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Symbols and Emblems


PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND FACTS [1]
  • Prince Edward Island is one of the Atlantic Provinces on the east coast of Canada.
  • It is the smallest province.
  • The island is in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
  • The Northumberland Strait separates PEI from New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.
  • Charlottetown is the capital city of PEI.
  • The Island was named "Prince Edward" Island in 1799 in honor of the father of Queen Victoria. It is called "the Garden Province" because half of the land is cultivated.
  • Symbols:
    • Flower - Lady's Slipper
    • Tree - Northern Red Oak
    • Bird - Blue Jay
    • Motto: "The Small Under the Protection of the Great"

POPULATION
  • As of July 1, 2010, the population is estimated to be 142,266.
  • Over 75% are of Scottish, Irish and English descent.
  • About 15 % are of French origin.
  • Charlottetown is the largest city with an estimated population of 62,477 in the Greater Charlottetown Area.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • PEI became the seventh Canadian province in 1873.


THE 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-colored 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
  • PEI has a mild climate because of the warm waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
  • Temperatures in July range from a high of 23°C to a low of 14°C (average is 19°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 gets very windy on the island.


RESOURCES/INDUSTRY
  • Agriculture: Largest industry
    • About thirty% of Canada's potatoes are grown in PEI.
    • Other crops include fruit, vegetables, apples, strawberries, blueberries, carrots, onions, tomatoes and cereal crops.
    • Almost half of the land is used for farming.
    • Food processing is an important industry (bottling, canning, freezing).
    • Tourism: Second largest industry
    • Fishing: 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 PEI.
  • 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 between Nova Scotia and PEI.
  • There are two airports - Charlottetown and Summerside.


PLACES and PEOPLE
  • 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 Lucy Maud 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.


[1] http://www.aitc.sk.ca/saskschools/canada/facts/pei.html