Prince Edward Island || Canada 150

In honor of Canada's 150th birthday, we are featuring a different province each week. This week we are kicking off this blogging programming with Prince Edward Island, our maritime neighbor! 

Prince Edward Island (PEI) was originally inhabited by the Mi'kmaq First Nations people. They called the island Epekwitk, which means "cradled on the waves." In 1534 Jacques Cartier, a European explorer, landed on the shores of Epekwitk and quickly claimed it as a French Colony. Epekwitk was fought over by other European nations and America, eventually becoming a colony of the United Kingdom, dubbed Prince Edward Island. In 1873, PEI officially joined the Canadian Confederation.

PEI is the smallest province in Canada in both land size and population. Many of the people who live there today can trace their family line back to the original European settlers who first landed in Canada. PEI's economy is dominated by agriculture, tourism and fishing. Not only is it the birthplace of the Canadian Confederation (thanks to the confederation meetings held in Charlottetown),  but it is the birthplace of Anne of Green Gables, a number of former premiers, NHL hockey players, poets and more. 

As PEI celebrates Canada's 150th birthday, they are reflecting on how instrumental the railway system was in their province. CBC News reports, "provincial archives across Canada have come together to create a Canada 150 project called The Ties That Bind— a collection of 150 images and stories about how people have travelled the nation, focusing on the railway — and including a dozen images from PEI's archives." 

The railway in PEI set a great example for the rest of Canada on how valuable interconnectedness was. The railway enabled people across the province of PEI to more easily travel into city centers for school, goods, jobs and more. It allowed rural communities to be less isolated and fostered a greater sense of community across the province. Unfortunately the railway system in PEI was underfunded and eventually had to be shut down. However, two positives came from this: the loss of the income forced PEI to join Canada, and the old tracks were turned into a great trail system that continues to connect people. 

Stay tuned for a blog Thursday afternoon with the top things to see and do when you visit Prince Edward Island! 

Your Real Estate Professional,

Ken Richter

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