Prince Edward Island

The Canadian province of Prince Edward Island (PEI) is the smallest maritime province in Canada both in terms of land area as well as population (not including the territories). Other names of the island include “Garden of the Gulf” because of the presence of pastoral scenery and also “Birthplace of Confederation”, pointing to Charlottetown Conference in 1864.

Prince Edward Island is situated within the Gulf of St. Lawrence, towards the west of Cape Breton Island and north of Nova Scotia Peninsula. The province is situated east of New Brunswick. Towards its southern shore lies the Northumberland Strait. This island consists of two urban areas – Charlottetown Harbor consisting of the capital Charlottetown, Cornwall and Stratford. A comparatively smaller urban location surrounds Summerside Harbor located west of Charlottetown Harbor, and mainly has the city of Summerside. The province of Prince Edward Island has the reputation of great natural beauty with rolling hills, reddish white sandy beaches and ocean coves.

Winters can be moderately cold with cold Arctic air clashing with the mild Atlantic air resulting in temperature swings. Storms are frequent from the months of December to April. Summer temperatures are moderate. The Fall is a pleasant season with the moderating waters of the Gulf delaying the frost. There is a great deal of precipitation across the entire year and heaviest in early winter or late autumn.

The original inhabitants of Prince Edward Island were the Mi'kmaq people. Jacques Cartier was instrumental in discovering the area in 1534. Great Britain gained control over the island which was so long under the French dominance, under the agreements of the Treaty of Paris in the year 1763. Prince Edward Island did not join Canada in 1867 but chose to remain a colony of Great Britain. The island became a part of Canada on 1 July 1873.

The 2001 Canadian census records the biggest ethnic group to be the population of Scottish descent, which was followed by English, Irish, French, German and Dutch.Majority of the people were followers of the Roman Catholic Church.

Seasonal industries like agriculture, fishery, and tourism dominate the economic scene of Prince Edward Island. There are limited numbers of manufacturing and heavy industries. Natural gas has also been found in the eastern part of the province. Potato is the primary crop grown in this area and this province produces 1/3 of total quantity of potatoes in Canada. Shellfish harvesting like mussel farming, oyster and lobster fishing are common in the coastal communities of Prince Edward Island.

Some of the important cities in Prince Edward Island include:

• Charlottetown
• Stratford
• Summerside
• Montague

Famous people
Lucy Maud Montgomery who is the famous Canadian writer of “Anne of Green Gables” series books is an important personality from this region.