Prince Edward Island

Canada’s smallest province is an island off the coast of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, albeit now linked to New Brunswick by the 1997 Confederation Bridge. Named St John’s island by John Cabot it was Īle St-Jean in the days of the French colony of Acadia, then in 1763 it became the British colony of  St. John's Island. In 1798 it was renamed Prince Edward Island to avoid confusion with the numerous other places called St John’s in the area. It was a self-governing colony for over 100 years until it joined Canada in 1873. Although at first sight it may seem to be a fairly sleepy backwater this 224 kilometre (140 mile) long island is actually the most densely populated province in Canada.



When the British took over Īle St-Jean they  structured it along the lines used in England by dividing it into lots, parishes, counties and capitals. Georgetown was established as the Capital of Kings County in the east of the island. Like most islands in those days, PEI (or St. John's Island as it then was) was reliant upon the sea, and Georgetown was chosen because of its excellent harbour. Despite the harbour the town did not begin to grow until the first half of the 19th century. Nowadays Georgetown is a quiet but picturesque town still with strong links to the sea, as attested the boats and fishing huts in this picture.

North Rustico Lighthouse

Not far from Cavendish but away from the crowds of tourists attracted by ‘Anne of Green Gables’ is the coastal town of North Rustico.  The area was settled by Acadians after British rule was established. Built on the shores of Rustico Bay this small town can boast a magnificent beach with red sand, a scenic harbour and a lighthouse first established in 1876. The present lighthouse building shown in this picture dates from 1899.

Fall foliage at Fort Amherst

While we found the fall foliage in the Canadian Maritimes not to be as widespread as in New England, Fort Amherst was one place where we found an intense burst of colour, as shown in this photograph.

Prince Edward Island MinimapQuebecNova ScotiaNew BrunswickOrwell CornerCharlottetownPrince Edward Island NP


 Georgetown, PEI, Canada
 Charlottetown from Fort Amherst, PEI, Canada

Charlottetown from Fort Amherst

The French first arrived in Īle St-Jean in 1720 at Port-la-Joye where they built a settlement and garrison.  After the British took over in 1763 they built Fort Amherst on the same site, but the British settlers chose to make their base over the other side of the bay at Charlottetown. Fort Amherst soon became redundant and it was abandoned in 1768. Today only earthworks remain, none of which are particularly photogenic.


North Rustico Lighthouse, PEI, Canada
Fall foliage at Fort Amherst, PEI, Canada



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Trailbar PEI
- Like Nova Scotia, plenty of historic sights and pleasant coastline.
- We didn’t travel the whole length of the island, but found nothing to complain about.
Our View
We like 5
But not 5

We have more pages on Prince Edward Island. Click below or on the Minimap:

Prince Edward Island MinimapQuebecNova ScotiaNew BrunswickOrwell CornerCharlottetownPrince Edward Island NP



© Mike  Elsden 1981 - 2023

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