It was spectacularly and architecturally designed to withstand harsh blowing winds, changing weather conditions and possibly ice floes afloat into the Gulf.. Ferry boats travel regularly between Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.

Sandy beaches, warm ocean waters, lively fun parks and an overall casual atmosphere are conducive to an 'island playground'. View Antiques, Art Galleries, Museums, Foods and Beverages, shopping, tons of water activities ~ a treat for all ages: nap in the sun...splash in the a sand castle... enjoy a leisurely stroll...and capture an unforgettable sunset. Anne of Green Gables ~ learn more about PEI's favourite red-haired girl. The island is also 'pure golf heaven' whether beginner or turning 'pro'.
The land is rich ~ and the waters teem with
fish, lobster, oysters and other shellfish.
Fishermen catch...herring, tuna, cod, and mackerel.
Lobsters are caught in traps.

The soil is red due to iron oxide which rusts on exposure to air.
Almost all of the soil consists of red-coloured sandstone, visible throughout the island.
Its main industries are firstly, agriculture, then tourism and fisheries.
30% of Canada's potatoes are grown in PEI.

Prince Edward Island is called The Garden Province...because half the land is cultivated.
Over 75% of the people are of Scottish, Irish and English descent; about 15% are of French origin.
The first peoples to live on the island were the winter they hunted; in summer they fished.
Jacques Cartier discovered the island in 1534.
Loyalists from the United States came in the 1780's.
Charlottetown is the 'birth place of Canada' where the leaders met in 1864 to discuss the formation of the country. Prince Edward Island became the 7th Canadian Province in 1873.

Tourists come from around the world to visit Green Gables Home.
It is a museum about Lucy Maud Montgomery (author of Anne of Green Gables).
The Centre of the Arts in Charlottetown consists of some 5.000 works of art
including the Robert Harris Collection.

Provincial Flower: Lady Slipper. Bird: Blue Jay. Tree: Red Oak.
Slogan: “The Small under the Protection of the Great”
Nicknames: Spud Island, Million Acre Farm, The Garden of Gulf, The Cradle of Confederation.

Comments from the Locals and Visitors

More people live on Vancouver Island...but we've still got our big-ass Bridge.

The economy is based on fish, potatoes and CBC TV shows.

We don't share a border with any other Province or with America.

Canada was born here!

“It's an Adventure in History.”

“Get Over It ~ The Confederation Bridge!”

“Prince Edward Island is blessed
with miles and miles of sandy beaches.”

“Over the years we have learned to truly appreciate PEI.
We have discovered roads less travelled
where we slow down to admire the cobalt-blue sky
and smell the fresh-grown grass.”
(Dave Stephens & Susie Randalls)

“On a Thanksgiving weekend, Elka and I ventured on our travel to the Atlantic Provinces. Our crossing the Confederation Bridge was a superb experience ~ a brilliantly curved span across the Northumberland Strait to near Summerside. We felt the Island was ours ~ no tourists, no commercial traffic, just us and the solitude of this island paradise!

The winds became gusts…the darkened heavy clouds became heavy rain. At East Point we stood at the edge of civilization, it seemed, in hurricane-like winds and in pouring rain (barely able to stand) as we gazed at the furor of the Gulf of St. Lawrence waters. We were drenched! Hurriedly, we drove to Prince Edward Island’s south coast to reach the ferry boat that would return us to Pictou, Nova Scotia. Due to extremely high winds, this service was cancelled (the ferry remaining safely in port). We sped for the Bridge, hopeful that it was still open. (Wasn’t it built to withstand adverse weather conditions?)

Yes…still open! And one hour later, it too, closed to traffic. We’d definitely revisit Prince Edward Island (the ‘Garden Province’) on a better-weather day! Under blue skies and a golden sun the following day, we crossed the Canso Causeway to the scenic “Drive of a Lifetime” on Cape Breton!”
With wonderful memories of our East Coast Excursion…by the author of this article!

Merle Baird-Kerr...written October 18, 2014
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