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Trivia

  • Prince Edward Island is one of the Atlantic provinces on the east coast of Canada.
  • It is the smallest province.
  • The island lies in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
  • The Northumberland Strait separates Prince Edward Island from New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.
  • The capital city is Charlottetown.
  • The Island was named “Prince Edward” in honour of the father of Queen Victoria in 1799.
  • It is called “the Garden Province” because half of the land is cultivated.
  • flower – Lady’s Slipper, tree – Northern Red Oak, bird – Blue Jay
  • motto : “the small under the protection of the great”

The people

  • Prince Edward Island is the home of 138,600 people.(2007 estimate)
  • Over 75 percent are of Scottish, Irish and English descent.
  • About 15 % are of French origin.
  • Charlottetown is the largest city with about 32, 174 people in 2006.
  • Summerside is the only other city.
  • There are seven incorporated towns.

History

  • The first people to live on the Island were the Mi’kmaq (Micmac).
  • They moved from place to place living in dwellings called wigwams.
  • In the winter they hunted and in the summer they fished.
  • Jacques Cartier, a French explorer, discovered the island in 1534.
  • In 1603 Champlain, another French explorer, came to the island.
  • In 1719 a French colony was formed.
  • In 1745 the English took over the island.
  • The French farmers were expelled.
  • The land was divided into large lots and given to British citizens.
  • Loyalists from the U.S. came in the 1780s.
  • Prince Edward Island became the seventh Canadian province in 1873.

Land and water

  • The province is about 224 km long and from 6 to 64 km wide.
  • Almost all of the soil is made up of red-coloured sandstone.
  • Most of the island consists of gently rolling hills.
  • There are no major lakes or rivers, just ponds, small brooks and streams.
  • Prince Edward Island National Park has a large beach with reddish sand, sand dunes, salt marshes and red sandstone cliffs.
  • There are over 90 sandy beaches for swimming and boating.
  • The northern coast is lined with sand dunes and sand bars.

Climate

  • mild climate
  • temperature in July ranges from high of 23°C to a low of 14°C (average is 18°C)
  • In January, temperatures range from a high of -3°C to a low of -12°C (average is -7°C).
  • There are frequent winter storms with an average yearly snowfall of 300 cm.
  • It is also very windy on the island.

Resources / industries

  • Agriculture is the largest industry.
  • About thirty percent of Canada’s potatoes are grown in Prince Edward Island.
  • Other crops include fruits and vegetables (apples, strawberries, blueberries, carrots, onions, tomatoes) and cereal crops.
  • Almost half of the land is used for farming.
  • Food processing is an important industy (bottling, canning, freezing).
  • The second largest industry is tourism.
  • Fishing is the third largest industry.
  • Fishermen catch herring, tuna, cod and mackerel.
  • Lobsters are caught in traps.
  • Clams, scallops, mussels and oysters are farmed (in underwater hatcheries)
  • Oysters are harvested for Canada and the world.
  • Irish moss (a seaweed) is harvested by pulling a special rake along the rocks or on the sea floor.
  • It is used to thicken ice cream, cheese and toothpaste.

Transportation

  • The Confederation Bridge joins New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.
  • The bridge was opened in 1997 and is almost 13 km long.
  • It takes 12 minutes to cross the bridge.
  • The bridge was built to withstand harsh wind and weather conditions, including ice floes.
  • Ferry boats travel from Nova Scotia to Prince Edward Island.
  • There are two airports.

People and places

  • Charlottetown is the “birthplace of Canada” where leaders met in 1864 to discuss the formation of our country
  • Tourists come from around the world to visit Green Gables House. It is a museum about L.M. Montgomery, author of the Anne of Green Gables books.
  • The Robert Harris Collection at the Confederation Centre of the Arts (in Charlottetown) consists of some 5,000 works of art.
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