Prince Edward Island is named after Prince Edward Augustus, the Duke of Kent, who was the father of Queen Victoria. It is one of eastern Canada’s maritime provinces, of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The large island is marked by red-sand beaches, lighthouses, and fertile farmland, and is renowned for seafood like lobster and mussels.
Historically, Prince Edward Island is considered as one of Canada’s oldest settlements and demographically still reflects older immigration to the country, with Celtic, Anglo-Saxon and French surnames being dominant to this day.
GEOGRAPHY & AREA
Prince Edward Island is a part of the traditional lands of the Mi’kmaq, and became a British colony in the 1700s and was federated into Canada as a province in 1873. It is situated exactly about 200 kilometers north of Halifax, Nova Scotia, and 600 kilometers east of Quebec City. Consisting of the main island and 231 minor islands. All of which all visible on these PEI maps.
The total area covered by the entire province is 5,686.03 km2. The main island is 5,620 km2 in size, which is slightly larger than the U.S. state of Delaware.
The climate of Prince Edward Island is moderate and strongly influenced by surrounding seas. As such, winters are moderately cold and long but the temperature is milder than inland locations due to the warm waters from the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Summers are warm but rarely uncomfortable as temperature occasionally reaches as high as 30 degrees. Autumn is pleasant as the moderating Gulf waters delay the onset of frost, although storm activity increases compared to the summer.
The province’s economy is majorly contributed by seasonal industries of agriculture (farming), tourism and fishery. Data says, Prince Edward Island produces about 25% of Canada’s potatoes and currently accounts for a third of Canada’s total production. Moreover, the island has a total area of 1.4 million acres with approximately 594,000 acres cleared for agricultural use. Agriculture thus remains the dominant industry in the province since colonial times.
For this reason, the island is referred to by several names like ‘Garden of the Gulf’ due to its pastoral scenery and lush agricultural lands that run throughout the province. The province is also termed as the ‘Birthplace of Confederation’ or ‘Cradle of Confederation’, referring to the Charlottetown Conference in 1864.
The island is slightly low and limited when it comes to heavy industries and manufacturing, though it has significantly grown over the last decade in key areas of innovation. Aerospace, Bioscience, ICT and Renewable energy have been a focus for growth and diversification.
The province is also known for its highest retail sales tax at 9%, which is applied to almost all goods and services.
Prince Edward Island is the smallest province in both area and population. As per 2016 census, the province has about 142, 907 residents. The population is largely white and there are only a few visible minorities. Chinese Canadians are the largest visible minority group of Prince Edward Island, that comprises around 1.3% of the province’s population. Besides, as per the 2011 National Household Survey, the largest ethnic group consists of people of Scottish descent (39.2%), followed by English (31.1%), Irish (30.4%), French (21.1%), German (5.2%), and Dutch (3.1%) descent.
The island has a strong, vibrant and distinct cultural base including traditions of art, music, creative writing, festivals and sports. Prince Edward Island’s annual art festival, the Charlottetown Festival is hosted at the Confederation Centre of the Arts. Another festival known as the Island Fringe Festival takes place around Charlottetown. The land is also home to famous play-writers, poets and novelists like Milton James Rhode Acorn and Francis Bain. When it comes to music, Celtic music is certainly the most common traditional music on the island among the other ones, folk, and rock. Water sports are very popular on the land during summers and there is a host of sports organized in the province.
The tourism industry is particularly on a rise as the island’s charm, landscapes, and golf courses entice a greater number of visitors each year. The capital city of Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown is a modern city with a small town charm. Tourism connects the island with its traditional roots and attracts people to the allure of the city, its communities and thus, they experience a welcoming feel on their visit.