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Prince Edward Island was established as one of the Maritime Provinces of Canada in 1873. The island is covered in fertile soil, red sand beaches, and forest. There are two major cities on the island and hundreds of small towns and villages. The capital city of Prince Edward Island is Charlottetown. The population of Prince Edward Island as a whole is around 150,000 people. Main points of industry on Prince Edward Island are agriculture, small-scale manufacturing, lumber production, and tourism. Over 1.5 million people visit the island annually. Most guests visit during the warm summer months when the average temperature is around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Most businesses close during the winters as they are harsh and snowy, with daily temperatures around 20 degrees. The seawater around the island provides ample fishing waters where a variety of lobster, shellfish, and groundfish are caught and exported. The province grows the majority of Canada's potatoes, producing over 70%. Popular attractions on the island include the North Cape Lighthouse, Prince Edward Island National Park, Acadian Museum, and the Confederation Bridge. The popular novel "Anne of Green Gables" was published by L.M. Montgomery, an island local, and was set to take place on the island. Many of the island's visitors will take the Anne of Green Gables Tour along Cavendish Beach and through historical homes showcased throughout the story.
Prince Edward Island, also known as P.E.I., is one of the Maritime Provinces of Canada. The small island is located between the mainland provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. The island’s location and fertile red soil have given the island two distinct nicknames: the “Garden of the Gulf” and the “Million Acre Farm.” The island is also referred to by locals as “Spud Island” because of its large amounts of potato production. Originally the island was called Ile Saint-Jean when the French first had ownership of the land. After Britain took over, they renamed it St. John’s Island. After that, the island was also called New Ireland because of its landscape. Finally, in 1799, the island was named after Edward Augustus, a duke of Kent and Strathern, and a British commander in North America. The world’s longest bridge was constructed in 1997, connecting Prince Edward Island to its neighboring province New Brunswick, the bridge is 8 miles long.
The island is both the most densely populated and smallest of Canada’s provinces. There are three counties on the island named Prince, Queens, and Kings. The island has two cities, ten towns, and fifty rural villages, all of the cities are within five to ten miles of saltwater. Charlottetown is the capital of Prince Edward Island. The town was named after the wife of King George III. The city has 40,000 residents. The other city on the island is Summerside, with 15,000 residents. Stratford and Cornwall are two other prominent towns on the island with around 5,000 occupants. There are also three large rivers that run throughout the land. The overall population of Prince Edward Island is 156,947 people. Hundreds of acres on the island are used for farmland as the island grows 70% of Canada’s potatoes and exports its goods to over 20 different countries.
Known for its lush landscape, distinct beaches, high cliffs, and historic villages, Prince Edward Island is a major tourist attraction in Canada. The province welcomes around 1.58 million visitors a year. Most of those who visit Prince Edward Island come during the summer months when the weather is comfortable, and the skies are clear. Many of the local businesses on the island are only open during the tourist season. The tourism industry brings in around 486 million dollars in revenue every year. Over 17,000 tourism-related jobs are sustained as well. Those who spend time on the island come from all across North America and Europe. Tourism on the island increased dramatically after the book “Anne of Green Gables” was published by a local author. The book took place on the island near Cavendish Beach, and years after its publication, the novel was turned into a movie and a TV show. More adaptations have come to fruition in recent years as well, such as Netflix's Anne with an E. Many historic homes, buildings, and shops similar to those in the book are still open today.
Attractions within the area are varied depending on the visitor’s interests. The most common activities include visiting Prince Edward National Park, which occupies most of the island’s central northern coastline. The park offers wildlife watching, beach access, historic building tours, and other outdoor activities. There are several campgrounds and picnic areas in the park. The Anne of Green Gables Tour takes guests through many of the book’s famous sites, such as the original Green Gables home. This home is now a National Historic Site. There are several museums on the island, such as the Acadian Museum and the Confederation Centre of the Arts. Visitors will often tour the numerous lighthouses throughout the island, such as the Points East Lighthouse and the North Cape Lighthouse. Deep-sea fishing and golfing are also everyday activities visitors can participate in while staying on the island.
