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Prince Edward Island

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PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND, the smallest province of the Dominion of Canada, lies between 45° 58' and 47° 7' N. and 62° and 64° 27' W. The island lies in a great semi-circular bay of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, which extends from Point Miscou in New Brunswick to Cape North in Cape Breton. From the main land it is separated by Northumberland Strait, which varies from 9 to 3o miles in width. Structurally, however, it is a continuation of northern plain of New Brunswick and on the island the Red Rocks again appear (Permian with Triassic outliers). In the main the rocks consist of soft red micaceous sandstone and shales, with interstratified but irregular beds of brownish-red conglomer ates containing pebbles of white quartz and other rocks. There are also beds of hard dark-red sandstone with the shales. Bands of moderately hard reddish-brown conglomerate, the pebbles being of red shale and containing white calcite, are seen at many points; and then greenish-grey irregular patches occur in the red beds, due to the bleaching out of the red colours by the action of the organic matter of plants. The soft red rocks have allowed rapid denudation, especially by the sea, and consequently the island is extremely irregular in shape; deep inlets and tidal streams almost divide it into three approximately equal parts ; from the head of Hillsborough river on the south to Savage Harbour on the north is only one and a half miles, while at high tide the distance be tween the heads of the streams which fall into Bedeque and Richmond Bays is even less. North of Summerside the land nowhere rises more than 175 ft. above sea-level; but between Summerside and Charlottetown, especially near north Wiltshire, is a ridge of hills, running from north to south and rising to a height of nearly Soo ft. From Charlottetown eastwards the land is low and level. Beds of peat, dunes of drifted sand, alluvial clays and mussel mud occur in and near the creeks and bays. The north shore, facing the gulf, is a long series of beaches of fine sand, and is a favourite resort in summer. On the south, low cliffs of crumbling red sandstone face the strait. The oceanic

influences make the climate of the province milder than that of the neighbouring mainland. The mean January temperature is 16° and the mean for July a little over 65°. The winter and sum mer rainfall is about the same being between 3 and 5 ins. in January and July respectively. Fogs are much less common than in either New Brunswick or Nova Scotia.

Area and Population.

The greatest length of the island is 145 m., its greatest breadth 34 m., its total area 2,184 sq.m. The population in 1931 was 88,038, having sunk from 109,078 in 1891. It is, however, much the most densely populated province in Canada, there being 40.56 persons to the sq.m. As in all the maritime provinces, there is a steady emigration to the Canadian West and to the United States. The population is mainly of British descent, but also comprises descendants of the French Acadians and of the American loyalists. A few Indians of the Mic-Mac tribe remain. The principal religious denominations and the number of their adherents were as follows (1921) : Church of Rome, 39,312 ; Presbyterians, Methodists, 11,408; Angli can, 5.057; Baptists, 5,316.


Four members of the House of Commons and four senators are sent to the federal legislature. The local government now consists of a lieutenant-governor and of a legis lative assembly of 3o members elected for 4 years. Women can be elected to the assembly. This assembly conducts not only the general affairs of the province, but most of those of the towns and villages.


Primary education in the province has been given free since 1852. Since 1877 it has been under the control of a minister of education with a seat in the provincial cabinet. At Charlottetown is the Prince of Wales College, head of the provin cial school system. St. Dunstan's College, another high school in Charlottetown, is under Roman Catholic control. In 1926 there were 471 elementary schools, 616 teachers and 17,324 pupils. The Minister of Agriculture supervises agricultural instruction as well as the agricultural and technical high school.

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