“Parva sub ingenti, the small under the protection of the great” is the motto of the Canadian Maritime Province of Prince Edward Island (PEI). At just 5.660 square kilometers, PEI is Canada's smallest province.
The island was named after Edward Augustus, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, father of Queen Victoria. The Atlantic island borders New Brunswick and the Nova Scotia peninsula. New Brunswick and PEI are separated by the Northumberland Road.
Interesting facts about Prince Edward Island
Seen from the air, the island appears crescent-shaped. Gentle hills called rolling hills, long, white beaches and large bays give the landscape a lovely character. Several nature reserves have been set up to preserve the unique landscape.
Prince Edward Island - Rolling Hills
According to the current estimate for 2022, more than 170.000 people inhabit the island. In terms of area, PEI exceeds the dimensions of the largest German island of Rügen by more than six times. Most residents live in the island's capital, Charlottetown, whose population is estimated at just under 87.000. The grid-like, spotless city has the attribute “A city made for walking”. The development of the city started from a natural harbor formed by the Hillsborough River and two other rivers. In the south of the harbor basin, Hillsborough Bay opens up to the Northumberland Strait.
Prince Edward Island - History in a nutshell
Although the island was discovered by Europeans in 1534, permanent settlement by the French only began in 1720. "Port-la-Joye" was the name of the first French settlement. In 1758, the English conquered the island, and five years later France officially ceded the island to Great Britain. After two more years, Charlottetown was founded. The city was named after the then English Queen Sophie Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. Charlottetown gained national fame in September 1864, when the accession of several British colonies to the Canadian Confederation was negotiated there. On July 1, 1873, the province finally joined the Canadian Confederation. Today the island is administratively divided into three districts. The naming of the districts reflects the traditions of the British Crown with "Kings County", "Prince County" and "Queens County".
Charlottetown - Administrative center and college location
Charlottetown is an important administrative center for city, state and federal government in Canada. The city is also the episcopal seat of the Roman Catholic and Anglican Churches. Charlottetown lives mainly from tourism, trade and light industry. The province is a university location with the University of Prince Edward Island. Another university institution is Holland College, a technical college.
Prince Edward Island is a Canadian Agricultural Territory. The island is not called the "Garden of the Gulf" for nothing. The humid continental climate with mild summers and moderate, snowy winters in the area of the Gulf of St. Lawrence is beneficial to agriculture. The "garden" produces about a third of Canada's potato needs. There are also extensive strawberry fields and huge corn plantations. Fishing is an important industry. Lobster, oysters and mussels are abundant in the region.
Charlottetown - fishing port
Experience Prince Edward Island by cruise ship
For a long time, Prince Edward Island was only accessible by plane and three regular ferry lines. Since June 1, 1997, the 12,9 km long Confederation Bridge, which is subject to a toll, has connected the island with the Canadian mainland.
Prince Edward Island - Confederation Bridge
Ferries and cruise ships call at Charlottetown in seasonal times. We report below what their passengers can do on PEI and in Charlottetown Charlottetown - Sights and under A day in Charlottetown on Prince Edward Island.
Update May 2023