Agriculture is one of the main points of industry throughout the island due to the land’s fertile soil and long growing season. Primary crops on the island are potatoes, turnips, hay, and grains. In addition to agriculture, there are several farms with hogs, cattle, and sheep. The island’s location in the ocean makes it an optimal place for the production of seafood, including lobster, shellfish, cod, hake, flounder, and redfish. Private woodlots are spread throughout the forested areas in the land, producing hardwood and softwood for lumber and fuel. Prince Edward Island contributes to aerospace manufacturing and other small-scale exports. Overall the island has a small workforce and market due to its lack of natural resources and its distance from large cities.
Prince Edward Island is located in the northeastern corner of North America. The island is one of the Maritime Provinces of Canada, spanning 140 miles long and anywhere between two and 40 miles in width. The island separates the mainland provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. Prince Edward Island is surrounded by bays and tidal estuaries with several streams and rivers in the land. The north side of the island is primarily bays blocked by dunes, but the natural harbors are clear to the east and south. There are 1,100 miles of shoreline surrounding the island, and red sandstone cliffs line many of these miles averaging around 20 feet in height. Further inland, the landscape consists of rolling hills and level stretches of farmland. The soil on most of Prince Edward Island is rich and fertile, providing optimal conditions for the growth of potatoes, carrots, beets, soybeans, grains, and hemp. The land is also used as grazing grounds for farms and their animals, including sheep, goats, and cattle.
The few forested areas on the island are filled with a variety of trees such as beech, maple, pine, hemlock, spruce, and oak. Foreign species inside the forests include horse chestnut, black walnut, and European mountain ash trees. These trees line many town streets and roadways in the more populated areas of the island. Prior to European settlement, several animals roamed the island freely, such as moose and black bears. Over time and after years of traffic from trappers and hunters on the island, these animals were removed from the island along with wildcats. Foxes and snowshoe hares were able to reproduce, and in the past twenty years, the almost depleted beaver population was reintroduced and protected throughout the island. The island is primarily home to small rodents such as mink, weasels, muskrats, and skunks. Birds migrate to and from the island consistently. Ruffed grouse, Canada geese, Hungarian partridges, and ring-necked pheasants are among the land’s most common feathered creatures. The island rivers support trout, perch, and salmon.
The general climate of Prince Edward Island is significantly impacted by the surrounding ocean. The waters create an “ocean pump” effect; this makes it so the seasons on the island are delayed compared to the mainland with humid summers and cool fall air that lasts well into Canada’s typical winter months. The warm season is comfortable and lasts around three months from June to September, with an average daily temperature around 66 degrees Fahrenheit. July is the hottest month of the summer, with a daily average of 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Winters are freezing, snowy and windy. The season lasts for around three months, from December to March, with an average temperature of 37 degrees Fahrenheit. January is the coldest month of the year in Prince Edward Island and has a daily high of around 20 degrees Fahrenheit. It is partly cloudy year round on Prince Edward Island. The island sustains around thirty-five inches of rain and around 114 inches of snow year-round. Most guests visit the island during the summer months due to the warmer weather and clear skies.
Some historians believe that Vikings may have passed through Prince Edward Island around 1000 CE. The first confirmed inhabitants of Prince Edward Island, however, were the Mi’kmaq Indians. These Indians were from the mainland and used the island for hunting, harvesting, and fishing during the warmer months of the year. European fishermen landed on the island for the first time in the early 1500s. Jacques Cartier, a French navigator, recorded the first sighting of the island. Samuel de Champlain was the first governor of French Canada who claimed the island for France in 1603. Over 100 years later, in 1720, the island was colonized by 300 settlers from France. These settlers established Port la Joie near the entrance of the harbor of Charlottetown. Eventually, many more fishermen, trappers, and farmers began to develop small communities on the island. After 38 years, the British took over the island and brought around 3,000 of their own settlers.
Originally Prince Edward Island was part of Nova Scotia, but in 1769 it was separated and assigned its own British governor, Walter Patterson. The island was divided into three counties with separate townships and royalties. The system of the island remained the same until 1851 when the Land Purchase Act of 1875 ended the land tenure system. After this, the population of the island increased to around 100,000 residents. In 1864 Charlotte Conference was held, resulting in the founding of the Dominion of Canada. As a result, Prince Edward Island became known as the “Cradle Confederation” and joined the union years later, in 1873. L.M. Montgomery, the author of the world-famous “Anne of Green Gables” books, was a local on Prince Edward Island at the time of writing her novels and based them off the island. Modern-day celebrities from Prince Edward Island include Amber MacArthur, a broadcasting personality; Zack MacEwen, a hockey player; and Tara MacLean, a songwriter.
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